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the first year of Soy Free Eggs

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Resolution, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    Isn't it ironic that China would contribute two of the most important agricultural products in the world-the soybean and the chicken?

    And in all those years, the Chinese never fed their chickens a single soybean- mostly because they're toxic until processed- and chickens don't digest them very well.

    I'm not one of those people that hems and haws and goes back and forth fretting about what's good and what isn't good for you, though I do take advice.
    While I personally love all sorts of soybean foods- edamame and tofu are examples- but I don't eat them every single day of the year.
    Eggs on the other hand, well there's plenty around here- and I know how to cook them. But chickens end up living on soy every single day of their life- all day- consequently their meat and eggs are repositories for everything I don't trust about it.
    Soy foods can cause deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D. Soy increases levels of estrogen (possibly simulating the growth of related tumors) and decreases levels of testosterone. It has been related to premature sexual development in females, and delayed development in males. Animal studies show soy foods causes infertility in animals.

    At these farmers' markets- we find the consumer is more and more educated- sometimes woefully misinformed - sometimes alarmingly so- but people want more control of what is going into their families bodies.

    There's been a big push toward organic chicken feed but an organic preservative for fish meal, a very real requirement for chickens being kept on an organic (read vegetarian) diet, is only just now in development. People want to feel good about the health of their chickens and they should but soybeans and peas are not particularly digestible for chickens, indeed both are probably poor for the long-term health of your flock. Organic soy- free chicken feed is making the rounds but its chock full of peas and one wonders if the people going to all this trouble to provide healthy (organic) food for people are really that naive about the health of the chicken providing that nutrition...

    It's a conundrum. There's no question about it and one solved by people rearing insects for their chickens- while taking it entirely serious just how many insects the birds must eat every single day 365 days of the year- well at least three quarters of year. I know people that do it. My hat's off to them.

    This is the very first year since I started Resolve Sustainable Solutions nine years ago, that one irrefutable success can be shouted from the rooftops. We're helping small family farms that sell eggs, differentiate their eggs from all the rest on the market. Not only are their eggs great tasting, and aesthetically pleasing, they're also the only soy free eggs in most farmer's markets. Thanks for all you egg farmers that have given our state of the art supplement a try and stuck with us all this time.

    When I go to eat an egg from my flock I find myself savoring flavours and aromas that have been lost to me for years-obscured by that all important commodity crop the soybean.

    Yes this was a bit of fanning on my part but I started thinking about solutions to these problems right here on this forum, long before I had any solutions for those problems, much less realised them through the creation of an animal nutrition company. I guess I'm saying that I'm more than the sum total of my parts. Please don't fault me for wanting to share a small success with the BackYardChickens Forum.​
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  2. ForgottenGlen

    ForgottenGlen Chillin' With My Peeps

    165
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    May 8, 2011
    Raeford, NC
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    5,532
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    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    [[[......an organic preservative for fish meal, a very real requirement for chickens being kept on an organic (read vegetarian) diet, ....]]]]

    Um..... fish meal is not vegetarian.
     
  4. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    Resolution, what is it that you are feeding the chickens? Is it available to the small backyard enthusiast, or only commercially available?

    We've been feeding organic and I have to say the soy issue never came for us up until I read all the comments here at BYC. I would love to eliminate soy, but the fish meal issue has been a stopper as it would certainly go off in the time a 50lb bag gets consumed with feeding only 6 chickens. Vegetarian is not what I need our chickens to have as they are omnivores, not vegetarians, and it just doesn't seem right, but the organic feed seems much less toxic by way of no pesticide/herbicide use that it is the only way for us to go right now.

    If you have the solution, I'm all ears.

    BTW, congrats to you on the success of your business.
     
  5. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Precisely,

    Chicken can and do live on vegetarian diets for short and even productive ( utility aspects) lives. Nevertheless, chickens are far from vegetarian. The primary source of protein in their diets will be soybean meal or peas. These are legumes readily digested by pigeons and even by turkeys. Chickens maintained on soy food will generally not enjoy the same lifespan as those that do not consume this foodstuff every day (often throughout the day). Their egg production generally begins to shift appreciably in just a year or two.
    Reproductive health is negatively effected as is cellular regeneration- leading to incomplete moults and poor fertility/hatchability. There will always be exceptions to a rule but these are only exceptions.
    I read about the birthday of a man that drank whiskey every day of his life and smoked a pack of cigarettes a week. He died at the age of 102. He outlived three wives most of his children and even some of his grandchildren. When asked about the secret to his longevity and in response to her husband's assertion that his wild ways were responsible fourth wife wryly replied that all his brothers, children, and friends had the same bad habits and did not live nearly as long.
     
  6. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:One of the biggest problems I have personally with soy is the genetically modified super soy that seems impossible to avoid when buying the commodity that is soybean meal for use in feed production. I've read about some soybean free organic chicken feeds.

    Country Side Organics


    In my opinion, they are the only company that truly have it all right. They use Fertrell, which you cannot go wrong by.- That's a company (Fertrell) built from the bricks of ethics and efficacy. They make supplements that other companies use to improve their own.

    My own company is advertised on this forum. The product I suggest to anyone interested in a soyfree diet that includes a wider nutrient balance than in any commercial feeds, including Fertrell supplements is the UltraKibble. Our foods were designed around the nutritional requirements of the chicken's wild cousins, delicate, subtropical insectivorous species like Polyplectron, Green Junglefowl and Roul Roul.
    In its application as a supplement (UltraKibble is the maintenance diet for many zoo birds) for domestic fowl, UltraKibble is mixed with an inexpensive scratch grain (organic if it's feasible) at a ten to one ratio. That's ten parts scratch grain and one part kibble. Supplement lay hens with oystershell and grit regularly.

    That's what I feed my chickens. UltraKibble supplement at a one to ten ratio and that's what most people that use the product do as well.
    It's soy free and loaded with a wide load of prebiotics, amino acids, fatty acids, essential oils and so on. But due to the inclusion of fish meal and salmon meal we are required by federal law to include mold inhibitors and other preservatives in our feed. I can assure you I personally went over each and every additive with organic chemists, nutritionists and homeopaths before giving my approval to their inclusion.

    Try Countryside Organics if you are producing birds that are expected to live for only a few months up to two years.

    For birds that you expect to reproduce naturally and live long productive lives, I'll encourage you to use Farmers' Helper supplements as they are premixed and available in a readily usable form.

    There are many others out there- but here's a guide line I would use to make a determination about what company you choose to purchase your food from.


    Formulating feed requires more than a text book and an ingredient label. Proprietary information isn't something one reads on a label.

    To gain a comprehension of the topic at hand, one has to care to learn about the specific formulations- the levels of each tiny minute ingredient-
    For example, what amino acids are included in a specific diet and at what ratios?
    What antioxidants ""?
    Hatchling Supplements ""?
    Mycotoxin Solutions "" ?
    Probiotics ""?
    Organic Acids and Essential Oils ""?
    Enzymes ""?
    Minerals ""?
    Essential Fatty Acids "" ?
    Prebiotics "" ?
    Mold Inhibitors ""?

    What species were these diets developed around? Were they commonly kept Palearctic species like turkeys and ringnecks, bobwhites?
    Or domestic commercial utility fowl?
    Or subtropical species like the wild, naturally evolved progenitors of the domestic fowl?

    From reading about Countryside Organics you can tell they have community and sustainable farming as their primary objective.
    They are farmers straight and simple.

    Our business is a bit more nuanced as we provide nutrition to rare heritage breeders and zoos. Small family farms certainly use our products but their flocks are generally heirloom flocks handed down from one generation to the other or larger family farm outfits that use organic grain and need to bump up the nutrient values of their feeds because they do not replace their hens every two years- they keep them for as many as they lay- different model than the strictly commercial utility poultry farmer.
    Strangely, one of our largest markets is with fighting game breeders, which feed our kibbles as maintenance feed to their breeders. It's m understanding that Saipan junglefowl breed very well on it as do Japanese cultural landmark breeds like the Onagadori and Koeyoshi.

    We source our commodities from sustainable farms, from family farmers that do not use genetically modified crops.
    We use fish meal from farmed fish grown on specific foods for the express purpose of providing specific nutritional compounds readily absorbed in the digestive system of the rare and endangered birds that we so desire to feed. We also feed a huge number of growing farm communities. Poultry farmers use our products with great success and this means that we are feeding families, naturally, ethically, and with great efficacy. We differentiate between fish meal (largely catfish and tilapia) from salmon meal on our labels for good reasons. Our feed recipes hold certain objectives and only very specific forms of salmon meal enable us to meet those requirements.

    We make feed in small batches not in the tens of thousands of tons. It's not only what's in the feed- it also matters who makes it, where, how and why.

    I know plenty of people that source their own feed by purchasing organic grain or the least expensive whole grain and mixing it themselves they can have faith in companies like Fertrell and my own in providing them with supplements that are guaranteed to provide a completely balanced diet when used appropriately.

    One big mistake many novices will practice at ( I did this myself for more years than I care to admit) is to mix and match feeds with all sorts of different supplements.
    Supplements are by definition, very carefully created nutritional ameliorates -when you jumble them altogether you are very likely shortening out the efficacy of some of the benefits of both products.

    For example, one gentleman told me that he was rearing his great argus on dog food and kibble- well that wasn't necessary and he forced his argus into a hard moult.
    That could well have killed him. Most people reading this forum are backyard chicken hobbyists. Their chickens are part of their family. The small family farm and the backyard chicken hobbyist can have confidence that our products are designed for their needs.
    For those of you rearing commercial utility sized operations you are probably already using a great company like Fertrell or Countryside Organics to meet your (market) requirements.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  7. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    Quote:One of the biggest problems I have personally with soy is the genetically modified super soy that seems impossible to avoid when buying the commodity that is soybean meal for use in feed production. I've read about some soybean free organic chicken feeds.

    Country Side Organics


    In my opinion, they are the only company that truly have it all right. They use Fertrell, which you cannot go wrong by.- That's a company (Fertrell) built from the bricks of ethics and efficacy. They make supplements that other companies use to improve their own.

    My own company is advertised on this forum. The product I suggest to anyone interested in a soyfree diet that includes a wider nutrient balance than in any commercial feeds, including Fertrell supplements is the UltraKibble. Our foods were designed around the nutritional requirements of the chicken's wild cousins, delicate, subtropical insectivorous species like Polyplectron, Green Junglefowl and Roul Roul.
    In its application as a supplement (UltraKibble is the maintenance diet for many zoo birds) for domestic fowl, UltraKibble is mixed with an inexpensive scratch grain (organic if it's feasible) at a ten to one ratio. That's ten parts scratch grain and one part kibble. Supplement lay hens with oystershell and grit regularly.

    That's what I feed my chickens. UltraKibble supplement at a one to ten ratio and that's what most people that use the product do as well.
    It's soy free and loaded with a wide load of prebiotics, amino acids, fatty acids, essential oils and so on. But due to the inclusion of fish meal and salmon meal we are required by federal law to include mold inhibitors and other preservatives in our feed. I can assure you I personally went over each and every additive with organic chemists, nutritionists and homeopaths before giving my approval to their inclusion.

    Try Countryside Organics if you are producing birds that are expected to live for only a few months up to two years.

    For birds that you expect to reproduce naturally and live long productive lives, I'll encourage you to use Farmers' Helper supplements as they are premixed and available in a readily usable form.

    There are many others out there- but here's a guide line I would use to make a determination about what company you choose to purchase your food from.


    Formulating feed requires more than a text book and an ingredient label. Proprietary information isn't something one reads on a label.

    To gain a comprehension of the topic at hand, one has to care to learn about the specific formulations- the levels of each tiny minute ingredient-
    For example, what amino acids are included in a specific diet and at what ratios?
    What antioxidants ""?
    Hatchling Supplements ""?
    Mycotoxin Solutions "" ?
    Probiotics ""?
    Organic Acids and Essential Oils ""?
    Enzymes ""?
    Minerals ""?
    Essential Fatty Acids "" ?
    Prebiotics "" ?
    Mold Inhibitors ""?

    What species were these diets developed around? Were they commonly kept Palearctic species like turkeys and ringnecks, bobwhites?
    Or domestic commercial utility fowl?
    Or subtropical species like the wild, naturally evolved progenitors of the domestic fowl?

    From reading about Countryside Organics you can tell they have community and sustainable farming as their primary objective.
    They are farmers straight and simple.

    Our business is a bit more nuanced as we provide nutrition to rare heritage breeders and zoos. Small family farms certainly use our products but their flocks are generally heirloom flocks handed down from one generation to the other or larger family farm outfits that use organic grain and need to bump up the nutrient values of their feeds because they do not replace their hens every two years- they keep them for as many as they lay- different model than the strictly commercial utility poultry farmer.
    Strangely, one of our largest markets is with fighting game breeders, which feed our kibbles as maintenance feed to their breeders. It's m understanding that Saipan junglefowl breed very well on it as do Japanese cultural landmark breeds like the Onagadori and Koeyoshi.

    We source our commodities from sustainable farms, from family farmers that do not use genetically modified crops.
    We use fish meal from farmed fish grown on specific foods for the express purpose of providing specific nutritional compounds readily absorbed in the digestive system of the rare and endangered birds that we so desire to feed. We also feed a huge number of growing farm communities. Poultry farmers use our products with great success and this means that we are feeding families, naturally, ethically, and with great efficacy. We differentiate between fish meal (largely catfish and tilapia) from salmon meal on our labels for good reasons. Our feed recipes hold certain objectives and only very specific forms of salmon meal enable us to meet those requirements.

    We make feed in small batches not in the tens of thousands of tons. It's not only what's in the feed- it also matters who makes it, where, how and why.

    I know plenty of people that source their own feed by purchasing organic grain or the least expensive whole grain and mixing it themselves they can have faith in companies like Fertrell and my own in providing them with supplements that are guaranteed to provide a completely balanced diet when used appropriately.

    One big mistake many novices will practice at ( I did this myself for more years than I care to admit) is to mix and match feeds with all sorts of different supplements.
    Supplements are by definition, very carefully created nutritional ameliorates -when you jumble them altogether you are very likely shortening out the efficacy of some of the benefits of both products.

    For example, one gentleman told me that he was rearing his great argus on dog food and kibble- well that wasn't necessary and he forced his argus into a hard moult.
    That could well have killed him. Most people reading this forum are backyard chicken hobbyists. Their chickens are part of their family. The small family farm and the backyard chicken hobbyist can have confidence that our products are designed for their needs.
    For those of you rearing commercial utility sized operations you are probably already using a great company like Fertrell or Countryside Organics to meet your (market) requirements.

    Resolution, this is very informative and pretty much matches what I have been wanting to do for our small flock. About a year ago we had gotten into organic gardening and lawn care and the results were better than we had expected. Spectacular might be overstating it a bit, but it is way better than anything we could have done chemically. We have increased the biodiversity of our soil and managed to turn it from almost dead into a living soil. We wanted to have our chickens get the full benefit from this as well, but are limited to how much they can free range on the small lot we have.

    I had contacted a Countryside Organics retailer in NY that just came on board a few weeks ago. She is a relatively long drive away from us and she does not ship yet, so I was holding off.

    I see you have a retailer who is not far from where we live. Going to give them a call and see if they carry the full line including the Ultra kibble.

    Thanks again for the post.
     
  8. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

    2,047
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    271
    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    I have tried Ultra Kibble, but only as a supplement with my organic layer & not a long enough trial. My organic scratch is 9%. If you are mixing at a 10-1 ration, the feed would only be 11%. The ultra kibble is now only 32.5%. Does this really work, because trying to get to 16% makes the ration really expensive? I understand that the extruded kibble is supposed to be more digestible, but 11% sounds really low. I also think the Ultra Kibble is rather large & not readily eaten. I have no local distributor at this time. I believe my feed store uses Bradley Caldwell for some things, so I probably can order it. I am just not sure the chickens would eat the kibble instead of just the scratch. You have got me rethinking my feed again............
     
  9. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Hi Cindy,

    The thing to keep in mind is that bagged food is really designed for commercial utility applications. When we say our feed has 24% protein or what have you- that's generally speaking, a soft food-be that pellet, mash or crumble. Those foods are literally 24% protein in every single mouthful. Certain breeds need this precise nutrient package to produce eggs efficiently at a certain rate on a consistent basis for X amount of the year.

    Scratch grains may say that their protein rate may only be as high as 9% and that's an average. The question will generally come down to how many seeds will a bird consume in a day and which are its favorites? When you watch a landfowl wander about- foraging as they will- they might gorge on some drupes beneath an ornamental shrub one day and ignore that larder for four more days. They will gorge on insects when it suits them and corn when it suits them. The thing about scratch is we never know how old the seeds are and every single field has a different reality so when they mix all the millet from many fields into a single bin- there are lots of nutritional equations going on that are impossible to measure adequately- this is why the industrial feeds are pulverized and made into one square meal per beak full- well actually- the birds have to consume X amount of food per day to actually ingest enough nutrients to stay alive- that food is fast food- and they poop most of it out only partially digested. Soft feed requires constant gorging to be of any use to the fowl. Seeds the sort we see in scratch grain sit in the crop and promote healthy gizzard action- healthier -digestive process-

    Getting to kibble- try this experiment- measure out very carefully now the exact weights of each of the seed type, cracked corn, and kibble separately - it's going to be a bit of a pain in the neck- but this is what we do in feeding trials every single day twice a day for years on end! This food goes out and the birds consume what?
    How much of each food did they actually consume at the end of the day?
    In my experience the birds will leave kibble to the exclusion of most other items in the dish and this is a good thing. They only need a few teaspoons of kibble a day to get all of their nutrition. The scratch is just there for satiation. It really doesn't contribute much other than energy. - Though millet is good stuff in the winter for lots of reasons-
    The kibble swells within the digestive system and aids in the digestion of whatever else has been ingested. It slows the rate of digestion. You should observe a decrease in consumption of all food when feeding out kibble unless you are working with commercial utility stock. They don't have that off button.

    The way kibble works to help clear the digestive system between feedings (a real necessity for long-term health) is that you don't feed again until they've cleaned up all of it.
    If they are hungry they will eat it and this last meal will be with them for a good amount of time- giving them a big boost of nutrients.

    We recall that in nature a red junglefowl might wander across a half mile a day and consume two hundred green seeds of various grasses ( low protein, high vitamin, high fibre, high sugar) numerous bites of forbs ( low protein high antioxidants, high essential oils, high fibre) a tablespoon of bamboo seeds ( high fibre, moderate protein) and seven or eight grubs ( high fat, high protein, moderate fibre). The next day, foraging might provide nothing but bamboo seeds and forbs and another day its all termites and berries-

    Domestic fowl are certainly designed to live in hen houses and eat commercial feed but I think we can appreciate that with the dirth of organic chicken feed producers ( all small family operations built with integrity and forethought) popping up- we can all appreciate that our flocks don't have to live in a commercial environment and can produce just as well. This is backyard chicken husbandry naturally. To answer your question, the hens will consume some kibble every day. They don't need to eat much at all as each kibble provides X of nutrients- a very wide range of nutrients not to be found in any other feeds on the market. The rest of what you feed them fills them up but its fun food loaded with energy and not much else. If a hen decides to pick out eighteen kibbles one day and none the next she's still got eighteen kibble's worth of nutrients in her digestive system, slowly making its way through- digested almost entirely- all that ends up being pooped out is the indigestible fibre that helps the rest move through.

    I'd find an organic scratch producer that you really trust and look at the dates of the feed. It may help to add a bit of organic sunflower seed to the scratch mixture every few days.
     
  10. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

    2,047
    183
    271
    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    Thanks Resolution, so I have one more question!! On the bag it says for a 10:1 ration, you feed 1 cup of scratch to 1 Tablespoon of UK. I have always heard that you measure feed grains by weight. So you are saying that if I have 10 lbs. of scratch, I add one lb. of ultra kibble, correct??? The cup stuff confused me. Keep in mind this is from the old UK formula. I really must try and do it the way you say. I have never been real happy with feed formulations. Why did you drop the protein in the UK?
     

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