There’s a big difference between raising free range chickens, and having chickens in a cage. Although there are challenges, The advantages outweigh the disadvantages. In this video I show how to raise the chicks when they’re young, Then how to introduce these new chickens into the existing flock. Doing this is a bit of an artform. One of the biggest challenges of free range chickens is predators. One of the biggest advantages is insect control. With diseases like lymes disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever it’s not worth not having chickens. Don't forget to watch the video!! :)
Step 1: Moving in the Chicks
When you come home with the little chicks put them in a bin with wood chips on the bottom and in a place where the family will be so they get used to people at a young age and will be friendly to you when they get older. When you put food and water in the bin raise it off the ground a little bit the poop and wood chips don't get in there food and water
Step 2: Moving Them Outside
When the chicks start perching on there box you know its about time to move them outside. When you move them outside make sure to put a heat light in the box so they can stay warm at night
Step 3: Setting Up Food and Water
When you are feeding the little chicks use chicken starter feed because it is in smaller pieces and the chicks can eat it without choking on the food. We collect water with a gutter on the back of the coop, and make sure you keep the water full!!
Step 4: Predators
You have to make sure your coop is secured together very well. We pour a concrete foundation to keep these guys out. We lost four of our chicks on this guy!! Normally it's not this bad but it happens, It is normal to lose chicks in this process but four at one time is out of the normal.
Step 5: Transfer Them Into the Big Coop
Once the chicks are big enough and look more like chickens transfer them into the big coop with the other big chickens. It is important to do this when the chicks are big enough to hold their own with the big chickens.
Step 6: Training
Yes training, you want the chickens to go back into the coop every night and you have to train them by feeding them every night right when its starts getting dark. For the first week or two keep them in the coop and feed them at night once it starts getting dark, and do that for one or two weeks so they know to go into the coop at night to get their food.
Step 7: Food
When the chickens get full size then you feed them whole corn instead of starter feed. When they start laying eggs crush the shell scrapes into small pieces so they don't recognize them as whole eggs. If they recognize their eggs they will lay their eggs turn around and eat their own eggs!!
Watch The Video!! :)