Wednesday, May 25

All Coop'd Up - Raising Free Range Chickens

Raising free-range chickens isn't always easy, the wood are filled with hungry animals licking their chops for a taste of our plump fowl.  We had been warned, and it finally happened - a full blown, five-alarm fox attack in the middle of the day, for 3 days straight!

We started the season with 19 hens & 3 roosters. But after we 'lost' 4 chickens in 3 days to a sly fox - the whole gaggle was cooped up for about 2 weeks until we were able to build them 'play pen.'  We noticed almost immediatly the color of the yolks faded from bright rich orange to more mellow yellow. Munching on bugs & grubs all day really does make a differnce in the flavor of the eggs & the color - which is so important for home made pasta!  Not only that but the young slightly skittish roosters (see in the photo below) need a bit more space from the old rooster, Foghorn Leghorn (whose days are numbered). There really is a pecking order!

Now they are free again to roam, chase bugs, bathe in the dirt, squawk about and do whatever it is happy chickens do...without worry of being eaten by a predator.

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