Pastured poultry refers to a poultry production system that is characterized by chickens, turkeys or ducks being raised primarily on pasture. The birds supplement their grain feed by foraging for up to 20 percent of their intake and are moved regularly to fresh pasture.
Pastured poultry is a niche market that taps into increased consumer demand for more natural and humanely raised protein sources. Consumers demanding this type of poultry product are generally willing to pay more for the system, which includes raising poultry on grassy pasture to deliver a product that is considered by many consumers to be healthier and tastier, as well as more environmentally sound. Pastured poultry production generally has lower entry costs and thus is attractive to smaller or limited resource farmers.
Poultry Overview, ATTRA, NCAT, 2006 - Various aspects of free-range systems in the United States and abroad are presented. Production topics such as outdoor access, pasture management and predator control are also addressed. Compares U.S. requirements with European Union requirements for free-range poultry programs.
Poultry Enterprise Budget, Center for Integrated Agriculture Systems, the University of Wisconsin - An Excel spreadsheet developed to help farmers make financial and management decisions about new or existing poultry enterprises.
Profitable Poultry: Raising Birds on Pasture, SARE, USDA, 2012 (free download) - This newly revised bulletin combines farmer experiences and the latest research to serve as a comprehensive primer on pastured-poultry systems.