Continuing her series on raising chickens, Cathy Isom, today, gives you the top 5 free-ranging birds you should add to your flock. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
There are several things to take into account when deciding on a breed for free-range chickens. Such as good visibility, strong foraging instinct, awareness of predators, and coloration to blend with their environment.
Chickens such as Polishes and Houdans with large crests covering their eyes have limited visibility, which means they are much more vulnerable to predator attacks since they can’t see what’s coming for them. Heritage breeds are generally best suited for free-ranging because they have strong instincts such as the desire to forage and awareness of predators. Newer, more commercialized breeds are bred solely for production and don’t have the natural instincts like the older breeds. Choosing a white chicken to free-range versus a brown hen with white speckles can have very different results.
The five recommended breeds for free range chickens are: Speckled Sussex, Buckeye, Plymouth Rock, Egyptian Fayoumi, and Welsummer.
I’m Cathy Isom…