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Fisher, Ta, .
Lincoln University
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Goals:This project is designed to evaluate the suitability and profitability of dual-purpose heritage breed chickens for sustainable pasture-based poultry production on small farms. This project will provide information needed for potential producers to carry out cost-benefit analysis of raising heritage breeds in pasture-based production systems. For egg production, this project will explore breed, housing-type, seasonality, and management factors. For meat production, this project will explore breed, sex, housing, slaughter age/size, seasonality, and management factors. This information will help to develop a model to help small-flock producers make economic and agribusiness management decisions regarding the profitability and sustainability of using heritage breeds in pastured poultry production systems.Meanwhile, this project will identify common practices used and challenges faced by small-flock poultry producers in Missouri. This information will be used to guide the formulation of extension publications and programming, as well as identify future research directions. Finally, this project will evaluate the market for heritage breed chicken meat through consumer surveys and taste panels. Additionally, as heritage breed cockerels are slaughtered, cooked meat will be offered as samples and whole frozen carcasses will be offered for sale through the Lincoln University Farmer's Market and other outlets as available (other farmer's markets, restaurants, etc). This will provide valuable information about the potential market for heritage breed chicken in Missouri and serve as an introduction to the product for consumers.The experimental and survey data will be collected, analyzed, and presented at local, regional, and national poultry science meetings, in extension publications/webinars, and other forums as appropriate. This research will also be used to produce guide sheets, conduct demonstrations, and provide training to producers on small farms. Additionally, because heritage breed chicken meat differs from conventional chicken meat in both flavor and texture, LUCER outreach efforts will introduce consumers to heritage breed chicken meat through taste tests and will develop guide sheets with cooking instructions and recipes to highlight heritage chicken breeds. Altogether, this project will provide valuable information about the potential for small farm producers to raise, process, and market heritage breed chickens.Objectives:This project will use animal husbandry and marketing research to:Identify common production practices used and challenges faced by small-flock poultry producers in MissouriEvaluate the suitability of dual-purpose heritage breed chickens for small-scale, pasture-based:egg production,meat production;Evaluate the use of mobile and day-range pastured poultry models for egg production; andDetermine consumer acceptance and willingness to purchase heritage breed chicken meat
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
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Prevention and Control
Meat, Poultry, Game