Keeping Chickens Free Range

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LadyBroody, Jun 15, 2014.

  1. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought the Freedom Rangers were meat birds?

    There's a brown Leghorn that might be able to hide better than the white ones. Red stars and Rhode Island Reds are supposed to be great producers. AFAIK, Leghorns have the best feed to egg conversion though.
    I agree, with higher production birds you'll need to feed them. Wild chickens did not lay as often and did not need as much nutrition. Most birds you buy today have been bred for production which requires more nutrition.
    I think getting larger birds won't decrease the odds of a predator attack. It may even worsen the odds since the larger breeds won't be as agile or able to fly away from problems.
    You'll certainly need a good coop. Seems most people lose birds to predators at night.
     
  2. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler extrodinaire Premium Member

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    I agree with everything roosterLew told you. I do not have Dominques, everything I read about them is good. They are a "smaller" bird lay a good size egg and are suppose to be good foragers.


    They are barred and everything I read says they are good at hiding from predators. I looked for some this spring with no luck. I will be buying some getting some eggs to hatch next year, to add into my flock.....



    ..Dear Wife, If you are reading this. I would not really get more chickens next year,,,Relax.. trust me. ..
     
  3. holm25

    holm25 Jr Chicken Wrangler

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    HAHA!!!
     
  4. UrbanEnthusiast

    UrbanEnthusiast Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advice, folks! I'm not set on any particular breed or breeds. My thought was that heritage breeds may be better at evading predators and at foraging than production breeds. Definitely wasn't planning on getting any colorful or white birds because they're too visible. I understand there will be occasional predator losses but I'm just looking for something that's sustainable. And, uh, yeah, of course I'm going to build a secure coop, LOL.
     
  5. RoosterLew

    RoosterLew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, freedom rangers are meat birds...lol oops!!
    What are the layers that were bred to be good foragers...I can't remember everything!! Lol

    Brown Leghorns would be a good choice I think.
     
  6. holm25

    holm25 Jr Chicken Wrangler

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    Welsummers to .
     
  7. UrbanEnthusiast

    UrbanEnthusiast Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had one Welsummer hen before and she was super smart. She was just a hatchery bird but she's the only chicken I've ever had that felt like a pet. She was this wonderful combination of flighty and friendly at the same time. In fact, she's the one in my profile pic. Not much of a layer, though.
     
  8. holm25

    holm25 Jr Chicken Wrangler

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    We have Welsummers to they are great foragers .
     
  9. SmColorInDaPan

    SmColorInDaPan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what I gather, it would be wise to supplement what they get off the land, with Grain. Like humans need tatters and breads to add to all meat or veggie diets?
    If the area is mostly wooded, than ground predators will likely be the worst, since lots of area they can hide.. GOOD news, as long as chickens's wings aren't clipped, lots of trees to sit/escape in. They can move pretty danged fast if they need to!! [​IMG]
    From what I HAVE HEARD, it's the HEAT that proves fatal the chickens most of the time. Look up and keep a thermometer w/ the Ideal temp in the hen house? There should be somewhere online, a place you can find the usual temps for your future area, thus be able to accomadate? Even with below 0 wind chills, 0 temps, this last winter, I only lost a comb on my Bantam roo. A few nights, I tucked them into a wood box, due to windchill, but they were okay. I soaked bread in warm water, with scratch & then added a hot rock to the water dish, as needed. More work but what I need to do in my situation. Had to buy eggs once but a bad winter for Montana.
    Common sense and a bit of research and I bet you do a great job! With as many as you plan to have, bet you can shave off feed cost , with eggs sales, pretty quick too! [​IMG]
     
  10. UrbanEnthusiast

    UrbanEnthusiast Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I do plan to provide quality feed year-round I'm just hoping they won't eat much of it, haha. And hopefully our cat will keep the rodents off of it without killing any hens. That's why i think I need some FAST little birds!
     
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