Free Ranging does not mean no fences

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by broncbuster07, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. broncbuster07

    broncbuster07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm seeing alot of posts from people saying they are have trouble with predators getting their free range birds. Free range birds can have boundries. My birds are free range and I have never had a problem with any predators. I live in the country and see coyotes, possums, skunks, and racoons around on a regular basis, yet I've never had one get my birds or my eggs. See, my birds have the full run of the back half acre of my property and the fence around my place is made of horse wire. Rabbits can't even squeeze through! I have two goats back there to deterr any fence climbing possums or coons, and my border collie is outside of the fence and runs patrols pretty regular. To deterr hawks and owls, I have a faux owl mounted on a fence post.
    Now, this may not work for all birds as some can and will fly over a fence, but for most standard sized chickens, turkeys, geese and ducks it will work.

    Grow organic!
     
  2. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    What kind of wire do you mean. You said horse wire, is that the same as V Mesh? If so, yep, nothing can get through. It would make an ideal boundary fence for rangers. I doubt, though, that you fake owl is doing any good, but goats do keep away preditory birds. Sounds like an ideal setup!
     
  3. broncbuster07

    broncbuster07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Horse wire is 12 gauge wire that crosses every 4 inches horizontally, and every 2 inches vertically. It's very much like the V wire. V wire is probably even better but more expensive.
     
  4. usbr

    usbr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2007
    Quote:While what you are saying is technally true, it should be noted that the USDA has no official defination of free ranging when related to laying hens and meat birds mearly have to have access to the outside (500 birds can get access to the same 5X5 run, it dont matter to the USDA). Because there is no set defination, thats why you see 8 different lables on egg cartons at 8 different vendors at farmers markets. Everybody is trying to market thier eggs as good but trying to show how they are different from the others. As you can tell, without a set defination, it blurs and dilutes all the different definations and in many cases, confuses the purchser.

    I believe you dont really have free range chickens, you have yarded chickens. Probally best described as cage free because "yarded" is not as common and cage free is understood but people would get the wrong idea if you said free range. Of course, with no definations its hard to lable things but I personally wouldnt sell eggs or chickens as free range if they had a fence.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_range

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yarding

    Sorry, I somehow deleted my USDA folder so I cant link you to the definations there but it can be googled pretty easy. Guess I am gonna have to rebuild that folder...

    HTH
     
  5. broncbuster07

    broncbuster07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Waxahachie, TX
    Dadgum!![​IMG] I had hoped that this would be an arguement-free topic. I was just trying to help folks out, but it seems like lately we can't post any topic that doesn't get an arguement!
     
  6. usbr

    usbr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Who is argueing? I was just trying to be helpful. You do know that this forum and topics are read many months later by new members or even guests. I just thought it would be very helpful to make a note about how you were raising your birds and how the USDA nas no real definations (basically the USDA says you can claim anything you want). This type of question comes up every so often as well as the ole' organic one, I thought expanding on what was said was what this place was all about, you know, building good resources, helping each other out, that kind of thing. If Im wrong, let me know and I will delete my post but like I said, I thought I was being helpful.

    HTH
     
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yeah, USDA guidelines are pretty fuzzy. My birds are free range but not like they go very far:lol: They like to sit on the porch piling it up with fertilizer.

    I'm sure half a acre is "free range" enough since cage free literally means cage free... with no mention of needing any grass. Good thing your birds are safe out there and you haven't had any losses.
     
  8. broncbuster07

    broncbuster07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Waxahachie, TX
    Quote:Thank you! The purpose of this topic was to help people with ideas on how to increase the safety of their free range flocks. It wasn't meant to start a debate on what the USDA's definition of "free range" is. My birds are free range but they're safe.
     
  9. cookinmom

    cookinmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Saint George GA
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_range

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yarding


    Just a little FYI I learned from my kids. Don't always put a lot of stock in wikipedia as a reputable source of info. There is an edit feature there, and anyone can go and put anything in there. One of their teachers gave them a demonstration, as an explanation as to why they are not allowed to use this site as a source on research papers. She actually went in and changed data on the site, and it took several hours for what she put to be removed.​
     
  10. broncbuster07

    broncbuster07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I love your avatar cookinmom! Cracks me up![​IMG]
     

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