Poultry raised on open grass, instead of in overcrowded lots, are high in beneficial fats and other factors that lower cholesterol and greatly reduce degenerative disease In the consumer! Eating large proportions of living green plants, while foraging for insects and seeds and myriad other natural commodities that science hasn’t identified yet, and with minimal need for medication, grass-fed animals create more vibrant health than other poultry. Moreover, the meat and eggs are incredibly tasty compared to general market chicken.
Why Raise Poultry on Pasture?
1. Better Food.
Substantial increases in nutritional value of pasture poultry, particularly in Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Vitamin A, and a significant decrease in total fat,
2. More Satisfying Flavor.
Poultry raised on pasture, in fresh air and sunshine, taste superior to confinement raised poultry. Naturally raised poultry has a firmer texture and more satisfying “gamey taste”.
3. Lower Cost Entry.
Small-scale and limited resource farmers can start a profitable farm enterprise for a fraction of the cost of conventional, integrator-controlled poultry housing.
4. Fertility and Pasture Management.
Moving poultry across the pasture is a way to spread manure and fertility without using excessive equipment or labor.
Poultry can be used to scavenge crop residue, and hog down weeds and grasses in multi-crop fields being used for horticulture and floriculture.
What Methods are Used to Raise Poultry on Pasture?
1. Day Ranging. The poultry are sheltered at night from predators and weather, and allowed to graze in the
2. Free-Range, has been practiced for a century or more. This method fell out of favor in the 1960’s due to disease and predator inroads, and was mostly replaced by commercial confinement poultry production, Free range generally means a fenced pasture surrounding the barn or poultry shelter.
3. Pasture Pens/Chicken Tractors are bottomless pens that hold chickens, and are moved daily or as needed to give the poultry fresh pasture. It is the most commonly used pasture poultry method at present. A typical pen is 10-x12-x2-feet, and holds 80 broilers. About 2/3 of the top is roofed; the rest of the top and sides are covered with poultry wire.