Free Range Chickens and Free Range Families

Our experience feeding chickens and collecting eggs on a free range chicken farm, and introductions to some newly-found free range families.

Platform University Goes Fowl

We’ve been part of the Platform University community for several months now, using the resources there to help us build out DitchingSuburbia.com.

I’m betting Michael Hyatt never foresaw this while planning out Platform University….a PU meetup in a Texas field with free-range chickens streaming around.

Our travels have taken us to Texas and we arranged a meetup with Leslie Marchand at Whitehurst Heritage Farms.

Leslie and her husband Michael gave us an education on raising free-range chickens.

Free Range Chicken Management

Their Houston-area farm consists of several flocks of birds all on several acres of grassland. Each flock has a few hundred birds that share a coop. Inside the coops are roosting and egg-laying structures along with places for the chickens to get fresh water.

Outside the coops are feed troughs and yard space all contained by temporary fencing. There are two dogs assigned guard-duty to protect the chickens from hawks, coyotes and other local predators.

After a few days in one spot the entire coop and fence arrangement is moved to a fresh spot in the pasture. After a relatively short period of time the land where the coop was renews itself and you can barely tell the chickens were there.

Chicken Chores

Working under Leslie and Michael’s guidance we fed the chickens, gathered eggs, and moved one of the coops to a fresh spot.

Not My First Chicken Rodeo

One of my first jobs was at a chicken farm.

That farm was the more typical “factory” approach to managing chickens with large, long barns where the birds were kept in cages the entire time. My job there was to remove chickens that had aged past their prime laying time and put them in tall rolling carts that were then loaded onto semi trucks (bound for “chicken soup camp”).

This was the first time the girls had each handled chickens. Miranda was determined to learn how to catch one, so after a bit of coaching I set her loose to stalk one. See the video below for the results.

Farm Fresh

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We come home with probably the freshest eggs we’ve ever had (I know I grabbed at least one that was “fresh off the line” so to speak).

Leslie and Michael also gave us a cleaned and frozen chicken that we are looking forward to baking.

Thanks Guys!

If you are in the NW Houston area and need free range eggs or meat chickens (or a great field trip destination for a homeschool class or scout tribe) be sure to get in touch with Whitehurst Heritage Farms.

Michael and Leslie are great teachers!

Miranda feeding the chickens.

Miranda feeding the chickens.

Paxton hard at work.

Paxton hard at work.

The coops get moved using a truck.

The coops get moved using a truck.

Miranda in her happy place.

Miranda in her happy place.

Free range eggs.

Free range eggs.

The roost inside the coop.

The roost inside the coop.

Miranda with her catch.

Miranda with her catch.

MsBoyink even caught a chicken.

MsBoyink even caught a chicken.

The Boyinks with Leslie and Michael

The Boyinks with Leslie and Michael

Miranda, chicken hunter.

Feeding free range chickens.

Free Range Families

These are the new suburbia-ditchers we’ve spotted this week:

Our Open Road Song

A family of four in a fifth wheel. The website is still coming together, near as I can tell they are in Texas yet.

The Para Family

Also a family of four in a fifth wheel. We met Kathryn totally by random in the New Orleans NPS office where she had just given ukelele lessons. We helped her get her gear out and then she treated us to a ukelele lesson. So we’re New Orleans street performers now.

Veltkamper Adventure

It’s a family of four in a fifth wheel trifecta! The Veltkamps are from our home area of West Michigan and we grabbed a bite to eat with them a few months back before they launched. We just missed them in New Orleans and hope to catch up again in Texas soon.

Which Looks Better?

We’re pretty sure you can’t keep free range chickens and travel fulltime - which looks better?

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2 Comments Free Range Chickens and Free Range Families

  1. Picture of LaurieLaurieDecember 07, 2015

    This is a totally non-related comment, but I was wondering if you as full-time RVers feel safer from the threat of terrorism, by virtue of a mobile lifestyle?  (Would make an interesting blog post!)

  2. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael BoyinkDecember 07, 2015

    I’m not really sure how to answer that.

    We didn’t live in fear of terrorism before becoming fulltime RVers and we don’t live in fear of it now.

    We believe the data that says the world is getting safer & more peaceful.

    And ignore the mass media who is trying to sell advertising by having us believe otherwise.

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