Managing CRD in a pastured/free range set up


6 Years
May 28, 2013
Williamston, MI
As I read through the following article ( I have to come to a stark realization that in any free range or pastured poultry set up (small scale of 30 - 50 birds ) there is virtually no way to avoid CRD. If you have your flock running around a pasture, where there will be obvious wild bird contact, there appears to be virtually no way to avoid it. In addition, with such spotty at best testing programs from hatcheries, you have very little way, even if you chose to, avoid truly bio-secure flocks.

So this brings me to this question, is the above assumption correct? I don't mean anecdotally, I mean in reality. In terms of pragmatic management, how would one deal with this? Does anyone have any experience with a largish flock with CRD? If so, how do you keep in control the outbreaks and manage the introduction of new stock?

Thanks so much!

To be completely bio-secure, chickens would need to be raised in a lab. Or like they do commercially in large chicken houses. Even then, bio-secure measures are not 100%. You should see some of the outbreaks of disease they deal with.

To think that a flock of chickens kept in an enclosed run and coop is more bio-secure is also making a faulty assumption in many cases. Bird droppings ect can get in most chicken runs. One thing that aids a healthy chicken is a well rounded healthy diet that is provided naturally in a pasture/free range situation.

Healthy chickens fight off most of the issues that face them. Some we may help them with. Once a flock is established the resistance to diseases increases if not aided by medicines.

I never want to be the alarmist that sounds the foghorn for every possible disease. However I keep a watchful eye on my birds daily. Only 15 chickens at the moment. We processed 7 this summer for dinners.

Wish ya the best.
Free Ranger For Life!
Yeah, that's the weird part. OUr birds are strong as oxes, but this thing seems to have just ripped them apart. We are doing pretty much everything we can, but we'll see how it goes. Oddly enough, it's the weak ones that seemed to have done better with it all. We do feed a very high quality feed (organic for whatever that label means these days ) and they are on great grass, rotated every 3 - 4 weeks.

First rule in farming ... animals die, second rule in farming ... can't change rule number one.

Lessons are being learned the hard way on this one.


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