Last year RancherMan & I decided that housing our free-range hens in the coop of our 1880’s barn just wasn’t protecting them. Oh they were safe in the coop overnight, but when we let them out to free range each morning, predators were taking the entire flock time & time again. We needed a modified free-range setup.
So we decided we’d amend our garden to include the chickens. But our fenced garden offered some layout challenges.
I recently wrote a piece for Mother Earth News, come see how we were able to successfully incorporate the chickens into our garden area. We have been able to protect the chickens from predators as well as the garden from the chickens.
C’mon by & sit a spell! Come hang out at our Facebook Page. It’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea – lots of good folks sharing! You can also follow along on Pinterest,Twitteror Instagram.
Did you know you could get chicken food for FREE??! Over the years I’ve learned a thing or two about feeding our hens. I’m always looking for ways to get chicken food for FREE! Thankfully it’s pretty easy to do.
Y’all already know we split the garden area this year. About 40% of that area became the chicken ranging area and the other 60% remained my veggie garden, but more efficiently arranged. I love the symbiotic relationship of chickens/garden. I’m hoping the chickens will keep grass scratched away from the adjoining garden area to help me win the fight against Bermuda grass. And I know they will also eat all the bugs & grasshoppers coming toward my garden from their area. I can toss over grubs or produce that didn’t make it, and the hens provide me with fresh eggs. Win/Win!
I recently shared with you a low-waste chicken feeder RancherMan whipped up for me. While I love how much it reduces the chicken’s slinging it to the ground and wasting it, the wild birds were also loving the free open buffet. We’re feeding organic laying pellets, I certainly didn’t want to be feeding that to the birds! But oh we’ve discovered a secret – check out today’s Homestead Hack.
One day I saw that our free-range hens had been in the planted beds scratching the mulch and in the process scratching & eating my plants. Gggrrrrr… Let’s see, what can I do to protect these seedlings as they grow?
Say it with me kids – use what you’ve got! Check out the Homestead Hack I used to successfully protect my seedlings from our free-range hens.
It’s loads of fun raising hens so we decided to give chicken-raising another go. We purchased four young hens early this spring. Soon they were into the free-range routine and providing plenty of eggs for us.
Because we live in the country there are all manor of predator dangers present for our free-range chickens. Predators such as coyotes, bobcats, feral cats, foxes, skunks & more. But with a secured coop and by locking them safely inside each night we were spared any deaths.
Then one night when we went to lock them up we noticed the black hen was nowhere to be found. Although we hated it, we understood that there are predators out here and that it was just one of those things. We never found her.
Then a week later we noticed the white one was missing. But this time we knew exactly what happened to her.