Poultry - laying

Poultry production can be a profitable enterprise for organic farmers and eggs are a popular product that can be sold through many outlets - locally and nationally. However, chickens have particular management requirements that may not be obvious to the inexperienced producer.

If managed well, and in systems that promote their health, poultry will thrive in a free-range environment. However, in a poorly designed or managed system a host of problems can arise which are a health and welfare concern, making the enterprise unviable.

Unlike other livestock, poultry breeding is largely the domain of poultry companies who breed commercial laying stock in systems that are housed and not free-range. Organic farmers are generally reliant on these companies for their stock and this may be considered to be at odds with the organic philosophy. Hence, there are particular issues that organic producers must consider and the regulations are changing to require organic breeding. This will clearly have a practical and financial impact on organic egg production.

Technical information

Soil Association Techical Information - Free

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  • Q&A - Organic Poultry Production
  • List - Abattoirs & Butchers
  • List- Poultry Information Sheet
  • List - Organic Animal Feed Suppliers
  • List - Restricted Antibiotics
  • Factsheet - Feather Pecking in Poultry
  • Factsheet - Foot Pad Dermatitis in Poultry
  • Factsheet - Mortality in Poultry
  • Facthseet - Range Management in Poultry
  • Factsheet - Withdrawal Periods
  • Guide - Poultry Layer Production

Links to external information

Market information

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