free ranging meat birds in a wooded environment.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by fiddlebanshee, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    So I am just now venturing into meat chickens, having had an egg-laying flock for the last 4-5 years. I just processed the first batch of 12 freedom rangers and am pleased with the results. I kept them in a hen house with a large (20x30 ft) attached run and butchered them at about 10 weeks with an average weight of almost 6 lbs for the boys, and about 4.5 lbs for the girls.

    The next batch I would like to have run around on a larger area with electric fence. I just do not have any pasture, it's all wooded on top of an appalachian mountain. So is this useful or should I just confine them in the run? Anybody have any ideas on what I should supplement with to get good nutritious meat, other than the organic flock raiser that I fed? Will letting them free range in the woods cut back on the feedbill much?

    Appreciate your feedback.
     
  2. slingshotandLAR

    slingshotandLAR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 24, 2013
    They still need feed...

    They will hunt and feed all day in the woods. I would do a morning and afternoon feeding and leave them the rest of the day to forage.

    They still grow too fast to go with out quality high protein feed.

    Sure you can let them fend for themselves but you won't get the results your looking for


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    Thanks for the answer. I think I framed my question wrong in my OP. Sorry about that. I know that I have to give them feed in addition to the fouraging, that was not the issue.

    The issue is the following: If you let them fourage on grass they get a lot of omegas, vitamins and other nutrients that make the meat better in quality. They won't get this in a wooded environment where there is not so much undergrowth and the hunting they do is more for bugs and other protein.

    So, my question was -- does it even make sense to let them roam in the woods if they are not getting significant benefits from it in terms of not getting that much greens (as opposed to letting them out on grass).

    Any advice would be appreciated.
     

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