Themes and discussion

Find out more about organic arable farming and organic livestock husbandry, join the discussions, and exchange ideas and information with colleagues and scientists.

> Animal health

> Animal health

One of the objectives of organic farming is to keep livestock healthy as a matter of principle, primarily by taking preventive measures. Livestock health depends on a range of factors such as the environment, feeding, housing, social behaviour within the herd or flock as well as general management and husbandry. Holistic animal health strategies consider all these factors; together, they underpin preventive herd/flock health management.

When food-producing animals fall ill they are largely treated using orthodox veterinary medicines, such as antibiotics. However, frequent use of antibiotics results in the development of antibiotics-resistant micro-organisms and these are now often found in farm animals. Moreover, via the animals’ faeces and urine such antibiotics-resistant micro-organisms are discharged into the environment where they may only slowly degrade.

In organic farming, preference is to be given to treating sick animals using complementary veterinary practices (e.g. phytotherapy or homoeopathy). Chemically-synthesized veterinary medication is to be reduced to a minimum and should only be resorted to in emergencies.

On this page, you can find tools and resources to help you keep your livestock healthy, and you can discuss the topic with others.


Planting an outdoor area for organic laying hensLatest tool

Planting an outdoor area for organic laying hens

The booklet focuses on designing free-range areas for laying hens in order to: - increase the farmer's satisfaction in his/her work; - improve the…

More


Tools

TitleIssuing organisationYear of releaseRating
Feeding grass silage to fattening pigs (OK-Net Ecofeed Practice Abstract)Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)20194.3 (3)
Foraging of broilers in outdoor areas (OK-Net Ecofeed Practice Abstract)Aarhus University AU2019
Foraging of pigs in outdoor areas (OK-Net Ecofeed Practice Abstract)Aarhus University2020
Improving health and welfare of pigs - A handbook for organic pig farmersResearch Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)2015
Planting an outdoor area for organic laying hensØkologisk Landsforening2015
Relevance of roughage feeding to pigs (OK-Net Ecofeed Practice Abstract)Research Institute of Organic Agriculure FiBL2019