Raising Broilers on Pasture – Week 5

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The chickens have been on pasture for a while week now! They have figured out the morning and evening moves and love to chase flies!

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You can start to see dense muscle development now! Their legs are working hard to move from the feeder to the water and all the yummy grass and bugs in between.

This is why the legs are dark meat. The action of working the muscles more means more blood is pumped into the muscles. Adversely, this is why the breast is white meat. The breast is used for stability, but that work is nothing compared to what the legs go through.

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We move these chickens every morning and evening, outside the heat of the day. We move them twice for a few reasons.

Chickens poop, a lot! Did you know that bird species do not pee? That is why their poop is so liquidy. This means they can make even a big area very gross and dirty quickly; especially the bigger they get. Moving them often keeps them clean and keeps that chicken smell out of here. Yeah! You read that right, our chickens don’t stink!!

We like big chickens! Chickens are inherently very lazy creatures. If you put their feed and water close together, they won’t leave that area. Ever wonder why the chicken you buy at the store seems so small? Raising chickens on pastures gives them the instinctual need to move, and we help that instinct by placing feeders and waterers far apart, and making them move often! You will see that we only raise our chickens for 7 weeks. The industry standard is 8 weeks. By forcing our chickens to exercise, they are able to grow muscle in a healthier, more natural weigh; which seems to equate to a quicker maturation date.

Lastly, we move chickens twice a day because of the grass. We are focusing on soil and grass regeneration. Giving the chickens more pasture, gives the pasture more fertilizer! We all know what fertilizer does; it gives the land all the nutrients it needs to grow and create a habitual circle of prosperity between the land, the animals, and the people! The chickens also eat down weeds, thus decreasing the weed pressure on our pastures allowing the grass, clover, and legumes to grow and flourish.

In the picture above you can see the pasture before chickens, immediately after, and then after the pasture recovers, respectively. You can see the tall weeds and yummy grasses in the first picture, then it looks like the chickens have destroyed the ground, but really once the ground recovers it looks phenomenal.

Continue to Week 7…

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