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advice on "free range" chickens Options
ajila ama farms
#1 Posted : Monday, December 21, 2009 2:52:22 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

I have a fresh startup berry/veggie farm in the mountains of western north carolina, looking to get some chickens to free range mainly for pest control, but also for meat.  There are lots of predators here, so I hold no ideas of being able to keep them all alive but I would like to minimize losses.  My property where the chickens will be located is a grassy hollow with woods on three sides.  I'm mainly looking for advice on the best way to keep them safe without keeping them in a closed pen at night (yep i'm being lazy there) as well as some advice on how to keep them in the same area.  I don't want them going and bothering the neighbors (or their bulldogs) which aren't terribly close but are about 250 feet from the area I would need to keep the chickens.  Any advice on a way to keep them in one general area and as safe as possible would be greatly appreciated.  I've never really kept chickens before, but I don't want to have to keep them locked up all the time and I also don't want to have to go out every night/morning to lock them in a coop.

I do plan on feeding the chickens, but I'm mainly looking to keep them around for keeping ants away, just 2 years ago we got the dreaded fire ants on their migration north.  I know that everything likes chicken from foxes to opossum's, but anything I can do to lessen my losses would be great.  Our farm is in the process of getting an organic certification, and I don't want to be putting nasty chemicals all over to control the ants.  

thanks in advance.

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