New Regulations for Organic Eggs
NOSB is updating regulations for organically raised chickens
USDA's organic chicken regulations are intended to foster natural behavior for the animals. So, the Livestock Committee of the USDA's National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has recommended that definitions should be added to the National Organic Program (NOP) Handbook to refine what "outdoor access" means when it comes to organically raised chickens.
The NOSB defines outdoor conditions should include open air and direct sunshine, and that wood, metal, or concrete "porches" do not meet the criteria of outdoor access. Also, birds must have large exit doors distributed around the buildings they live in, ensuring all birds not only have ready outdoor access, but many can exit simultaneously (not single file).
Many organic producers already meet or exceed these parameters. Tightening the standards will ensure that all organic producers are following the practices to maintain certified organic status.