I still can't get past Paul's claim that one can leave the chickens for days without input - that suggest not putting birds in at night, or doing so in a way that they do it themselves but no predators can get in. How does that work??
I just want to clarify a little bit. Earlier you said you have not seen paddock works but using moveable fence in different location you have seen work. Are they not sort of the same idea? Or are you saying the moveable fencing allowed for movement into more different areas, thus giving the ground more time to recover?
I am also assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that when you say free ranged over several fields you are talking about a mobile coop of sorts and field far enough apart the chickens wont wonder all over?
Jami, what an interesting idea (this will sound crazy to some, but I grew up in the 'burbs...). The chickens roosting in the barn with the other animals, and where the dog is free to roam (always wondered how I was going to raise a LGD and gain him access to the chicken paddock while keeping other predators out!)...
We don't have a barn (one day...sigh! my dream to own a barn) but would love to hear more about how this works.