Today our chicken arrived. We ended up getting 16 in total. Yes this is a lot, we will probably end up with way more eggs that we can hope to eat, but family & friends I am sure will take the extra. We ended up getting 6 Egyptian Fayoumis, 9 Brown Leghorns chickens, & 1 White Leghorn chicken. Which my wife picked up when she went back to get something else. They are only a couple days old and are extremely beautiful. I still need to build the hen boxes & a roost for them, but they are still young and probably won’t need it for a number of weeks. Though this week i plan on finishing that up. I plan on raising them as free range chickens, utilizing my pasture in the back to do so. The question comes up with friends who are interested, as to why we chose the chickens we chose. So I will explain a bit why for those who may also be considering raising free range chickens.
- Brown Leghorn Chickens – being in the leghorn family are good egg layers although not as good as the white variety. They are heat tolerant, being in Florida this is important. Lastly in my decision making was that they are good foragers. These birds not only have a good feed to egg ration but as free range chickens they should be able to get a pretty decent amount of their food on there own.
- Egyptian Fayoumis Chicken – theses produce smaller eggs & less than the leghorns but are also extremely heat tolerant. They are extremely good foragers. I have read that they can, with enough space actually feed 100% free range.
I won’t depend on more than maybe 30% – 40% of their food coming from the pasture but none the less they will definitely be free range chickens. The standard I am setting, which is much different than the governments standard will be 6 hours outside per day. In general they will probably get more like 10, but 6 hours is my goal per day. With the 30% – 40% of food coming from pasture.
If your interested in what actually qualifies as “free range” visit. As you might expect it is way below what you or I may expect it be.