Germany: new research projects on organic chickens launched (IT)


With over three million euros, the Federal Organic Farming Program and other forms of sustainable agriculture (BÖLN) has funded two new research projects on organic poultry.

The general objective of the "Öko2Huhn" and "RegioHuhn" projects is to rear breeds for the production of eggs and meat that are more suitable to the peculiarities of organic breeding and feeding, because so far, most organic poultry farms have worked with conventional agriculture oriented farming due to the lack of “organic” alternatives.

In the "Öko2Huhn" project, the structures that have already been created and the rearing of well known breeds and crosses such as Bresse, New Hampshire, or Coffee and Cream, derive from a previous project. A number of performance tests are also planned in several holdings, and a breeding line for Sundheim chickens will also be established. The project was implemented by research teams from the universities of Hohenheim, Eberswalde and Weihenstephan-Triesdorf in collaboration with Bioland Beratung GmbH and Ökologische Tierzucht GmbH (ÖTZ).

In the "RegioHuhn" project, endangered chicken breeds such as Augsburger, Bielefeld Kennhuhn or Ramelsloher chickens are bred with high-performance animals from commercial poultry farms in order to obtain animals with good performance on eggs deposition or fattening specific for organic farming. Numerous fattening and slaughtering tests are also planned for this project.

In both projects, dual-use economic analyses and evaluations based on animal welfare indicators are also undertaken. Field tests in the farms allow continuous practical observation.

In addition to these two major projects, BÖLN supports other research projects to promote organic poultry farming. Particular attention is paid to the health of organic turkeys and to the supply of amino acids and vitamins based on their needs. Finally, a search for solutions to minimize the intake of nutrients in open chicken coops dedicated to laying hens is underway at the University of Kassel, while a study on the use of organic eggs that cannot be marketed has been launched at the Institute for Rural Structural Research (IFLS).

Source: BÖLN - Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau und andere Formen nachhaltiger Landwirtschaft