Chickens On Pasture

Chickens On Pasture
Our hens have been outside for a few weeks now and are enjoying the new fresh grass after last weeks rain! There is still not a lot of grass growing but the Chickens love to be outside where they can express their natural behaviours like pecking at the young grass and eating bugs, grubs and worms. In the late spring, summer and early fall we raise all of our chickens in portable shelters that are moved every day onto fresh grass. These shelters have two parts: an enclosed area where they are provided with extra shelter from wind and rain, and access to clean water and fresh feed; and a covered open range so that they can bask in the sun but still be protected from overhead predators. Because there is no floor in the shelters, and they sit right on the ground the birds have lots of access to the grass and lots of dirt to scratch in. This also allows their manure to be put right back on the land. This naturally improves the soil, which in turn provides more and better grass for the cattle and next years chicken flocks. Our meat birds will go outside this coming week and our next flock of turkeys will go outside mid summer.
These pictures were taken before the chicken shelters were moved and show how much grass and scratching for bugs and worms the chickens have done in one day.

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