Coconut-fed chicken available soon

31-05-2006 | |

The first chickens fed on an organic ration containing coconut pulp will soon be available to US customers.

Tropical Traditions is taking orders for its new chickens raised outdoors on pasture and fed Cocofeed(TM). The feed was developed by Tropical Traditions and poultry nutritionists, and contains coconut pulp as well as other high-quality natural ingredients. The coconut pulp is the residue left over after coconut oil has been extracted from the coconut meat. In tropical cultures, coconut pulp residue, which is high in protein and fibre, has been a traditional feed ingredient for poultry and other livestock for many generations. The feed contains no soybeans, the most common ingredient in other organic chicken feeds in the US.

Several poultry farmers have tested the feed side by side with soy-based organic feed. The chickens fed the Cocofeed grew out very well. Although they typically took up to an extra week to reach the same weight as those fed the soy-based feeds, the chickens feed the coconut feed showed other advantages: their fat and meat contained lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid found in coconut oil and human breast milk, known to have many health benefits.

With the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s recent report that 55% of store-bought chicken and 100% of restaurant chicken they tested contained arsenic, as well as growing fears about the spread of poultry diseases, chickens raised outdoors and fed the coconut-based feed will provide health-conscious consumers with a premium poultry alternative.

Tropical Traditions chickens are all raised by family farmers. These farmers run diversified farms practicing sustainable agriculture. They will rotate tracts of land with crops and other animals, or let it go fallow from time to time. When a batch of chickens is raised on a piece of pasture, typically that pasture will not see chickens again for two or more years. In the interval, crops may be grown in that pasture, or it may go fallow allowing grass to grow, die, and decompose so that the soil is kept in balance and not contaminated from too much chicken manure.