Do you know that chickens love their independence? They do! We have our chickens in 6 runs. We try our best to keep them by breed. The first run has Jersey Giants, the 2nd has Rhode Island Reds, the 3rd hosts Buff Orpington, the next, Ameraucana , the 5th houses one huge brute of a rooster aptly named Buster and the 6th run is home to our teenage group; a mixture of breeds soon to be divided into the stable runs mentioned. We feed twice a day but we check on them often to be sure they have ample grazing food and fresh water.
When we come out to our runs, the chickens gather at the doors almost pushing them open. They want their independence. They do not want to be closed in the runs all of the time depending on us to feed them and so often during the week, we open the gates and give them their freedom. They are free to roam our acres and enjoy the fat of the land. They can go, do and be…
Now there are restrictions. We monitor their whereabouts all day when they are out. We constantly walk the road, look down the paths, look specifically for certain ones that may appear to be AWOL(absent with out leave). While they are allowed to have their freedom, we do expect each yard bird to be on her best behavior. If they are in the road, we shu them back to the yard. If they jump in the feed bin, we run them away. If they eat the garden and plants, we scold them, so there are definite restrictions. We do this for their safety. We don’t want them to get into trouble or to bother the neighbors.
Today we celebrate our Independence as a Nation. This is a very special day for our country. The significance of this day is that the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1776. This would remove our country from the rule of Great Britain. We as a Nation would be free. During this time it was said that “these United Colonies are, and of right, ought to be free and independent states”.
We celebrate the birth of our Nation, The United States of America. The people of these colonies wanted to be free. They wanted to go where they wanted to go, do what they wanted to do and make choices themselves and not be beholden to Britain. As the ceremony was begun in the reading of the Declaration of Independence and the Liberty Bell rang out, the coat of arms of the king of England was removed. Cannons blasted and “a new nation sprang to life”. (Pat Boone, Newsmax.com)
We all want our freedom and chickens do too. Just as our Nation found it’s freedom chickens need independence as well. (Did you know where I was going with this story? LOL)
Here are 5 ways to provide independence for your chickens:
1. Open the chicken doors and allow your chickens to free-range in your yard.(foot loose and fancy free) .
2. If you cannot completely allow free-ranging, set up an area to change it up for your flock allowing them to graze in a different place than their normal run. (Use a baby gate, small fence, plastic fencing or netting to help you).
3. Select a few days a week to allow free-ranging. Maybe you cannot do this every day but you possibly can a few days a week.
4. Sometimes we allow free-ranging at the late time of the day because we know it gives them a limited time to be free in the yard which keeps them closer to the coops.
5. Place them in a separate fenced area for free-ranging. ( We have a backyard fence and sometimes we put them in that area and close the door allowing them to free range inside that fenced area. What area could you use?
Whatever you do and however you can provide Independence day for your chickens, try to do it for their physical health and mental health.
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