two questions on organic eggs

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Varisha, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. Varisha

    Varisha Songster

    Mar 22, 2007
    What do you feed your chickens to be able to call the eggs organic?

    And, what do you not feed your chickents to be able to call the eggs organic?
  2. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    This is a really touchy subject here........ so be ready for some strong replies!

    Now that the whole "organic" trend is becoming more mainstream, lots and lots of businesses and people are trying to benefit financially and calling stuff "organic" that's not really what "organic" meant when it was devised years ago. Even the USDA Certified Organic labeling is suspect as it allows many loopholes that big agri-biz companies can use to call their stuff organic when its really not raised in the sustainable, humane, etc manner that organic traditionally meant.

    So, my understanding is that, basically, you can't really call your eggs "ORGANIC EGGS" unless the chicks were NEVER fed anything but certified organic feed, never given commercial meds (no vaccinations), have only every been fed certified organic feed, and if they free range the field thay range on must be certified by some agency as organic, with no treated wood in their coop, etc. It is hard to do all this. You can't ever have fed them regular chicken feed or table scraps not certified organic.

    BUT--- if you are basically doing things organically, feeding organic layer feed and organically-grown vegs from your own garden, and don't use any pesticides/herbicides where they range, etc.... maybe you could say something like, "Free range hens fed organic feed, no antibiotics" (if that's all true).

    In my neck of the woods, consumers are fast becoming pretty saavy about labeling and understand that local eggs with a label like that are usually MUCH better than the "USDA certified Organic" eggs from a big factory farm that they get at the supermarket. Before our girls started laying enough for us, I was buying eggs at the health-food store from a local farm that mostly produces organic vegetables. The eggs are labeled, "Free Range Eggs from X Farm; raising prganic milk, organic vegetables, organic lamb"..... I feel pretty comfortable with that even though its not "USDA certified organic".

    Just my 2 cents!

  3. Depends where you are. The term organic has several definitions and local laws get involved. Then there is also 'certified organic' and 'beyond organic' as well.

    I always wonder about free range and organic. Here organic includes not being on land that has been treated with chemical fertilizers or pestisides as well as feeding stuff grown on the same. So how do you stop your free range chicken from eating the bugs that fly in from some chemical treated orchard miles away?
  4. hensdeliverthegoods

    hensdeliverthegoods Songster

    Dec 18, 2007
    Catawba County, NC
    This is great information - very interesting!
  5. Varisha

    Varisha Songster

    Mar 22, 2007
    Thanks for the information [​IMG]

    Well mine could not be called organic because the farmers I rent the pasture out to fertilize it every few years so that the grass will have enough food value for thier cattle. My chickens like to go into the field.

    Plus I have fed them non-organic food along with scraps from my table that I know are not organic. However, they are free range so that is what I will put down. I'm not the type that would call something organic unless I was 100% positive it was [​IMG]
  6. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    SeaChick pretty much covered it. It has to start from Day 2 of their lives and every detail has to be recorded for future inspections. Even if you don't sell enough for inspections to be required before using the term "organic", you still have to maintain your records as though the inspector could show up without notice.
  7. ginasmarans

    ginasmarans Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    West Tn
    I just call mine free range. I know I couldn't keep up with the regs for organic. Mine are still 1000% better than store eggs. I do try to limit the chemicals I give them, but sometimes they just need a good worming.
  8. justsidney

    justsidney In the Brooder

    Feb 4, 2008
    I have another question concerning organic eggs. We are just getting a few hens, for eggs for ourselves. It isn't like we would ever sell them on a big scale. So that detail aside, what do you suggest for organic feed for the chickens? We eat almost exclusively organic, and I would want my chickens to produce organic eggs for us. So anyone have a feed brand to recomend? We live in Indiana and it would be nice not to pay an arm and a leg for feed to be shipped... Any suggestions would be great![​IMG]
  9. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    I feed mine Countryside Natural layer mash. In addition to being organic, it's also soy-free. They're located in VA, so you will pay for shipping unless they have a distributor in your area.
  10. Moonwalker

    Moonwalker Songster

    Jan 9, 2008
    Washburn, MO
    We decided to just put Farm Fresh Eggs on the ones we have for sale at the stable. The people who come there can SEE they are free range because they trip over them getting to the office! If they ask, we tell them they are All-Natural, meaning they eat whatever they scratch up (including the sweet feed the horses drop) and they have access to a feeder with plain cracked corn. They range over about 5-6 acres, including 3 ponds, pastures and woods.

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