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Organic egg production is increasing in Europe, where the highest market shares of organic eggs are seen in Scandinavia, Austria and Switzerland. In order to produce organic eggs, hens must have access to outdoor pasture with either good quality grass/herbs or supplemental forage material such as fresh hay, silage or vegetables that is fed to egg layers on a daily basis. Requirements for outdoor areas as well as practices regarding access to foraging material vary considerably between countries in Europe. In some countries, e.g., Denmark, feeding forage material is mandatory. Many producers have installed automatic equipment that can spread silage several times per day, often in a veranda area.

Organic poultry producers can obtain poultry feed in different ways. Some farms purchase complete compound feeds or buy a protein concentrate from a local feed manufacturer to mix with cereals grown on their farm. Other producers have the possibility to use home-grown ingredients to a large extent because they grow cereals and some protein sources on their own land. The supply of protein and essential amino acids will be a great challenge for organic egg producers when the transition to 100% organic feed ingredients becomes a reality. Increased use of regionally grown resources is required to avoid the import of organic protein feed from non-European countries and to strengthen the sustainability of organic poultry production in Europe.


TitleIssuing organisationYear of releaseRating
AVIFAF©Chambre Régionale d’Agriculture des Pays de la...2015
Fulfilling 100 % organic poultry diets: roughage and foraging from the rangeOrganic Research Centre ORC, Elm Farm2015
Grass protein - a golden chance to improve organic farmingSEGES2018
Making poultry feed more sustainableOrganic Research Centre ORC, Elm Farm2012
Planting an outdoor area for organic laying hensØkologisk Landsforening2015
Poultry feeding in organic farmingFrench Research Institute for Organic Farming ITAB2015
Proteins from organically grown green crops are promising poultry feedICROFS: International Centre for Research in...2014
Roughage for organic laying hensØkologisk Landsforening (Danish Organic National...2009
Silage feeding for laying hens (OK-Net Ecofeed Practice Abstract)Aarhus University (AU)2019
Using local raw material for broiler feed in organic farmingITAB , Chambre d’agricultures des Pays de la Loire , IBB , INRA2016

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