Updated: Jan 7, 2022
Let's get right to the meaty parts of this article. It's getting cold, and we haven't got all day.
I have been raising poultry on open pastures for two decades, and my homestead is located right smack in the middle of the United States. Over my years raising birds, I have learned what they need and don't need to survive harsh winters, including polar vortexes.
In my first year with chickens, we built a very expensive coop complete with R-13 insulated walls. I provided them with heat lamps to keep warm, and that first winter, the birds would sit so close to the heat lamp that it would singe their feathers. They also refused to leave the coop to do any grazing or exercise in the yard because it was warm and comfortable in the enclosure. This kind of housing led to fat and unhealthy chickens that hung out around the feeder all day every day and gained enough weight to stop laying eggs, even with the added light. Since the birds refused to go outside for the most significant portion of the day to engage in regular outdoor activity, all droppings were collected inside the coop, which required weekly cleanings. Not to mention the $50.00 to $100.00 monthly addition to the heating bill depending on how many lamps I was running.
It made me question everything about raising poultry. Chickens are supposed to be affordable! I could buy a ton of eggs and fried chicken strips for the cost of the coop upgrades, pine shavings, feed, electric bill, and fuel to make it to the nearest feed store and back. None of this included the cost of my labor for cleaning the coop, changing water dishes daily, feeding, and washing and storing eggs. I wondered how they raised poultry on farms a hundred years ago before decent insulation existed (early insulation was paper fiber) and when nobody had electricity running to a coop.
I started collaborating with some old-timers in the area and visited their farms and found I was making it a lot harder than it should be. I studied how people raise chickens in remote places like Alaska, which often see temperatures below zero in the double digits. My studies turned up a discovery. There are two kinds of poultry people in the world - People who coddle their poultry and people who raise birds au naturel. There is nothing wrong with either method. Some people cherish beloved pets, and others like me raise them for meat, eggs, and, well, chicken therapy. Here are the fundamentals to help you decide what is best for your birds.
Adequate shelter is the most important. Insulated buildings and heaters can do more harm than good when housing poultry. Birds will confine themselves to only the warmest places in the coop and refuse to acclimate to the colder temperatures. If you still feel compelled to use a heater or heat lamp, the only goal is to keep the temperature above or only slightly below freezing. Chickens can tolerate freezing temperatures just like songbirds, woodpeckers, crows, delicate doves, and owls. My flock does not have any heat source other than the sun. I prefer to raise them as close to nature as possible. I believe poultry become more hearty and robust, adjusting naturally to the weather, which saves me complications down the line.
If you want to run a heat source, running your heaters on an outdoor timer at night can cut costs of heating 24/7 and can help take the edge off for them while they are resting. There are plug-in thermostats that come on at freezing and shut off at around 40-degrees(F), but I have not used them, so I can not recommend how to use them. Using light in the coop that runs all night will cause stress in your poultry. They need a circadian rhythm to detox correctly in the dark as they sleep. Ceramic heating elements do not emit light and are available HERE on Amazon. They fit into a normal brooder light assembly and run anywhere from 60 to 150 watts like a regular light bulb but without light. However, they do get hotter than a light bulb to the touch and will fry your fingers or anything else that touches them. They must be installed in fire-safe areas where birds and bedding can not contact the ceramic heater. When using timers, use outdoor timers in outdoor locations. Indoor timers are not designed to run in moist or dusty environments and cause fires. Consider that extra 12-dollars for the outdoor timer an insurance policy for your coop that will last for years. Coops are not covered as a permanent structure on a property and are rarely if ever, covered by fire insurance.
Poultry will eat styrofoam or fiberglass insulation board that isn't covered with wood or tin as soon as they figure out it is peckable. They also have an appetite for aluminum foil duct tape often used to hold these panels together or to wrap water lines with heat tape. Electricians tape is irresistible to rodents when used in outdoor applications and is often the cause of coop and barn fires. That is why electrical wiring (the taped parts), when done correctly, is done in junction boxes. Avoid using these items at all costs if you can't cover them with something critter-proof such as conduit.
Electric heat tapes used for home water pipes can cause fires when in contact with hay, pine shavings, excessive dust, or other bedding materials. Heat tapes can hit as high as 160-degrees(F) which can warm feces-covered bedding to a combustible point, especially around a water source that dampens and fuels the biological material that creates the heat just like a compost pile. This is a reason I don't use a deep bedding system. Chicken litter combusts at 190-degrees(F). Although winter fires are rare, these bedding systems are usually still around in the summer months due to the difficulty of cleaning up unless you own a skid steer or tractor with a bucket. Only use heated bowls or buckets rated and designed for heating livestock water. Use them in areas clean from debris to prevent fires.
Keep in mind that if a heat source raises a bird's acclamation and if the power goes out, the sudden shock of freezing temperatures could kill some of your birds. Poultry will bunch up in a bunch on the floor, which causes the birds to sweat in the center of the pile. Once warm, they can not leave the crowd without getting chilled, so they tend to lay down and get trampled to death by flockmates seeking warmth.
Click Here for more literature on how poultry litter can combust.
Coops need to be kept arid. If there is any moisture gathering on your walls, floors, or windows inside the coop, at any hour of the day, you will likely lose some birds to chill or pneumonia. A bird's down and feathers have to remain dry to protect them from the elements. Poultry feathers and down hold in the correct amount of heat and humidity as long as birds have appropriate shelter.
Birds need a dry place to come in from rain, mist, drizzle, or snow. There should be enough space for each bird to comfortably move around on the dry, solid ground as long as there is any accumulated precipitation on the ground outside the coop. Chickens and turkeys can not stand in the snow, ice, or frozen mud for more than an hour or two without damaging their feet. They have to find a dry place to roost to warm their shanks and toes before returning for another outdoor run. Geese and ducks will lay on their well-insulated fat-covered breasts and place their feet up under their wings to warm them. They, too, need a dry place to lay undisturbed to maintain warmth since most waterfowl do not roost. If your coop is too small, remove snow paths by shoveling, using a leaf blower, a propane flame thrower (safely), or a tractor blade. Never use rock salt. It will kill your birds in a few hours because they consume it.
There must be enough airflow to keep the coop dry. Airflow in an enclosure is essential but requires a delicate balance to keep out the brisk wind but allow enough airflow to dry the coop in winter. Coop design comes into the equation here, so I use an open coop system. Old-timers usually didn't have the funds for an extra outbuilding to only house chickens. They certainly couldn't afford extra insulation or electricity. Nobody even had a light in their backyard tool shed when I was a kid. Poultry ran the yard, hanging out in lean-tos and large drafty barns over the winter months.
An open coop system mimics barn housing allowing enough floor space for social mingling all day during winter storms, deep snow, or rain. It has enough airflow to keep moisture from collecting on the walls, and roosting bird bodies, created from the droppings on the floor. The number of birds, water, and outdoor relative humidity contribute to the dampness in a coop. Each chicken poops 15-20 times a day, and each dropping is full of moisture that needs to evaporate to dry up. Feces caking up on bird feet causes bumbles, sores, and leg problems. So if you have five laying hens, you can easily acquire 100 droppings a day in your housing. Keeping birds out on open pastures or lawns helps eliminate dropping accumulation. Excess humidity and ammonia released from the droppings as they dry in an enclosed area, create respiratory illness in poultry by damaging the airways. The idea is not to treat respiratory diseases but to provide good clean shelter to prevent them. If you can smell ammonia in your coop, their respiratory systems are suffering, and it is a short matter of time before infections develop. A dry coop, enclosure, and run or pasture access are best and one of the reasons I only raise poultry on pasture but do the best with what you have available.
Click Here for literature on the harmful effects of ammonia on poultry.
I have installed a dehumidifier in our brooder-house so waterfowl chicks don't raise the humidity by playing in the water and wetting the bedding in the rainy spring weather. Running too dry of a brooder-house can dehydrate and kill tiny chicks, so I keep the dehumidifier on 50-70% unless it is raining for days on end when I set it lower. The dehumidifier helps cut down on ammonia development in small enclosures and cuts down on wet or damp bedding.
Adult birds housed in a good-sized, dry coop with plenty of roosting space do not need a dehumidifier. We have a month in spring and fall, which is very wet here in the midwest. It isn't enough to harm adult birds that have a dry coop to recover in, even if they play in the rain all day and get soaked. They quickly learn how much weather they can tolerate before needing to return to the coop to get warm and dry. If you keep your birds as beloved pets, don't mind excessive cleaning, have an insulated building and a small heat source, an added dehumidifier can help warm a coop and keep it dry. Of course, dehumidifiers don't work in freezing temperatures, and they will freeze solid and crack.
Roosting space is crucial. Roosters are called "roosters" because roosting is essential for their health. Heat rises, and cold birds should not be standing on the ground trying to maintain their "personal" space, even if the floor is straw-packed. In freezing temperatures, birds need to roost to preserve heat and calories by remaining still, just like birds in the wild. Lack of perches leaves birds circling the floor to stay away from dominant flockmates and even only mildly aggressive roosters; this chills their legs and feet and prevents "fluffing" of the feathers and down to hold in heat. When the bird moves around to maintain space, heat is lost. Exercise is good for periods during the day, but perching is vital to surviving long stretches of cold weather at night. I learned this chicken behavior from running a closed-circuit TV camera 24/7 to watch what adult and day-old chicks do at night when it is cold.
I took this photo during a polar vortex when the temperature was below zero degrees (F) with a wind chill in the negative teens. You can see there is no moisture on the inside of the coop walls. Roosting birds warmed the uninsulated tin above freezing overnight enough to melt snow and create icicles that reformed inside the coop at ground level. This tiny gap where the icicles formed is where the wind block is hinged to the coop. It flips up for summertime airflow and is down in winter to stop wind and snowdrifts. This flap system always guarantees enough dry floor and perch space for every bird.
Perches should never be metal, it leaches warmth out of the bird's feet, and it can also cause frostbite or frozen toes that will rot and fall off. Hollow PVC pipes are slippery and hard for birds to perch on, and if left hollow, they circulate the cold air to the feet, which prevents the birds from being able to warm them. Filling PVC with squeeze foam makes the pipes too heavy to support poultry without breaking, and if they do break, the birds will consume the foam.
I do not pack nest boxes with anything. My nest boxes have nothing in them other than a mat. Chickens and turkeys will claim a cozy nest box for added warmth and refuse to move to let other's lay eggs. I have witnessed hens pulling on each other's combs and pecking each other's heads over the most pleasing nest box; no matter how many straw-stuffed nest boxes you have - they will fight over the "best" ones.
I use "Best Nest" nest boxes year-round. Birds rarely go broody in these types of nest boxes because chickens and turkeys are relatively uncomfortable staying in them 24 hours a day. Non-broody birds keep eating and retain the weight needed for winter; they keep laying and don't hog up the nest box or sit there long enough to learn how to eat eggs. I still cherish a broody bird, so I separate them from the flock to let them hatch a clutch on their own. These nest boxes are easy to clean daily with a toilet brush, and the eggs are usually clean, which saves what feels like hundreds of hours each year scrubbing them. These boxes are a one-time investment. They come in different sizes, and eggs can be collected from the front or the back, depending on the assembly. I have built over ten styles of nest boxes for poultry, and this one works the best for me. Birds do not fight for space in these boxes because they can easily shuffle left or right to make room for more birds.
I do not put water inside or near the coop because birds are smart enough to leave the coop for daily hydration no matter the weather. Birds enjoy pecking at snow and rain puddles for hydration, but they always need access to fresh water. I like to encourage exercise even in harsh weather. The water "tub" is always around twenty yards from the coop.
Water should be kept outside the coop for adult birds to avoid spills and keep them from accidentally standing or stepping through the water receptacle. This also eliminates the edge of the water dish, bowl, or tub from becoming a perch for birds to contaminate the waterer with droppings. Birds will not perch on the waterer edge out by an electric fence.
Water does not need to be available 24 hours a day; changing the frozen water once a day around the same time teaches the birds to get fully hydrated before the water freezes solid again. Feral chickens, prairie chickens, and wild turkeys do not reside next to ponds, but waterfowl do! Make sure your waterer is deep enough for ducks and geese to dip their heads. It is the only way to clear their nasal passages from feather down, mud, and accumulated food. If your waterfowl feel healthy enough to sit or bathe in the waterers, let them. It is healthy behavior and should not be discouraged because humans find the dirty water annoying to clean out daily. Waterfowl need water to clean their feathers of debris from residing on the ground. They also need water to help spread the oils on their feathers to protect themselves from the elements.
Do salt water bottles keep waterers from freezing? Bottles filled with saltwater only work because the birds peck at the bottle, and it disturbs the surface tension to prevent it from icing over so quickly. Antarctica is full of icebergs made from saltwater. Saltwater freezes at 28.4-degrees(F), fresh water freezes at 32-degrees(F). That 3.6-degree difference in freezing isn't a big enough margin for me to have to fiddle with keeping the bottles and the water tub clean. So I find the saltwater bottle an unproven or unworthy concept, and it can be dangerous if the frozen water inside expands and pushes the lid off or cracks and allowed birds to access the saltwater.
It's not that hard to change the water once daily. It is part of farm life that people have done for thousands (yes, thousands) of years overwinter without electricity, and since clean water is vital to poultry health, it should be done daily. I use two dark-colored tubs in winter. I flip a frozen one upside down each day. Ambient sun temperature on the dark plastic will thaw and release the block of ice by the next day. I lift the tub off the frozen block and fill it with fresh water and flip the newly frozen tub over to free its ice block for tomorrow. The only time this doesn't work is when the sun doesn't shine on consecutive days below freezing. If you live in an area with days on end without sun, get a few more tubs to flip. They will evaporate in a few days, releasing the block. Alternatively, suppose I can't access a water tub that is still frozen. In that case, I take out a 5-gallon bucket of warm water to pour over the outside of the flipped tub to release it, just like ice cube trays in the house; this is far less work than tossing or stomping on the tubs, which can break them or cause personal injury. Pouring warm water into a frozen waterer will not melt the ice or release the block. Here's a helpful tip: run hot water over the bottom bucket if you have 5-gallon buckets stuck together. The heat expansion in the air will push them apart with zero effort.
Avoid giving poultry warm water when it is freezing. I do not use heated buckets or bowls, and it is an added expense that isn't necessary. The water should be straight from the tap at ground temperature to protect their outdoor acclimation. Warm water causes blood to leave the extremities to disperse the heat in the thin-walled gullet and gizzard. Blood is suddenly centered around the digestive tract to dissipate the heat, leading to the bird feeling chilled shortly after a warm drink. Once the warm blood disperses through the rest of the body, the bird's temperature is raised for a short time, and then it has to re-adjust to the cold temperatures. The ups and downs in body temperatures do more harm than good. The chilling effects can adversely affect old, stressed, or compromised birds, leading to pecking and loss of pecking-order for perch space as they spend time trying to adjust to body temperature differences.
Acidification of water via apple cider vinegar is a hot topic most poultry owners don't study. They just do it because everyone else does. Changing the pH of the water can have just as many benefits as adverse effects. There is a ton of science behind when to use it that has to do with the bird's age, the ambient air temperature, humidity, and the feed. It is an entirely different and LONG article, and I will insert the link (HERE) when completed. Birds under stress from ANY weather should only be drinking fresh, clean water.
FEED AND SNACKS FOR A BOOST
Digesting food creates energy for poultry in freezing temperatures. Whole and cracked grains take a long time to break down in the gizzard to generate energy for creating warmth and, in my opinion, should be avoided in excess in below zero(F) weather. Grit and pebbles are an absolute must to digest whole or cracked grains, and the ground is usually frozen solid, so they can't find them (this is why chickens scratch the ground). Birds need the rocky bits in their gizzards to break down food to digest it, make sure they have access to it year-round. Sand is not the best to use as most of it quickly passes through the tract, which, in excess, can also thicken the walls of the intestines reducing nutrient absorption. This is why sand floor coops can cause huge digestion problems. Larger pebbles work like a pestle and mortar to grind grains small enough to enter the small intestines for nutrients to be delivered to the bloodstream. I check the contents of every gizzard of every bird I raise and process to study the health of each bird. Each gizzard always contains a good number of large pebbles. Most are medium pebbles and very little if any sand. If you would like to learn more about gizzards and how to clean them, Click Here.
Dry foods combined with dirty waterers can often create impacted crops from the bird's unwillingness to drink contaminated water. Crumbles and pellets are easier to digest, providing the feeds are supplied simultaneously with clean water to ensure proper hydration. Adding some water, milk, yogurt, a little cooking oil, or any combination to a portion of the crumbles or pellets can help speed digestion to aid in warmth.
When temperatures drop into dangerous zones, I cook rice for my poultry as a once-a-day meal. Sixteen or so cups of dry rice can quickly cook up to almost thirty pounds of feed. An oversize stockpot of rice cooks best when heated on medium-low and stirred a few times. Rice provides mild hydration and fast-digesting carbohydrates to ward off the chill on those below zero days. Compared to bag feed, cooked rice is also somewhat affordable, pound for pound.
If winter storms are due to hit overnight, I will add organic coconut oil, home rendered lard and gently used lard fry oil, or outdated jars of broth from the pantry to the rice for calories to get through the night. Too much oil will cause loose stools, leading to dehydration, so use it sparingly. Other grains are more expensive, but they can be cooked the same if you can find a sale on quinoa, millet, buckwheat, or even steel-cut oats. Do not feed your chickens cooked breakfast oatmeal or instant oats. They tend to binge, which can cause choking or impacted crops from the starch activated in the cooking process. Think about how corn starch thickens gravy and how hard it is to get leftover oatmeal out of a bowl; oatmeal can stick together into a solid lump that only a garbage disposal can destroy. Store-bought sandwich bread can also cause a similar problem. Anyone who has ever used white bread as catfish bait knows how once white bread is balled on a hook and in a wet environment, the dough ball will last for 24-hours or longer. My homemade sourdough breads are dry and crumbly, so if I have extra pieces, I share them.
The regular feed should always be available in addition to your added supplements. I use an old deer feeder to feed my chickens in the harshest months. This way, no matter the weather, they have fresh food at the same time each day. The feeder is only filled with whole NON-GMO oats once a week. There is a lot of waste, but I buy it in bulk, and in the spring, the oat grass emerges, and I use the cuttings to start training the new chicks to live off of forage. I do not feed them any bag feed - ever. (This small flock is my breeding stock for spring and winter egg providers).
If you treat your poultry with luxury items, cooked spaghetti and other cooked pasta are fun and entertaining for both chickens and humans. My Grandma used to cook extra pancakes for her laying hens. Everybody had pancakes when it was cold, including the cats and working dogs who had no allergies to grain because grains weren't genetically modified back then. Sometimes we even took a few pancakes to our favorite heifers.
Some old stale breakfast cereal can help your flock if it isn't too sugary, again only with fresh water as they need to hydrate the dry cereal in their crops once they eat it. Cleaning out your pantry or freezers of unwanted, old, or outdated foods can also be helpful. In hunting season, I let our poultry benefit from the extra protein by letting them pick the deer carcasses clean. Chicken cleaned deer carcasses also eliminate predators feeding on your property, and thusly predators don't make it a winter habit. (I do not sell or share poultry or eggs, so I am content with sharing venison with my flock.) If you aren't sure that a food item is safe, Google it. The information is easy to access and faster to find than waiting for replies on Facebook or forums.
Rice (or other grains) takes a long time to cool down to room temperature, so I cook my massive stockpot of it the night before. Rice can become toxic if left at room temperature for prolonged periods due to bacteria (B. Cereus). Keep your leftover cooked rice at or below 40-degrees.
If soaked or dampened to a sprouting point, Milo or Sorghum is also poisonous. It quantifies the cyanide in the seed. I do not feed milo except when it is hot and dry in the summer or ground into fines.
Don't forget that even 70-degree(F) snacks will seem very warm to your poultry when it's freezing outside. If I need to cool a pot of rice down in a hurry, I will put a small fan on the counter to blow on the sides of the closed pot. Stirring the rice with a little oil and turning the pot will speed up the process. You can also set the pot outside in a grill or safe place to cool overnight.
Click Here for literature on how 5-day old pasta or rice can be deadly.
FROZEN COMBS AND WATTLES
Chickens tend to get frostbite on combs and wattles in their first year of maturity; after that, they are fairly adapted to freezing weather. Chickens with large combs should still have the instinct to tuck their heads under their wings to ward off the loss of the tips of their combs and the bottoms of their wattles, but they only do this if they feel safe and secure in their coop with enough space to rest peacefully from other flockmates. My birds tough out frozen tips on combs from time to time, and yes, it is rough on them sometimes. I breed for midsized combs and thick leg shanks to avoid winter problems and keep me stocked up on rich blonde chicken broth (Recipe Here), but I still get stubborn roosters that don't seem to mind the bite of winter. Out in nature, wild turkeys get along fine with bald heads in all of the lower U.S., taking on minor frostbite here and there. There are no wild turkeys in Alaska, although many residing homesteaders with poultry include turkeys.
This photo was the worst case of frostbite any of my poultry ever experienced from overnight wind chills of -24(F). Below-zero(F) weather can cause concern as inclement weather such as a polar vortex can destroy a perfect comb, and by destroy, I mean turning a beautiful star-shaped comb into a military cut. This mega-size rooster was cared for in an outdoor dog kennel and was returned to the flock after a few days. He healed up quickly and lost all discolored parts of his comb and wattles. The following year he was unaffected by the cold and was the dominant male in the flock. In nature, the comb's freezing and healing process protect young roosters when sparing with other males during the warm breeding season. Roosters don't bleed to death from the loss of the comb in winter because there is less circulation in the extremities. Sparring adults in summer with full combs could get wounded or lose portions and suffer a significant loss of blood in the heat, which will stress the rooster for a longer time, removing him from the breeding pool. I have never lost a bird to freezing temperatures or frostbite. I see this as a natural adaptation that goats, sheep, rabbits, and some cows experience on ears and tails each winter on farms across America. I find the loss of the combs less stressful for poultry than being confined indoors inside cages when they are accustomed to life on open pasture.
If show birds are your bread and butter, or you want to protect their combs, they will need a building with a heat source. These buildings should be only a degree or two above freezing (32-degrees(F) so the birds do not lose their outdoor acclimation. Adequate space is necessary as stress can also cause nearly identical comb damage. I keep Vetericyn Plus Antimicrobial Poultry Care (Click Here) on hand for frostbite, saddleback wounds (rooster spur scratches on hen's backs), and other ailments. It is expensive because it works and is worth it. It is non-stinging, non-toxic, and one bottle will last me for a year. Sprays are easier to apply than ointments if you tend to a wounded bird alone, and it is also safe if it gets in the eye and nasal cavities, unlike many other products.
Coconut oil has a 10-12% moisture content that has to dry in freezing temperatures for the oil to do any "magic." I do not use coconut oil on combs or feet as this "wet" product increases wind chill. While butchering hogs in winter, my hands get covered with grease, and it has a chill factor to it, so I would never apply an oil to my bird's combs.
Benzocaine and Lidocaine are deadly toxic to all birds. Please do not use it. Other than rubbing a fresh slice of ginger on a wound to alleviate pain, to my knowledge, there aren't any natural remedies for pain in poultry or waterfowl that aren't toxic. Prescriptions for pain medications can be obtained from a veterinarian, but if you live very rural as I do, the veterinarians out here refuse to waste time with livestock birds; there are simply too many bird ailments to treat that cut into their bigger bottom line with cattle, horses, and working dogs.
VetRx Poultry Remedy (Click Here) is a product for several ailments made from natural sources, including camphor and rosemary. Please keep in mind that these herbs are in minimal amounts and essential oils are 75-100 times more concentrated, creating a toxic load. If I couldn't get my hands on Vetricyn, I would give VetRx a try, but I never use essential oils on birds.
SWEATERS, SADDLES, and OUTERWEAR FOR BIRDS
Sweaters and outerwear should be avoided in inclement weather unless a bird is missing feathers. Sweaters can hold in moisture (sweat) if the bird gets too warm or huddles with other birds. Clothes also prevent propper fluffing of feathers from regulating temperature all over the body. Often owners can't catch the birds to remove the clothes when the temperature rises, and it creates adaptation issues back to colder temperatures because the bird has been near overheating during the day. Sweaters and clothes can also catch on a fence or toenails of other birds leading to broken toes or legs. It's adorable, but it can cause problems if not monitored several times a day.
Livestock birds are relatively tough, but you know your birds and climate better than anyone else. Just be sure you aren't doing more harm than good by providing too much comfort for them or not enough clean water or dry shelter. We live in a day and age where this knowledge isn't passed down from generation to generation, and the old ways are being forgotten and lost. Keep trying, seek knowledge, and take notes to keep yourself in poultry for a lifetime.
I am not affiliated with any links above, and I do not profit from any sales in the links above. Links are only for information to help poultry owners educate themselves and locate helpful products. Feel free to share my article on your social media pages and with family and friends. We are all raising poultry together as we grow back to the land.
Please visit my home page growingbacktotheland.com for more information and blogs on raising poultry naturally on open pastures without bag feeding.
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