Integrating Free-Range Poultry with Ruminant and Agroforestry Production in a System Approach
Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center
2013 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Determine the impact of integrating poultry with ruminant grazing on animal and bird performance, with a long-term focus of reducing pathogens (including Salmonella and Campylobacter) and parasite loads in animals and birds. Also determine the impact of forages high in protein on bird performance and disease/pathogen resistance.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Birds will be housed in small portable shelters that follow ruminant grazing. Bird weight gain, feed efficiency, parasite and pathogen colonization will be determined. Impact of poultry grazing on ruminant parasite control will also be determined.
Research on the integration of poultry and sheep for parasite control in lambs could not be completed because the mechanics of feeding poultry and lambs separately failed. Additionally, the drought in 2011 and 2012 resulted in little pasture worm infection to test the system. Studies on high protein forage systems for goat kids to increase tolerance to internal parasites and increase weight gains have been conducted. Research on farm systems for sheep to examine integrated control of worms is being conducted. The long-term effects of pelleted sericea lespedeza compared with a commercial feed and use of copper oxide wire particles on parasite control and growth in sheep and goats is being conducted.