There are two questions that I get asked on a daily basis about the Hiland Naturals Feed. What makes this feed better and why should I pay more money for feed?
To try and explain this, I'll start by telling you what is in commercial chicken feed. I'm not going to name any particular company but this is usually what you will see on the tag: Processed Grain By-Products, Plant Protein Products, Molasses Products, Roughage Products, and then the long list of words you can't pronounce let alone know what they mean. Some feeds use Animal Protein By-Products. So what ARE the ones that I mentioned above??
First - The definition of a BY-PRODUCT: Secondary product derived from a manufacturing process or chemical reaction.
Processed Grain By-Products: Wheat millrun, distillers dried grains, corn gluten meal, brewers dried grains, malt sprouts, wheat middling, bran products.
Plant Protein Products: Soybean meal, canola meal, cottonseed meal, pea by-products, yeast products.
Molasses Products: Beet and cane molasses, molasses distillers dried solubles.
Roughage Products: Soybean hulls, millrun, cottonseed hulls, beet pulp.
Animal Protein By-Products: Meat, bone, animal by-product meal (this means ground up feathers, feet, bone, fat, and other items not fit for human consumption), blood meal, fish meal, poultry meal, hydrolyzed feather meal, milk, and whey products.
So exactly WHAT does this mean? What is in the feed??? Basically - it's whatever is cheapest that the manufacturer was able to buy that was left over from some other process. From one batch to the next - the commercial feed is never the same because the poor ingredients are never the same and remember those ingredients have already been processed to get something out of them and these are the LEFTOVERS! Then they have to have sugar (molasses products) to make it sweet so that the animals want to eat it and then they have to dump a bunch of unpronounceable additives in it in order to make it a "sustaining" feed.
Think of this way - you are eating a salad that is half brown and rotten. You picked out all the still green and crunchy parts to eat. Then you pass the salad on to the next person. All that's left is brown, soggy, nasty salad and that person has to eat it. Doesn't sound good does it? That's essentially what you are feeding your livestock and poultry - LEFTOVER, nasty, and spent food.
So what is a GMO grain? This could be a whole post in itself, but I'm not going to go there. There are website dedicated to the education of GMO's. The definition of a GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM is: an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Simplified terms - Most of the corn produced in the world is GMO corn. It's been altered so that the corn can be sprayed with Round Up and continue to LIVE and produce corn. Yuck!! That means that YOU and your animals are eating ROUND UP!! Which by the way, on the Round Up WARNING label, it states HAZARDS TO HUMANS AND ANIMALS.
End of rant - go to www.nongmoproject.org to learn more.
So hopefully by now, your eyes are a little wider and you're thinking "I can't feed this stuff anymore" and hopefully you're thinking I CAN'T EAT THIS STUFF ANYMORE because YOU ARE!
So I'll take this opportunity to tell you about my search for a better livestock feed. The long and short of it is that I'm eating these animals. I'm eating the products of these animals. I eat the meat and eggs and so does my family. I wouldn't purposely put all those by-products in my body, so WHY ON EARTH would I want my animals to eat them? This got my started on my search for a better feed. I found out very quickly that there was not any non-GMO feeds anywhere near me. During my searches, I found other people just like me that wanted a better feed. One thing led to another and we discovered Hiland Naturals feed. Hiland really goes "beyond Organic" for their non-GMO feed. Every batch is tested for GMO and ONLY non-GMO grains are accepted. All feeds are subjected to mold and mycotoxin assays. Only grains that meet USDA minimum test rates are purchased - weight is an idicator of nutrient density - the higher the better. There is a diversity of grains! All feeds are fortified with Jerry Brunetti of Agri-Dynamics Nature-Lytes. These premixes are the highest quality containing macro and micro-elements, kelp, herbs, probiotics, enzymes, and vitamins.
Hiland Naturals really is as natural as it gets! I am friends with both Dan and Kevin at Hiland. They are both REAL people and REAL farmers. They are not some unknown man in a suit. I've been there, I've seen their operation. They are no different that you and me. If I have a question or a suggestion, I can call them DIRECTLY. When's the last time you could do that about your food?
The whole grain poultry layer that Hiland makes special for us is great. The birds love it. There is no waste. It's a blend of sunflower seeds, oats, peas, milo, cracked corn, wheat, roasted soybeans, alfalfa pellets, grit, oyster shell, and the Poultry Nature-Lytes.
One year ago this month, we got our first delivery of Hiland Naturals Feed that was one ton split between several people. We've ordered every single month since then and it's grown every time. This month, the order was 8,350 pounds of feed and that's at dead winter low levels. I fully expect with the customers that I have now, that the amount will increase to 12,000 pounds within 8 weeks as spring comes around.
I learned early on that even though this feed costs slightly more than the commercial brands, my birds eat LESS feed since they've been on Hiland and I'm SPENDING less money on feed. Here's a simple calculation - In 58 days (December 14, 2013 - February 9, 2013), I fed 21 bags of layer feed for about 130 birds (chickens, guineas, turkeys, and ducks). This calculates to one 50lb bag lasting me 2.76 days. Each bag of layer costs $21.15, so I spent $444.15 feeding the Hiland Naturals. Now - look at the opposite end of the spectrum - when I was using a commercial brand bought at Tractor Supply before I switched to Hiland, I was feeding about 75 birds (only chickens and guineas at that time). They ate 50 pounds every 2 days. At current prices of $17.99 for 50 pounds, I would have spent $521.71 and remember - I'm feeding MORE birds now, so the reality is that it would have cost me a lot more than that.
And if you don't believe me - I'll be happy to show you my records - I keep track because I have to know what inventory I have.
So the long and short of this whole blog - FEED BETTER FEED. You will save money if you are buying one bag, 20 bags, or 2 tons.
Better feed is more nutritious, more filling, and because of that they eat less which in turns SAVES YOU MONEY.
Rising Phoenix Farm
14093 Madison Pike
Morning View, KY 41063