Hope you guys are all doing well!
I have been really intrigued by Edible Acres (find them on YouTube) and what he is doing to turn food scraps and grass clippings and other plant detritus into compost for his hens to turn while they eat it and all the bugs it generates. He also buys a bit of seed and sprouts it and adds it to the compost as he turns it, which the hens dine on - the sprouted seed of course being more nutritious than unsprouted, so he gets more bang for his buck. He then runs a large amount of dual purpose chickens on that compost in an intensive system that has almost no monetary input but keeps him in lot's of meat and eggs. He cycles the hens through and harvests them as they need the meat. He has LOT's of videos on this topic. Might be worth looking into if you want to use your space well, have access to meat and eggs, generate compost for your land, and keep your family fed.
The other idea I had is to run ducks a bit more free range on your land, as it allows. Or run muscovies, which I guess are technically geese, and they will do two things for you: eat the ticks and all the other other little nasties, and give you a harvestable meat source as you need them. In France, they put Indian Runner ducks in the vineyards to keep the insect population down, but runners are pretty lean, so I would go for something a bit heavier and quieter. If you have a good timbered area that they could run around in, it would decrease the predation from hawks and eagles, but you would still have to house them at night to ward off the ground varmints. They will eat young succulent plants, but just tend to trample the larger, more mature stuff, but it always bounces back. Our Muscovies have found my Egyptian walking onion bed and have basically been rolling around in it for 2 weeks, but the plants never seem too worse for wear.
I have raised Cornish and also Freedom Rangers. The Cornish hens seemed to eat me out of house and home and drive up my feed bill substantially, whereas the Freedom Rangers I could put on pasture and use them for turning garden beds, cleaning out potato crop areas and keeping grass down in our orchard. They got bigger slower but ended up costing me far less in the feed bill but more in actual labor. Harvesting and processing them was a bit different, too, as Cornish seem to be very fragile birds at harvest, whereas the Freedom Rangers were more robust, with thicker connective tissue and tougher skin. It's all a bunch of trade offs, right??
Right now, we pasture a rotating flock of dual purpose birds which I replenish in the spring with a big hatching of chicks. We have Buff Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, Astrolorps and Wyandottes and as we need meat, I have been gently culling the oldest (which is never more than 3 years old - max).
I can't speak to efficiency of feed to meat - but I think the efficiency of running good foraging chickens on pasture land that can be culled would cut your feed bill a bunch, kill all those nasty bugs, keep the grass down, and give you food.
Best of luck to you!