Free Range

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Dustoff79, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. Dustoff79

    Dustoff79 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Antonio, Texas
    I plan on free rangeing my chickens on about 3 acres. I have a coop, will have feed/water/oyster shell available in the coop at all times. my question is they will be sharing my pasture with two horses, I have read numerous posts about hay causing impacted crop. when I feed the horses hay and alfalfa, out in the pasture will this be a problem?? my dad told me their chickens were always in the hay barn when he was young and was not a problem. Is the difference that they are not confined in a coop/run but allowed to roam free?
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I think you are right, that it's more of a problem with confined chickens. Look how may hundreds of years chickens have been raised around livestock and hay. Even in confinement, not all chickens have a problem. It's just bad when one does.

    We never had a problem when our chickens were pastured with our sheep and they had access to the hay. Actually, they were more interested in picking up any molasses sweetened grain that fell out of the sheep's mouths in the winter, while they were chewing. At least it came with protein, vitamins and minerals, too. Yummy! [​IMG]
  3. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    Nope, not a problem.
    My chickens are all over the hay bales in the barn and I even put some hay in their nests. They have never really eaten any that I can tell, preferring instead to get out and eat fresh weeds and seeds. Even in the winter.
    I have Timothy, alfalfa/orchard and fescue stored in the barn so there is plenty for them to try and eat. No impacted crops here from hay.
  4. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I've only had chickens for a year and a half, but they free range around my horses all the time and I've never had any problems. In fact, one of my chickens favorite places to run to is the horse stall so they can scratch through the poo to find any treasures hidden there![​IMG]

    Also, I have my two goats in the run with my chickens and goats are notorious for wasting hay. If it falls on the ground most won't eat it. My chickens love to scratch through the hay on the ground also.
  5. augiedranch

    augiedranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2008
    i have 25 chickens and i have 9 acres. the chickens share an acre with goats, but can get and do get into the pasture with three horses. so my chickens roam 9 acres with horses, goats and pigeons. they are all extremely healthy. and i dont ever have to muck out the stalls!! [​IMG]
  6. Dustoff79

    Dustoff79 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Antonio, Texas
    Thanks, I did not think it would be a problem, but had to ask the question.

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