Poultry Treats and Supplements
Scratch feeds traditionally serve two purposes: They add targeted nutrition and give your birds healthy fun to go along with their feed. Foraging, pecking, scratching in the soil and competing with each other for the tastiest morsels provides variety and enjoyment. In good weather, scattered scratch grains encourages foraging and bug hunting; in bad weather scratch grains provide lively entertainment. (We all know busy birds are happy birds.)
Sustainable Scratch™ -- unlike most scratch grain – is built on the rich harvest we enjoy here in the Pacific Northwest. We use a variety of locally grown crops and seasonally available ingredients, including wheat, groats, triticale, millet, flax, maize, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sorghum, milo, wild rice, other native seeds, yellow, green and maple peas. All Non-GMO, of course.
Sunshine in a Pellet™
(Union Point GMO-Free Marigold Pellets)
Who doesn’t love the look of a sunny egg on a breakfast plate?
Many of us keep hens just so we can enjoy the beauty, taste and perfect nutrition their eggs bring to our lives. We love seeing hens scratch around looking for tasty bits to eat, and we love it when they come running to us for a treat. Summer is good!
But what about the winter months, or rainy months, or times the flock can’t get outside to harvest the greens and bugs they love? Our Sunshine in a Pellet™ supplement is the answer.
The traditional solution to this problem is to feed the birds corn when green grass isn’t available. The corn’s vivid yellow maintains the yolk color even in the rainiest climates. And the birds love corn’s taste. But GMO corn is hard to avoid. We still want the many health benefits signaled by the bright yolks, but without the GMO corn.
Years of research, use of traditional herbal ingredients and on-farm testing led us to the development of an all-natural nutrition booster designed for the home flock. Compounded by our owner/nutritionist and tested in the field by family farmers, this blend of natural anti-oxidants, color and vitamin-rich botanicals and Vitamins A and D gives you and your hens many of the benefits of summer pasture throughout the year.
We form pellets from a base of Willamette Valley wheat and add real marigold meal, paprika, garlic, horseradish, star anise oil, juniper oil, oregano and other botanical extracts and sources of phytonutrients. We add Vitamins A, D and E to this easy-to-feed, waste-free pellet that hens love. Give it to them as a treat or mix it with their ration. Your hens and your family will enjoy the healthy benefits of this wholesome supplement and your eggs will be bright as summer all year long.
Q: Why feed oyster shell separately?
A: If many people are adding calcium as a free offering, then why can’t it not just be added to the feed? In other words, if the layer needs 4% calcium, and the feed has 3%, why not just put oyster shell into the feed and skip a step?
Here’s the short version of what was a fascinating lecture by Dr. Gita Cherian, one of my favorite professors at Oregon State.
If all the calcium that she needs (4%) is in the feed, the hen’s unique physiology causes her to have too much calcium when she doesn’t need it much, during the day, and not enough when she does need it, building shells at night. That is stressful to her and can result in poor quality eggshells because when she needs it, she has already pooped it. 4% calcium in the feed results in a lot of pooped calcium that should have ended up in eggshells. You’ll see a lot of white in her droppings.
And grit. Grit is pretty boring, but since chickens lack teeth they need grit to grind up grains in their gizzards. If they are free ranging you may not need to supply it often, but it’s a good idea to have it available, especially if they are eating whole seeds and grains. We handle three sizes of grit.
#1 for babies
#2 for teenagers (growers)
#3 for grownups
Grit can be either quartz or granite. They are both hard and they work the same inside a bird. Quartz is even harder than granite. Limestone doesn’t work as well; it dissolves and may overload the bird with calcium.
We picked quartz for most of the sizes, because one of our suppliers has a rose quartz mine in Minnesota. It’s beautiful, it’s sustainable, and their environmentally friendly mission matches ours. We still use granite for the babies.