Organic Feed

Discussion in 'Livestock' started by COSunflower, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. COSunflower

    COSunflower Country Girl Supporter

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    What is your favorite organic layer feed? I free range my chickens all year but in the winter need to give them purchased feed as well. We do have an organic feed that we can buy here but it is very expensive - $25 for 20 lb bag. And I guess another thing is that I would prefer it to be non-GMO and I think most reg. feeds use GMO corn and soy etc. Any thoughts on the subject? Ideas?
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Not sure what GMO would be in organic feeds. Most are created to make use of a pesticide. Short of growing your own you have to reconcile the higher cost with the higher value of the product and the fact the grower took a hit on yield a lot of the time. Buying in bulk is difficult but the only way I know of to off set per bag cost.
     
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  3. farmerDale

    farmerDale Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wheat is an option for the feed base rather than corn. No gm wheat. But then there is no gm organic either, so it really shouldn't matter. Organic stuff is all about the premium, so trying to find cheap organic feed is not going to be easy.

    Hard to help from Saskatchewan when you are in Oregon, but my only advice is to shop around as best you can, or try and find an organic directory for your state or such, and connect directly with some farmers? Also, do you want non gm, or organic, because there seems to be some confusion in what you are looking for maybe?
     
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  4. 92utownxj

    92utownxj Well-Known Member

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    Around me I've seen organic layer feed for $25 for 35 pounds. Also, $35 for 50 pounds. More or less the same price per pound. I can also get 50 pounds of non GMO for $19. Regular layer feed is $11 to $15 for 50 pounds.

    After saying all that, you need to decide what it's worth to you. We can't justify organic feed at all when most people buying or eggs just want local eggs from the farm. We'd have to about double our price per dozen to make the same. Non GMO would also be doable, but so far only one or 2 people have asked about that. We're in an area with a huge local food movement too. We actually just had a customer ask about organic and soy free which definitely isn't feasible do to costs.
     
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  5. COSunflower

    COSunflower Country Girl Supporter

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    I only raise a few chickens to supply eggs for myself and family. The organic feed that we have local is not GMO free (the corn) but there is a feed mill about 25 miles from me that I will call and check on. You would think that something grown organically would be GMO free also but that isn't always the case sadly. GMO seed may have been used although grown organically.
     
  6. 92utownxj

    92utownxj Well-Known Member

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    True organic feed is also non GMO. That's part of the requirement.
     
  7. sammyd

    sammyd Well-Known Member

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  8. BlueRidgeFarms

    BlueRidgeFarms Well-Known Member

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    If it's USDA Certified Organic, no GMO seed was used. There is a small potential for some trace pollen from a neighboring field to introduce a trace amount of GMO genetics to the crop, but it would be less than 1%
     
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  9. DisasterCupcake

    DisasterCupcake Crazy Goat Lady

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    Kalmbach Feeds commercial brand is widely available in this area at almost all the feed elevators. They have Organic, and non-gmo options.

    Personally I buy a local feed called simply Naturals Feed. Its non-gmo and the mill will make me soy-free. At a fraction of the cost, it's good quality and I prefer it over Organic certified that is available here.

    Grahams Organic Feed is also available through TSC or Family Farm and Home stores, although I think the quality is poor, and the price is steep. It's a lot better price than the other Organic certified feeds from those stores, though.

    We also have a local mill that does certified Organic- Raub Raye (sp?) farms, and they will do soy-free as well. But The quality of their feed I find is comparable to the Naturals Feeds, which is far cheaper priced.
     
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  10. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When I had chickens I bought wheat and oats from a local farmer, as well as some corn. I got sunflower seeds from TSC. I put it out and they ate as they chose. Once spring kicked in they stopped eating the oats. As they could forage more and more they got less and less seeds and grain until they foraged only.

    Buying locally guaranteed that what I was buying had been grown that summer. You can also ask what has been sprayed on it.
     
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  11. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    While some wheat does get sprayed for rust, I've never heard of anyone spraying chemicals on oats or Spelt. Unless you were really picky, you could buy oats or spelt locally, talk to the farmer to make sure it wasn't sprayed, and be sure that it was non-GMO and chemical free. You could also just buy the feed that says certified organic on the bag.
     
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  12. FarmerKat

    FarmerKat Well-Known Member

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    Do you have any friends that raise chickens? Ask them where they get their feed. We formed a small feed co-op with fellow homeschoolers in the area and get non-GMO feed shipped to us 3 times a year from a farm about 5 hours away. By combining our order, we save a ton on shipping and layer feed came to $16/50lbs (including shipping). It is not organic but the quality beats organic layer pellets at TSC (which are $25/40 lbs).

    Since you mention you only have a few hens, would it be worth it to mix your own by buying organic grains from places that sell bulk grains (like Azure Standard, Honeyville, Breadbeckers, etc.)?
     
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  13. kdalton324

    kdalton324 Well-Known Member

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    Not that this will help you much, but we get out layer feed locally. There is a farmer near us who grows crops specifically for making organic animal feed. He drops our order off to another closer farm every three weeks in big plastic tubs. But we use New Country Organics for our rabbit feed. They do have a chicken feed, but I don't know if there are any distributors in your area, we are lucky that there is a woman who carries the feed near our farm. I know you can always look into becoming a distributor for them. If you go through enough feed or have a few other local organic farmers in the area it might be worth it.
     
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  14. COSunflower

    COSunflower Country Girl Supporter

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    Thanks Everyone!!! Organic feed at our local feed store that most people use is also $25 or $26 for 40 lbs. We DO have a feed mill about 25 miles from here where I used to buy food grade wheat for making bread. I am going to call and see what non-GMO grains that they have and mix my own since I only have 3 hens left now (lost another 8 year old one a couple days ago). They are mostly pets although I get an egg or 2 every other day still. I have a friend that has LOTS of different poultry and drops me off a dozen chicken, duck and turkey eggs each week. :) My hens are OLD ones that we hatched at school 8 years ago! VERY tame and I like to feed them healthy foods. :)
     
  15. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    All oats are non-GMO and rare that anyone would spray oats with anything. In some areas, Spelt is available for about the cost of oats. Right now I'm selling 50# bags of oats for $6.00 and 42# bags of Spelt for $5.00.
     
  16. Sandi

    Sandi Well-Known Member

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    I make my own whole grain feed and sprout it, also for a small flock. I buy the ingredients from Azure Standard, which sells the best priced organic livestock grains I've seen. The mix varies some, and sometimes I buy cheaper bags of mixed scratch grains when they have them so occasionally there is another type of grain thrown in. But my general mix is 1 part whole corn, 1 part sunflower seeds, 1 part wheat, 1 part oats. A little more corn in the mix in winter. It's all organic. With whole grain sprouted feed you don't need as much both because more of the nutrients are retained and they don't waste any--I dump it straight on the ground and they eat it all. I mix in organic kelp meal (about 5%) and crushed egg shell/oyster shell free choice. You can add a nutrient balancer or something if you feel you need it.
     
  17. Green Barn

    Green Barn Member

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    You can grow some rows of your own corn for cheap and you know for sure what's in it....if you got the space...don't know how much you need a year
     
  18. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I like your suggestion to add a vitamin and mineral supplement.
     
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  19. greenTgoats

    greenTgoats Well-Known Member

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    We use Hiland Naturals. It's certified non-GMO, but not certified organic.
     
  20. Avodah

    Avodah Active Member

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    I'm trying to figure this out for myself. I can't afford organic feed, an non gmo is very affordable. But I have been finding very conflicting info on weather it is really better for the environment or not. Why do you choose to buy non gmo?