DEAR NEW FARM:
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.
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.”
The Fertrell Company
Thanks Jeff, we hadn’t thought of that (the pigs eating
us with comments, suggestions and questions.