Author Topic: Pastured poultry  (Read 5367 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline aariel

  • Egg Thief
  • **
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
Pastured poultry
« on: November 04, 2009, 03:12:21 am »
Anyone know anything about raising pastured chickens, ducks and geese?

Virtually all the information out there is the same and insists that poultry needs grain.
I'm a bit skeptical, although I'm not a farmer or an animal physiologist. I'm curious if
the notion that poultry need grain is based on the assumption that you want to reach
specific growth rates.

In nature, I can't imagine that foul would get much grain. Grass and insects would be the
two most common food sources. In the wild, plant seeds (grain) is only available for about 1/4 of the year--if that.

I imagine you could raise foul on pasture with no supplemental feeding, but the growth rate would
definitely be slower. There would also have to be enough insect life to meet their protein requirements.
Joel Salatin uses fly larvae in cow pats as protein source so an integrated operation would be better
than a monocrop of just chickens let's say.

The other issue is genetics. All the chicks you'd buy at a hatchery are breed to gain on grain. A farmer I
buy from had to import beefs from NZ just to get genetics that would do well on grass.

Offline majormark

  • Chief
  • *****
  • Posts: 532
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Pastured poultry
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2009, 03:50:33 am »

I also wonder what would the chickens eat during winter since there is a slim chance they will find insects easily.

When I checked out some "naturally raised" ones they were fed about 70% grains and it was in the summer.


Offline TylerDurden

  • Global Moderator
  • Mammoth Hunter
  • *****
  • Posts: 16,845
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Raw Paleolithic Diet
Re: Pastured poultry
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2009, 03:53:46 am »
I have yet to find a genuine source of UK-based 100% pastured fowl. Almost all fowl in the UK is raised on a 100% grain-filled diet, with a few, like some geese, raised partially on a grass-fed diet.  It's always explained that, in order to lay enough eggs per season, even the geese must be fed some  grains.
"What is the point of growing up If you can't be childish sometimes..." - Tom Baker as Dr Who.

Offline ys

  • Mammoth Hunter
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,323
    • View Profile
Re: Pastured poultry
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2009, 04:01:07 am »
Here is what wild turkeys are eating. (wikipedia)

Wild Turkeys are omnivorous, foraging on the ground or climbing shrubs and small trees to feed. They prefer eating hard mast such as acorns, nuts, and various trees, including hazel, chestnut, hickory, and pinyon pine as well as various seeds, berries such as juniper and bearberry, roots and insects. Turkeys also occasionally consume amphibians and small reptiles such as snakes. Poults have been observed eating insects, berries, and seeds. Wild Turkeys often feed in cow pastures. They sometimes visit backyard bird feeders to search for seed on the ground. Turkeys are also known to eat a wide variety of grasses.

Offline aariel

  • Egg Thief
  • **
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
Re: Pastured poultry
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2009, 04:03:57 am »
I have yet to find a genuine source of UK-based 100% pastured fowl. Almost all fowl in the UK is raised on a 100% grain-filled diet, with a few, like some geese, raised partially on a grass-fed diet.  It's always explained that, in order to lay enough eggs per season, even the geese must be fed some  grains.

Yeah here in Canada, there are no 100% pastured fowl.

I've read the same thing about egg production. But you have to ask, how would they survive in the wild without us to food them?

Perhaps the answer is migration, at least for ducks and geese. The wild one migrate to warmer climates where food is available.
I think chickens are a tropical animal naturally? Or at least I don't think they would migrate.

Offline goodsamaritan

  • Administrator
  • Mammoth Hunter
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,665
  • Gender: Male
  • Geek Healer Truth Seeker Pro-Natal Pro-Life
    • View Profile
    • Filipino Services Inc.
Re: Pastured poultry
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2009, 06:50:11 am »
We raised some chickens and some white ducks in our backyard and fed them only our fruit peelings, the rest of their diet came from the garden, insects, grubs, grass.

I ate some raw chicken and raw duck but it is not something I would want as staple food.  Raw eggs are good.
I'm the network administrator.
My business: Website Dev & Hosting and Email Server Provider,
My blogs: Cure Manual, My Health Blog, Eczema Cure & Psoriasis Cure

Offline aariel

  • Egg Thief
  • **
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
Re: Pastured poultry
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2009, 10:20:21 am »
This thread has some pretty interesting points:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=236670

Some people do raise chickens without feeding grains. But that doesn't mean the chickens aren't foraging for grain.
Chickens will use their feet to bend grass down and peck at the seed head.

After all wheat, rye, oats, barley and corn are all grasses and their seeds are the grain.

Offline RawZi

  • Mammoth Hunter
  • ******
  • Posts: 3,052
  • Gender: Female
  • Need I say more?
    • View Profile
    • my twitter
Re: Pastured poultry
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2009, 06:17:08 pm »
I have yet to find a genuine source of UK-based 100% pastured fowl. Almost all fowl in the UK is raised on a 100% grain-filled diet, with a few, like some geese, raised partially on a grass-fed diet.  It's always explained that, in order to lay enough eggs per season, even the geese must be fed some  grains.

When women eat grain, their monthly periods eventually become heavy and closer together, say every twenty-one to twenty-six days rather than the normal every twenty-eight to thirty-five days and for five to nine days at a time rather than one to two days at a time.  I can see grain in humans causing more eggs, more frequently and earlier earlier in the cycle, yet dwindling off shortly after, say age thirty rather than say fifty-five and needing to have the affected improperly nourished parts removed.

I would think it's the same in chickens.  They want eggs fast, then as for the bird being fully healthy to an old age, they could care less.

Quote
Noun   1.   gizzard - thick-walled muscular pouch below the crop in many birds and reptiles for grinding food
"gastric mill", ventriculus

Chickens are omnivores.  I've had chickens, and they will eat Anything.  They especially like chasing after small and moving critters.

So, chicken Can eat grain.  To digest grain, they need to ingest grit, sand or pebbles.  I think this confuses chicken raisers to give then grain as grit.  I don't think it's necessary.  I could be wrong.  I'll come back to this thread when I know more.
"Genuine truth angers people in general because they don't know what to do with the energy generated by a glimpse of reality." Greg W. Goodwin

Offline PaleoPhil

  • Mammoth Hunter
  • ******
  • Posts: 6,198
  • Gender: Male
  • Mad scientist (not into blind Paleo re-enactment)
    • View Profile
Re: Pastured poultry
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2009, 12:13:21 pm »
"According to genetic researchers, all modern chicken genes can be derived from the subspecies of Gallus found in northeast Thailand." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken#Origins

As far as I know, no cereal grains are native to Thailand, not even rice, which is native to the Yangtze river valley in China.[Vaughan et al (2008). "The evolving story of rice evolution". Plant Science 174 (4): 394–408. doi:10.1016/j.plantsci.2008.01.016].

Chickens are tropical jungle animals. Their natural diet is "insects, worms and wild plants" --Loren Cordain, The Paleo Diet, p. 114

In the wild, chickens eat beetles, worms, mice, carrion, bugs, flies, seeds, grasses, etc. They are omnivores, which means they eat meat and vegetable matter.  Peter Skuse at 5:05 PM , Tuesday, January 17, 2006, Keeping Chickens at Home - Some FAQ's, http://keepingchickens.blogspot.com/

Taking all this into account, cereal grains are not biologically appropriate for chickens, not even with grit.

The original ranges of cereal grains were very limited, just a few major river valleys around the world (Nile, Levant, Yangtze, etc.). So very few animals are biologically adapted to eat cereal grains. Other grass seeds are more common, with wider ranges, and thus a natural part of the diet of more animals.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk