Free-range chickens have worked about as well for me as the old 1969 Ford Galaxy sedan I used to own.
That is… not very well.
This is how I like to keep chickens:
IN CAGES! Like slaves! Like egg-making slaves!
Yet… I’m trying again.
What was I thinking?
In it, I share my struggles over the years with keeping birds happy and keeping them safe from predators.
Everything wants to eat chicken. Even other chickens will eat chicken.
However, keeping birds happy and healthy requires letting them have some sunshine, grass, insects, and forage.
That’s why I was chasing chickens underneath the breadfruit the other night. Good for the birds’ happiness and healthiness, I guess; less so for my own.
It was fun seeing that huge bat, though. I would not have seen that if I wasn’t trying to get roosters out of trees. It was seriously a foot across.
Now I want a pet bat.
There are smaller bats living in an empty building right near my house and it was bigger than one of those.
But back to free-range chickens…
If I owned this property instead of just renting, I would spend the money to get some good fencing and create a multi-paddock chicken system. Justin Rhodes uses electric fence but I don’t think I can find that here.
The birds we have are a scrappy little variety. They do fend for themselves well in the jungle but if I let them go too far we won’t have any eggs.
For now, I will let them out during the day but will be corralling them back in at night before gets too late.
Sometimes I like chickens. Sometimes I don’t.
What I do like is eggs and bacon every morning. Nice, fresh homestead eggs.
And the best eggs, in my opinion, come from free range chickens. I would love to grow all their feed, as I once wrote in a big post at The Prepper Project, but I haven’t pulled that off yet.
Speaking of feed, I wonder if it would be worth raising my own bacon? I’ll bet free range pigs would be a lot of fun…