Pasture Raised Poultry

I am very excited about the prospect of raising broiler chickens here at home.  I have been wanting to do the chicken thing for such a long time and now I learn that I have every thing needed to raise a few dozen birds.  I’m excited.

My thought of raising chickens on my farm always started with building a chicken coop and constantly battling predatory critters.  From what I read there is a much easier way to raise the birds which will fertilize my pasture bit by bit.

What I am talking about is a movable area for the birds to live in which provides protection from harm and constant access to the ground depending on where I move their house.  I plan to begin construction soon with a spring move in date for my chicks.

From what I read, chickens can get nearly 20 percent of their diet from grains, worms, bugs, and other stuff they pick at.  The rest of their diet will need to be provided.  I am sure that my local Ag supplier can suggest a feed for ‘free range’ chickens.  I will need to keep in mind water when I build the house and move it.

So far I would plan to have enough chickens eventually so that I can fry or bake one per week.  That is a whole bunch of birds but not really that many when you think about how many are produced on a large corporate farm.  I saw a video once about how these factory farms are the best thing ever.  They did not show any sick birds or heaps of manure.  They did show women very gently handling birds into their new pen from the hatchery.  I have also checked out videos on youtube of the conveyor belt way of moving chicks from the hatchery to the pen where they will live until slaughter.

I would like to feed my family birds who aren’t necessarily named but certainly watched after on a more personal level.  For the price of a few bags of grain, I think that I can achieve my plan.

So, for now I will begin construction of a bird house.  It will have to sit directly on the ground so that the birds can not get out.  This plan plus being on skids for mobility are really my only requirements.  I suppose that the birds would like to be able to get off the ground and roost a bit.  This will require a bit more research but I am certain that my chicken experiment will be as well thought out as my others.

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