Livestock eligibility for organic transition

Which livestock are eligible for organic transition?

Dairy animals

You can transition a distinct herd of dairy animals to organic over a one-year period of time, only one time, and only if your operation is not already certified for organic livestock and has never transitioned dairy animals to organic. We’ve outlined specific considerations for feed, pasture and breeding stock below.

Conventional poultry may be converted to organic production (meat and eggs) only if it was raised organically beginning the second day of life (e.g., “day-old chicks”).

Which livestock are not eligible for organic transition?

Slaughter stock

Under no circumstances can conventional animals be converted or sold as organic slaughter stock. Animals that have transitioned to organic dairy production are not eligible for organic slaughter.

However, slaughter stock under full organic management beginning no later than the third trimester of gestation is eligible for certification. The mother cow — or other animal — must be managed organically for at least the last third of gestation before the slaughter animal was born.

Older poultry grown under conventional management are allowed only as breeder stock for the production of hatching eggs. Neither the conventional birds nor their eggs can be sold as organic.

Formerly organic livestock

You may not transition any animal that was once certified organic after certification is forfeited.

What can I feed my milking animal during transition?

Milking animals in transition must be fed certified organic feed and pasture or third year transitioning crops from the operations own land. If third year transitioning feed is consumed during the transitioning period of a milking animal in their last third of gestation, the offspring born will also be considered transitioned and not organic slaughter eligible.

What do I need to know about transitioning breeding stock?

Breeding stock do not require a transition process. However, for offspring to be considered organic, the mother must be managed organically from the last third of gestation (pregnancy).

Do I need to transition all my pasture before transitioning my livestock?

Dairy animals in transition may be fed pasture and feedstuffs harvested from any of your fields that are in the third and final year of transition to organic certification.

Third-year transitional pasture and feed must meet all the organic requirements with the exception of land history. Once livestock in transition are eligible for organic certification, they may no longer be fed transitional feed. Consider timing your pasture and cropland transition to be completed at the same time (or prior to) the completion of your animals’ transition. You must keep records that confirm requirements were met throughout the conversion year.

Get Forms & Documents

Download the documents and forms you need.

Access Blank Forms

Still need help?

Our team is here to assist you.

Contact Support