I have a 2500 m2 land with fruittrees. It is full of weeds and I am thinking of putting chooks to maintain the site and exta yield from them. Can anybody give useful information of how to do this please.
What is the best species to put??
Will weeds be enough to feed them, or do I need to compliment with grains or others?
How many should I put??
Any other useful information???
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
posted 7 years ago
I´m from Peru and...
Aahaa. A clue. Your original post did not give enough information for anybody to work with.
As far as 'type' of chicken, you probably don't have easy access to the many breeds that our local hatcheries offer.
Since you didn't get specific about them, I assume you will want something that will
* Provide some meat
* Provide some eggs
* Get rid of some weeds
* Get rid of some bugs
In your case, I don't believe breed matters. Find a local farmer that has some extra chicks. They're most likely a mixture of every breed that has been in the region for decades. They are probably better for you than a fancy breed. They are used to the climate, diseases, forages and insects. For your purposes, they will probably far exceed what a fancy (and expen$ive) breed will do for you. What the local farmers have is probably just what you need.
Chickens can do a lot of good in an orchard (UNLESS the trees are just small seedlings). They are cheaper than péones, and as a side benefit, provide you with breakfast, once, and a good caldo.
An important thing to consider is predator pressure. Paul addresses it in hi excellent article, but not enough to help with our problem here. We used to let our chickens free range, but predators ate them or killed them. Coyotes, fishercats, hawks, raccoons, for sure, and we also have seen foxes and weasels. Crows steal eggs.
I love my chickens and it is always sad when they are killed. Some animals at least eat them, but the time that the fishercat got in the coop and got all 5 of our nice ladies just before the snow, and the next day my daughter ran over the headless body of Ruby the hen with her sled was particularly sad.
I wouldn't trade my farm which abuts 250 acres of wildness and wetlands for anything, but it does support a variety of chicken-eaters.
Even when you don't have an emotional connection with the birds, it is a darned waste.
I don't like the chicken run situation, but I don't have anther option right now. We use deep litter and throw weeds in there all the time. So much so that they often scorn fresh greens. They turn over the deep litter for bugs all day. A dog is not an option as my landlord (my father in law) says no dog.
So I would advise figuring out what sort of predators you are contending with and being sure to factor that into your plan.