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Free Range

What will we feed the chickens? My idea is that worms will do, but still, they need other nutrition as well, as we, like every other animal, need vitamins, minerals and proteins to make the day. Has anybody thought about how to grow what for which animal?

Offered by Michel.

We have done a few experiments with our chickens. They seem to like food scraps. We turn them all loose at once sometimes. They dig and scratch for worms, bugs, etc. I had some chickens last summer. I would let them out of their pen once in a while and they would roam the yard. We had a lot of ants last year, at least until we let those chickens out. The ant population diminished extensively. Chickens have been around for eons and have survived. They will eat what they can get and scrounge for. They even eat grass and weeds. Mine even come when I whistle.

Offered by Clipper.

Why not free range your chickens? Let them run free in a large fenced-in area (meaning acres) and they will fend for themselves. They will eat the bugs on your vegetable plants and fertilize your garden. Then you can eat chickens instead of the bugs.

Offered by Granville.

I raised chickens for a year when I lived in Minnesota and they ran free around the house and dairy barn area. The house had not been lived in for many years and the area was totally overgrown with weeds. By midsummer of the year the chickens arrived, there were almost no tall weeds of any kind around the house/barn area and we are talking about maybe 40 chickens and a very large roaming area. I know they also enjoy bugs, but they did not have quite the same effect on the insect population as they did on the vegetation. The mosquitoes still bit the devil out of us if we had to be out after sundown! They did not get into the garden often because it was fenced, but when they did, they were somewhat destructive, especially where tomatoes where concerned.

Offered by Sue.