On Saturday, September 7th, I visited a poultry farm that used techniques to produce organic chicken. I was a meat farm that had four large houses, each with openings to let the chickens outside during the day (a prerequisite for a poultry product to be considered ‘organic’). The farm was run by a woman named Georgie Cartanza, who introduced us to her farm and to the poultry world with a presentation that went over the industry’s history and possible directions for it’s future.
At the farm we witnessed the processes that create organic chickens. For instance, they need shade structures in their aforementioned outside area, structures like ramps and bully bins for play, windows for natural light, and they need a diet of non-GMO food.
Doing these things (and more) allow her to sell her product at a higher price because it is organic, however, there are many downsides to producing this kind of product. Because the chickens can be outside, they are more vulnerable to predators, and the feed for the chickens is more expensive. Due to the pros and cons of each method of production, poultry farmers must decide if organic chicken production is worth it and more profitable for them.