Organic chicken feed is at the center of making the switch to raising organic chickens. If you aren't feeding your flock organically, you aren't raising organic chickens.
I recently began trying my very best to eat organic. The switch was a personal choice, predominately for health reasons. I will not bore you with all the reasons why, but basically I became convinced that you can live a longer, healthier life by trying to avoid the intake of as many man made chemicals and pesticides as possible.
People believe many different things on this subject, but I do believe that many of the health problems that we have today, including cancer, can be linked back in most cases to introducing foreign chemicals into our bodies.
You also must look at the obesity problems that we have in America today. It is said that over 60% of the population is obese. Why? In many cases again, you can link this back to what we put into our bodies.
You notice that obesity doesn't necessarily follow socioeconomic status as it used to. 100 years ago, if you were overweight, chances are that you had money.
That is in many cases reversed today. Cheap food is often the worst food for you. Why? Because the cheap food often has the most man-made additives in them, which causes obesity, which causes health problems.
Alright, sorry I got side tracked, but back to organic chicken feed. Why is organic meat more expensive? Because you have
to feed your chickens organic feed and that is more expensive and time consuming.
Why is organic chicken feed more expensive?
This question has a pretty simple answer as well. It is supply and demand. As more farmers go organic, not even counting the growing numbers of backyard chicken growers and homesteaders, the demand for organic feed is going up and the supply is still relatively low.
There are not a lot of commercial producers of organic crops. Most of the organic crops are coming from small farms and local farmers.
In the agricultural big picture, and as a consumer, I think that this is a good thing. Why? It is going to hopefully give the small farmer a new much needed niche in overall agriculture again.
In the last twenty years the small farmer has become a thing of the past. Personally I believe that this has been part of the problem in the industry. Local growers can now find a growing niche by going organic.
Numerous agricultural universities are now doing studies on this very thing. They are trying to develop good crop rotations that can help supply organic chicken feed, as well as other organic feeds.
As time goes on, if the organic revolution continues, we will slowly see prices begin to come down as everything evens out.
In the meantime, you ask, how can I provide organic chicken feed for my backyard flock? Your options are to either mix your own feed, or to buy off the shelf organic mixes.
If you do enough research, you can find suppliers for both of these niches. Look online and you can find Yahoo groups and many blogs related to organic feed.
A simple solution may be to search out farmers in your area. What are they growing and how are they growing it?
If you have a small flock and you let them free range, it may be much simpler to order some organic feed to supplement the protein that they are receiving from eating the bugs while free ranging.
Like anything with raising chickens, you can make it as simple or as complicated as you want. If you choose to mix your own feed take into consideration if your birds free range and other factors that may be local to your area.
Find the right mixture. A simple search online for organic chicken feed mixtures can give you many ideas.
If you want to order your own feed or to buy some off the shelf at your feed store, the National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service is a good place to start your search.
They have a state by state search to get you started with finding organic "off-the-shelf" feed.
There are many benefits to using organic chicken feed and raising organic chickens. It is helping small farmers get back in the business, it is producing healthier foods, and it is helping to continue what is becoming a revolution.
How do you keep the major farming corporations from taking over? How do we assure ourselves that we will have a sustainable safe food source? By doing it ourselves.
My hats off to the people who are now beginning to take the time and effort of sustainable living and homesteading. Raising organic chickens is a good place to start.