Fowl for Foraging " What the best Fowl?"

LotsA Cluckin

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 26, 2014
71
8
38
Walling, TN
So I was just sitting here looking at pictures on a few different threads and I found myself day dreaming about having birds running free on our land. We have 7 acres of land about half of it has dense woodland's the other half is pretty open with a few trees here and there which is where our house and coops are. There is a pond that the cattle use which is about 150 yards behind the coops. We are located in middle TN so our winters are fairly mild, with having an average winter temp of upper 40's but some night in the dead of winter it will get below zero F.

So my question is, What would be the best poultry to have free roaming our land? They would have a shelter built for them if they wold like to get in it but I would not be locking them up at night so other than have a shelter to get away from rain and wind they would be completely wild. I would like for them to be able to sustain them selves nutritionally just off of bugs, grass and worms that they can find on their own. Of course I would not let them starve I would feed them if I saw it to be necessary!

So what do you all think? What is the best poultry/breed that best fits these idealistics (is that a word lol)

Thanks so much!!
 

LotsA Cluckin

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 26, 2014
71
8
38
Walling, TN
Oh I should mention that we do have hawks, a few bald eagles, foxes, raccoons, opossums, and pretty much anything that you can think of so they would have to be able to either out run, out last, our fly or straight up fight off predators. At night they would be a bit safer at night if they roosted around our coops because we have lights on our coops to keep predators away. And again of course I would save them if I happen to see them in need of help but I will not always be their to have their backs.
 

OrganicFarmWife

Crowing
Oct 21, 2015
5,031
1,047
326
No where Nebraska
Geese would be your best option. They are often used as guard animals, due to their ferocious nature. They are not invulnerable, dogs can still kill them. But they are your most able bird.
You would probably still need to feed them in winter.
 

appps

Crowing
8 Years
Aug 29, 2012
4,784
647
321
Australia
It sounds lovely when you describe it like that but sadly it's not going to work in reality. There are just far too many predators out there that will make a quick meal of your birds. Actually I think you pretty much covered them all in your list of local predators! One lone fox can easily wipe out a flock of 20 birds in one night. You are not being at all realistic I'm sorry to say to think any poultry is going to outwit, outsmart and outlive that list of possible attackers.

People dump chickens in the wild all the time, there is a reason they have never become a pest. They taste too good to every other animal out there
1f633.png


You also need to think about how feeding the local predators a constant supply of poultry is going to attract them to your property, including bears btw, if you have kids.
 
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OrganicFarmWife

Crowing
Oct 21, 2015
5,031
1,047
326
No where Nebraska
It sounds lovely when you describe it like that but sadly it's not going to work in reality. There are just far too many predators out there that will make a quick meal of your birds. Actually I think you pretty much covered them all in your list of local predators! One lone fox can easily wipe out a flock of 20 birds in one night. You are not being at all realistic I'm sorry to say to think any poultry is going to outwit, outsmart and outlive that list of possible attackers.

People dump chickens in the wild all the time, there is a reason they have never become a pest. They taste too good to every other animal out there
1f633.png

Your right, but people free-range their birds all the time. Yes she must secure them at night, and during winter she will need to feed them, but there is little reason she cannot have birds walk her property and forage. I do.
 

appps

Crowing
8 Years
Aug 29, 2012
4,784
647
321
Australia
Your right, but people free-range their birds all the time. Yes she must secure them at night, and during winter she will need to feed them, but there is little reason she cannot have birds walk her property and forage. I do.


She said she won't be securing them at night. They won't last long wandering round with a shed they can use if it rains but living in the forest. It really isn't realistic to think it will work that way.

To be honest even free ranging with a proper coop at night she will have losses with the birds of prey she described. I've lost birds in suburbia free ranging on the lawn.
 

OrganicFarmWife

Crowing
Oct 21, 2015
5,031
1,047
326
No where Nebraska
She said she won't be securing them at night. They won't last long wandering round with a shed they can use if it rains but living in the forest. It really isn't realistic to think it will work that way.

To be honest even free ranging with a proper coop at night she will have losses with the birds of prey she described. I've lost birds in suburbia free ranging on the lawn.

Yes she must secure them at night. But everything has its risks. You can lose chickens locked up in a coop too.
 

LotsA Cluckin

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 26, 2014
71
8
38
Walling, TN
Thank you all for the responses! I was hoping to have something that is like the wild turkeys around here...we have tons of them and there populations are ever growing, surely if they can survive here so can some other kind of poultry.
 

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