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Redwoods Farm soy free pastured chicken on ITN News report

Recently, Mark was interviewed about Redwoods Farm soy free pastured chicken by ITN News Science Editor, Tom Clarke for a piece on how soy in animal feed for the UK is contributing to deforestation in Brazil.

Soy in chicken feed

Soy forms a large part of commercial chicken feed for the poultry industry (along with other commercial animal feeds such as pig feed).   With ever intensive farming methods to produce low cost chicken in response to market demand, soy feed has become a large part in UK chicken production.

Why using soy is a problem

As Tom Clarke's report shows, the cost of this soy to the environment is huge, resulting in the destruction of the most biodiverse savanna in the world in Cerrado Brazil, home to rare native species and which locks up billions of tonnes of planet warming carbon dioxide.  Covering 2 million square metres of land, it's a mix of dry forest and savanna, not as lush as Brazil's Amazon, but critical nonetheless, but over half the Cerrado has been cleared to grow crops such as soyabeans, a key protein ingredient in chicken feed.

The investigation was carried out by ITN News, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Greenpeace’s Unearthed team and The Guardian has unpicked the complex supply chain driving this deforestation and tracking the journey of the soya bean from deforested land to the feed mills, to the large chicken farms and on to the shelves of Britain’s leading supermarkets and fast-food outlets

To watch the news piece and read Tom Clarke's full report, visit the ITN website here or click on the image below:

Why chickens can't be pasture fed only

Being monogastrics, a chicken's stomach system is not as complex as a ruminant's, such as a sheep or cow, which have evolved to suit a 100% pasture diet.  Although they do get some nutrition from grass, chickens mostly need more easily digestible foods such as grains, legumes and insects, the latter of which our birds forage for in the pasture.

Redwoods Farm soy free pastured chicken

Our pastured poultry enjoy our diverse pasture, allowing them to express their natural foraging behaviours in specially designed 'chicken tractors' which we move every day.

They follow our cattle and sheep through the fields, foraging in areas which have been grazed by the ruminants.  This allows them to supplement our locally sourced soy free feed with plants, seeds, insects and worms.

We are proud to say Redwoods Farm is the first in the UK to produce soy free pastured chicken and pioneering the way for more sustainable poultry farming.


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