- Animals: poultry, sheep
- Animal Production: grazing - rotational
- Production Systems: organic agriculture
- Soil Management: nutrient mineralization
PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND RESULTS
[Before receiving this grant, were you involved in any sustainable agriculture activities? If so, briefly describe them.]
Yes, I was. I assisted my family in raising sustainable, pasture-fed, products, such as lambs and meat birds.
My goals were to learn of any benefits or disadvantages of the two productive models, and their effects on the environment of our farm and to the profitability of my egg business.
1. Buying a used wagon gear.
2. Build a small henhouse on the wagon frame, with nests inside.
3. Raise new layers from baby chicks.
4. Move new layers, when mature, out to pasture in new portable henhouse.
5. Analyze results, and compare to traditional system.
My parents and family members assisted with this project. I received building design suggestions from Paul Rohrbaugh, fellow pastured poultry producer.
The results were very positive. Inclement fall weather reduced the amount of time that poultry could remain in the pasture. In the future, I would start with year-old hens.
Rotational grazing: moving birds to new areas allows them a cleaner environment.
Nutrient management: This model allows for more even distribution of the manure.
Small-scale poultry production: This method is sustainable and profitable. I direct market eggs locally and at the Farmer’s Market.
Organic Agriculture: Hens do very well on our organic pasture