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 with the sole purpose of having their chickens produce organic eggs, meat or even both. 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 have the opinion that an organic diet is one that does not come from plants which are genetically modified for some reasons.
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 ways to feed your chickens organically is only to purchase these foods from the commercial organic feeds stores near you. These foods come in the form of pelleted mixtures of whole or part of grains.
Organic Standards for Eggs
- The organic standards governing the production of organic eggs states that chickens kept for the purpose of laying organic eggs should spend some time outdoors. This means that these free-ranging or pasturing birds should have access to a pesticide-free land to full-fill 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, then you have the freedom to 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 keep in mind that you should never use medications on such chickens in order to maintain and uphold the organic standards for eggs.
- If your egg production is for home consumption, then 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 in relation to 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 that 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 way of raising your chickens. The truth of the matter 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 about as a result of 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 between the two 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 the preparation of 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 come across organic feeds on the market bearing a certain seal from the agency responsible for certifying the authenticity of the product.
- Anyway, the choice between the traditional and organic feed depends on individual preference, needs and budget. The main reason you should consider transitioning to the organic feeds is to produce organic eggs. You should have permission to market organically produced and certified eggs. This brings you to draw a clear line between these options if you want to have a successful transition process in chicken keeping.
Production of Organic Eggs (For your Family)
- If you are considering your chickens producing organic eggs for your family, then nothing should stand in your way. This is because the entire process is simple and 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 decide to transition straight away to the organic layer feed sometime in the future.
- The advantage of making a transition is that the process will take a shorter time as you would have anticipated.
- Here is a summary of what you are required to do:
- Take the organic food and sprinkle it on top of your chicken’s current feed in small amounts.
- As the days go by, increase the quantity of the organic feed that you are adding to the current feed. This way, your chickens will be able to eat both the new and old feed at the same time.
- When the seven or ten days are over, your chicken feeder should have the organic feed and nothing else.
- This is the moment you may have been waiting for and you can happily start collecting your organic eggs for your family, friends or hatch.
- What about your birds? Are they considered organic? Sadly, they are not considered organic despite providing them with organic feeds. Much to your surprise, both the chickens and their eggs aren’t considered certified organic because the process is only meant for the production of 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. Here, the entire process could be somehow complicated considering that it requires a lot of your commitment.
- Before you start keeping organic chickens, you will need to learn and follow the rules governing the keeping and raising of the 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. What this rule means is that your chicks should be raised on organic feed. Starting from their second day throughout their lives. This is one major rule that helps determine if your farm eggs are fully organic or not.
- 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 away from the organic farm to a non-organic operation. Even if you provide them with organic feed, they can’t be recycled into certified organic production anymore.
What are the ingredients to use when preparing home-made 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 are turning to organic meat and eggs for their immense health benefits. That’s why most of the chicken owners are feeding their flock of birds organically. They enjoy poultry products that are free of chemicals or other harmful substances.
***Click on the Image Below to Save to Your Pinterest Board***
Backyard Chickens FAQ
- Are Backyard Chickens Noisy?
- Do Backyard Chickens have Salmonella?
- Do Backyard Chickens Attract Rats?
- What do Backyard Chickens Eat?
- 9 Best Beginner Chicken Breeds for Your Backyard
- What are the Best Chicken Breeds for Beginners?
- What are the Friendliest Chickens?
- The Best Backyard Chicken For Eggs
- How Much Space do Chickens Need to Roost?
- What Size of the Chicken Coop is Suitable for 10 Chickens?
- Can You Have a Chicken as a Pet?
- How Many Eggs Do Chickens Lay in a Day?
- How Long do Roosters Live?
- What do I need to Know about Hatching Chicken Eggs?