All Mile Four chicken feed is 100% Certified Organic, which means that depending on various factors, it can look a little different each time we mill it.
For example, if it's been a particularly wet or dry summer, the field peas may be a different color. This is the nature of milling all organic feed & is out of our control.
When you buy organic feed for the first time, you may be surprised to see certain things that you wouldn't typically see with companies that use GMO's & hormones.
In this blog we'll go through a couple of the things you may come across in your feed bags, all of which have no effect on the quality of the feed & you can simply toss them away.
Cocklebur, also known as Xanthium, is a plant where the seeds are oval shaped & covered in spikes.
They are sometimes dispersed across our farm when they attach themselves to animals & are dropped off at a certain point. This is the main reason it is very hard to stop them from showing up in certain bags.
Due to the spikiness of the seed, it is highly unlikely that your chickens will even try to eat them, especially if other feed is available close by.
According to FeedStrategy.com, "no ill effects were noted at reasonable contamination levels," when chickens were exposed to cocklebur.
Despite this, if you are able to, we would recommend pulling any cocklebur you see from the bag before adding Mile Four to your feeder.
You may also want to check if you have any Xanthium plants near your yard, as you could start to see them scattered around while your chickens are free ranging.
Dogs are especially known to pick them up on their fur when they're walking around.
Mile Four feed is corn free, but the plant itself is very resilient, and is also grown on farms adjacent to our own, which means it can find its way into the mill from time to time.
We work tirelessly to separate the corn from the whole grains, but you may find a kernel or two in your bag.
The separation process at the mill is not fail safe, but these one or two kernels are not indicative of a wider problem in our mill & definitely won't have a negative effect on your chicken's health.
With access to Grit, chickens will easily be able to digest the corn they find when free ranging.
Corn can have a negative effect on your chicken's health if it is a wider part of their diet, so you'll want to make sure you're not giving them too many treats like Scratch, which does have corn in it.
One of the main ingredients of Mile Four feed is field peas.
These peas vary in color depending on the season, so can sometimes be bright yellow, a dark green like you're probably used to & sometimes even a deep purple.
Despite the differences in color, there is no nutritional difference in these peas, so if one bag looks different to the next because of this, there is no need to worry.
Above all, we strive to bring you the best organic feed on the market that will make healthier, happier chickens & give you visible differences in their health & appearance.
If you do find cocklebur or corn in your feed, please let us know! We are always looking to improve, and work with the mill weekly to put practices in place that will lower these instances.