Free range husbandry

Free range husbandrs

Advantages of free range husbandry
  • Free range husbandry is the most original and natural way of chicken husbandry, natural foraging behaviour is possible.
  • The free range provides valuable alternative areas to the barn as well as enrichment possbilities for the hens and therefore leads to more well-adjusted animals.
  • This husbandry system is species-appropriate and ecologically makes sense, since the available area determins the size of the flock.
  • Daylight is essential for the production of vitamin D, contributes to the formation of red blood cells and influences amongst others the hormones for growth, reproduction as well as non-specific immune reactions.
Problems of free range husbandry:    
  • Unrestricted acces to a predominantly vegetated free range area quickly leads to a destruction of the vegetation and to the accumulation of parasites on overly used free range areas.
  • On heavily frequented areas (e.g. close to the barn) an increased nutrient input via manure and feed residue is possible.
  • The chicken is a forester by nature. The free range area has to be structured with means of protection and escape, in order to encourage the animals to use it thoroughly.
  • The animals are threatened by predators (e.g.goshawk, fox).
  • Therefore free range husbandry means higher management requirements for the livestock owner to counter these problems. Specific attention needs to be paid to the organisation and structuring of the free range area.

Read more here.