Why plant trees?
A free range area contributes to chicken welfare. However, chickens prefer range areas with shelter provided by trees, bushes or artificial structures. A farm with 10,000 chickens needs a range area of 4 hectares. Planting such a large area with trees is a big investment. Introducing commercial fruit trees is one way to add a valuable revenue stream. Every fruit species has particular needs and some will require additional investment. For example, cherry trees require netting for protection against birds. This leaflet explains the requirements of incorporating apple trees into a free range poultry system.