We try hard to make sure that the animals who share the farm with us are fed well and treated well. Our chickens and turkeys are always provided with access to pasture as soon as they are old enough to be safe, but, we do also supplement them with feed to make sure that they are getting all the nutrients they need.
In our area there are three 16% Protein Organic or Non-GMO options available to us via retail: Buxton Feed, Scratch and Peck Feed, and Rogue Poultry Feed. All are available in 40lb bags, which is what I compare in the chart below:
|Brand||Feed Source||Feed Type||Retail Price|
|Buxton Feed||Non-GMO, Soy and Corn Free||Layer Pellet||$21|
|Scratch and Peck||Certified Organic, Soy and Corn Free||Layer Mash||$27|
|Rogue (Grange Co-op)||Certified Organic||Layer Crumble||$22|
Rogue’s organic feed is a crumble. Rogue’s feed ingredients are significantly different, and to be honest, not something we prefer to feed our animals because of the dependency on Corn and Soy (even organic, there are other reasons to avoid these). Rogue is the organic feed available for retail nearest us, though, so we wanted to give it a try! First 8 ingredients:
Organic Grains, Organic Corn, Organic Barley, Organic Soybean Meal, Monocalcium Phosphase, Vitamin Premix
Buxton Feed prodices their feed as a pellet. They used to mill feed for Scratch and Peck, so they are intimately familiar with the ingredients used, and the two feeds are virtually identical ingredient lists. We find that the pellet format results in a significant amount of feed dust in the bag, which our hens tend to leave behind in their feeders. First 8 ingredients:
Peas, wheat, barley, camelina meal, common vetch, cane molasses, Limestone, oyster shell
Scratch and Peck produces their feed as a “mash”, in which basically the same ingredients that go into Buxton’s pellets are offered in their original form (the peas are cracked, as they’d be too big otherwise). First 8 ingredients:
Organic Wheat, Organic Peas, Organic Barley, Organic Linseed Meal, Organic Camelina Meal, Limestone, Oyster Shell, Fish Meal
What they eat goes into the eggs that we eat! Given the three choices above, which one would you rather eat? On the farm, our choice is Scratch and Peck – if we picked out the limestone and oyster shell, it looks good enough to boil up for dinner. You can see from the chart above that that choice comes with an increased price… we think it’s worth it. We hope you agree!