'Ignorant' chicken questions....
I want some chickens... at least I think I do.
We have quite a bit of property with nearest neighbor 1-1/2 miles away.
My yard is surrounded by pine & hardwood "forests".
So, I'm kind of interested in the whole free range chicken idea.
Can I just kind of let them run around wherever they like, but give them a place to come home to and expect them to come back on a daily/nightly basis?
Do I need to give them a place to roost or will they just kind of hang out in the trees?
Would like to have some method of collecting manure & eggs, so I'm figuring I need some sort of containment method.
Also, don't think my wife is going to be too keen on the idea of having a whole bunch of chickens running around the yard when friends come over.... so need to be able to work around that little technicality.
Wondering how the dogs factor into the equation.
Was also thinking Bantams possibly instead of chickens because of feed expense (Rodales mentions less upkeep etc).
But also thinking with free range anything that I MIGHT not have to feed them anything (I mean they could potentially have unlimited access to whatever they want in the woods correct?
Also, can you go away for, say, a weekend without worrying too much about your chickens?
Anyway, my wheels are just kind of starting to turn on this and was thinking that if I get some thoughts together maybe spring I'd be able to dabble a little in this.