29 29 LOHMANN TIERZUCHT › MANAGEMENT GUIDE Free range management Allowing access to the pasture/range brings with it many challenges. While this may appear daunting, being aware of potential issues and adopting a pro- active mindset will help you achieve excellent performance. Birds that have been reared in a full or partial aviary environment will find their feet quicker in the produc- tion facility than those reared solely on the floor. Range / Pasture area There are many challenges with free range flocks, with one big challenge being the outdoor space. The amount and position of land should be provided as per your legisla- tive requirements. This often governs the amount per sqm per hen or in some cases total acreage. In some countries, you will also have to adhere to manure man- agement plans regarding phospho- rous and nitrogen levels. Time and effort should be taken when introducing your flock to the outside area to allow for an adequate training period allowing for good utilization of the land but also to train the birds to leave and return at the required times and within the desired area. The use of shades and external en- richment can be a great tool in en- couraging birds out onto the range and to ensure full utilization of the area around them. Trees and shrubs are often planted in the range and in some countries, are part of the legislative requirements. They can also help to encourage movement and foraging behaviour. While these are beneficial it is also im- portant to maintain the surrounding areas, and monitor the availability of any enrichment that may have an adverse effect on the birds. There can also be an adverse effect from misdi- rected foraging and grass eating. Your training program is paramount in teaching the birds where to forage and where to eat a fully nutritious meal.