We've been having a problem with predators since just before blueberry season last year. It was during the season that we decided we would have to pen up the chickens.
I was really bummed about this because I like chickens following me around the blueberry field scratching for bugs and seeds. I figured it would be better to pen them up than have them be dinner for the coyote that we've heard in the woods.
That mostly worked, but some of the chickens were strong enough to fly out over the top of the fence and wander the yard at will. Sad to say that many of these weren't strong enough to get back to safety in time.
The point of this is that the temporary pen we made around the new chicken coop was way too small for the quantity of chickens we have. I say this knowing full well that we were in complete compliance with the government regulations on what constitutes free range chickens. The fact of the matter is that the government's definition of free range and my definition of free range are significantly different!
Over the past month, we've been working on adding wire fencing to the horse pasture to allow the chickens to have a larger roaming area in the daytime. I'm happy to say that 2 weeks ago we succeeded in getting the fence completed!
We opened the gate to the chicken pen and you should have seen those happy cluckers running all around trying to find the best spot to scratch for whatever they scratch for!
Now they high tail themselves back to the coop for the night without comment or complaint and we close them in to the small enclosure for safety. Then Farmer Mac lets them out in the morning on his way to the paper box and they spend the day in happy contentment in the horse pasture.
I don't know if happy chickens make better tasting eggs, but I sure feel better about eating eggs from happy chickens!
So if you need some happy eggs, call grandma AKA Millie or Mildred at 910.270.4611 and she can hook you up with some.