My husband made this fun little video of our birds. We now have 1 Grey Goose, 2 Mallard ducks, 3 Guinea fowl, 4 Rhode Island Red hens, 1 Rooster, 4 young chickens, 1 Muscovy duckling, and 9 Muscovy ducks. We are letting them roam freely for now, which keeps them very happy and well fed. The chickens have been laying eggs for several months, we have found several goose eggs in the last few weeks, and we are observing a growing number of duck eggs in a nest which we hope will be hatched into baby Muscovy ducks toward the end of February! Most of our birds can fly which helps protect them from predators. The guineas roost in trees, ducks roost on our porch railing, roof, or trees, and chickens on one of our water tanks at night. Only Ruby The Goose and her mallard followers sleep on the ground at night, and she is an excellent guard goose. We enjoy having the birds ranging freely, but I have noticed two problems with totally free range birds. First, the poo all over our sidewalk, doorstep and roof gets old pretty quick. I’d love to have a poo free path to walk to the car at least! Second, and more importantly, the birds (mainly the chickens) tend to really tear up certain areas, such as my strawberry patches and the shady areas close to the house, leaving the soil open to the elements as well as destroying my plants. We are almost finished fencing in our front field, but I’m afraid the birds will easily fly over our 4 foot fence. We could clip their wings, but I would hate to take away their natural predator protection. I’m planning to make a good sized chicken tractor before spring to at least contain the chickens since they seem to cause the most destruction when left to roam free and can do so much good when rotated through pasture. If you have some good plans for an easy to move chicken tractor or coop and run, or any thoughts on the effects of clipping the wings of ducks and chickens, please comment.
Enjoy the video!