I live up here in the North Georgia Mountains, and there's a Tyson poultry plant just down the road from where I live. I tend to see large Tyson trucks carrying layer upon layer of confined chickens stacked on top of one another. If you happen tobenext to thesetrucks sitting in traffic, then you'll know that the smell can be horrendous. The chickens are crammed in small cages with little room, some not moving at all. No matter what farmers and the chicken industry may say, being crammed in cages is not natural to chickens.
Whether you raise your chickens for meat, egg consumption or as pets, it is always bestto replicate their most natural environment.
First and foremost, in order to be considered organic, chickens must be raised that way since its inception, especially if you want to become a bonafide organic chicken farmer
Chickens are natural foragers and need plenty of open land to eat and roam. They tend to dig in the ground in search of insects and slugs, but they also eat grains, meats and even eggs!
If you are thinking of raising chickens, then check with your local ordinance to see if it is possible. Chickens can be raised in urban environments as well, but there are often restrictions when it comes to birds like roosters, since their screeching during the morning hours is not the most sought after noise when people are sleeping in on Saturday.
But if you have the land and law permissiveness to raise chickens, it can be very rewarding.
Free at Last!!
If you have kids, they'll love having spring chicks scurrying about your yard; just make sure you don't name them if you are raising them for food.
But if you are also raising your chickens solely for eggs, or as natural predators against insects for your garden, then providing them a safe and open atmosphere will ensure maximum lifespan.
Keeping free-range chickens is easy. Just allow them to roam free during the day and keep them locked in cages by day's end. Ensure that their living quarters are cleaned daily, and check them for any diseases.
Let the Chickens Be Chickens
Instead of feeding your chickens directly, allow them to forage for grains by spreading their feed around the ground. Grains should be natural with no pesticides. There should also be no form of hormones in the feed either. It is not only harmful to the chickens, but humans as well. All of those hormones and byproducts that chickens eat eventually find their way into the human system on the meat market. Any meat-based feed should not contain byproducts. The best way to feed your chicken an organic diet is to allow them access to the wild as much as possible. Allow them to forage for insects, plants and anything else they would eat in the wild.
Any hunter will tell you the difference between eating hunted game and meat you would buy from the grocery store. That is because animals have been allowed to eat their natural diets.
And allow your chickens to access to green fields such as grass or sprouts. This will allow them to lay eggs more easily. For every 10 chickens, there should be at least 20 square feet of space. This will ensure they have plenty of room and so they do not encroach on each other's space.
And when it comes to free range chickens, you'll have to go out daily and look for eggs, but be especially careful in grassy areas.
And most importantly, chickens should be given access to clean drinking water wherever possible, and this is hard to accomplish with conventional farming.
Raising organic chickensis not hard, but it does require adjustment.
Look out for more articles about organic chicken farming.