The best organic farming always is when you know how to use nature as it is.

As our knowledge of the harmful effects of agricultural chemicals grows, more and more farmers and consumers are rediscovering their organic history, returning to the methods of old, such as plucking insect pests and weeds by hand and hoe, and amending soil with natural fertilizers—compost. The joy in growing your own food is the joy in savoring its delicious flavor and in providing good food for others to enjoy. Discover how to rebuild your garden with an organic foundation and produce the vegetables, fruits and herbs that will nourish your family and the families of those who purchase your produce.
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Free range chicken for eggs and meats

There's nothing new about raising free-range poultry, of course. It used to be done that way all over. A natural part of every old-time farmstead was a half-wild flock of chickens scratching around the barnyard and fields after bugs, native seeds and berries, plus whatever feed grain got past (or passed through) the larger farm animals. Free range denotes a method of farming husbandry where the animals, for at least part of the day, can roam freely outdoors, rather than being confined in an enclosure for 24 hours each day. On many farms, the outdoors ranging area is fenced, thereby technically making this an enclosure, however, free range systems usually offer the opportunity for extensive locomotion and sunlight prevented by indoor housing systems.

Free range may apply to meat, eggs or dairy farming. The idea is to convince your birds to get out into the country and eat as much as they can for free. You don't need a lot of land; a flock can find a whole bunch of bugs and seeds on an acre or two. The more the better, of course, and our flock has several square miles of wild mountain to wander over, if they want. However, they restrict most of their travels to the orchard and woods that abut the henhouse side of the barn, as well as the barnyard and a couple of pastures in the other direction. The flock patrols perhaps five acres in all, seldom going much over 100 meters from the house.

 Free range chicken

Chickens will eat many different things other than just feed, they will eat insects, worms, and various greens. What is meant by high quality food? The eggs laid by free range chickens have a much higher nutritional value than store bought eggs. Free range eggs contain twice the amount of vitamin E, six times the amount of vitamin A; they contain less saturated fat, and have four times the omega-3 fatty acids. They also have half as much cholesterol as eggs that are produced by factory raised hens. There are, however, genuine misconceptions when it comes to choosing between certified organic eggs and poultry, and free-range eggs and poultry.

Whilst free-range production is a method of food production, organic farming is part of a complete farming ethos whereby participating organic producers use a total production system which works in harmony with nature and with our environment. Organic chicken must be fed only certified organic feed, which is grown without artificial fertilizers or pesticides, from the time they are two days old. They may not receive hormones or antibiotics at any time, though they may receive vaccinations to prevent common diseases. In order to label chicken as free-range, producers must demonstrate through affidavits or testimonials that their poultry have free, continuous access to the outdoors for more than half of their lives.

 Free range chicken

You will need coops to protect the chickens while they roost at night. Ensure that they coop is large enough to comfortably house the number of chickens you intend to raise. You need some feed in case they run low on natural foods in your area. Depending on your property situation, you may or may not need to fence in an area where the chickens can roam. Once you have things ready at your home buy some chicks from a dealer. You will want to purchase the proper type of chicken; some varieties have been bred to produce more breast meat while others have been bred for superior laying ability. The chickens you raise will depend on whether you want more meat or more eggs.

Once you have the chicks they need to be kept in the brooder until they are large enough to go outside. Free-range system requires adequate space for the chicken to forage for food and coops to shelter at night. Chicks younger than two months need to be placed in portable enclosures that allow them to bask in the sun without threat from hawks and other birds of prey. Then the birds should have places to perch and rest. Then you have to feed them mixed diet. To cut the high cost of feeds, you can feed the chicken with maize germ, sorghum, millet, wheat, and sunflower or groundnut cake. You can also give them weekly bone meal and salt. In addition, free-range chicken forage for insects and green plant matter. This gives their eggs and meat a tasty flavour.

 Free range chicken

The free-range label is slightly controversial, since some producers insist that the label applies even if the birds do not actually go outdoors very much or at all; they merely need the option to go outside. Organic chickens contain higher omega 3 essential fatty acid levels because of greater access to forage for their natural diet and the organic feed they are supplemented with is more nutritionally balanced. What is clear is that organic birds are raised without the use of antibiotics, hormones or coccidiostats and the ration is also guaranteed free of chemicals, herbicides and fertilisers. It's one thing to start a chicken farm, but to start an actual business out of it is something else entirely.

You are not only going to become a chicken farmer, but a businessperson as well, depending on what markets you want to target and what part of the chicken industry you want to tap into. In the chicken industry there are two main sectors: Layers, which are chickens bred and raised to produce eggs, or broilers, chickens raised and bred to be slaughtered. Whatever sector you choose, you have to make responsible managerial and financial decisions to make your chicken farm business a profitable one. The most important key factor for free-range chicken farming is your manpower or your poultry caretaker. A caretaker should at least attend a seminar to learn and know the basic principles of free-range chicken farming.

 Gardening with Free range chickens

Pacu Jaya

Pacu Jaya

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