For most poultry farmers, an essential part of raising chickens is feeding their fodder, which contributes to a significant portion of their cost of production as a good nutrition goes a long way in enhancing the bird’s performance and its yield. In this agricultural sector, the most convenient way to feed chicken is to give them a diet of corn, soybean meat along with supplements of vitamins and minerals. In the case of factory farms, the rations for these birds also include antibiotics to improve their growth. Chickens are nibblers and prefer to make frequent tours to the food trough for short meals, which necessitates energy. However, pelleting reduces this energy.
According to Geoffrey Morell, the co-founder of Weston A. Price Foundation, a non-profit organization that specializes in conducting researches for better dairy and meat products, that there is there is a concern among many poultry farmers that soy is a common GOM food product. Even if this food product enhances growth of such birds, a sizable portion of them will ultimately suffer from iron and vitamin E deficiencies. Some chickens may also experience the adverse affects of manganese that accelerates their death rate in many poultry farms.
Disadvantages of Soy-feed
This agriculturist, who owes 95-acre property and is the co-owner of P.A. Bowen Farmstead that offers the community pasture-fed livestock in addition to poultry products, says that soy contains isoflavones. This is an estrogen from plants, which is comes from the fat and yolks of animals that consume soy. The substance disrupts hormones and thyroid functioning in these birds. Moreover, going soy-free will help farmers become less dependent upon government subsidy and enable them to search for an appropriate supplier of poultry feed. However, for many farmers approximately thirty percent of their poultry feed consists of soy and finding the right replacement may prove costly.
Pasture Farming for Chickens
An alternative solution to this problem lies in pasture farming where it is possible to raise chickens by feeding them with oats, dried alfalfa in addition to grass. Moreover, such birds can have access to worms and insects that are their natural food. He goes on to explain the when the farmers opt for the appropriate alternatives, it is not difficult to replace soy from the diets of chickens and substitute it with better ingredients that would be a catalyst in guaranteeing the right nutrition that will facilitate the natural growth in such birds.
Geoffrey Morell advocates that genetically modified organisms in soy do more harm to chickens than good and it is imperative for farmers to which to a better alternative diet for such birds. When farmers opt to feed their chickens with oats, dried alfalfa and grass, which their stomachs can digest naturally, it acts as a catalyst for their natural growth. This in turn enhances their growth naturally, which also improves their yield. The eggs that pasture farm chickens produce are also rich in nutrients like Omega-3, vitamin E and contain twenty percent less cholesterols and saturated fats in comparison to their counterpart in factory farms.