We used to raised chickens about 10 yrs ago and they could roam freely on our property so of course they were considered "free range"...
My question is, if a we have to keep them enclosed (ie pen/coop encloser) how much space is needed for them to just eat off the ground and not have to
be constantly fed. We really never really fed our chickens in the summertime but had to supplement feed over winter months. We live in town now but
do have a large enough lot to raise chickens (3 at most, 2 hens/1 rooster) of course we cannot let the roam all over the neighborhood so we will have
to enclose them.
I think your best bet would be to have the enclosure portable so that when the Chickens clean one area you can move to the next. I have seen people
in a more urban area "hide" a few chickens under a trampoline. There are many diagrams out there of more suitable portable enclosures available.
I feel this is the best method to minimize supplemental feeding.
You might try a "chicken tractor" which is basically a mobile pen. Usually it can easily house 6-12 chickens...come in a variety of shapes and
concepts...everything from a sled that can be pulled to a cage on wheels...
All the benefits of free range with none of the concerns. Can be made from wood, scrap lumber, PVC, etc. Easy to find designs on the internet.
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