Free range chicken coops are commonly referred to as arks or tractors. Basically, this type of coop will allow you to provide your birds with a free range diet, without all the associated hassles.
Free range chickens are healthier, happier birds than ones kept in a coop. They get plenty of exercise, scratching the earth looking for bugs and other goodies to eat. They also receive the health benefits of a varied diet, getting the opportunity to eat a wide variety of bugs and greens.
Eggs and meat from free range chickens taste better too. In addition to taste, scientific studies show that they are also healthier for us, with less cholesterol and saturated fat, and more vitamins A and E and beta-carotene.
Unfortunately, there are several problems with raising chickens this way:
- It can be difficult to keep them out of your vegetable gardens and flower beds.
- They are more susceptible to attacks from predators.
- It may not be an option for birds raised in urban settings.
Use of free range chicken coops is one very good solution to these problems. There are several types that you can build - we encourage you to check out our page about chicken tractor plans for ideas. It's important to keep them lightweight, so that you can easily move them from one area of your property to another. It's also important to build them from materials that will deter predators. If you live in an urban environment, you will want to select a plan that is not only functional, but attractive too (gotta keep the neighbors happy).
photo credit: scillystuff