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An Organic Chicken Farm in Georgia has Become an Endless Bald Eagle Buffet

Stashed in: Awesome, Birds!, Stories, Consequences, Eagles!, Georgia, Food Industry

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Excellent article about the chain of unintended consequences in farming.

The situation is difficult to remedy in part because it is unique.

While non-breeding eagles are known to gather in large concentrations in winter where food is abundant, such as points along the Mississippi and reservoirs on the southern Great Plains, they’re usually feeding on fish, not poultry. Most people who pasture-raise chickens have much smaller flocks, and on any farm you might expect to see a few chickens roaming. At White Oak, if you’re in the right place, the birds appear in thousands-strong swarms. The chickens tend to congregate around their small homes—modified sheds on skids, each with attached tarps that block wind and shade seed and water. The houses are clustered in groups of six and are moved every few days, following cattle as they graze from pasture to pasture across the 2,500-acre property. The arrangement benefits bird, ruminant, and pasture alike: As the animals move across the land, their droppings help fertilize it. The chickens also eat bugs in the cow dung, cutting down the number of pests that bother the cattle and reducing the risk of infection by some smaller parasites and disease-carrying larvae that would otherwise thrive in manure.

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