Ok, I know that this is going to seem a strange post to non-farmers and it will I hope make perfect sense to those that farm.. or maybe I should give the non-farmers more credit..
So, I buy my feed from a local feed store, I have two choices, the closest one, has a contract for their grains locally, and by local, they mean Ontario, their grains come pre-done in 55 pound bags. I have at times found corn in with my other grains, or sometimes, I have had cracked scatch bags (mixed ground grains) that seem under grown or over ground, or even worse, so powdery that I can’t help but think it was sweepings that topped up that bag..
Then there is the local co-op, now you would think to a point that this would be a even better choice, but the price is much higher and the grains are from both Ontario and quebec, and my critters don’t seem to do as well on their grains, plus I have had issues with some of the ground grains smelling off.. sigh.
Now, I can get to a third feed store and they sell purina, which I am the first to admit that the animals do well on.. sorry but its the truth, their bags sizes are 55 pounds and they are even higher in cost now.. bags that cost 11 to 13 two years ago can cost up to 20 dollar now..
I don’t mind paying for quality, but I also have a issue with some of the things that goes in Purina, and I really don’t like that they seem to adjust their forumla’s based on price costs. Plus they are really processed foods, and ideally I prefer to feed as natural as possible.
So when I found a source of locally produced grains (oats, corn, wheat and soy) where I could get horse, cow, pig, chicken feed, I could have jumped for joy, not only was I allowed to see the whole grains, they are a thing of beauty, to run my fingers though those grains, well to be honest they warmed my heart a little, and that joy just exploded as I listened to the farmer who grew them talk.. his pride in what he grows darn near makes him glow..
Then comes the fact that he can grind the grain himself and that the soy is cooked and done just down the road, as he points to that farm, and yesterday I picked up my first full order (he had given me a half bag to try and see if I like it, the birds went crazy for it!), it was awesome, first off, the price was in line with my most reasonable feed store, but! the grains where of top quality, and unlike the others where they have best before dates to show how long they have sat between grinding and use.. these amazing bags of feed, had been ground just two or a day before I picked them up..
The horse oats are a thing of beauty.. Very pleased to have found this, it will be a very good thing indeed for my farm! Do you source your grains locally, and if so just how local? Are you one of the lucky ones that grows and harvest’s your own.