Using Pasture Poultry as a Nitrogen Return for Summer Slump Grazing of Rape by Sheep

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2003: $3,283.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2003
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $1,035.00
Region: Northeast
State: West Virginia
Project Leader:
Isaac Lewis
Greenwood Acres Farm


  • Agronomic: rapeseed
  • Animals: poultry, sheep


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, manure management, grazing - multispecies, pasture fertility, pasture renovation, grazing - rotational, stockpiled forages, winter forage
  • Crop Production: double cropping, no-till, organic fertilizers
  • Education and Training: technical assistance, demonstration, display, extension, on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, marketing management, value added, whole farm planning
  • Natural Resources/Environment: soil stabilization
  • Pest Management: compost extracts
  • Production Systems: integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: public participation, urban agriculture, urban/rural integration, sustainability measures

    Proposal summary:

    The farmer uses brassica grazing—specifically rape and turnips—to support his lamb operation, and this has led to nitrogen depletion in the grazing paddocks. Commercial fertilizer is expensive and, because of the soil type, may not be particularly effective. The farmer will initiate a pastured poultry program to determine if this will address the nitrogen depletion in a responsible, effective way, and to see whether the pastured poultry will be profitable. Soil tests and tissue samples from the birds will indicate the effect of the change, and outreach will be through the farm newsletter and through a brochure on the advantages and disadvantages of the technique.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.