Determine the impact of integrating laying chickens with cattle and small ruminant grazing on parasite/pathogen control as part of a Southern Region SARE-funded research proposal.
As part of a SR-SARE-funded project with the ARS units in Fayetteville and Booneville, Louisiana State University, Appalachian State University, National Center for Appropriate Technology, and farmer cooperators, research will be conducted to determine the impact of raising poultry with ruminants on animal and bird performance, livestock parasites, benefits to pasture, and economics. Data collected will include animal and bird weight gain, nematode larvae on pasture, ruminant fecal egg counts, forage quality, pasture fertility, and costs associated with production. The impact of high protein forage (chicory/cowpea) and forage high in condensed tannins (sericea lespedeza) will also be determined on poultry performance, parasite control, feed savings, and cost of production. Meat and egg product quality will be evaluated for nutrients and food safety. LSU will conduct the parasite evaluations on this project.