ON FARM FEEDING FOR ORGANIC BROILERS
Marc Pousin’s farm in Saint-Pierre-des-Échaubrognes, France provides 100% organic, local feed for it’s broilers. OK-Net EcoFeed had the chance to visit and learn from the mixed farm (crops, cattle, sheep and different poultry species), the founder of the Volailles Bio de l'Ouest (VBO-West Organic Poultry Coop) cooperation.
The farm has 3 free range areas with 2 buildings each and a small on farm feed “factory”. The feed composition is settled together with Aliments Mercier, a French organic feed company, providing local supplying strategies. The feedstuff composition of the farm is the following: 25% is self-made on the farm, 50% is bought from a neighbour (50–100 km) and 25% mixed protein/minerals are bought to Mercier Aliments and formulated to be adapted with the farmers feedstuff.
The visit to the farm was part of the Horizon 2020 project, OK-Net EcoFeed. The project had its second project meeting in Angers, France, on 24-26 September 2018, where two other parallel visits took place. One to an organic laying-eggs farm with 95% organic feed, purchased outside the farm and one to UFAB (Union Francaise de l’Agriculture Biologique) the leader organic feed company in France.
A visit to an organic pig farm was also planned but had to be cancelled due to alerts of the African swine fever in France.
OK-Net EcoFeed is funded within the EU Horizon 2020 programme, started in January 2018 and runs for 3 years until December 2020. The project has 19 partners covering 11 European countries. The consortium includes multiple actors including feed processors and mills, farmers and farmer’s organisations, research institutes, universities and advisory agencies. ICROFS is project partner.