When I was growing up on a farm we had chickens, yep we are talking 1000 chickens just running around the barn and barn yard. Quite a few were lost to other wild life, but at the time it worked for us.
At Boars Rock Farm we have a few (100 or so) chickens for meat for our family. They are free range non-gmo feed, and they no longer just run around all the time. I let them out first thing in the morning and let them have their free range time, and we put them back inside at night (to minimize wildlife loss).
Our feed has been constantly changing, starting with the local feed mill for our feed supplier. After awhile it was all very commercialized feed and we had no idea what was in it. We made the switch to only non-gmo feed and WOW what a difference it made. Our losses where cut by over 50% , even though we had to grow them for longer to achieve the same weight. 2019 brought another change, we switched to a company in Grand Valley, ON. They are called "Windy Field Farm" and once again we were wow'ed at the difference in the chickens. Our chickens were the most active bunch I've ever seen, we are talking about 8-10lb chickens chasing down grass hoppers to eat. With the change in feed we are constantly improving our chicken quality and taste. We mostly produce the meat for our own family consumption but have a few loyal customers that continue to enjoy our meat year after year.
Our free range chicken enjoying the shade in the summer.