With a “scratch and a peck”

Chickens are particular little creatures.  Our six hens won’t touch romaine lettuce, but will gobble up spinach.  A friend of ours feeds her chickens their ground up eggshells, but they refuse to eat eggshells from hard-boiled eggs.  And, my chickens love, love, love oranges, but my step-mom’s chickens won’t touch citrus.  They are fickle ladies.

After a random series of phone calls involving scrap wood for a new coop, craigslist hunting and a wonderful gentlemen who runs a mill in Bellingham – I found our new supplier for chick feed.

The company is Scratch & Peck Feed and they are located in Bellingham (only about 10 miles from my house!!).  The variety of food for chickens is astounding – corn-free, soy-free, layer, brooder, grower, broiler, on and on and on.  The price is just what I’ve been paying – about $25 for a 50-pound bag.  And, the ingredients are amazing – locally sourced GMO-free grains from Washington farmers in Whatcom and Skagit counties and east of the mountains.

I picked up a bag of the new feed knowing that we were down to about three days worth of their old stuff – with the plan of mixing the two together to get them adjusted.  When I first opened the bag – I was struck by how yummy it smelled.  It smelled like dinner.  I’m not kidding.  It smelled fresh, it smelled like something we’d eat and it looked like nothing I’d seen before in chick feed.  Standard chick feed doesn’t really look like food at all.  It’s either been pulverized into a crumble or extruded into pellets.  This feed has whole grains, ground up peas, corn kernels and a sprinkling of white oyster shells.

The "Scratch & Peck" feed

"Standard" chicken feed - pellets or crumble form

Well, I mixed the two together like a dutiful hen-mother and awaited the chickens’ fickle opinions.  They went bonkers!  They picked through all the old food in a desperate attempt to get all the grains and peas.  They used their talons to scrape out the old food bits and reach the good stuff at the bottom and on the sides.  So, they pretty much LOVED it to the say the least.  I actually had to abstain from giving them any of the new feed the next round, just so they’d finish off the old stuff.

If you can get your hands on some feed from Scratch & Peck – I highly recommend it!

Ingredients in the layer feed that we purchased: Peas, Triticale (hybrid of wheat and rye), Wheat, Barley, camelina meal, limestone, oyster shell, fish meal, poultry vitamin & mineral pre-mix (Nutri-balancer), non-GMO vegetable oil.

Scratch & Peck Feeds

Scratch & Peck feed is available at dozens of locations between here and Portland.  Check out their website for a store nearest you.

Trying chickens for the first time and or a longtime chicken lover?  Tell me about your adventures and thoughts!

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