let's talk farm animals

Poultry production has lower carbon footprint than other livestock systems

Source: Farmers Weekly Interactive 22/11/2020

Poultry meat uses less global energy than other livestock systems and
intensive poultry uses less than free range and organic, according to new research.

Adrian Williams, senior research fellow at Cranfield University recently carried out a DEFRA-funded project that calculated the life cycle assessment (LCA) of different farming systems. The concept looks at the consumption of natural resources such as minerals and fossil fuel.

“Poultry is the market winner in energy performance,” said Dr Williams. “The sector should give itself a pat on its back.”

However, Dr Williams stressed that Global Warming Potential (GWP) varied depending on the different types of poultry farming methods.

If the egg industry was to move towards all cage production, GWP would fall by 10% while going all free range would increase it by 10%. More significant is that going organic would result in a 40% increase in GWP.

He explained the main reason was that organic chickens use more energy, having a lower feed conversion, so they eat more feed. Feed accounts for most of the energy required and is a key driving factor for poultry.

With meat, organic also comes out worst because of the longer life-span of birds, again leading to a greater lifetime feed consumption.

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Posted by FFC on July 21st, 2009 :: Filed under Education and public awareness,Family vs factory farming,Poultry,Research
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