I obsess about chicken feed. I know you find that hard to believe (<—sarcasm). I’m always looking for some kind of wonder-feed that will make my chickens big, shiny, happy and able to bench press a Dodge Ram. It’s sort of ironic, because my daughter, who’s ten, basically survives on pizza and chicken nuggets and the occasional cereal bar. She’s one of those kids who decided at some point in her infancy that food with any kind of nutritional value must be avoided at all costs. At some point I just gave up getting her to try new things because the drama was just too much. The chickens on the other hand will inhale anything I give them which balances out the feeling that I’m the “WORST PARENT IN THE WORLD” because Emma won’t eat anything green…or anything else for that matter.
I’ve been buying feed for the chickens at a local farm supply store. I even found non-GMO, organic feed at said farm supply store. I even went so far as to buy a bag. However, it did not deter me from my course in finding the BEST CHICKEN FOOD ON THE PLANET. I have no idea how to judge whether or not it’s the best chicken food on the planet, but I’ll figure that out…or I’ll just buy the kind that looks prettiest. Which is basically how I make choices about a lot of things.
Yesterday, after Tom’s little stint to the doctor’s office, we came home and hung out for a while. I have this weird problem with anxiety. Everything can be perfectly fine and I get so anxious that I’m unable to do anything productive and I sort of spin my wheels and agonize about things that really don’t matter a whole lot. Tom has come to the point where he can see when I’m getting a little bit too wound up about dumb stuff and he knows that if he gets me out of the house, I’ll calm down because I’m distracted by shiny things. I also have a tendency to spend money online when I’m anxious, so when he saw me shopping for chickens online he suggested that we go for a ride somewhere and then in the next sentence he said “We could go find that feed store you’ve been talking about.”
Feed store? I had my flip-flops on and was waiting in the truck before he could find his sun glasses.
I’ve been to a few feed stores recently in the search for the perfect chicken chow. Last Saturday we went to a local feed store that I’ve never been to before and found that it was a MECCA for animal stuff. Especially horse stuff. I used to show horses and had a big beautiful Arabian gelding. Tom went to the men’s room while I was in this feed store and when he returned I’d already picked out Ariat riding boots, several pieces of tack and was talking to the clerk about fancy over reach boots. Tom pointed out that I didn’t have a horse and wasn’t getting one. Thank you Tommy Buzzkill. So I asked the lady behind the counter (who was totally frazzled because the computer was down and she was having to figure tax on purchases with a calculator) where all the chicken stuff was. She looked confused and said “We have chicken FOOD…what else do they need?”
Obviously, she knows nothing about chickens.
So we set out for this other feed store yesterday. I had no idea where it was, but I had an address. I thought it shouldn’t be too hard to find and I knew that this chain of feed stores had locations all over the south, just not in Indiana…which means we had to drive to Kentucky which really is just over the river from where we live. I assumed that the feed store would be in the town of Henderson because the address is Henderson. Let’s just say…I was wrong. After a half hour of driving in the wilds of Kentucky (it really wasn’t that wild, but it was the middle of nowhere) we finally drove up to the store which was essentially a huge pole building with ten thousand anhydrous ammonia tanks parked outside. I said something witty like “Look! They make meth here!” as we pulled into a parking space and then I rocketed out of the truck because I get really excited at new stores.
As we went into the store, a bell rang signaling that a customer (us) had arrived. There didn’t appear to be anyone around that worked there. I was instantly disappointed because I really thought it would be a cool feed store. In the store portion of the building, which was just a fraction of the whole building…and I mean a TINY fraction, there was a big gun safe, a generator and a lot of fly spray on display. Welcome to Kentucky. That pretty much sums up the state right there (sorry Kentucky people). About that time, a short, round, greasy looking guy in a seed corn hat that looked like it had been dipped in grease shuffled out of the back room followed by a woman in a monogrammed company smock and another guy that looked like he lived under a tractor. I asked if they had organic, non GMO chicken feed. The round greasy seed corn hat guy chuckled. The lady told me that she could order it, but it was THIRTY-SEVEN DOLLARS a bag and then she waited for me to be aghast at the price. I just replied “yep…it can be pricey”. Greasy Seed Corn Hat said “Jest puttem outside and they’ll find what they need…you don’t need no fancy food.” I laughed and shot him a death glare at the same time and replied “They’re home eating a yellow watermelon right now.” Greasy Seed Corn Hat said something he thought was funny that I don’t remember and Living Under a Tractor guy roared with laughter. I rolled my eyes and thanked them and we were out the door and back in the truck and on our way home. The whole thing took less than 5 minutes.
So the adventure was a total bust. I continue to seek out the world’s finest chicken chow, which I could totally order online, but shipping is outrageous for a 40 pound bag of chicken feed. The stuff I have is perfectly fine, non-GMO, organic feed and they love it BUT! I will not rest until I find them the PRETTIEST non-GMO, organic chicken feed.
You know I’m kidding, right? As long as they eat it, are healthy, happy and can bench press that Dodge Ram, I don’t care how it looks.
And now…for your listening pleasure….I give you….Cluckzilla (insert applause here)
I shared this post on the Backyard Farming Connection Hop #85!