What is an "organic" chicken?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by pacanis, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. pacanis

    pacanis Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 4, 2008
    NW PA
    A friend of my sister's, who has been supplying me with egg cartons, asked if my chickens were organic and what do I feed them? To tell the truth, I'm not really sure what organic means or if it even has anything to do with feed, but this seemed like the right spot to ask.
    I guess I thought organic meant non-commercial, but maybe there's more to it than that? Would a cage-free chicken be considered organic? Does what you feed have any bearing on whether your chicken is organic?
    I'm only talking about a layer here, not a chicken I intend to eat.

    Thanks for any insight on what makes poultry organic [​IMG]
     
  2. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Only fed "organic certified feed", no meds, no pesticides or herbicides used on their range. Those are the basic elements. Then there are standards for building materials, fencing and it goes on and on. This applies to layers also.
     
  3. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    They are taking about a chicken that is fed only pesticide free feed. In other words, there is NO true organic chicken. Just the grass it might eat around the yard would cause it to be a non organic chicken.
     
  4. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    If you have never used pesticides or herbicides on your property then eating the grass would not disqualify it being organic.
     
  5. pacanis

    pacanis Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 4, 2008
    NW PA
    hmmm,
    I don't use pesticides or herbicides where they're at. Actually, I haven't fertilzed the yard since getting them.
    I don't think their feed says "organic certified feed" though. At least I never saw it on the bag..... And I don't buy organic veggies, so I would have to think chemiclas are used on my salad fixings, which they get some of...

    So I guess my layers are technically not organic chickens. Thanks for the info.
     
  6. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Pacanis:

    Come up with your own story for your farm to explain the way your feed and raise your birds. Most people that prefer purchasing from the homesteader set want to know they are buying into an image, like their grandad's farm in the 50's. If you define your story you can combat the hype or definitions that don't fit your operation.

    Your story could be as easy as this:

    Our hens are rasied in a free range environment and feed quality rations designed for laying hens. We don't use antibiotics in our feeds unless our birds are sick, which rarely occurs. Our eggs are collected daily by all members of our family and lovingly cleaned a packeaged for the enjoyment of your family.


    Good luck,

    Jim
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Hi pacanis,

    you definitely cannot call your chickens "organic" if you haven't been feeding them 100% certified organic feed since they were babies. Too many people are diluting the word "organic" by applying it to anything they think is merey "wholesome". Regular commercial layer feed has all sorts of things that people (like us) who are trying to eat truly organically want to avoid, such as Round-Up Ready genetically modified corn that has been bombarded with herbicides, pesticides, and petrochemical fertilizers, and other unpleasant addictives.

    You can say they are free-range ( if that's true), happy hens raised in the sunshine and fed wholesome foods. For many people, that's as important as "organic". Just please don't say they're organic unless they are.


    Another note... I am fine with people selling eggs that are labeled "fed organic feed" (if that's true) even if the product doesn't meet the strictest requirements to be "certified organic" (such as not having pressure treated wood around, having soils tested, etc). Another thing to consider is medications and antibiotics. A lot of people who try to eat organically grown stuff don't want to be injesting antibiotics that are fed prophylactically, as theyre on factory farms where the birds are so crammed together in filth that they are constantly sick & dying.

    Just my 2 cents on this topic that I obviously care about!!

    Stacey
     
  8. pacanis

    pacanis Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 4, 2008
    NW PA
    Thanks, Jim.
    That's exactly what I was thinking. She was probably asking in hopes of me having extra to buy, but is more than likely buying into whatever image she things organic means.

    I appreciate your input SeaChick.
    Please note I did say this, "So I guess my layers are technically not organic chickens."
    I had no intention of calling my chickens organic becauase I now realize they aren't. [​IMG]
     
  9. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    Your yard could be considered pesticide free, but it would not qualify as organic. It takes years of soil cleaning for a field to be considered qualifying as organic. So any grasses, weeds, whatever your chicken happened to eat would not be organic. The water? Go with Lazy J's idea!
     
  10. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Hi pacanis-

    Yes, I saw that... I didn't mean to imply you were going to do anything wrong. It was more for general consumption....

    I obviously feel strongly about this stuff so I tend to rant a bit on it. Sorry!!

    Stacey
     

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