Organic Layer Feed

I wrote an earlier post about our local feed store, Bourn, starting to carry organic feed. I was very excited to be able to buy feed in a paper bag again, much more excited than to be able to buy organic feed with the same ingredient list as the non-organic. The only other choices we have are Purina at Bourn and the store brand at Orschelns, both of which come in a woven polystyrene bag which is not recyclable though many people have come up with ways to repurpose the bags into reusable grocery bags. I don’t need 10-15 new grocery bags a year, nor would I enjoy being forced to make them so that I wouldn’t have to throw the bags away.  However, a paper bag is always useful in the garden or to put my fiber recycling in.

Since that post I have used up the last of my Purina layer feed.  I was looking forward to switching the layers over to organic. However, when I got the bag of, what I thought was layer crumbles, home I found that instead of crumbles I had a mash. It looked like all the crumbles had been mashed up into dust with a bunch of ground grains and some whole grains. I’ve had this happen with the Purina before so I just took it back to Bourn expecting to either get a new bag or wait for the next shipment. Much to my distress, I was told that the organic layer feed comes in that consistency and is not in fact a crumble. The company’s website confirms this, click on the features tab to see that it comes in meal form; as does the grower ration (which Bourn doesn’t carry), while the chick starter is a crumble.

I know my hens. They will not eat the dusty parts of the crumbles (and I will not leave them without food long enough to force them to), let alone an entire bag of dust. Instead they would pick out all the corn and then the wheat and other grains and leave the rest. That much corn would be terrible for their laying; they’d put on too much fat. I can’t justify  $24.44 for a few pounds of grains and a drop in egg production.

The unfortunate result of the organic layer mash is that I’ve gone back to Purina Layena and its woven plastic bag.

I think if I mixed it with something wet, like yogurt, they would be happy to eat a mash. I barely manage to prepare my own meals, I do not want to spend that kind of time preparing food for my hens.

If any of you out there have success with the Natures Grown Organics’ layer feed, I would be very interested to hear from you.

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