Pastured Poultry Feeding and Management
Pastured Poultry Feeding and Management by Jeff Mattocks
($17.95 includes shipping - scroll to bottom to order)
Pastured Poultry Feeding and Management is the second edition to Jeff Mattocks' Feeding Pasture-Raised Poultry, which is read by thousands of people. For everybody who feeds pasture-raised poultry, this book is a must-read for the bookshelf.
The book is a compilation of Jeff’s previous health and nutrition articles, feed rations, case studies, and feeding trials. And the good news for people who don’t want to spend a lot of time reading through unnecessary details, this book is just like having a conversation with Jeff (in email or phone).
Brevity reigns. This is a technical reference to raising poultry on pasture for profit. If you want to know how much space to give your birds in the brooder, feeder height, protein levels for ducks, and an overview of feedstuffs, then this is for you.
Emphasis on Nutrition and Health
The emphasis in the book is on maintaining proper nutrition and health as the basis of a profitable flock. In other words, everything starts with what the birds eat and is affected by the producer’s management decisions.
Jeff provides rations for broilers, layers, turkeys, and ducks including some no-soy chicken variations. They’re formulated based on Fertrell’s vitamin and mineral premix, but he does include a chapter on formulating your own rations using the Pearson Square, which is a simple way to create a balanced ration from two ingredients.
There’s also multi-species ration included in the book. This ration was well received when APPPA published it in the Grit because it enables multi-species farms to produce one ration. Jeff provides directions to adjust the ration at feeding for the different species through the addition of vitamins/minerals, calcium, soy, or fishmeal. And the feeding adjustments include layers, turkeys, broilers, goats, pigs, sheep, cattle, and horses.
Slow Growing Poultry, Too
In the second edition, Jeff expands his coverage to slow growing poultry and provides rations for standard-bred (heritage) turkeys and chickens. This suite of rations contains the expected variations for starter, grower, developer, and meat production. It also provides for breeders in a non-laying time of year. These so-called holding diets drop the protein levels down to 13.1% for chickens and 11.7% for turkeys.
One of the other practical highlights found in this book is the troubleshooting flow charts. When we encounter illness, mortality, or leg problems in our flock, we too often grasp for the first remedy or identify the first disease that comes to mind or internet search. We just flat out skip troubleshooting.
Jeff includes three flowcharts to help diagnose and treat illness, mortality, and leg problems. The charts give you a pathway to identifying some of the most common problems. It also illustrates minimum answers you have should you come to the APPPAPlus group for help.
There’s some fun stuff in there too. For example, who knew that crickets are 6.7% protein and grasshoppers are 14.3%. I’m not sure what that says about me that I think the insect protein values are fun, but since our birds are on pasture, this is a common question people have.
This book benefits producers of all experiences levels, but it’s a worthy read with each passing year of experience. The new edition weighs in at 123 pages, and when you read it, you’ll understand why I describe the book as being akin to having your very own pocket version of Jeff Mattocks.
- The Basics
- Feeding Considerations
- Slow Growing Poultry
- Rate of Gain
- Feeding Regimes
- Appropriate Water and Feeder Space
- Disease-Causing Organisms
- Water Quality
- True Grit: The Lowdown on an Important Avian Supplement
- Feed Sources and Preparation
- Commercial Mills
- Soybean Roasting
- Feed Storage
- Feed Quality Issues
- Evaluating Your Feed Cost
- Poultry Feed Ingredients
- Common Ingredients
- Less Common Ingredients
- Vegetarian Diets vs. Meat Diets
- Soy Alternatives
- Fundamental Ration Forumulation
- Feed Nutrient Values
- Poultry Nutritional Requirements
- Sample Commercial Rations
- Sample Rations for Pastured Poultry
- Alternative Rations
- Formulating Your Own Rations
- Feeding Ducks
- Multi-Species Ration
- Laying Hen Considerations
- Diagnose and Treat Common Illnesses
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