Have you heard the term “mob grazing?” Do you know why it is such an important element in producing the most nutritious beef, sheep, chickens, and eggs?
Mob grazing is a method used by ranchers who wish to provide the most nutritious meat possible. This grazing method:
- Utilizes small pasture areas
- Prevents overgrazing, thus encouraging more cover for the soil
- Allows rain, insects, and microbes to break potent manure down into fertilizer
- Promotes better soil quality for next season’s new grasses
- Cost-effective, healthy way to produce nutrient-rich pasture land
- Helps speed pasture recovery time
- Produces meat and eggs with the highest nutritional value possible
With mob grazing, grass is rested 30-60 days between grazing periods as cattle and chickens are rotated to another location.
So, how does this all improve not only the quality of the meat, but the nutritional value of the eggs laid by our wonderful hens?
- As cattle are engaged in mob grazing, they spread their natural fertilizer over a concentrated area and trample the grass, essentially “mulching” the field with their split hooves, creating a moisture barrier which traps rainfall and prevents runoff vital for soil health and productivity, thereby improving the quality of the land
- Such “soil treatment” provides perfect conditions for new plants, earthworms, and insects to flourish, as well as tasty, nutritious meals for pastured chickens following behind the cattle
- The nutrient-rich chicken manure provides nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and calcium beneficial for well-balanced soil
- Our cheerful chickens, free to run about outdoors and eat grass, bugs, and fresh greens, lay a much superior egg. (Maybe this is because they are happy to be running around outdoors all day!) Studies (1), (2), show pastured eggs have twice as much Vitamin E and long-chain Omega 3 fats, 2.5 times more total Omega 3 fatty acids, and less than half the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids. Also, vitamin A concentration is shown to be 38% higher in the pastured eggs than in eggs produced by hens confined to cages.
According to the Mayo Clinic, grass-fed beef may have:
- Less total fat
- More Omega 3 fatty acids
- More conjugated linoleic acid
- More antioxidant vitamins
Compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, a 2007 egg-testing project conducted by Mother Earth News Magazine found eggs produced from hens raised “free ranging” on pasture may contain:
- 1⁄3 less cholesterol
- 1⁄4 less saturated fat
- 2⁄3 more vitamin A
- 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
- 3 times more vitamin E
- 7 times more beta carotene
- 4-6 times more vitamin D
Wouldn’t you prefer eating heart-healthy beef from grass-fed cows and superior quality eggs gathered from happy hens that spend their days in the sunshine and fresh air instead of being cooped up in small dark spaces? We sure would!