The organic movement establishes standards for all aspects of farming and food production. It therefore has standards for eggs.All eggg, including chicken, duck, turkey, qualil and guinea fowl can be governed by organic standards
When dealing with eggs we must be aware of the different egg categories. Battery eggs are eggs produced in cages, but there are also barn eggs, in which the birds are housed in a barn. These differ from free-range eggs in which the birds have access to the outdoors. Some terms are confusing. Cage free might mean that the eggs are still barn eggs, but not battery. Organic eggs are free-range plus extra standards. Free range in itself does not guarantee that the eggs meet organic standards, though free range eggs are produced to high standards of animal welfare.
The free range requirement holds for organic eggs. The chickens must have access to the outdoors for a significant part of the day and be able to express natural pecking behaviour. They must also be free from routine applicaton of antibiotics, which can only be administered when the birds are sick. Forced moulting is not allowed.This is the cruel practice of starving the birds for a short period to ensure that they all moult at once, which is for the famer's convenience, but not for the birds'.
The main requirement for organic eggs is that the birds are fed an organic diet. This means that they must eat food grown by certified organic farmers. To achieve certified status farmers must meet the requirements of the Soil Association or another legimate certifying body. The food must not contain genetically modified crops and crops that have been cross-fertilised by genetically modified crops are not permitted. Furthermore, the birds must not be fed animal by-products, such as meat remains.
Organic eggs must be produced by birds that are reared to standards of animal welfare that meet the requirement sof the Soil Association. Eggs can only sold as organic if they are produced by a farmer who is registed to produce eggs with the Soil Association or another legitimate certification body that meets the requirements of the state in which it is established.