When we take a look at it, there are plenty of benefits of letting your chickens out during the day. They can roam wherever they like, gives them that feeling of being free and not only tied upon, and more. Letting them loose and have unlimited access to grass and forage is crucial. Here’s why:
Raising chickens on pasture or forage reduces insect load on your garden, decreases feed costs since most of the time they’re going to munch on grass anyway, and improves overall health for both you and them (if you’re going to eat their eggs).
Benefits of Pasture-raised Chickens
- When they are pasture-raised, they will not only grass but also insects since most of them are going to hunt for it. Thus, making your farm almost insect free. Insects and grass are a natural source of food for them which is also an important part of their diet. And when they do, this means you don’t need to purchase loads of feed for them, which saves you cash!
- Plenty of reasons come into play when you let your chickens forage as much as they want. Because if you let them kept in a cage or inside a closed area for a while with other chickens, you will notice that they will start pecking with each other. Constant pecking results in feather removal that may cause wounds. Chickens require methionine in their diet. Methionine is an amino acid that is used to make proteins and or often found on in animal proteins, not plants. That’s why feed companies add this vitamin to their feed, but it will eventually break down over time. That’s why chicken will try to find a way just to get this vitamin into their bodies, and this is pecking other chickens which may lead to cannibalism if not addressed.
- Plenty of insects are found outside in the grass and they contain methionine. That’s why letting your chickens out is a must to get their much-needed methionine consumption since they’re going to hunt for these insects anyway.
- Not only methionine, but chickens also need vitamins A, B, and D. These nutrients are found not just in insects, but also on grass too. Just like humans, chickens can get vitamin D by exposing themselves to sunlight.
Healthier Eggs and Meat for Everyone
- And lastly, allowing your chickens to free roam around pastures enables them to create healthier eggs and meat. Various research has been done about the essential benefits of eggs from pasture-raised chickens and the difference is worlds apart! According to a study conducted by the USDA, pasture-raised chicken eggs contain 40% more vitamin A, less cholesterol, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, less saturated fat and also three times more vitamin E! So what’s stopping you from letting your chickens out? Let them have their freedom starting today!