How does organic farming work?

The regulations for organic farming and animal husbandry are contained in EC Reg. 834/07 and EC Reg. 889/08, which contain the general principles, fields and methods of application of organic farming and animal husbandry, as well as the list of substances that may be used. An organic livestock farm cannot contain more than 3,000 laying hens or 4,800 broilers per house (shed). As in free-range, in an organic farm the chickens also have access to an outdoor area (in Canada organic is indoors because it is too cold there in winter). They therefore have more space and can experience more ‘natural’ conditions. In organic farming, phytotherapeutic products such as plant extracts, homeopathic products and trace elements can be used. Allopathic medicines (a system of treatment that uses medicines that forcibly produce in the organism into which they are introduced a state opposite to the disease state) and antibiotics may only be used under the supervision of a veterinarian and only if they serve to reduce the animal’s suffering. The products used for organic livestock feed must come from at least 30% organic cultivation. One of the advantages of organic chicken farming is the better quality of life for the animals, which are free to roam freely in the open air in an area with few animals and vegetation. One of the negative aspects of organic chicken is the selling price of the final product, which is higher than for conventional products. The selling price may even double, but it is justified by a higher production cost, more investment needed to maintain production and more intensive and tiring work.