Pastured poultry and vegetable production: An integrated approach

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 1999: $89,800.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2003
Region: Southern
State: Louisiana
Principal Investigator:
James McNitt
Southern University and A&M College

Annual Reports


  • Vegetables: beans, broccoli, cucurbits, eggplant, greens (leafy), sweet corn, tomatoes
  • Animals: poultry


  • Animal Production: manure management
  • Crop Production: nutrient cycling, organic fertilizers
  • Education and Training: demonstration, on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns, marketing management, feasibility study
  • Production Systems: integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Soil Management: nutrient mineralization, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: urban agriculture


    Trials to assess effect of pastured poultry on crops planted after the birds show that the optimum time for planting mustards, cucumbers and squash is 7 to 14 days after the birds have been on the area. Trials assessing the fertilizing effect of the chickens using squash and cucumber indicate that, after the birds have been on the area, conventional fertilizer application can be reduced by 50%.

    Project objectives:

    The objectives of this project were to:

    Determine the effect of the manure on plant performance at various times after the pastured poultry have been on the area;

    To determine the response of soil fertility and crop yields to manure from previously pastured poultry at the Southern University Horticulture Farm and on producers farms;

    To carry out economic analyses of the system; and

    To develop information for producers regarding economic advantages and cultural practices relative to growing vegetables in association with pastured poultry, to recruit new pastured poultry and vegetable producers, and to involve producer organizations in promotion of the program.

    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.