Efficient Animal Systems

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Farside
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Efficient Animal Systems

#1 Post by Farside » Tue May 28, 2019 3:18 pm

Animals are essential in highly productive food systems because they accelerate nutrient cycles.

In cold climates animals need to be sheltered for extended periods of time. In Canada and Northern europe this can be 6 months of the year. The traditional method of dealing with 6 months worth of accumulated poop is to shovel it out by hand or with heavy machinery.

However animals can be workers, and if you have cows that need sheltering, then you also need pigs and here is why:

Farside
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Re: Efficient Animal Systems

#2 Post by Farside » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:41 pm

Pastured poultry systems are designed primarily for the rejuvenation of pasture through the natural behaviour of chickens. There are many different styles of pastured poultry setup, and combinations of animals too, but in the simplest case it involves a movable enclosure that has no bottom on it:


The enclosure is movable, and when the chickens are mature, the encolure is moved every day to a fresh patch of grass.

These basic systems are often adapted for specific chicken raising purposes. A broiler raising system is a little different to an egg production system.

The benefits of this system include very little smell because the chickens are moved to fresh ground regularly. Their activity increases fertility, and also reduces weed and disease pressure.

This year I am using a pastured broiler system to bring fallow pasture back into productivity before larger animals arrive next year. My design is a little different to the one in the video. It has a pitched roof, uses 1X2 wood framing, and a poly tarp for a roof all to keep weight to a minimum (the site is protected from wind). It is also modular so it can be easily disassembled and stored properly for the winter, or transported to a different site.

The chicks arrive in 3 days, and will spend 2 weeks inside until their adult feathers grow in.

terracore
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Re: Efficient Animal Systems

#3 Post by terracore » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:01 pm

We've raised broilers both using the tractor system and just free ranging them. We prefer the free ranging simply because its a lot less work. When the chicks are old enough to go outside we tractor them long enough to protect them from predators and learn where the food comes from. Then we feed them in a sheltered tractor and they never stray far from it. We close them up in there at night with plenty to eat. They do forage some of their own food but it doesn't completely offset the calories they burn running around so the final product is a little smaller at butchering age than if they were confined the whole time.

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