Organic Egg Question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by andischickenfarm, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. andischickenfarm

    andischickenfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 19, 2007
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    I heard that you can get alot more money out of your eggs if they are organic. So I checked out some organic feed prices and it's $1.00 a pound! I liked to have freaked out! So my question is if I don't feed my hens layer pellets and only buy corn chops would that make my eggs organic? Or does it have to say organic corn on the bag? And would my chickens still lay as good or would it really make a difference in their egg production?

    Thanks,
    Andi
     
  2. 4myHennyPenny

    4myHennyPenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2007
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    Hi Andi,

    In order to label your eggs organic, your chickens must be fed organic feed (so must say organic on your corn). The $1 per pound price is high. Look through some of the past posts for sources of organic feed at lower prices. Where are you located? That will make a big difference in the cost of shipping.

    Another option is to consider mixing your own organic feed. Again, there are several posts regarding this which include recipes. If you have a nearby store which can order some of the organic bulk ingredients for you (such as the cracked corn), then this may certainly be the way to go (particularly if you have a large flock).

    And if you want to get truly technical about it, organic also refers to anything they eat while free-ranging (so if they're feasting on grass or gardens that have been treated with any chemicals, it's no longer organic). And to take it a step further, you have to look at the henhouse itself; that means no railroad ties or pressure treated lumber, both which are toxic.

    Two earlier threads which might be helpful are Organic Chicken Feed and Whole Grain Feed (I'm pretty sure on the subjects, but I might be off a bit).

    As far as the organic feed making any difference in your egg production, I have not read anything stating there would be an increase or a decrease in production--should remain the same.

    Good luck!
     
  3. usbr

    usbr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2007
    To add what 4myHennyPenny said, your chicks must be on organic feed and pasture since the second day of life. In other words, you cant take your hens and start feeding organic feed to get organic eggs, you have to start from the begining.

    Same with the land they free range on (if they free range, you dont have to free range to be organic), it needs to follow the organic policies for several years before it qualifies.

    If it was as easy as throwing a little organic feed out and bumping the price of eggs, everybody would be doing it and the price difference would be less, much less.

    Dont mean to be a downer as it is possable and fairly easy but its not an overnight thing.

    National Organic Program. http://www.ams.usda.gov/NOP/NOP/NOPhome.html Your state may have additional rules that have to be followed but the above link covers the bulk of it.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. andischickenfarm

    andischickenfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 19, 2007
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    OK, I understand now. I kinda figured it would be "by the book" type stuff. I don't think I really want to get into that. As long as I can sell enough eggs to come out even on my feed bill, I'll be happy.[​IMG] Thanks everyone for your replies!

    Andi
     
  5. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

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    Quote:Please post a link that says organic eggs have to come from free-range hens. I just read an article about a large cage-free, confinement unit in Virginia that has organic egg accreditation and the hens never see the light of day.

    To the OP...if you want to try and sell your eggs for a premium but don't want to use organic feed, instead of organic labelling, market them as free-range eggs.
     
  6. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

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    Mar 7, 2007
    Mount Airy, NC
  7. 4myHennyPenny

    4myHennyPenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2007
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    Quote:It's true! I first read about how some hens were being raised who were laying the free-range and organic eggs I was paying so much more for at the store. They allow debeaking, some are kept confined (as you mentioned) and still considered organic, etc., etc. It's actually what first got me interested in raising my own chickens. To read more about it, check out the chicken and egg page at MotherEarthNews.com. It should have a link to the full article telling you about what that organic or free-range label on your eggs does and doesn't mean.
     
  8. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2007
    Maine
    Also, to the OP I'm pretty sure if you are selling more then 30 dozen eggs a week (organic or not) you have to be licensed and inspected by the USDA. Any less and no problem. Maybe this is just my state, I was looking up to see whether I could legally sell eggs or not.

    I agree with MayberrySaint, just label them as free-range, or maybe mix your own feed.

    I do know it takes a little over a year to be certified organic. I have some friends who are currently making the switch with their dairy cattle and they have to feed and medicate organic for a year before they can be considered for certification and sell their milk as such. They were pretty much organic before, so the switch wasn't that hard, just changing the grain and no penicillin...etc.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2007
  9. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    An added note from someone who is soon to be selling Organic eggs....You DO have to start pretty much from day one. When I got my first chicks, I wanted the flock to be certified as organic so I could label their eggs in the future as such. I had an inspector come out ($60) and check the feed (must SAY organic on the bags, even if you mix your own!) and they also tested my land (another $35) that the birds range on. They tested my water (another $20) for nitrates and all sorts of other things. I had to prove that I do not feed medicated feeds, or use any pesticides, herbicides, hormones, steroids, etc. The whole process took over a month. But I finally got my certification and once they start laying, he will come out again (more $ yet to be determined) before my final approval to check my egg handling, cleaning, and storing procedures. Now that I have added more chicks to the flock, he may even need to come out for a future visit when they are older. For now, my flock is certified as Organic and my eggs will be once the chickens get busy laying. [​IMG] Its a bit of a chore to do, but not impossible.
     
  10. usbr

    usbr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I never made that claim, re-read my post and you will see I clearly said if they are free ranged, the pasture (or lawn, whatever) has to be organic. Free range does not equal organic and organic does not equal free range. Read the website I posted, it is the USDA website covering the National Organic Program and it should have most of what you want to know about organic farming in it (your state may have additional rules so thats why I say it only covers most). The link you posted from the animalsvoice.com, while entertaining, is clearly an editorial with only a few quotes from the USDA. Again, if you want the real scoop on organic farming, you need to look at the USDA website.

    4H kids and mom, unless you are selling off the farm, you dont need to go through all that testing. Well, I need to clearify, you could be selling alot of eggs, I dont know but at current prices of $3 a dozen, you would need to sell more than 1,666 dozen eggs a year before on farm testing is required. Its not bad that you did and will do the testing, its just not needed.
     

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