I met a farmer who tried to do chickens without feed and they grew really poorly and could only be used for stewing. Chickens have been selectively bred over many generations to eat feed and it may not be possible to go back. I suppose if someone studied the diet of their ancestor, the jungle fowl, we could try that, but such chickens would probably be as thin as jungle fowl.
When I was in ag school my roommate was a poultry scientist and there were a lot of experimental feeds they were working with like fish byproducts. He said it might be possible to use something like mealworms as a the protein part of the feed. I haven't tried that yet, but some day I might since my family has a bunch of chickens in WIsconsin.
and another milk buying club (email me personally at [address removed]) sell eggs from chickens that didn't eat soy. I'm not sure there is any evidence that soy alters the composition of the eggs in a negative manner. I'd be more worried about feeding chickens fish meal from chemical-leaden fish farms.
On Fri, Sep 9, 2011 at 3:20 PM, Randy Wright <[address removed]>
They're not lying. The popular authority on pastured poultry is Joel
Salatin with his book "Pastured Poultry Profits" Pastured meat chickens
are ordinarily fed a "supplemental" feed that contains soy. I've
experiemented with non-soy feeds on my farm in northeastern PA. I wrote
a post on our farm website that explains what happened. That post is at:
Next year, I'd like to grow some meat chickens on forage only. I don't
know any other farmers who've done that. I have done it with laying
hens, but not meat chickens and I know it is possible, but I don't know
if it will produce a chicken suitable for anything buy stewing.
Has anybody else here tried raising meat chickens on forage only?
On Wed,[masked] at 17:52 -0400, Laura Osanitch wrote:
> So all these people who claim pasteured hens are lying, or is it just
> about the chicks?
> There are red worm farms out there. What are the complications?
> Laura O
> From: Christian Wernstedt <[address removed]>
> To: [address removed]
> Sent: Wednesday, September 7,[masked]:48 PM
> Subject: Re: [meatshare] Free-range / pastured chicken eggs
> in/around BK?
> Would add to this that anyone who eats a bag of nuts per day
> (like myself), shouldn't worry much about the omega-6 content
> in the eggs from chickens having had corn/soy in their diet.
> Properly raised chicks would be the best of course, but I've
> given up on finding them.
> On Sep 7, 2011, at 3:01 PM, Rob Mathews wrote:
> > It's going to be a rare farmer that you find that doesn't
> feed their chicks a corn/soy based dry feed, most of which are
> not even organic because of the cost. The number of chicks
> that can survive on a piece of land without supplimental feed
> is low, and production of eggs is much lower.
> > If you want the chicks to just eat natural things you might
> have to get you own and a piece of clean land somewhere.
> > I agree that this is best, and I wish someone would start a
> worm farm to feed chicks for this purpose.
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