This morning I fed the animals and having raised chickens myself before not all of it was new but some of the practices are new to me and I wanted to share them! At Monestevole they have pigs, goats, sheeps, horses, chickens, geese and ducks. One of the very interesting practices here is the way they use manure. Basically the horses are housed (when not out to pasture) in a shed at the top of a hill. When the manure is cleared out it is swept into the area where the chickens are. They pick out and eat all of the seeds so that after a short period of time the manure is free from seeds which is great as when this is spread as a soil amendment there will be no sprouting seeds.
They have both chickens for eggs and chickens for eating. This is certainly something I would like to do myself, these chickens looks so healthy. Being able to incubate your own chickens makes this a very economical practice. The ducks and geese are also a nice addition for eggs as well.
The pigs are also happy and healthy looking. As you may or may not know there are lots of wild boar here in Italy and as they do not have a natural predator they are a nuisance. They are hunted in October - December but the rest of the year they do damage on farms. There are little piglets running around and they are ½ wild boar as a wild boar broke into the pig pen and impregnated the pigs. In Italy farmers are fined when a pig is impregnated by a wild boar which is frustrating for the farmers (based on my conversations) as there is little they can do, these wild boar are smart!
Based on my experiences I would say that chickens, pigs and ducks are what I aspire to keep when 2020 rolls around!