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Technology Guide in Raising Free-Range Chickens: Benefits, Challenges, and Practical Tips

Raising free-range chickens has become increasingly popular among homesteaders, small farmers, and even backyard enthusiasts. Free-range chickens are those that are allowed to roam and forage outside of their coop, which allows them to exhibit natural behaviors and live a healthier and happier life.

However, raising free-range chickens can also come with its own set of challenges. In order to maximize the benefits and minimize the difficulties, technology can play a vital role in making the process more efficient and effective. This guide will provide an overview of the benefits and challenges of raising free-range chickens, as well as practical tips and technologies that can be used to raise them successfully. Whether you are a seasoned poultry farmer or just starting out, this guide aims to provide valuable information on raising free-range chickens with technology.

What is Free-Range Chicken?

Free-range or roaming chickens are chickens that are allowed to roam and exhibit natural behaviors such as scratching, pecking on natural food sources, basking in the sun, and exercising outside of their coop. Native, white or colored chickens can be raised in a free-range manner.

Benefits of raising FRC (Free-range chickens)

  • They provide a cheap source of protein from their eggs.
  • Their meat is low in saturated fat.
  • Their manure can be used as organic fertilizer.
  • Their feathers can be used for decoration, insulation, or clothing.
  • They are natural pest controllers.
  • They can lay up to 280 eggs per year.
  • It is an easy and affordable source of income.
Breeds that can be raised in Free Range

  • Broiler (meat type)
    • Pure
      • Rhode Island Red
      • Plymouth Barred Rock
      • Cornish
    • Hybrid
      • Sasso type
      • Hubbard
  • Layer (egg type)
    • Pure
      • Leghorn (brown and white)
      • Rhode Island Red
      • Plymouth Barred Rock
      • Sussex
    • Hybrid
      • Dominant
      • Dekalb brown
      • Hy-line Brown
      • Shaver Brown
      • Bovans Brown
      • Lohman Brown
      • ISA Brown
  • Native Type
    • This is a breed of chicken found in a location that has developed a distinct form and characteristic suited to the environment, and is a product of selection without any crossbreeding for at least five generations (PNS FRC/BAFS).
    • Examples are Paraoakan, Banaba, Darag, Joloanon, Camarines, Bolinao, Boholano, Zampen 

Requirements for Free Range Chicken Farming


  • Position: East-West
  • 1 square meter: 8-10 chickens
  • Materials:
    • Posts, Flooring or Walls: bamboo, wood, or cement
    • Roofing: palm leaves, cogon grass, or metal sheets
  • Posts: 2 meters high from the ground
  • Can be fixed or movable
  • Surrounded by a net with a height of 6 feet


  • 1 square meter: 1 chicken
  • 5% of the total forage area should be planted with tall plants to serve as shade for the chickens.
  • Chickens should be allowed to forage for 6-8 hours a day (9AM-4PM).


  • 1 watt: 1 chick
  • Light source: bulb, heat from coals, or lamp


  • Recycle containers or unused materials
  • Hang feeders at the chest level of the chickens


  • Dust baths help remove lice from chickens. Provide a container filled with sand or soil for them to take a bath.


  • 1 rooster per 10 hens
  • Mating lasts for 2-3 seconds.


  • 3 hens per nesting box
  • Place straw or shredded paper inside.



Age of Chicken



 First day

ND B1B1 strain


14th day

Infectious Bursal Disease/Gumboro


21st day

ND Lazota strain


4-5 months old or before breeding or laying

ND Lazota strain

*This vaccination program is recommended by Dr. Rolando Muros


  • Record of production, inputs, medication, etc.
  • Basis for decision-making on expansion or medication

Age of Chicken

Type of Feed


(1-30 days)

Chick booster


(1-4 months)

       Starter feeds (1-2 months)

       Graze on forage or hang vegetables or leaves as snacks

       Homemade grower feeds (2-4 months)

·        32 kg yellow corn

·        48 kg rice bran (D1)

·        20 kg soybean meal

·        ½ kg salt

·        ½ kg limestone or crushed shells


(4 months and up)

       Layer Feeds

o   25% rice bran 25% corn

o   25% copra meal 25% laying mash

       Give calcium (crushed eggshells or oyster shells), to strengthen the eggshell.

Alternative Feeds

  • Cassava
  • Gabi
  • Ube
  • Indigofera
  • Madre de Agua
  • Hydroponic Fodder
  • Azolla
  • Rensoni
  • Suso

Caring for Broodings

This is the provision of additional warmth to chicks.

  • Raise the height of the light from the bedding: 2 feet
  • Thickness of the bedding: 2-3 inches
  • Equipment:
    • Sack (curtain) 
    • Waterer 
    • Feeder
  • Place a thermometer for easy monitoring of the correct temperature. The following are the guidelines for brooder temperature according to chick age.


Required Temperature









If there is no thermometer available, chicks can be observed to ensure that they are receiving the correct amount of warmth from the light.

Egg Laying 

Egg-laying is a hormonal response of hens to light from a lamp or the sun. But if the goal is to breed poultry, a rooster is needed to fertilize the eggs.

How to increase egg production?

  1. Collect and store the eggs daily;
  2. Stand the eggs upright in a tray, with the larger end up (blunt end up);
  3. Leave one egg in the nest;
  4. Store the eggs for only 5-8 days;
  5. Incubate the eggs in an artificial incubator or have them hatched by a native chicken, duck, or goose to get offspring; and
  6. Separate the hen from the chicks to encourage egg-laying again.


Native chickens can lay 150 eggs per year, but according to experts, there is a way to increase their egg production. How? Start by soaking the chicken in water for 10-15 minutes, then keep it locked up and don't feed it for a day. The next day, feed it as much as it wants (ad libitum) and mix it back in with the other chickens so that it won't go through another molt until it ovulates and lays eggs again.


Proper Waste Management

Proper waste management is crucial in keeping a clean and healthy environment for the chickens. Here are some tips for proper waste management:

  • Make biogas from FRC waste
    • Chicken waste can be added to pig or cow waste to create biogas for cooking. The liquid waste from the digester can be used as fertilizer for plants.
  • Vermicomposting
    • Make fertilizer using African Night Crawler worms.
    • It takes 30-40 days to make compost
  • Chicken waste as feed ingredient for goats and cows
    • Chicken waste is rich in vitamin K2 and B (riboflavin), and provitamins (Müller et al., 1968), so it is used as an ingredient in feed for goats and cows. But before using it, it must be dried, burned, or treated with chemicals to remove undesirable microbes and to make it palatable for the animals. 
    • According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), chicken waste can provide 60 percent of our pets' total protein requirement. So, it can give 4-6 kilograms (dry matter) per head per day.

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