We’re offering a new project designed specifically for Delmarva poultry growers!
Planting native trees and plants around chicken houses can improve both water and air quality.
By using “farm-specific” plants, Delmarva poultry growers can capture dust, shade chicken houses, prevent Canada geese, and use plants to absorb nutrients before they wash into nearby waterways.
It’s important that we find a balance between industry and the environment. We are partnering with Perdue Farms, University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, Dorchester Soil Conservation District, and Delmarva Poultry Industry to work with two independent growers: Mike Trivits and Ming Ma.
We will install 5 different types of buffers, more specifically vegetated swales, (see below) at growers’ chicken houses our independent growers’ demonstration sites. The swales will be planted between the chicken houses, at least 10 feet from any tunnel fans. We want to see what works, the effort needed to implement these projects, and provide a chance to show interested growers what a finished swale looks like.
Properly-designed buffers offer a variety of benefits to poultry growers.
– Trees and shrubs capture dust and reduce odors.
– Canada Geese do not like taller, native grasses. Planting these grasses will keep them away. Areas close to the houses will not be planted, so rodents will not be a problem either.
– Large trees can also shade chicken houses in the summer to reduce cooling costs. Trees also block the wind and can reduce heating costs in the winter too.
– According to Delmarva Poultry Industry, trees and shrubs can protect your flock by acting as a screen to deflect and capture wind-borne pathogens.
– Meadows only need to be mowed once a year. Trees and shrubs do not need to be mowed at all. By replacing lawn with wildflowers, trees, or shrubs, you can reduce your maintenance time and cost.
– Native plants have deep roots that absorb runoff nutrients and help water penetrate the soil. This can reduce pollution and flooding.
Tours and more information will be provided in Spring 2021.