Having adequate distractions for free range hens can be a challenge, we tried to relocate the girls to the back yard where we had more room for them, but the temptation to fly over the hounds was costly for Grease Spot – Miss Mabel, our hunting hound snatched her out of the air. So I put them back in the front yard, and I am trying to create areas for them to keep busy. I covered my flowers so they won’t get them, I open the area in the winter – but until then they are prevented with netting – they don’t like it, as it was their prime dust bath area – they keep trying to find a way in, they will soon give up. … Anyhow – I have a tire filled with fresh dirt, and I will use my front yard container garden as the other dust bath area which is bigger. I also left my hay bales in the front too, and I put a flat gate across so they can roost, I also have running water. Having the hens eat their way through the pest is helping maintain the front yard fruit trees. I have to keep them in the yard, so we are adding higher fencing that is bent slightly so they can’t fly up and over, as we are on hill, flying up and over is a challenge.
For those that can free range you know the benefit and harm the hens can do, I focus on the benefit