When you think of organic, are you thinking soil, fields, crops? So, are you left wondering how, exactly, an egg gets to be ‘organic’?
1/ Shed load of space: Space to move, scratch and do hennish-type natural behaviours.
The number of birds per shed are much, much lower:
- Maximum of 2,000 birds per shed (Soil Association Standards)
- 3000 hens (EU organic standards).
- RSPCA free-range standard of 16,000 flock
- Intensively reared free-range with up to 30,000 per shed
- Battery hens live 80 per cage, with less than a piece of A4 paper to move in.
2/ Access to the outdoors, through holes in the sheds, allowing them to get out for fresh air and space.
3/ The way the birds are managed, giving them more ways to express their natural animal behaviours, makes the birds less likely to display aggressive behaviours such as pecking. Laying hens typically have their beaks trimmed (cut) to stop this. Look out for organic eggs that don’t use this practice, if you feel that birds should be managed in a way that reduces (or eliminates) the need for beak trimming.
4/ Antibiotics are not routinely used. With organic eggs, this is banned. 5/ Hen’s diets are GM-free. That’s right – no GM-containing feeds for the hens producing your organic eggs for you.