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Backyard chickens, rabbits and soybeans can meet household protein demands

The type of soil affects the growth of plants and animals. For grass-fed rabbits, lush backyard grass is a food source, but not all areas can successfully grow long-eared lawnmowers. Credit: Joshua Pearce

In 2020, garden seeds, huts and rabbit cages were sold out. Now we have an idea of ​​how much protein people can grow in their backyard.


Due to the meat shortage in 2020, many wondered what to eat for protein when the supply chain was disrupted. Some people turned to collecting eggs, raising animals, and raising their own food. Teams at the Michigan Technological University and the University of Alaska Fairbanks have found this work worth it.In a new study published in sustainabilityResearchers have investigated how a typical home with a typical backyard can grow chickens, rabbits, or soybeans to meet their protein needs.

Yes, in my backyard

Americans love burgers, but few have room to steer next to the garage. Most city ordinances quiver just to think of a fraudulent cowp. However, small animals are more efficient protein producers and are often allowed within the city limits. The average backyard has plenty of space, typically 800-1,000 square meters, or about 8,600-10,700 square feet.

“You don’t have to turn your entire backyard into a soybean farm. It’s a little helpful,” said one of the co-authors of the study, Richard Whitte, a professor of materials science and engineering at the Michigan Institute of Technology, and electrical and computer engineering. “I’m a solar engineer. Look at the surface area and think about the production of solar power. Many people don’t. They don’t treat the backyard as a resource. In fact, they are a sink for time and money. There is a possibility. They need to mow and pour fertilizer, but when we treat our garden as an asset, we can actually be very self-reliant. “

How much protein do you eat?

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Dietary Intake Standards (DRI), people eat a lot of protein in the United States, and the average person needs 51 grams of protein daily. That’s 18,615 grams per year, or 48,399 grams per year for a household with an average of 2.6 people.

Rabbit and edamame

Pearce’s co-authors are interdisciplinary and include students from the Michigan Technological University Theresa Meyer and Alexis Pascaris, and David Denkenberger from the University of Alaska. The lab group originally came together to conduct an agricultural voltex study to evaluate raising rabbits under solar panels. However, when they tried to buy cages in the spring of 2020, they found a shortage of animal equipment and vegetable gardens nationwide. Like many labs, the group pivoted and refocused their work to address the effects of the pandemic.

They found that raising chickens and rabbits using only backyard resources could offset protein consumption by up to 50%. To reach full protein demand in animals and eggs, it was necessary to purchase grain and raise 52 chickens or 107 rabbits. Of course, this is more than most city ordinances allow, and growing creatures is not as easy as dropping a planter box.

Earrings say, “The real winner is soybeans,” while grass-fed rabbits mow the lawn for you. It is much more efficient to consume vegetable protein directly rather than feeding it to the animal first. Plant-derived protein can provide 80% to 160% of household demand, and soybeans are like “high-protein popcorn” when prepared as edamame. Savings are possible, and even more so when food prices rise, according to the team’s economic analysis, but savings depend on how people value food quality and personal efforts.

“It takes time, and if you have the time, it’s a good investment,” says Pierce, to building a community with a garden, the mental health benefits of being outside, and simply to home-grown food. Pointed out other studies on deeper appreciation for. “Our research shows that many Americans participate in decentralized food production, helping to make the United States more sustainable as well as more resilient to supply chain disruptions. There is a possibility.”


COVID Crackers: Pandemics Feed Backyard Chicken Demand


For more information:
Teresa K. Meyer et al. US Potential for Sustainable Backyard Distributed Animal and Plant Protein Production During and After the Pandemic, sustainability (2021). DOI: 10.3390 / su13095067

Provided by Michigan Technological University

Quote: Backyard chickens, rabbits, soybeans, household protein demand obtained on May 12, 2021 from https: //phys.org/news/2021-05-backyard-chickens-rabbits-soybeans-household.html (May 12, 2021) can be met

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Backyard chickens, rabbits and soybeans can meet household protein demands

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