define organic

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by francisfarms, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. francisfarms

    francisfarms In the Brooder

    Sep 13, 2008
    I have birds in a very large pen about 20 by 30 feet. They only get layer pellets and the treats that I have been giving them the last few days. I gave them pumkin from a can that I used to make ice cream with, beans that my grandson did not finish, left over pancake, peas that were freezer burned, and apple sauce and cottage cheese, they do not get anything added to their water. Oh and all the bugs and the mosquitos and the flies they can eat since the pen is near the horse barn. Is this still considered organic or not? thanks in advance
  2. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    From what I've read, organic also includes no meat by-products, so feeding laying pellets or any other kind of feedstore feed throws organic out the window.
  3. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    It's more than not feeding meat products. It has to do a lot with pesticides really. Here's your definition of organic from Wikipedia:
    Organic food
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Organic vegetables at a farmers' market in Argentina.
    Organic foods are produced according to certain production standards, meaning they are grown without the use of conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers, human waste, or sewage sludge, and that they were processed without ionizing radiation or food additives.[1] Livestock are reared without the routine use of antibiotics and without the use of growth hormones. In most countries, organic produce must not be genetically modified.
    Organic food production is legally regulated. Currently, the European Union, the United States, Japan and many other countries require producers to obtain organic certification in order to market food as organic.
    Historically, organic farms have been relatively small family-run farms[2] — which is why organic food was once only available in small stores or farmers' markets. However, since the early 1990s organic food has had growth rates of around 20% a year, far ahead of the rest of the food industry, in both developed and developing nations. As of April 2008, organic food accounts for 1-2% of food sales worldwide. Future growth is expected to range from 10-50% annually depending on the country[citation needed].

    My chickens are fed a "vegetarian" diet, but not organic. Their layer pellets are the Purina Layena which are vegetarian. They don't get any meat products. There is a definite difference in organic versus vegetarian.​
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
  4. claud

    claud Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    Technically, no, they're not organic. They can't have ANY non-organic food since they've been day old chicks. There are also rules about using treated lumber in their pen and being on non-treated grass/land(which goes back 3 years I think).
    Yours would probably fit the criteria of free-range.
  5. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    If the feed you are using isn't called organic, then it has been grown with use of pesticides, so your birds are not organic. Ditto if you treat your grass or yard in any way or the produce leftoves you feed have been grown commercially, with pesticides.

    This is not to say your chickens aren't fabulous, healthy and happy, just that you can't call them organic.

    You CAN call them free range, if they are, lovingly hand-raised, family-farmed, locally grown, cage-free, non-factory-farmed, ethically raised, etc. Those are certainly all important too.

    I, for one, could not afford to keep my birds in organic feed ths year after the spike in feed prices. The feed they eat is locally produced, but I cannot call them organic. I DO call them all the above things, plus I call them sweetie and darling and stuff like that.

    So my youngest, who sells the eggs, had to take the word organic out of her label in an effort to learn about truth in advertising!

    Whatever else you choose to call your birds, they are certainly lucky!
  6. Swamp Roo

    Swamp Roo Songster

    Apr 22, 2008
    SW FL
    I was under the impression that you(your farm) had to be gov certified to be able to call anything organic. I other words $$$. I may be way off base, hopefully someone that has really looked into it or has done it will pipe in.

    Edited to add: I agree with Chickiebaby. Locally, non factory farm raised, sounds much better to me any way. Get some large photos of your birds outside doing happy chicken things to hang in your sales booth.

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
  7. max13077

    max13077 Songster

    Being organic is like “going green.” While it’s a nice thought, it’s nearly impossible to truly carry out 100%. I’m of course not saying people shouldn’t try. Every little bit helps. Anything you do, no matter how bad is by far better than store bought.

    However there is no way you could do it unless you controlled all facets of production. I think the feed would be the most costly. Even if you offer a feed that is supposedly 100% organic, how do you know? To guarantee it, you would have to produce your own feed. That expense in itself would be so enormous that it would negate any rational reasoning for trying to raise them in the first place. You’re chicken would end up costing you so much money that if you tried to sell it, nobody would buy it cause it would be 50 dollars a pound. Now if you were to cut corners and not be “truly” green or organic, it might be possible. However producing a 100% sincerely organic bird, in a reasonable amount of time IMHO just isn‘t realistic for most people on here.
  8. francisfarms

    francisfarms In the Brooder

    Sep 13, 2008
    ok thanks everybody, was kinda thinking they were in the free range arena. I wish I could let them out of their pen, but because I have a kennel with about 12 labs and two dachsies. I bought a bunch of new birds yesterday so I have a big variety. I mostly have rir and americanas. I am more of a waterfowl type raiser than chickens. I have 10 mallard ducklings coming on Tuesday, a bunch of goldens and khaki campbells. Looking to get some keets next week and some couternix (SP). I work Boeing here in WA. I have a large asian market that are begging for birds and eggs. I am also looking at rabbit too.
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    You cannot use the marketing term organic because of the following:

    1) Your meat birds must be given certified organic feed. Kitchen scraps do not qualify. They must be given only organic feed from the 1st day of life onward.

    2) They must have access to outdoors and sunshine. The ground they are on must be ceritifed organic pasture as well. Some things, like pressure treated timbers, are not allowed on certified organic pastures.

    So for your situation, you are best using the terms "pastured" and "natural". Getting organic certification is not costly, nor is it difficult. It just means a lot of recrod keeping and therefore added costs, especially in feed. So for animals which you provide 100% of their feed (single stomached creatures) like pigs and chickens, the hit to your feed bill will be 50-100%.

    For ruminants, on certified organic pasture, where you can grass feed and grass finish, it is possible to do without a huge financial impact. Geese, sheep, cows, ducks, etc are more practical... except, in our climate in western washington, parasites are going to be a problem for any organic operation.
  10. Swamp Roo

    Swamp Roo Songster

    Apr 22, 2008
    SW FL
    Thank you for the clarification Grayfeilds. I think I read in one of your posts that organic can still be battery caged, and that "free range" means that they have access to the outdoors for one hour a day (whether the chickens actually choose to go outside away from food and water or not). Is that correct? Thanks.


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