Raising Chickens The Organic Way
Herbal (natural) methods are also used in the place of medicine, with regards to the prevention and curing of illnesses.
Organic chickens does not consist of any specific breeds, they just have to be raised organically from the first day that you have them. They should be raised in a yard, rather than a pen.
The yard should have lots of grass. If you do decide to raise your chickens in a pen then make sure that they have ample space to move around in.
The Definition vs. The Meaning
Chickens do not have to roam around wild to be classified as organic, but they should have access to the outdoors whenever they want.
It is common practice amongst organic chicken farmers to provide their chickens with a coop, but the chickens should not be restricted to it. They need as much exposure to direct sunlight as possible.
The coop is basically just there to provide the chickens with a place to breed, if they wish to breed there, as well as to provide security against possible predators.
The Good vs. The Bad
The problem with allowing the chickens to nest wherever they see fit, especially if they have no coop, is that if you keep the chickens for their eggs, then you will end up spending most of your time searching the grass for eggs often ending up crushing a few underfoot.
If no coop is provided, then it is acceptable practice to provide organic chickens with nest boxes. Try to use natural materials for your nest boxes, such as wood, and fill these boxes with straws.
There is, however, no guarantee that the chickens will choose to use these boxes. Organic chickens mainly feed on insect as well as wild seeds that they find in the grass.
During the winter months your chickens might need to be given some food supplements due to the general lack of wild seeds and insects. Their diets can be supplemented with seeds and grains that you can purchase at any feed store.
When you buy the feed, make sure to ask for feed that has not been treated with growth hormones or pesticides as the lack of these chemicals is one of the cornerstones of organic farming.
No Medicines Period
Organic chickens are not allowed to receive any form of antibiotics or growth hormones. Instead, preventative measures are used to keep them healthy.
Such measures include keeping them in a clean environment as well as providing them with organic feed supplements when necessary. If your chickens do fall ill then you can treat them with medicine, but you will no longer be able to sell them as organic chickens.
As a part of providing your chickens with a clean environment, you should try and clean up their manure as regularly as possible. White egg laying chickens are the same as brown blue or green egg layers, there is no difference on the inside.