I do want to do pastured paddocks for the chickens, eventually. But for now, the benefits of free-ranging cannot be overlooked.
Here is a great article about all the health benefits of free-ranged, pastured eggs from one of my favorite magazines! The Chicken and the Egg Page
Thanks to another craigslist ad (yeah, I must be addicted or something LOL), I learned about these little things called chicken nipples. I know, right?
I went to my favorite chicken website, Backyardchickens.com and spent a few nights reading up on the use of the small red and silver devices.
I contacted the lady who posted the ad and talked with her on the phone for over an hour, not only about the wonders of chicken nipples but about alot of poultry information. She was quite helpful and gave me a long list of things I wanted to do more research on.
With the firm belief that this would solve my yucky, stinky problem, the next trip to the valley netted me a shiny new 2 gallon chicken nipple bucket! My husband and my Father were not as convinced and swore the chickens wouId not learn how to use it.
I proceeded to introduce it to the chickens, taking out (forever, I hoped!) the nasty water trough, and using my finger to tap on the nipples to get the hens curious about the small red and silver things dripping water.
Within 2 or 3 minutes, one of the hens came on over and gave them a tentative peck. Success!