People are trying to live healthier lives and that has increased the demand for organic foods. It’s not just vegetable farmers that have chosen to meet this demand and go organic it’s also dairy, cattle and poultry farmers. Organic chicken farming is being practiced more and more, but what does that mean? To be an organic farmer your chickens need to be raised without the use of any synthetic chemical. These chemicals have been proven dangerous to the birds and it gives the buying public the choice for healthier meat and eggs.
Free Range or Not?
People are demanding more organically raised chicken for both the meat and the eggs and several big companies are trying to meet that demand. However while they technically meet the definition of organic it isn’t exactly humane either. Commercial farms are calling themselves free range farms, which is what the public is looking for but there are still too many chickens crammed into too small an area. This doesn’t allow the chickens to roam freely and get food on their own. Chickens raised in big commercial poultry farms shouldn’t really be classified as “free range”.
Free Range Chicken Farming
Organic chicken farming starts with free range poultry farming. In this case you allow the chickens to roam around the yard rather than having them stuck inside a wire cage for their entire life. While you do allow your chickens to roam free you’re going to have to take measures to protect them from natural predators like coyotes or foxes. You can do this in two different ways, either fence off an area big enough for them to roam. You can also train your chickens to stay near the chicken coop so they don’t end up going walk about.
Letting your chickens roam allows then to find food on their own, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t supplement their food. Your chickens still need a balanced diet. You can buy premixed feeds for them that are also organic, these feeds will include the grains chickens like such as corn, wheat, oats and soybean meal. You can also find grit in the feed to help the chickens with digestion. You should also note, that contrary to popular belief chickens aren’t vegetarians they will also bugs and insects. Here is a closer look at what chickens eat naturally so you have an idea of what to feed yours.
The demand for free range chicken is growing every day and it isn’t that difficult to convert your farm to one that raises organic chicken and eggs.