We are in the process of re-organizing our livestock management to a more humane and organic system. We are a nonprofit, 100-acre farm that is a one-year residential alcohol and drug rehabilitation program. We raise chickens, milk cows, cattle, sheep, goats, alpacas, pigs as well as sweet and feed corn and other vegetables.

My question is in regard to allowing the chickens to feed on the ground among the sheep, goats, and milk cows in the barn as well as in the pasture with the pigs and cattle. Is there any risk of disease transmission from the chickens to the other livestock, or any other unforseen problems that might arise from this practice?

Thanks for your consideration.

Brian Adsit
Harvest Farm



We asked Jeff Mattock of the Fertrell Company for his advice on this, here’s what Jeff had to say:

“The problems that may arise are: poor feed efficiency and production by the chickens. I have no concerns of disease transmission, however there is a potential for salmonella poisoning from the chickens to the other livestock. Otherwise, the pigs will eat chickens very quickly given the opportunity.

That's all that comes to mind at this point.”

Jeff Mattocks
The Fertrell Company

Thanks Jeff, we hadn’t thought of that (the pigs eating the chickens)!



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