I really do have some good reasons why my chickens are not free range.
I’ve traveled down roads and high ways and unfortunately seen many poor hens attempting to cross or already dead at the crossing. For this reason…I keep my chickens penned up.
Nope – My chickens are not free-range and my egg customers are ok with that. We are ok with that.
While the rest of the world is desiring chickens to be free-range or free to roam where they please, we prefer to keep ours penned up. I hope you don’t think we are bad chicken owners.
For me, safety and happiness is so important. I have quite a few reasons why I don’t let my chickens run free. But, I’m going to share with you:
* Why my chickens are not free range.
* Some ways for keeping chickens safe.
* Tips for raising chickens for eggs inside a coop with run.
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Reason #1: Predators
Dogs. Not only our dogs Si and Sage, but other dogs that might show up. Wild dogs such as coyotes. These are the main reasons why our chickens do not get to be free-range birds. They think the hens are play toys.
If given the chance, dogs will chase the birds, which is not good for the chickens. It’s very stressful and chickens do not handle stress well. It could increase their chances of getting a heart attack.
I have actually caught Si rolling a chicken around with his front paws like he was playing with a ball. Not ok.
And dogs aren’t the only predators to keep out. There’s others. Rodents, snakes, etc, are all detrimental to chickens. There’s better ways to keep chickens.
Reason #2: Chickens Cross Roads
Another reason we we don’t let the chickens roam free is because we live close to the highway and we don’t want them to wander onto the highway and tragically ran over by a vehicle.
Because, let’s be honest, no one knows why chickens cross the road, but I really don’t want to find out. I want to keep my hens safe and sound on our side of the road.
And I’ve seen enough chicken road kill. What a waste of a life that could have been giving you so much if it was kept safe. Here’s how to make sure your chickens stay safe while still having plenty of room.
Reason #3: They have a spatious coop
Finally, our chickens do not run free because they don’t need to. Their coop and pen is so spacious. It has two levels of roosts, plus a large run that goes outside.
The run fence is made of chicken wire and I’ve even put chicken wire over the top of the run so they can’t fly out. Nothing goes in or out of there.
Yes, their coop can move and I do move them. I simply lock them into their coop, disconnect the fence run, hook the coop onto a tractor and move it to where I want to.
Safety is Upmost Importance
I’ve given a few reasons why my chickens are not free-range. The most important reason of all is that I want my chickens to be safe. They are obviously very healthy and lay plenty of eggs for my family and I to enjoy.
I’m not ashamed of having a coop and pen for my hens because I know where they are at all times. I’d love to read your comments about penned-up chickens versus free-range chickens so please post them in the comment section.
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