Eggs and Poultry

Chickens are the secret superstars among our farm animals. They not only provide meat and eggs, but are also smart and sociable.

Demeter poultry are kept in flocks with roosters, with room to scratch and roam outside, allowing space for natural behaviour. The result is eggs and meat that are fresh, full of flavour and have a naturally balanced nutritional content, providing us with the nourishment nature intended.

Eggs from Demeter farms

Demeter eggs come from hens kept in a manner appropriate to their species. They live in smaller flocks and have daily access to an outside area with shrubs and other plant life. They are allowed the room to scratch and walk and behave as they naturally would, allowing them to lay excellent quality eggs without stress. Flocks of hens also have roosters present, to maintain their natural pecking order. This means there is no need for beak docking, which is not allowed on Demeter farms. The result is eggs that are full of flavour and have a naturally balanced nutritional content, providing us with the nourishment nature intended.

Guided by the cockerels, our hens roam freely 24/7. This encourages them to express their natural behaviour and source their food whenever, wherever! This is also a great way to naturally fertilize the land, spreading valuable nutrients through their manure. This guarantees a productive orchard but more importantly, it creates a balanced and self-sufficient ecosystem.

Daniel Hoeberichts, Orchards Eggs farm in East Sussex, United Kingdom

Benefits of Demeter Poultry Standards

  • 100% organic feed of which 70% is biodynamically produced.
  • Daily grain feed for scratching and pecking
  • Demeter standards require more space on perches, at the feed trough and at drinking stations than organic regulations
  • Barns are required to have multi-climate areas with daylight, allowing access to an exercise yard and outdoor run
  • Beak clipping is prohibited

Leading the way in breeding

Modern poultry breeding has resulted in breeds that are specialised either as laying hens or as meat birds.  Both specialisations have short lives with a production focus, bred to produce lots of eggs for a short time, or to fatten quickly.  There are some really negative consequences to this kind of breeding, including the culling of male chicks of layer breeds.

This does not sit well with Demeter farmers who are always looking for better welfare solutions and has led to initiatives to return to ‘heritage’ and ‘dual-purpose’ breeds.  Traditionally, chickens had to be able to grow sustainably and slowly, allowing hens to produce a constant supply of eggs and all the birds raised for eating. 

Learning from the wisdom of the past sometimes gives farmers a way to work with the problems of the present. There are now pioneer farmers working intensively on the development of dual purpose breeds, establishing biodynamic parent flocks and developing their own hatcheries.

This means that all chicks can be raised for meat and eggs and results in robust, healthy and slow growing birds that produce flavourful poultry products without stress.

This radical approach to raising poultry is led by Demeter farmers, working with other organic associations to focus on the raising of dual-purpose chickens.  This is a challenge that needs the willingness of the whole supply chain to value animal welfare and the time it takes, even if it means that eggs and meat come at a higher price. We are convinced that animal welfare is worth it. 

Learn more at organic-breeding.org

Demeter eggs & poultry

Find your Demeter food at farmers markets and farm shops, in natural health food stores and supermarkets.

about our quality standards

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