What is the difference between organic chicken and regular chicken?

Chicken labels, nutrition and flavors between organic and regular chicken can be confusing. Therefore, what is the difference between organic chicken and regular chicken?

Organic chicken should be fed 100% organic feed, grown without the use of antibiotics, and raised outdoors. Normal chickens are not required to be fed organically, they are allowed to be treated with antibiotics, and they do not need to have outdoor access. Organic chicken is more expensive.

This article will consider the differences between the two in more detail. I will also examine if there are any differences in nutritional and taste between organic and regular chicken. This article will help you make the most informed decision when choosing one or the other, or provide answers to your questions.

What Makes Organic Chicken “Organic”?​

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Organic Feed

Organic chickens are only allowed to eat 100% certified organic feed. This includes organically produced grains, additives, forages and feed additives. Water additives, minerals and vitamins must be approved. Antibiotics, animal by-products, synthetic preservatives and GMO products are not allowed in any feed product. Agricultural materials such as soybean oil or molasses must be certified organic.

The feed should be free of animal pesticides or hormones to promote growth. Any kitchen or garden scraps should also be certified organic.

Organic Life​

Living conditions must provide:

  • Adequate ventilation.
  • Adequate clean water supply.
  • Bedding such as straw or straw must be certified organic.
  • Chickens should have access to the outdoors, shade, shelter, fresh air, and direct sunlight all year.
  • Chickens cannot be confined to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and prevent them from moving freely.
  • Outdoor access may be restricted due to inclement weather or conditions that could endanger the health or safety of the chicken.

Organic chicken farms require annual inspections. Although chickens must have outside access, the standards do not tell farmers exactly how much space the chickens should have access to.

Treated lumber cannot be used in construction that comes into contact with soil or chickens.

A certified organic slaughter facility should be used for slaughter.

The land used for pasture must be suitable for organic certification.

Organic Health

  • Chickens should be provided with the opportunity to exercise, freedom of movement and reduce stress.
  • Preventive vaccines and other veterinary biologics are allowed.
  • Physical changes are allowed when necessary for the chicken’s health, and care is taken to minimize pain and stress.
  • It is not allowed to stop the medical treatment to maintain the organic state.
  • It is not allowed to label chickens as organic treated with antibiotics, a synthetic not on the National list, or any prohibited non-synthetic substance.

Organic chicken should be from a chicken that is under continuous organic management from the second day of life. Chicken must be labeled with the term “100% organic” or “Organic” and include the organic seal.

What Makes Ordinary Chicken “Normal”?​

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Normal chickens do not need to have open access. They can be kept indoors and inside their cages. These cages house multiple chickens within the cage with little room for movement.

They exercise less and don’t get much sunlight.

Normal chickens may be given antibiotics to help them stay healthy or to treat their illness.

Normal chickens are more susceptible to infections and diseases due to their living conditions. This may result in more antibiotic use. Additionally, these chickens are more likely to be more aggressive and experience more stress.

A normal chicken may be without antibiotics, but not on organic feed.

Organic Chicken vs. Normal Chicken Nutrient Comparison

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Organic chicken and regular chicken contain similar numbers of minerals and vitamins. Protein content is also the same. The difference between organic and regular chicken is the amount of fat in the skin.

Organic chicken contains approximately 5-13% less fat in its skin than normal. Even after the skin has been removed, both chickens have similar fat content.

Some previous research has determined that organic chicken contains slightly more fatty acids than regular chicken. Although the omega-3 number is a small number to begin with, it does not provide much advantage for organic. ()

Organic Chicken Or Regular Chicken More Nutritious?​

Organic and regular chicken contain similar numbers of minerals, vitamins and protein. Organic chicken skin has less fat, but after skin removal, both contain a similar number of fats.

A study published by Stanford University in 2012 found little evidence of the health benefits of organic foods.

Chicken is an excellent food for a low-carb diet like Keto. Contains zero carbohydrates.

What is the taste difference between organic and regular chicken?

Most studies show no difference in taste and texture between organic and regular chicken. In the taste-blind flavors, the participants did not show any preference between the two types of chicken.

Some studies, where participants already knew which chicken was which, showed that organic chicken was tastier for most people.

Since organic chicken has more fat in its skin, the difference in flavor may be greater if the skin is left, compared to skinless chicken.

Organic chicken and regular chicken can be used interchangeably in recipes. Taste and texture are similar, and the same cooking methods can be used for both types of chicken.

Organic Chicken vs Regular Chicken: Which Costs More?​

When purchasing any type of chicken, be sure to check the label to see if the chicken is organic or regular. This makes a difference in terms of cost.

So which is more expensive, organic or regular chicken?

Organic chicken is 36% more expensive than regular chicken. The average cost of organic chicken is 70 TL per kg of organic whole chicken, and the average cost of normal chicken is 22 Turkish Liras.

Organic chicken always costs more than regular chicken, and there’s good reason for this increased price. Raising organic chickens takes more time and resources than raising regular chickens. Soil, land, structures and feed all cost more to maintain and purchase.

Antibiotic Hazards in Chicken

What are the risks of eating regular antibiotic-injected chicken?

Injecting antibiotics into chickens can make chickens “drug resistant”, meaning that bacteria can survive in chickens after being treated with medication. The bacteria can then be transferred to humans when consumed.

According to the CDC, more than 600,000 people a year develop an antibiotic-resistant infection from something they eat each year. This might be a good time to ask, is organic chicken really better for you?

Organic chicken is better than regular chicken as it is not treated with antibiotics or any drugs. Organic chicken is fed healthier organic feed and allowed to live outdoors with less stress. Organic chicken skin contains less fat, saturated fat and calories than regular chicken skin.

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