I free range. I take a few steps to ensure they are somewhat protected:. I have two fantastic dogs that ignore the birds but protect their territory, well established trees, plenty of areas to run for cover. I have lost 2 adult birds to predators, one I suspect a hawk the other was the neighbors dog.
I do appreciate the risk, but I feel the benefits outweigh the risks
I'm also an organic farm wife so I appreciate hearing from you. We don't have the dogs in place-- our two dogs are house dogs. I was all set to try to get livestock guardian dogs but I'm wondering, saw a reference recently where a free ranger said a good dog for this job doesn't have to be LGD. What kind of dogs do you have? Did you get them as puppies or adults? What do you do about your chicks and when they join up with the adults?
I feel like this is still on topic for MHP because if the idea is outdoor brooding via MHP, then surely ya'll are the best people to ask about how to make that happen, but do just let me know if this is considered off topic.