GMF Organic Soy-Free Trial (Layer Feed)

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by GreenMountainEric, May 25, 2011.

  1. GreenMountainEric

    GreenMountainEric Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi All!!

    Green Mountain Feeds is working on developing a soy-free feeding program for Organic Layers. We have tried this in the past at some larger farms....... Results were not as good as we had hoped for on these larger farms. Lower production levels were observed, compared to our regular organic layer feed. These producers rely on optimum performance levels in order to function properly as a business.

    It has been a few years since we tried this. More Organic ingredients are available now, and this will help with formulating an Organic Layer ration, without the need for soy. I feel that we have the ability to manufacture a high quality soy-free product, for farms and small producers, that dont need maximum production levels to survive.

    Unlike other Organic Feed Manufacturers that make a soy-free ration, we will NOT be using fish meal as a protein source. The following is the reasons why-

    1- Currently, The USDA NOP standards allow the use of non-organic farmed fish meal in organic feeds and supplements. Every couple years, they change their mind on this, which makes it hard to keep a formulation the same.....

    2- I dont agree that using fish meal, from a non-organic operation, should be allowed for use in organic feed.

    3- Fish meal from Organically farmed fish, is not available.

    4- There is not an organically approved product, that we can locate, that can properly stabilize fish meal for use in organic feed. Without proper stabilization, fish meal becomes a very risky ingredient to use. It can turn rancid within a few days in the summer months.



    We will be looking for participants to help us with this trial run. I am planning on manufacturing a 1.5 ton batch (60 bags) of this feed to distribute to several small farms. I would prefer that this product be tested on flocks between 2 and 20 birds. This will allow for a longer duration of feeding this product, in order to get better data on performance...... I am guessing that production levels will be lower than they would be on a normal feed. However, I estimate that they will remain acceptable for producers that use their own products. I do know that this feed will not harm your birds in any way. In the trials at the larger farms, bird health was great. Production levels, however, were lower.

    The purpose of this thread is to gauge interest in this product, and to document observations if we go ahead with this trial.

    This trial would provide 1-4 bags(depending on flock size) to anyone in the continental US, that currently feeds organic feed. They would be expected to provide observations and egg production data in this thread. 4-6 weeks of feeding time would be needed for accurate data. Also a mixing proceedure would need to be used to get your birds transitioned, from the current feed, to the soy free ration. Otherwise, they may not eat it well. This soy-free feed will smell and taste completely different to your birds, and may take a little time for adjustment.

    My biggest concern with this trial will be Palatability. Chickens are not really crazy about the taste of field peas. However, peas are needed to meet amino acid requirements. It will be interesting to see what happens. Some breeds are more picky than others [​IMG]

    Now, Can i get an idea of how much interest we have? Please post below [​IMG]
     
  2. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is a product I'm very interested in and would be happy to participate. Do you have a time line as my girls won't be laying for about 8 more weeks.
     
  3. 5chicks4us

    5chicks4us Out Of The Brooder

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    I would love to as we already use organic feed, but my 4 chicks will not be eating layer feed for several weeks still. What time frame are you looking at?
     
  4. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can I ask something about the ration?

    Here we still use artificial methionine even in organic feed. Is that still the case in the US too or are you able to supply sufficient methionine naturally?

    Thank you kindly,
    Erica
     
  5. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    I've been working on my own feed recipe but would love to have someone else do the work! I don't find that the birds have any issue with Austrian, Canadian or Maple peas, so long as they are crimped med-med/large. I also bind the ground/crimped ingredients (11% corn, 5% peanut pickouts, 3 types of peas, fish meal, spices) with the whole ingredients (8 other, smaller grains) using 4-5# of molasses per 100#. This has worked very well...but our formula is only partially organic. Will you be using Fertrell's Organic Poultry Nutrient Pack?

    What can you tell me about shipping?
     
  6. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Interested but I'm not currently on 100% organic feed- (so not sure I qualify) I have approx 22 chickens, and 9 doves-

    Also I am in FL- so the storage conditions would be hot/dark/dry.
     
  7. 1shelby1

    1shelby1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2008
    whine cntry,ca.
    I'm interested! I have about 22 hens that are on an organic diet/free range(non chemical property).The problems I have with the organic feed are that the pellets are larger than regular layer pellets.This is tricky for some of the banty hens.
     
  8. ChicksterJo

    ChicksterJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 19, 2011
    Grounded on Earth
    My chickens eventually learned to eat peas...but none of them are laying yet [​IMG]
     
  9. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    I'd be interested. I presently use Nature's Best for my flock of 13 chickens & 8 bantams. I am in SE PA.
     
  10. GiddyMoon

    GiddyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would love to try it as well. I have been testing organic options in my area. We have 19 birds now.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2011

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