1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Determine the impact of integrating laying chickens with cattle and small ruminant grazing on parasite/pathogen control as part of a Southern Region SARE funded research proposal.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
As part of a SR SARE funded project with the ARS units in Fayetteville and Booneville, the Kerr Center, Louisiana State University, Appalachian State University, National Center for Appropriate Technology, and farmer cooperators; research will be conducted to determine the impact of raising poultry with ruminants on animal and bird performance, livestock parasites, benefits to pasture, and economics. Data collected will include animal and bird weight gain, nematode larvae on pasture, ruminant fecal egg counts, forage quality, pasture fertility, and costs associated with production. The impact of high protein forage (chicory/cowpea) and forage high in condensed tannins (sericea lespedeza) will also be determined on poultry performance, parasite control, feed savings, and cost of production. Meat and egg product quality will be evaluated for nutrients and food safety. Education and outreach to farmers will be provided through NCAT publications and their website.
3. Progress Report:
The project, funded through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, is a collaborative effort with the National Center for Appropriate Technology and farmer cooperators. Studies are being conducted to determine the impact of raising poultry with ruminants on animal and bird performance, livestock pathogens and parasites, benefits to pasture, and economics. In the past year research was conducted to determine the palatability of sericea lespedeza to poultry. Sericea lespedeza is a common perennial legume found in pastures across the southern USA that has been shown to be effective at controlling parasitic nematodes in small ruminants due to its condensed tannins content. Manuscript was prepared and accepted by the Journal of Applied Poultry Research.