It seems that when the law was changed in the U.S. to ban the use of rendered animal parts in animal feed, cattle producers looked around for other low cost feeds and that’s when they discovered chicken manure. (see CNN story at the end of this post.). Thanks to Gaille for sending this NFU commentary our way:
Are we eating American beef raised on chicken manure?
A commentary on behalf of the National Farmers Union Ontario
By Grant Robertson
When you think of cattle feed very few of us probably imagine chicken manure. Certainly it would be the last thing that would enter the mind of most of us from farmers to eaters. Some time ago the NFU was approached about the possible practice of feeding chicken litter to cattle in the United States, and potentially in other nations that export their beef to Canada. I say possible because it is really difficult for a farm organization in Canada to nail down what exactly is happening with this issue. Having spent a great deal of personal time trying to research this issue it has proven impossible to find the ‘smoking gun’ of how wide spread this practice is. Frankly it is going to take an enterprising news agency or journalist to follow this issue further. At this point it is hard to know where the truth really lies.
Here’s what we do know. Canada has banned this practice. The United States has not banned the practice of feeding chicken manure to cattle – quite the opposite in fact. You can find the following recommendation from the University of West Virginia (as an example) on the web by simply Googling ‘feeding chicken litter’:
The following rations are based on free choice feeding and is adequate for both dry and lactating cows. Because chicken litter is high in minerals, no salt or minerals need to be fed with this ration.
70% chicken litter
30% hay” Continue reading