The difference between organic, free range, cage free, etc...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by shannaanderson, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. shannaanderson

    shannaanderson New Egg

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  2. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I want to go on record as saying that I think home grown eggs are the best that can be had, and that whether organic or not they are of the highest standard. On the other hand I cannot let this authors complete lack of good facts go unnoticed.

    1. Chickens are not and cannot by USDA regulation be fed or administered hormones. It simply does not happen ever. Antibiotics is a different story altogether.

    2. Organic chickens must be raised cage free by regulation. I am nearly as certain that they must have access to outdoors, weather permitting. Ideal conditions? Perhaps not but no cages for organic.

    3. Vegetarian feed is used and marketed due to the attention around Mad Cow disease and the fact that feeding animals by products to animals has a bit of an unpleasant ring to it. Bugs and so forth are ok in organic production, but feeding a chicken offal from a procesing plant is not. I happen to support that one.

    4. Free Range does allow for birds to go outdoors if they choose. Some birds do not, that is true. not an entirely meanningless term. I agree that many consumers have an entirely different view of what is reality and what is implied.

    Again I raise and produce my own eggs. I do not do it organically, One day maybe, but I have a real issue with folks authoring articles and publishing them as though they are fact when they simply do not know the truth.
     
  3. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

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    Even though this may make me sound very ignorant I am going to say it anyway. [​IMG] I thought that cage free just meant that they had those great big giant buildings with chickens in them rather than great big giant buildings with chickens in battery cages. [​IMG] Only twice in my whole life have I seen egg farms that didn't have those nasty buildings and the chickens were actually free roaming in huge pastures.
     
  4. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You are correct cage free = large building no battery cages. Not perfect but a step in the right direction.
     
  5. ROEBUCKS

    ROEBUCKS New Egg

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    Interesting subject. I have 12 Buff Orpingtons that have been laying since 10/06/09 when 2 eggs were found, now up to 10 a day, one time, last friday there were 11!! I have a coop they use for laying, roosting, sleeping and eating 20% crumbles. They are all free to come and go. At night they all go into the coop by themselves and I lock it up so nothing happens to them. I have 2 acres of bermuda and St. Augustine grass and a few weeds too! LOL. There are several "sand" only places scattered around the yard they "bathe" in. AND lot's of bugs, frogs, crickets, lizards and probably other things I don't even see or know they are there. I only feed organic crumbles, no animal by products in it and whatever they eat outside of the coop. I would guess these would be organic free range then? Or because they eat frogs are they not "organic"? The eggs are dang good!!! I have never seen a more deep golden yellow firmer yolk in my skillet and I really don't care what anyone calls them! [​IMG]
     
  6. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the grass and pasture they range on is organic, you would in theory have an organic chicken. No they dont certify the grasshppers. Technically however if wanted a certification you would get to fill out a ton of paperwork. LOL. , Then you would be organic
     
  7. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Greathorse is right, the article is misleading and biased towards the writer's goal of promoting backyard flocks.

    Organic standards say that hens must be raised cage free and have access to pasture, weather permitting.

    The cage free photo is of a broiler barn and does not show the roosts, perches, and nest boxes that would be installed inside a cage free layer barn. Beak tipping is a necessary evil. There are many members here that have had problems with pecking, even with small, well cared for flocks. Could you imagine a pecking problem in a flock with 1000's of birds? Beak tipping provides for the flock's general welfare. Why do people have a problem with beak tipping and then turn around and advocate that you should spay and neuter your pets? Another pro to cage free, yet confined flocks is that the birds are not exposed to wild birds and the diseases they could carry.
     
  8. spartacus_63

    spartacus_63 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think that the discussion is focused on Federal rules and only applies if you are selling your eggs or birds across state lines. States (I am very aware of my states laws) hold all Intra-State commerce authority. So in my case, what is considered Free Range or Cage Free or Organic may and most likely does differ from other members in other states. There is also a big difference in poultry laws when you are talking about eggs vs. meat. Some states require all birds sold for meat to be processed by a registered process plant. Some have exemptions for the small flock. My state will not even let me sell processed poultry at my local farmer's market, nor from my home, although I can sell live birds. Eggs on the other hand have little regulation unless you volunteer to undergo the scrutiny required to market your eggs as organic. More trouble than it's worth as the paperwork is an annual obligation and you are subject to inspections. In my case a water protection survey is also required. No thanks! Although (in my state) there is no regulation against feeding animal products to poultry for eggs, there is a regulation that forbids it for meat birds. It is more for Bird Flu/Swine Flu than Mad Cow, but the same reasoning.

    The best bet if you are interested and do not plan to sell eggs out of state is to look at your local poultry commerce regulations rather than concentrating on Federal rules that will not apply.
     
  9. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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  10. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

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    Quote:Not wanting to take this thread off in another direction or debate the issue but beak tipping can lead to the bird being in horrible pain for it's entire life. I understand why they do it in commercial situations but I still wish there was another way of preventing the pecking or housing them they way they do all together. Spaying and neutering your furry friends will, as far as I know, not leave the critter in pain it's whole life.
     

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