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Why We Should Be Pasturing Chickens with Our Cattle

Hey, everyone! You know that all of us here at Rafter W Ranch strive to create the best environment for our animals.  Therefore, we strive to keep up-to-date on the latest research being done in the field of animal science.


Common Challenges

One common challenge that cattle farmers (or should we say, the cattle) face is the infestation of harmful parasitic worms in their gastrointestinal and respiratory systems. As these parasites reproduce, the eggs or larvae are passed through the intestines and scattered around the pasture in the feces. The larvae then crawl into the grass and are ingested by grazing cattle to begin another cycle of damage. The population of the worms can easily get out of hand in a herd of cattle, causing many health problems and eventually death.

There are medications and chemical repellents that kill, or stifle the growth and reproduction of such pests, but they put the safety of our beef products in question AND no bugs want to visit the manure when there are wormers in it. At Rafter W Ranch we avoid using medications because we are able to accomplish the same result with safer, natural remedies. Coincidentally, we have one of the best natural cures right here on our ranch … chickens!  Yep, your heard that correctly … chickens!


Nature’s Solutions

Studies have shown that letting poultry get their claws on those cow pies can make a huge difference in keeping pest populations in check. That’s right, our flock of egg layers knows just what to do when it comes to hunting down the eggs and larvae of roundworms, lung worms, and even the larvae of pesky flies that hide in the dung of pastured cattle. Chickens also spread out the dense piles of excrement, which helps them dry and decompose faster.  It’s nature’s way. it’s great for us, and the environment. Everything we do focuses on what’s best for the environment, our cattle, our chickens, and MOST OF ALL ……………… YOU!

Knowing all of this fascinating information, we put our chickens in a chicken tractor (a mobile chicken pen that has no floor), move it frequently to another area, and let them scratch and peck away in the areas where the cattle has recently grazed; if you’ve seen them out there, that’s what they’re doing!  And the eggs? ………….. WOW …………….. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!

Why do we go to this extra effort?  We want our customers to enjoy the most nutritious eggs available anywhere!