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Pasture Raised Chickens.. Beyond Free Range?

Updated: May 13, 2022

Last year we started our little pasture raised chicken enterprise; which consists of floor-less, mobile shelters which the chickens stayed in all the time. We would move them daily to fresh pasture enriching their world and giving them a new space to explore every day. The birds did well and tasted amazing, but something was missing.

The main reason why they stayed in the shelters was to keep them safe from predators, however we now have Bear; our Maremma guardian dog who can (hopefully) do this for us.

Thanks to Bear our predator risk is a lot lower, not gone just lower. So now we feel we can safely let the birds out of their shelters to give them even more space to explore.

To do this we have simply propped up the front of the shelters on wheels allowing the birds free access in and out day and night, 24-7!

We loved the 'standard' pasture raised model last year as we felt this was a lovely environment to raise the birds in, but seeing them out now is a whole new level and we are loving it.. almost as much as the chickens!

We are still moving the shelters to fresh ground every day, protecting the soil from over impact and the grass from overgrazing whilst spreading the birds manure evenly across the land where it can be utilised by the grass plants rather than being over concentrated in one place and leaching into local water courses. We believe the floor-less shelters and daily moves to fresh pasture really does go above and beyond the standard 'Free range' poultry model and is reflected in the eating quality of the chicken.

There’s something majestic about watching the birds grazing away in the sunset with the pastures alive with insects, it doesn't get much better!

Here's a little video of Maggie & Tilly, feeding some mixed corn to make you smile.

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