Anyone engaged in the cultivation of poultry, seeks to preserve livestock and grow it healthy. To achieve the goal, the necessary conditions are created, the best feed is used. The question is only in the competent combination of the desired and the possible, and the one who manages to solve it can consider himself a successful person.
Who is Igor Filippenko – a scientist, a poultry farmer, an amaranth lover?
It is just wonderful when several bright features are organically combined in a person. Such a conclusion can be made after meeting Igor Filippenko, Candidate of Biological Sciences, an expert in the physiology and immunology of animals, the creator of the Farm Olvia, who was convinced of the expediency of growing amaranth. But first, a little backstory.
For nine years, Igor Filippenko worked as a chief veterinarian at a large poultry farm in the Crimea. In 2014, there was a forced relocation to Ivano-Frankivsk region, and as a result – a new round in activity, a change of events of different meaning and emotional fullness. In 2018, Olviya Farm LLC was established, and the new enterprise began to specialize in growing free-range poultry. The meat was supplied to the Le Silpo network, and its quality is indicated by a significant excess of demand over supply. One of the reasons for such popularity can be considered a special diet of a bird – it was fed amaranth oilcake.
Currently, work is underway to expand production, and the company plans to produce not only free-range poultry meat, but also an egg. The flock of a bird will literally live in amaranth, but this will be discussed in more detail below. It is also planned to grow capons, a special bird whose meat is extremely valued in France, and is considered a delicacy there. This product is in demand in Ukraine. Interestingly, Igor Filippenko learned about capons from the novels of Alexander Dumas.
Here it must be said about the value, characteristics of such a bird. A capon rooster in only six months gains about six kilograms of weight. The tenderness of meat is achieved by using a diet, which includes a mixture of green salad, corn, chestnuts and crackers, soaked in milk. As a result of special care and feeding, poultry fat acquires other characteristics and is localized in the fibers, so visually it is very similar to marble meat. Capon meat production in Ukraine is considered profitable. If in France the cost of such poultry meat is 20 euros per kilogram, in Ukraine it is 10 euros. And here we can assume the outcome of competition between domestic and foreign products.
Indeed, a bird grown on environmentally friendly feed is very valuable (in all senses), and here it is especially important to keep the livestock completely, to prevent the death due to bird disease. Amaranth can become an assistant in this, although Igor Filippenko warns that this is not a panacea.
Experience Igor Filippenko
Many poultry farmers are aware of a disease such as Marek’s disease or neuro-lymphomatosis. As Igor Filippenko says, in fact, this is infectious cancer, and so far official medicine cannot offer treatment. It is recommended only to vaccinate all chickens at day old. In 2014, Filippenko deliberately did not vaccinate the herd, but the basis of the diet was amaranth green mass, and the result was a 98% safety of the herd at the beginning of the capon era (270 days). But with a detailed questioning, Filippenko emphasizes that there were no complete tests with a control and experienced herd, therefore it is too early to say anything. Today, we are already talking about the beginning of the experiment: plots are being prepared with amaranth crops, a kind of pasture for poultry. In addition, amaranth cake is introduced into the poultry diet.
Since Igor Filippenko is an experienced practitioner, in a conversation he separately touched on the use of amaranth grain. After all, it is the grain that is poorly digested in the body of the bird, and the problem persists even if the seeds are crushed in a conventional grain crusher.
– Indeed, the seeds are poorly absorbed, because they have a very dense shell. Therefore, we extruded them. Extrusion of amaranth removes these issues. Here we had a production experiment: there was one batch of birds, where amaranth was taken as the protein component, the quality of capon meat was an order of magnitude higher than that of the bird, which was given the usual feed. And the taste of amaranth is very influential – in a good way.
Regarding the manifestation of the therapeutic properties of amaranth in poultry products, Igor Filippenko gave an interesting example.
– The Poles conducted clinical trials: fattening the bird with medicinal herbs, which were components of drugs for the treatment of, for example, hypertension. They gave this meat to the sick, but they received less medicine. The effect was almost the same. We wanted to conduct the same tests on amaranth. But for the time being we are not ready for this, and we will be guided only by taste. In addition, in the future – the cultivation of poultry fed on amaranth for the production of eggs.
– You say “fattened on amaranth,” but after all there will be not only amaranth in the stern …
– Of course. The green mass will be only amaranth (we take a culture that does not grow wild). And then: if amaranth is properly seeded and with normal density and aisle, then it covers the lower tier from the wind, and the weeds practically do not grow there. Therefore, the bird will eat only amaranth. The vegetation period will end in August, and we will preserve amaranth to feed them the bird in the winter. This year we will try to conserve amaranth by ensiling.
– To preserve amaranth? Do not dry?
– Do not dry. We have already traveled to the farm, watched the site, and we think in the silo pit to silage amaranth in order to preserve a maximum of vitamins. If we succeed, it will be a good help to everyone. The grain will be wheat and amaranth grain …
– What is the ratio of components, if you take wheat and amaranth grain?
– Now I am engaged in balancing everything on nutrients. It is difficult for a free-range poultry to pick everything up, because it receives 80% from the diet, and is looking for 20% itself.
In October last year, we used 100% amaranth oil cake as a grain component. We did not use it as a protein concentrate, but as a high-protein supplement, and in the diet it was 50×50.
– No, as in the textbook, a clear indication that there should be a certain percentage?
– There are moments that relate to the properties of amaranth, and they limit the content of amaranth as a monoculture in the composition of the diet.
– Move away from the topic of poultry. Do you consume products from amaranth?
– Yes, its production. And tea from amaranth, and porridge from amaranth. I take my hat off to our manufacturers from Nikolaev, who make amaranth cereals very good. This is a product that does not bother. If you simply cook porridge from the grain – this is not the case, it crunches on the teeth … And what Alexander Shvedov produces, I tried, and I am delighted.
It is impossible to ignore the cost of production: for different producers, it can differ significantly, even if the names coincide. Here, above all, many cite the example of amaranth oil. Igor Filippenko also touched this question.
– Unfortunately, there are a lot of falsification on the market. And manufacturers make a product based on corn oil, and people pay a lot of money, but they are actually buying cheap corn oil.
This practice, as is well known, concerns not only amaranth oil. One of the reasons is the confidence of manufacturers of such products, that the buyer will definitely prefer cheap goods without thinking about its quality and authenticity. The final choice remains for the consumer.