Is it worth the extra $$

oldhen2345

Crowing
5 Years
Jun 22, 2015
917
3,801
281
East Texas
Wild chickens, the original Jungle Fowl, are small, hens may lay 30 eggs each year, and they live in SE Asia in the tropics.
Our modern birds are larger, might lay 300+ eggs each year, and live on property that's nowhere going to meet their needs.
Home made diets are difficult and expensive to balance, and of course your birds like their goodies instead of their pelleted complete feed. I like strawberries and chocolate too!
Get a complete feed, like an all-flock feed, that's fresh by mill date where you shop, and offer oyster shell separately. then offer limited goodies, so they are getting all the nutrients needed.
Mary
I thought wild chickens were more on the line of gamebirds- slim, athletic and fast. Not like the fat, spoiled yard candy I have (see avatar).
 

philsan1a

Songster
Mar 13, 2016
111
133
146
North east Georgia mountains
I disagree of course. Bc cheap and short time thinking is destroying our health and our planet. I do believe organic will get cheaper if more people buy it and there is more competition in this market.

I’m truly sorry that most people care less about a healthy planet then about a healthy bank account.
Seems rather silly to pay so much for something that the label says is better. Would you suggest that Purina adds poison to their products? Organic is for people that carry around a tennis racket and a sweater draped over their shoulders.
 

philsan1a

Songster
Mar 13, 2016
111
133
146
North east Georgia mountains
Growing organic DOES usually take more labor, plus the certification process isn’t cheap or easy.

I’d guess a lot of the price difference is just those costs being passed on to the consumer.

When assessing the environmental impact of your feed, organic vs non is one big element. Another is where it’s sourced from...if the organic feed is from much further away, it could be a wash or actually worse for the environment (the organic will still have the plus of no chemicals of course).

The greenest way to feed chickens is to turn things you already have (kitchen scraps, garden extras, weeds, forage) nearby, or things that would otherwise end up in a landfill (food waste, etc).
I personally stopped feeding food scraps only because to me it might draw in predators.
 

Vicker

Songster
6 Years
Jun 28, 2014
158
276
148
Texas
I won't pay more for the word organic on anything--even my own food. I typically buy Purina. Sometimes Dumor quality isn't up to par. It often is more broken down in the bag. And there is so much misinformation about GMO, I can't get on that non-GMO bandwagon, either.
 

Artichoke Lover

Crowing
Jul 27, 2020
752
3,435
426
Southeast US
In the US, "Organic" pricing is a factor of three components.

1) Cache. Marketing. Profit. You are, in part, paying for the ability to proclaim your use of Organic feed, like you pay to wear the Louis Vuitton (sp?) logo on your handbag. Its conspicuous consumption like a handmade silk tie - a piece of expensive frivolity which serves no purpose other than to advertise that you can afford to do so.

2) Scale. Organic feeds, due to their higher expense, are less in demand. While economies of scale grow ever smaller with volume, it remains considerably more economical to buy, store, mill, package, label, distribute, stock, and sell non-Organic feed than Organic feed - where every error, loss, or expiration of the product has to be spread across fewer actual product sales. Moreover, there is less competition on pricing for the raw ingredients, so input costs are higher, too.

3) Remember how I mentioned input costs??? Regulatory Capture by major market players has ensured that any producer much smaller than Purina/General Mills, Cargill, Tyson Foods, ConAgra etc can not afford the regulatory and reporting requirements needed to document that the entire chain of production, land, seed, growing, transport, milling, etc meets Organic standards. Jack and Jill Farmer, on 10,000 acres of property in Grainfield, NE can grow crops using the descendants of the seed corn their great great granpappy brought out west in the 1800s, grow it in native dirt with nothing but rainwater, harvest it, take it to their own millstone on property, grind it, bag it, and they still can't sell it as "Organic". Nor can they sell the grain to Purina as "Organic". That it is literally true does not make it LEGALLY true. Quite deliberately, as a bar to competition.

If that's how you choose to spend your money, promoting some big business in the name of saving the planet, its not for me to say otherwise. It is, after all, your money - not mine. Much as I would enjoy shooting fish in the proverbial barrel as a political discussion, BYC is not the place for it.

However, I will *briefly* address that spooky word, "poison". At least, to the extent that one can address the hint of a shadow, without more substance. Every trace metal naturally occurring in seeds and grains is a poison, IN SUFFICIENT QUANTITY. The Phrase "the dosage is the poison" expresses a medical truth.

Too little of Potassium or Sodium in your body and you will die. Its absolutely necessary to the regulation of our cardiovascular system. Too much? You die. They are "poisons". Sucrose - simple sugar - the basic carbohydrate used by the body for energy production. Too much? You die. Along the spectrum, there are horrible conditions associated with an excess of sugar in the bloodstream. Search Glucotoxicity and Glucose Toxicity - hint: you know them by other names.

Soy products contain isoflavones, estrogen-like chemicals which bind to the body's estrogen receptors (weakly) and can cause an imbalance in our endocrine systems with a host of related maladies. But those organic, all natural, compounds aren't "poison", except in their dosage. Unless you live in CA, where prop 65 would put a warning label on the Human Body for such hazardous, all natural, chemical compounds as Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Testosterone, Estrogen, and Progesterone, among others.

Have a great morning - I'm going to go sip another cup of hot poison: dihydrogen monoxide, sucrose, caffeine, acrymalides, and a bunch of things whose chemical names I don't know off the top of my head. Someone slap a prop 65 warning on my coffee.

/edit apologies for tone. I'm not fit for human company before my second cup.
:goodpost:
 

Vacman

Chirping
Dec 25, 2020
51
120
68
Cadillac, MI
I opt for the organic and have ever since I got into chickens. Our diets consist of as much certified organic food as we can get. Why? Would you drink a tablespoon of Round-up every morning? Probably not because it's a poison. Unfortunately, Round-up is in most of the non-organic food that you buy. it's used to control weeds at the farms and sprayed everywhere. Because of that, it migrates into the soil and the plants grown there. It reportedly takes over 7 years to cleanse a field from Round-up. It's also blamed as one of the reasons our pollinators are dying. In defense of Round-up, it is responsible for the relatively low cost of our food chain. It lends itself to automated corporate farming producing an abundance of food with little manual labor. It is banned, however, in some other countries. It's your choice, but I just don't want to eat food containing poisons and I choose to eat eggs free of any trace of it. I'm getting off my soapbox now (Sorry for the preaching!). :th
 

Artichoke Lover

Crowing
Jul 27, 2020
752
3,435
426
Southeast US
Okay here is a question for which I will be kicked in the knickers....The Layer Pellet thing...mine hate them so much ( I know that is rare - but maybe because i give them micro-greens, scratch, worms, grit, shells, herbs, quinoa, arugula, fennel, tomatoes, berries....). So my question is - if a chicken were to just happen to be a wild chicken out there in the world with no farmer-mommy - they wouldn't eat pellets right? So just curious why this is such an essential thing. Not denying that it is, just would love to be better persuaded. Just while we are on the topic of pellets. I ended up buying two brands that have pellets mixed in with other nutrients and soaking it all so that they get the benefit of the pellets as they eat the other stuff - but the highlight of our time together is when i head down to the coop in the morning and greet them with goodies. HELP I am a chicken enabler
Chickens can live off of free range under the right conditions. There was a post on here about it a few weeks ago. But most people either don’t have the land, the right breed of chickens or just the ability to free range. For me if I didn’t have to deal with predators I would probably only go through about 200-300 pounds of feed a year. Right now with them restricted to the run I go through 1,200+. Also I feed the cheap stuff. I can’t remember the brand I’ll edit my post and add the name after I go feed them this morning. My chickens hated Purina and I mean hated it. Refused to eat it. I’d feed organic if I could but all I’ve found where I live is over $30 for 50 pounds when the cheap is 11.
 

Geckolady

Songster
Sep 12, 2020
276
1,183
196
east central Arizona
Newbie chicken owner here who just started her second bag of feed. I bought DuMore 16% layer feed for the first bag because the man at TSC recommended it, saying he'd done a project for (4H? FFA? Don't remember) and DuMore came out on top for nutrition, egg production, blah, blah, so I thought I was feeding top of the line stuff.

My birds were hatched last spring, and I was wondering why there were no eggs. Leghorns are supposed to be good layers. After about a week on the brand my local feed store recommended, I'm beginning to get eggs. Was it the feed? The age of the pullets? I don't know. But I switched from the 16% to all flock because my birds were not laying yet and one of them is a cockerel. Now that they're starting to lay, they'll get calcium on the side.

As far as organic, one of the things I remember from Organic Chem class is that organic, strictly speaking, simply means something contains carbon, and that applies to a whole lot of things on this planet. I also know that labeling for organic products can be deceptive. The stuff from the feed store is Ace Hi brand, and they said the local chicken people prefer it. At the same time, I bought a bag of Kelly's 16% layer feed. I'll use it up by mixing it with the all flock because of the rooster. Gotta keep him singing.

So I've been reading everything in this thread because want to know what is best for my flock. Not everything they eat comes out of a bag. Is there a list of table scraps/people food somewhere detailing what they can and can't eat? Some feeds are medicated and some are not. The man at TSC told me to only feed medicated pellets. The bag I'm feeding now is not medicated--someone told me to avoid that.
 

Red-Stars-in-RI

Crowing
6 Years
Mar 24, 2014
1,010
2,141
286
Rhode Island
As far as organic, one of the things I remember from Organic Chem class is that organic, strictly speaking, simply means something contains carbon, and that applies to a whole lot of things on this planet. I also know that labeling for organic products can be deceptive. The stuff from the feed store is Ace Hi brand, and they said the local chicken people prefer it. At the same time, I bought a bag of Kelly's 16% layer feed. I'll use it up by mixing it with the all flock because of the rooster. Gotta keep him singing.

In this context, “organic” means “certified organic” which is a specific set of regulations around non-chemical growing practices. Not a lot of gray area or room for deception without fines and loss of certification.

Now “natural”...that’s a different story. That’s just a adjective that can be used any way marketers want.
 

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