Sustainable Pastured Layer Research Project
This producer group believes that an answer to the problems facing limited-resource farmers in extreme south Texas is the development of alternative farming practices that require less water, are less dependent on commodity prices and require only small acreage. They intend to conduct on-farm research to provide information on pastured egg production. They hope to use their research results in the development of a poultry and egg processing and marketing cooperative.
The producers will conduct a nine-pen trial using portable pastured-poultry pens with 20 layers in each pen. Three pens will house Leghorns, three pens will house Rhode Island Reds and three pens will house Araucanas. One pen of each breed will be fed a balanced, pelleted ration while on a slow heavily grazed pasture rotation. One pen of each breed will be fed a balanced pelleted ration while on a fast, lightly grazed pasture rotation and one pen of each breed will be fed a whole-grain sorghum and soybean ration while on a fast, lightly grazed pasture rotation. They will measure egg production, feed consumption, processed carcass weight, water consumption and costs.