Jeremey Weeks wrote:Jocelyn, I have 200 dual purpose chicks on order to arrive this April. They're going to follow my pigs, which will be in paddocks.
I'm going to use tractors. The biggest issue with non-layers in my admittedly small experience is that they have no reason to stay where you want them. Cornish X might stay stay in a four foot high portable fence, but every chicken I've dealt with can get over six foot fencing if they want. I suppose you could clip wings, but that's added labor and there isn't a lot of room for that if you want to be profitable.
When "food forest" is mentioned, I think of shrubs, trees, etc. All of which make great roosts for chickens. The problem is getting the chickens out of the trees, brambles, etc. This is more labor. I have personal experience trying to flush chickens out of a ponderosa pine.
I think you can keep layers profitably in a food forest, and I plan on doing so. But probably not broilers.
A grub hoe, only a little more expensive than the cheap garden hoes sold in big boxes and nurseries, $30 for a hoe that comes with its own sharpener and lasts forever.
An assortment of carbon steel knives that stain easily but sharpen to a razor edge. Carbon steel knives are hard to find nowadays, but you can get a dynamite carbon steel chinese vegetable knife for under $20.