What is our Chicken Feed All About?

In Chickens on June 7, 2008 at 11:05 am

So, I promised that on another day, I would discuss the ingredients and foods that our chickens are consuming. It is pretty simple:  during the day, they scratch and peck at worms, grasses,  bugs, etc, all of the natural little things that live in the ground and pasture. In addition, they eat a mixture of scratch: corn and oats.  For the entree each day, they eat Poulin chicken feed. Poulin is a Vermont family run business, that does not add creepy and scary ingredients to their feeds — plus they are more or less LOCAL — thus decreasing the food miles that the chickens are using. Do you really want to know what is in the chicken feed? Well, for one, there are no by-products of other animals (a popular first or second ingredient in many chicken feeds), and there are no medications, no hormones, no icky things that we would not naturally consume ourselves.

Here they are: the Ingredients:
Grain products, plant protein products, processed grain by-products, calcium carbonate, omega 3 supplement, monocalcium phosphate, vegetable oil, sodium bicarbonate, salt, saccharomyces cerevisiae (the technical name for Brewer’s Yeast), choline chloride (a an organic compound and a quaternary ammonium salt), forage products, DL methionine (an essential amino acid), magnesium oxide, zinc oxide, mineral oil, magnesium potassium sulfate, iron carbonate, vitamin E, niacin, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-12, vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin D, riboflavin, biotin, sodium selenite, pyridoxine HCL (basically vitamin B6: it balances of sodium and potassium and promotes red blood cell production), vitamin K, cobalt carbonate, calcium iodate, thiamine.

There, that wasn’t so scary, was it?  No, the feed is not organic. If it were, we would need to charge about $5 a dozen for our eggs. Not only do I think that price structure is unfeasible in our current economic climate, but I also believe that the grain that we are using is perfectly safe and healthy.

Personally, we would LOVE to use all organic products for our animals, and eat all organic foods for our family — but right now, it isn’t in the cards. Consider us the next best thing.

Rest assured that the hens are healthy and happy — they eat their vitamins and minerals, roam around and play in the dirt (take dirt baths) and lay some of the tastiest and most beautiful eggs out there. Try some today.  Stop by the farm, or visit us at the Farmers Market at 401 Chapman Street, Greenfield, MA 01301, Tuesday from 3 to 6 — at the Guiding Star Grange Farmers Market.

Eat local, buy fresh.


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