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Did you know that chickens raised on pasture are nutritionally better to those raised in commercial factory settings? Pastured poultry are chickens (and other birds like hens, ducks and geese) that are raised in bottomless cages on grass where they peck and scratch at the ground and hunt for bugs and seeds along with their grain. Their manure is spread over wide areas of pasture as they are moved. This is better for the birds and the soil.

Pastured poultry is a poultry system where birds are raised outside in bottomless pens that are moved daily to fresh green grass in their pasture. The pens protect the young birds from predators while allowing them to roam and feed, it also protect matured birds from harsh weather conditions In this environment, the chickens scratch the ground and eat bugs and worms and seeds along with their grain. They enjoy the fresh air and sunshine that the outdoors provides. Their manure is spread over the entire pasture as they move around which fertilizes the soil and keeps the pasture lush and green for each subsequent year’s rotation.

Free Range chickens are actually raised inside buildings. While they are not in cages, they are only allowed to roam inside the building that they occupy. Up to 50,000 chickens are raised inside these football-field size buildings. They are allowed to get to experience sunshine or breathe fresh air. They live their lives walking around in their soil. In fact, the air they breathe is free from ammonia and faecal dust from their own excrement.

BENEFIT OF PASTURED POULTRY
  1. Chemical-free meat. Because of how free-range chickens are commercially raised they are washed with heavily chlorinated water which leaves a chemical residue on the meat. Pasture-raising is actually a more sanitary method of raising chickens, and does not require heavily chlorinated water washing.
  2. No antibiotics. Pasture raised chickens are healthier (no overcrowding, natural environment, etc) which translates into healthier meat. Chickens raised on pasture do not need antibiotics or other medication to keep them alive.
  3. Higher Omega-3s. ‘Pasture-raised chickens have been shown to contain up to four times the amount of omega 3 fatty acids, as compared to free-range chicken’ (1). They also have the proper ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. Together that means eating pasture-raised chicken makes it easier to balance the essential fats in your diet. To learn more about the essential balance of Omega 3s and 6s, read The Omega Diet by Simopoulos and Robinson, HarperCollins 1999.
  4. More Nutrients(Vitamins).’Pasture raised chickens have more vitamins E, C, and beta-carotene’ (2) and a lot more.
  5. Tastes better. Pasture-raised chickens are tastier than commercially raised free-range chickens. Just ask chefs of high-end restaurants!

With the innumerable benefits revealed, the edge that and pasture-raised birds gains is significant. In order to promote healthier, fitter, and cleaner living, researchers and public health committees continue to work in tandem and encourage this tremendously-advantageous shift for beef and poultry consumption.

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What you need to know about Goats

Goats bring happiness to the homestead, and most people know little about them. Goats can be raised for meat, milk or companionship. Before you go to the market and get yourself a goat, think of the reasons you want to keep one or even a flock of them. Would you want to have them for milk, for meat, or do you want them for companionship and entertainment? The decision you make enables you to make the right choice of the type of goat to keep.

Goats require a lot of commitment. You have to feed them, take care of their health and also make sure they are happy all the time. The other critical information on keeping goats is the amount of space you need. The area should be big where they will browse, range and get enough exercise. Make sure they have a shelter where they can rest and shelter from the rain. You must also know that goats are smart creatures and don’t like to be in a closed place. If given a slight chance, they will break from their enclosure and explore your neighborhood. Make sure your fence is tight and secure, made explicitly for goats.

Pros

The most important benefit of a goat in your homestead is the production of milk. Goat’s milk is surprisingly creamy, sweet and easily digested as compared to cow milk, making it perfect for a family with kids. Some goat breeds produce a gallon of milk per day or more perfect for a small family in the homestead.

Meat production is another added advantage of raising goats in your homestead. Traditionally, goat meat is recognized as a good alternative for red meat.

Goats can be valuable for clearing land. Goats are considered to be browsers and not grazers as compared to cows. Most of the times goats are picky about what they eat; hence their tastes will allow them to eat and in the process clear land.

They are companion animals. You can enjoy your goats as pets. They are friendly, funny and most exciting animals to have.

Cons

Goats do not give as much milk as cows can give due to their size. If you have a big family, it will force you to have more goats to increase the volume of milk that you would have gotten from one cow.

You must have a secure housing, pen or more room because goats are very smart. Sometimes it can prove a significant task in keeping them where you want them to be as they will jump, climb, or even sneak out from where you hold them to the other side of the fence to explore the other side of the wall.

Keeping male goats can be troublesome. They are always ornery, and most people don’t keep them on their farms or homesteads, they will only rent them when needed, making it an added cost.
Will you have goats as the next pets in your homestead? Let us know!


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