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Green grass and clean food

October 26, 2010

It’s fall and everything is going into hibernation, so it was a pleasant surprise to notice the new deep green grasses where our chicken tractors have been. This morning Harv and I were doing the daily task of moving the chicken tractors. We’ve been doing this for about two months now, so you can imagine our chickens have covered a lot of ground. I looked down the hill and was struck by the bright green tracks in the wake of the chicken tractors.

While all of us who have chowed down on pastured poultry know, one reason we move the chickens everyday is to make them delicious. When the chickens eat more fresh grass, they taste better. (They are also more nutritious.) Another reason we move them is to distance them from their droppings. This significantly reduces the chances of parasites and disease. This is how we are able to grow our poultry without antibiotics.

It is an elegant design that has so many purposes. Add green grass to this list of pastured poultry advantages. Twenty chickens housed in one area for one day do a fantastic job of spreading fertilizer. You would be amazed. I know, I know- pooh is gross. But consider that industrial chicken houses amass so much chicken manure that getting rid of it is a problem. Chicken manure has too much nitrogen to use as fertilizer on farmland in a massive quantity.

Industrial cattle farmers have found the so called solution- feeding chicken manure to beef cattle. That’s right. The nation’s burgers are grown with chicken manure. How the FDA approves this stuff, one can only wonder. Our pastured poultry fertilize the farmland instead of feeding cattle. We like to think that’s a better thing to do. Better for us, better for cows, and better for the environment.

So next time you eat a pastured chicken, remember that it’s not only delicious and good for you, but pastured poultry also improves soil fertility instead of feeding cows a very unnatural food source. That is some good stuff.

On a side note, we baked an amazing apple-ginger pie today. Sorry… I can’t help bragging. It was really good!

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