Poultry Production Systems
Photo courtesy of Luke Elliott
Poultry need adequate space and good living conditions, including fresh air, appropriate temperature, light, and the prevention of pests, predators, and disease, along with sufficient feed and water and housing to protect birds from the elements. Alternative production systems provide for the needs of the birds with a focus on enhancing bird welfare and protecting natural resources. For example, in cage-free production, layers are raised on the floor (litter or slats) instead of in cages to improve welfare. Many production systems for poultry provide outdoor access, where birds can perform natural behaviors, such as dust bathing and scratching, and have ample space, fresh air, and natural sunlight.
*For information on turkey production, see American Livestock Breeds Conservancy turkey downloads.
- Alternative Poultry Production Systems and Outdoor Access
Describes production systems that include cage-free and free-range and management of the outdoor area to provide optimum forage, shade, and shelter and protecting birds from predators.
- Poultry House Management for Alternative Production
Provides information on the "inside" part of alternative poultry production (ventilation, temperature, and lighting in natural housing) as well as natural litter management and rodent control.
- Poultry: Equipment for Alternative Production
Describes watering and feeding equipment/options for portable poultry houses, along with fencing for free-range areas and roost options.
- Range Poultry Housing
Provides information and construction plans for portable poultry shelters and small houses.
- Arsenic in Poultry Litter: Organic Regulations
Recent studies show that more than 70% of the arsenic in uncovered piles of poultry litter can be dissolved by rainfall and potentially leach into lakes or streams. Thus, organic producers must take care when they handle and apply poultry litter.
|Poultry production in "pastured pens."|
|Poultry production in a portable "eggmobile."|
|Poultry production in a small houses in France.|
|Poultry production in a fixed house in France.|
This page was last updated on: April 17, 2014