Free Range Ducks and Chickens
- A More Natural Way
Call us old-fashioned, but we kind of enjoy the way our Egg-layers think they own the place! Since we started this poultry operation in 2009, there have been some substantial learning curves! However, a few learning blocks we've navigated along the way:
1. Fresh water, food and bedding keep birds happy and healthy all year long.
2. Egg layers like to roam, but will occasionally need to be re-trained to come into the coop at night. This fall we realized we had at least 30 renegade birds who would come into the coop to eat, but play outside, and worst lay outside everyday! Now 30 missing eggs may not seem like a lot, but once you multiple that over a few weeks, you can see how a farmer might feel the need to shut the birds in for a few days, so they learn how to sleep in the coop at night!
3. Muscovy ducks are beautiful birds but oh my, they are messy!
4. Turkeys will drown in their own water bucket if you let them.
5. Free range sometimes means sharing your tea party at the patio table with a curious hen!
6. Chickens rarely peck at you and are almost impossible to catch.
7. Turkeys like to nip at you at every opportunity. However, watching them run in the yard is the most entertaining gift.
8. Chores in the morning and chores in the night tend to make a person appreciate a roast chicken in a whole new way.
9. I would rather raise a small flock of free-range birds with humanity and integrity on this farm than any mass production method any day, no matter what the chores are like!
10. Portable coops are amazing! Protection from wildlife, pasture rotation, shelter from the elements and fresh air guaranteed.