Free Range Questions

homesteader824

Chirping
Jun 1, 2015
19
2
69
Missouri Ozarks
Assuming warm weather, such as summer, what age could I let chicks out to free range? I know it would probably vary with breed, but what percentage of their diet, from day 1 to slaughter weight, would be from feed, versus free ranging?

Also, if kept in separate housing at night, would there be any problems with them interacting with my free range layers? Would they tend to keep their distance, or do you think the older hens might bother them?
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
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Assuming warm weather, such as summer, what age could I let chicks out to free range?  I know it would probably vary with breed, but what percentage of their diet, from day 1 to slaughter weight, would be from feed, versus free ranging?

Also, if kept in separate housing at night, would there be any problems with them interacting with my free range layers?  Would they tend to keep their distance, or do you think the older hens might bother them?


I'd suggest that in order to ensure desired weight you keep them separate from your layers - they require a different diet anyway. Not sure on the exact numbers, but I provide feed all day even though my flock free ranges. Limiting food seems a little counterproductive for keeping any chickens but especially for meat birds IMO.

Ct
 

homesteader824

Chirping
Jun 1, 2015
19
2
69
Missouri Ozarks
My layers have all day access to their feeder in the hen house, but when I started free ranging them their feed consumption greatly decreased. Egg production and quality did not suffer. They just seem to prefer scratching for their food and finding bugs, weeds, etc. to eat over the commercial feed waiting for them in their feeder.
 

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