Let’s find out all about providing your chickens with organic feed. What can you feed your chickens for organic eggs?
To say natural ingredients means that the source of these foods does not use pesticides or any inorganic chemicals to control pests and diseases during their preparation or when growing.
Also, some people believe that an organic diet does not come from genetically modified plants for some reason. There are several reasons why different people feed their chickens organically.
While others believe that it is a way of keeping their chickens healthier, some do it to have their chickens produce organic eggs, meat or even both.
As a chicken keeper, you need to find out more about these foods and if possible, have a good stock of them for your birds.
But if you cannot produce them, the best and easiest way to feed your chickens organically is to purchase these foods from the commercial organic feed stores nearby.
These foods come in pelleted mixtures of whole or part of grains.
Organic Standards for Eggs
The organic standards governing the production of organic eggs state that chickens kept to lay organic eggs should spend some time outdoors.
This means these free-ranging or pasturing birds should have access to a pesticide-free land to fulfill this important requirement.
Pasture and free-range chickens still require some supplements to help them grow and improve their productivity. However, the supplements should meet all the laid-down organic standards before they are given to the chickens.
The recent organic standards are somehow lenient, especially to producers whose eggs are less than $5000 in value.
So if you fall in this category, you can refer to your eggs as organic, provided that your birds are subjected to a free range or pasture.
On top of that, you must ensure that your chickens can access organic grain supplements to help them grow well and improve their production of organic eggs.
But remember that you should never use medications on such chickens to maintain and uphold the organic standards for eggs.
If your egg production is for home consumption, you can have more leeway regarding these standards.
In other words, you will have the freedom to come up with your own ration as well as a system of housing that suits your organic idea concerning your budget.
Regardless of your means, you can still feed your chickens organically to keep them healthy and productive.
It may not be easy as it sounds, but with determination and the right knowledge, you can achieve this goal in the best way possible.
Or you may turn to commercially produced organic feed if you feel you cannot keep the required standards for organic eggs. Whichever way you choose, rest assured that you will have amazing results.
The Two Approach to the Organic Fresh Eggs
Every chicken owner’s dream (I suppose) is to produce organic eggs in their backyard. So, where do you start?
To begin with, you need to make up your mind between the organic and conventional ways of raising your chickens.
The truth is that both options are good for your environment, fun for your family, and you stand a chance of getting healthy, nutritious organic eggs from your chickens.
The main difference comes from the type of feed you will provide your flock of birds.
One thing you need to know is that both organic and traditional feed options have similar nutritional value. The difference is the source of feed ingredients used in each option.
Starting with organic feeds, you will realize that the ingredients are prepared or manufactured based on specific standards.
In other words, ingredients used in preparing organic chicken feed need to follow the laid down rules by relevant organizations such as the National Organic Program.
Once the organic feeds meet all the requirements, the next step is to have them satisfied by USDA or any organization mandated with a similar task.
That’s why you might have encountered organic feeds on the market bearing a certain seal from the agency responsible for certifying the product’s authenticity.
The choice between traditional and organic feed depends on individual preferences, needs, and budget.
The main reason you should consider transitioning to organic feeds is to produce organic eggs. You should have permission to market organically produced and certified eggs.
This draws a clear line between these options if you want a successful chicken-keeping transition process.
Production of Organic Eggs (For your Family)
If you consider your chickens producing organic eggs for your family, nothing should stand in your way. This is because the entire process is effortless, unlike producing eggs on a large scale.
The process needs your patience if you truly are looking forward to having organic eggs that are nutritious and free of inorganic materials.
In this case, you may start by feeding your cheeks on organic feeds such as organic starter-grower. Or you may transition straight away to the organic layer feed sometime.
The advantage of making a transition is that the process will take a shorter time than you would have anticipated.
Here is a summary of what you are required to do:
Add organic food and sprinkle it on top of your chicken’s feed in small amounts.
As the days go by, increase the quantity of the organic feed you add to the current feed. This way, your chickens can eat both the new and old feed simultaneously.
When the seven or ten days are over, your chicken feeder should have an organic feed and nothing else.
You may have been waiting for this moment, and you can happily start collecting your organic eggs for your family and friends or hatch.
What about your birds? Are they considered organic? Sadly, they are not considered organic despite providing them with organic feeds.
To your surprise, the chickens and their eggs aren’t certified organic because the process is only meant to produce eggs from chickens given organic feed.
Certified Organic Eggs for Sale
Another reason for providing your chickens with organic feed is the need to produce organic eggs to sell.
The entire process could be complicated, considering it requires much of your commitment.
Before you start keeping organic chickens, you must learn and follow the rules governing the keeping and raising certified organic chickens.
One of the major concerns in this regard is that for your farm eggs to be certified and considered organic, they must be from hens that have been raised on organic feed continuously.
The hens must have been under uninterrupted organic management starting no later than their second day of life.
This rule means that your chicks should be raised on organic feed. Starting from their second day throughout their lives. This major rule helps determine whether your farm eggs are fully organic.
On the other hand, organic chickens, including those raised for meat or eggs, are more likely to lose their organic status easily if they are taken from the organic farm to a non-organic operation.
Even if you provide them with organic feed, they can’t longer be recycled into certified organic production.
What ingredients are used when preparing homemade organic feed for your chickens?
The best ingredients when making organic feed for your hens is whole corn, white wheat, and red winter wheat.
Also included are diatomaceous earth, hulled barley, oat groats, sunflower seeds, peanuts, split peas, wheat bran, lentils, sesame seeds, quinoa, and kelp.
These are some of the common ingredients you can mix. This blend will give you a perfect organic diet for your hens.
Are there non-organic ingredients allowed to be part of organic chicken feed?
Yes. There are a few non-organic micronutrients, such as minerals, salt, vitamins, and amino acids. These are included in the organic chicken feed to make it well-balanced.
You can choose what to give your chickens organic feed if you want them to produce organic eggs. Many people turn to organic meat and eggs for their immense health benefits.
That’s why most chicken owners are feeding their flock of birds organically. They enjoy poultry products that are free of chemicals or other harmful substances.
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