In the Netherlands networks of goat, cow and poultry farmers started to grow trees in their fields and outdoor runs. This was done for different reasons: animal welfare (shelter); production of fodder, biomass, litter or fruits; spread of minerals from manure; increase of biodiversity; keep away water birds, which can transmit influenza virus to domestic poultry. In this abstract we present the project activities and the first experiences from the farmers. Plantations of mainly willows were planted on cow and goat farms. The farmers inform themselves about mechanical harvesting and storing methods. The first experiences with branches and twigs as fodder are positive. It depends on how much fodder trees can be harvested per hectare, whether such plantations are profitable in an economic sense, because land is expensive in the Netherlands. On poultry farms fruit trees, willow plantations and miscanthus were planted in the free range area. The poultry farmers are content with the effects of their plantations on the chickens. However, especially miscanthus needs much labour for weed control, which mainly has to be done manually. Also on the poultry farms the balance between costs and benefits has to be investigated in the next coming years.
Pagina's / pages: 4
Type: Congres bijdragen
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Abstract / summary in English:
Keywords in English: agroforestry, goat, cows, poultry, free range, fodder trees, food forest