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can I call my chickens free rangers?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by trunkman, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. trunkman

    trunkman Songster

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    I'm planning a 40 foot by 50 foot chickens enclosure which is 2000 square feet to let my chickens run around in. My question is can I call them free rangers? I have 20 chickens so I'm giving them 100 square feet each. They will be fed layer pellets and table scraps grass clippings, weeds and all the bugs they can find, and also plan on selling extra eggs we get, so can I give them the title of free rangers? [​IMG]
  2. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Songster 8 Years

    Dec 6, 2009
    I would think so.....that is an impressive enclosure.
  3. NewEnglandChick

    NewEnglandChick Songster

    Aug 13, 2009
    Midcoast Maine

    That's Wikipedia's definition of "free range"...which I always take Wikipedia with a grain of salt. Apparently the U.S. has no real definition of "free range" whereas other countries do.

    In any case...I second BarredBuff! That's chicken dedication!!
  4. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    If they can kill off all the grass and bugs in their run then I would say no. If they can't then probably. A chicken in a dirt or sand floored pen no matter how much grass clippings and weeds you give it is not going to be the same as a free ranging chicken with unlimited fresh growing greens and the bugs that hide in it.
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I believe the definition in the egg producing industry for free range is simply giving them access to the outdoors.
  6. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    yep, to be able to label eggs in the US 'free range' all they need is one small door that they may or may not be able to find or get to very well, that has access to a little daylight, which in all likelihood is paved in concrete, not grass or anything in the least natural, since that would be too hard to clean after one flock is moved out and before another is moved in. Concrete is more efficient.... yeah. Good thing my birds don't care about efficient!
  7. WingingIt

    WingingIt Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    Quote:Personally, I agree with what Akane wrote.
  8. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:Personally, I agree with what Akane wrote.

    Me too!!! Although by USDA standards: The United States Department of Agriculture offers this definition:

    FREE RANGE or FREE ROAMING: Producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside.

    But “allowing access” doesn’t mean much. A small door in a barn with thousands of chickens technically gives chickens an opportunity to go outside, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll have access to grass (it may only be a concrete slab).
  9. karl E lutz

    karl E lutz Songster

    Jan 29, 2010
    My pen is about that big and I let the flock out 2 times a day to range. You will be suprised at how fast your pen becomes barren if they are kept in it without allowing them to really range.
    I would keep them in the pen until they are mature and after a couple of months try letting them out.
    Mine come and go but stay close to the pen, and they will chase me in to the pen at feeding time.
  10. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Free Ranging Staff Member Premium Member 9 Years

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Well, my run is about 50 ft 100 ft (it's my orchard) and 7 chickens have it down to bare dirt. (I have 15 in there now, but it was dirt before I added the 8) I do let them out when I can for some fresh greens, plus all my garden waste.

    I guess what I'm trying to say, is no matter how large your enclosure, the chickens will have it down to bare dirt.

    From what I've seen, free range just means access to outdoors. I think it's used loosely though. I have plenty of customers for my extra eggs, so they're obviously happy with them.

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