Free range & layer crumbles

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by sundance, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. I have noticed that since I started free ranging my chickens in the afternoon, I do not use but about half the layer crumbles I had been buying. My chickens seem healthy and I wondered if this is natural for them to cut back on the crumbles.I may be getting one or two less eggs but we still have all the family can possible eat.[​IMG] marrie
     
  2. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Yep, this is one of the many benefits of free ranging our hens.

    During the free range period, they are eating all live food, whether it's growing green grass or all kinds of bugs and worms, which they prefer over any commercial feed.

    Congrats on providing your flock a life the way God ment it to be for them. You know they are happier when they have they freedom eh?

    bigzio
     
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I finally let my birds out of jail....sentence induced with the onset of garden sprouts, commuted to time served when plants gained adequate growth.....and my egg production went up! Maybe they didn't like the bland diet of mash and what little bugs and greens that were in their run. It could have been mere coincidence but my egg production went up by 100% the day after they were set free! Go figure! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2008
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Quote:Yep. But beware - the free life has it dangers. The birds dont always get everything they need from foraging, so dont remove the feed.
     
  5. ConnorMayasMom

    ConnorMayasMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2008
    Old Chatham, NY
    My husband and I are in a debate over free range or not. We have about an acre of wooded area that they can access. I was all for this until our neighbors lost 2 chickens to a local grey fox. I worked hard to raise our nine girls and don't want to see them be lunch. Should I just suck it up and face the fact that they may fall prey or build a bigger run?? I know they would be happier running about the yard but I've become attached to the little buggers. What to do??? I've read that the time of day that you let them out could be a factor?? Would love any advice or comments![​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. Jennyhaschicks

    Jennyhaschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2008
    Maine
    Quote:When I posted about losing two of my BRs and whether or not to continue to let them range a poster basically said think about how much happiness you are bringing them. They deserve a happy life while they are alive. Of course there are dangers, but would you want to be cooped up?
     
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I freerange, but the conditions are ideal in which to do so on this property. If I lived next to the woods and I didn't have LGDs, I would probably do so only in a chicken tractor. They still get the benefit of fresh grass and sunshine, but it is in a protected environment. [​IMG]
     
  8. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

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    South Puget Sound
    My girls free-range ONLY when we're home and can keep an eye on them. We've found out twice now that they can't be trusted to stay in the yard (we've fixed the hole in the fence now).

    They're eating a whole lot less crumbles now that they're outside 12-13 hrs/day. They eat as if they haven't gorged themselves on bugs & greens all day every time they go back to their coop.
     
  9. bayouchica

    bayouchica Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2007
    N.E. Louisiana
    If I had to coop up my chickens,I couldn't afford to feed them all,lol.You will save on your feed bill & have much happier chickens. I have 102 & they go thru 50lbs. of layer crumbles in two weeks. Winters are mild here & they don't eat much more then.
    There are risks to free ranging,but worth it. I'm home during the day & have two dogs.In almost 5 years,I've only lost one to a hawk.
     
  10. clawmute

    clawmute Out Of The Brooder

    I would like to free range mine but the coyote population would make quick work of them. Once as I was bent over the hood of my pick up a coyote chased a rooster to within 10 feet of me before he even saw me. I've fed scores of chickens to them over the years.
     

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