I am a beginner, with a whole 5 months experience with chickens. After reading Gail Damerow in 'Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens' and Andy Lee and Pat Foreman's 'Chicken Tractor', I decided that the idea of the fixed outdoor chicken run on which the birds would stay basically all the time, was NOT a good idea for the health of the birds; and something I would NOT do. But what about you all? I realize the whole Chicken Tractor and Pastured Poultry movement are based on this premise. BUT................. There must be some of you out there who have your birds in a fixed run all the time--and maybe have been doing so for years--and have found it to work just fine. Are there some of you out there in this category? I submit that I think that a fixed run is probably not as healthy as a portable situation/chicken tractor method. But I also can't believe that having your birds on a fixed outdoor run for all their lives spells D-E-A-T-H for them. Lee and Foreman say, more or less, that if you keep your birds on a fixed chicken run the ground will become infested with parasites, basically toxic to most plant life, smelly and infested with flies. In other words, generally unhealthy. Damerow says that she can't believe that people who would never dream of planting some crop year after year on the same plot of ground, think nothing of keeping their chickens on the same outdoor run year after year. I think they're probably right, but I can't believe the 'fixed option' can't work though. Thoughts? Reactions? I realize that some people HAVE NO CHOICE but to keep their birds on a fixed run........I wonder how many would actually CHOOSE to keep their birds in a fixed outdoor run EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE THE OPTION OF DOING OTHERWISE.