Free Range


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 14, 2009
Milford, MI
This might sound silly to all of you experts, but I am having a problem distinguishing what is really free range. I have heard that the chickens run free without barriers. I have also heard that as long as you let them out of the coop, they are free range. I am planning on having a coop with a small run attached 4' X 8' and then having another attached to that which will be 12' x 12' fenced but not covered. I am planning on about 6 chickens. They will be able to roam from the coop to the first run and to the 12 x 12 yard as they wish. In the winter, I will cover the small run and not allow them into the yard. Are they then considered free range? I have also heard the term "Pastured" What exactly does that mean? Thanks!
I don't consider mine free range. they have a 8x16' run and it didn't take a week for them to dig it completely up. no grass, weeds and very few bugs in there. Every time i mow i pick up a handful of clipping and give them, i also throw them every cricket, grasshopper, worm, etc that i get my hands on. I think i have kind of a middle of the road situation. Good Luck
I free range. I open the coop door in the morning and the chickens are free to go where they please on the farm (80 acres). At night they put themselves in the coop and I go out and lock them up. They are let out every day, rain or shine or snow. They have places to get out of the weather if they choose. Most of the time they choose to stay out in it.
I consider that to be free range.
I consider free range where they are not in a cage at all-fences on the property don't count. Mine do not free range, I have dogs, hawks, etc. Mine have a coop and small attached run open on one side with dirt floor in the run. When I am home and the heat is not too horrible I let them out in a portable hoop run that I made-too flimsy for evening use. There they get a limited amount of bugs and grazing. During the day I move the hoop around to keep it in the shade but they would rather be running around.

Pastured I think would be more like what I do with the hoop, you stick it out in a pasture and that is where they live 24 hrs a day. Obviously, mine is too small for that, but I have seen some hoop coops that are pretty spacious and have everything the chicken needs. I think this is a cross between keeping chickens in a building and at least letting them have some sun and feeding. I don't think these coops are moved very much, maybe every few weeks.

Anyway, my .02 and it is worth what you pay for it!

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