Why Feed Chickens Certified Organic?

Innovative backyard chicken farmers are busy setting up brooders, researching breeds of chickens and prepping to bring home their new chicks. After studying feed options, new chicken farmers realize there are many choices available. Not only overwhelmed with conventional options, but also add in certified organic choices as well. With all these choices, trying to streamline what is best can be frustrating. Today more than ever, customers are concerned with ingredients and what we are eating. Wondering why certified organic costs more, than conventional, let’s examine the differences. Reading labels can get confusing. The word “natural” has no regulated definition. Just seeing the word organic, does not necessarily mean all the ingredients are organic. Made with organic, is stating that at least 70% of the ingredients are certified organic. Products that contain the USDA certified organic logo contain all certified 100% organic ingredients, with the exception of water and salt.

Customers who are concerned about herbicides and pesticides, such as glyphosates, need not worry about their backyard pets, when feeding certified organic.  Chemicals are not allowed to be part of the certified organic program. Chemicals cannot be used in the process of manufacturing certified organic feeds.  Instead, all certified organic feeds are processed with only heat and steam. Finally, the certified organic program does not allow for genetically modified organisms. Rest assured if choosing to feed your chickens certified organic feed it will be Non-GMO.

Certified organic feed mills require more documentation, and oversight than a regular conventional feed mill. While there are several options for a feed mill to use for an organic certifier, Modesto Milling has chosen Oregon Tilth, as our third-party certifier. Oregon Tilth makes annual on-site inspections of the Modesto Milling mill, oversees our ingredients year round, and approves our formulas. Pioneers in certified organic processes Oregon Tilth is providing education and advocacy

Modesto Milling cares about all the ingredients we use in our certified organic chicken feeds. Not only is Modesto Milling formulating products with certified organic ingredients, we use Redmond Clay Conditioner which can help naturally rid the body of toxins. Food grade Diatomaceous Earth has been shown to help control parasites and stimulate basic metabolism while helping with production. Kelp from Acadian Sea plants provides trace minerals in a naturally balanced way. Zeolite can aid in internal cleansing. Essential oils, such as garlic, anise, and cinnamon can help fight inflammation, which will help with the overall health of your chicken. All of these ingredients are included in the Modesto Milling production process.

Modesto Milling Announces Organic Horse Senior Pellet

May 1, 2018 – Modesto, CA

Modesto Milling has added a new feed, Organic Horse Senior Pellet, to its line of premium horse products.  This feed has all the benefits of Modesto Milling’s existing horse formulations, such as flax and sunflower seeds, coconut and kelp meal, and being nutritionally balanced to complement the horse’s forage.

This Organic Senior Pellet has a reduced starch level for horses that require a concentrate feed without the higher starch level found in the Organic Horse PLUS that is made with whole grains. Like the Organic Horse Supplement Pellet, the Organic Senior Pellet contains a small amount of oats to add palatability and beta-glucans for gastro-intestinal health. This new feed is formulated without soy, corn, or molasses for horse owners who prefer to avoid these types of ingredients.

The pelleted feed keeps choosy horses from sorting out their favorite parts of the feed and leaving the rest, but contains most of the same ingredients as Horse PLUS. The pellets can be easily soaked to make a mash for older horses that may struggle with sensitive teeth.

“Modesto Milling is delighted to add the new Organic Horse Senior Pellet to its line of quality, certified organic feeds for horses and livestock. This augments the mill’s full line of grains and certified organic alfalfa pellets to meet horses and owner’s needs and preferences,” says Andrea Kaldhusdal, Sales/Territory Manager, Southern Region.

Information about Organic Horse Senior Pellet can be obtained here or by contacting the individuals below.

Chris Wagner
209-523-9167 ext.9107

Andrea Kaldhusdal, Sales/Territory Manager, Southern Region


Modesto Milling Announces Organic Mini Pig Feed

March 1, 2018 – Modesto, CA

Pot-bellied pigs began trending as pets in the early 90’s and, as time progressed, other small domestic pig breeds such as the KuneKune have come on the scene. This revolution of miniature pigs as pets has stoked the popularity of terms like “mini pigs” and “teacup pigs”.

Modesto Milling has responded to the increased demand for high-quality nutritional feed for pet mini pigs by creating its new certified Organic Mini Pig Pellet (#643). Modesto Milling has worked to produce a mini pig feed that meets the nutritional requirements of these special pets while eliminating GMO’s, pesticides, herbicides, and other impurities.

Some satisfied customers have noted that the Organic Mini Pig Pellet has aided in improving skin and coat conditions and has a more pleasant smell than competitive brands. The Organic Mini Pig Pellet is packaged in 25 pound bags, simplifying shipping and home storage.

Information about flat rate shipping for individual orders or retailing the feed can be found by contacting the individuals below. Nutritional information and the feed tag can be viewed here.

Chris Wagner
209-523-9167 ext.9107

Andrea Kaldhusdal, Sales/Territory Manager, Southern Region

Lori Bianchi, Sales/Territory Manager, Northern Region

Modesto Milling: Past, Present and Future

December 8, 2017 – Modesto, CA

This is the time of year when people naturally move toward thinking more about holidays, reviewing the last year’s accomplishments, checking the current state and trends in their businesses and planning for the upcoming year. The team here at Modesto Milling is no exception.

We look back at 2017 and see new products like our duck and gamebird feeds. We also started marketing some of our 10 lb. bags of feed on and added many new retailers and customers to our existing base. We are proud of and grateful for all of these achievements.

We have also been working on the development and implementation of a new logo for the last few months. You will begin to see that logo on the feed packaging, on the web and the other places you would normally see the Modesto Milling brand. The logo is an evolution or refinement as opposed to a completely new look. You can also expect Modesto Milling to evolve and refine as a company going into 2018.

2017 has given Modesto Milling many reasons for gratitude. We thank our customers, retailers, distributors, vendors, partners and team for contributing to Modesto Milling’s successes this year. We wish you all a restful, yet productive rest of the year, a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2018!

If you have questions or needs, you can reach out directly to Chris Wagner at 209-523-9167 ext.9107 or; Andrea Kaldhusdal, Sales/Territory Manager, Southern Region at or Lori Bianchi, Sales/Territory Manager, Northern Region at

Organically Fed-Setting Trends in the Show Arena

September 5, 2017 – Modesto, CA

After noticing a select number of 4-H and FFA members across California were starting to raise turkeys, rabbits and a few show hogs on organic feed to take to their local county fairs, Modesto Milling saw an opportunity to educate and encourage a young generation on feeding livestock organically. Modesto Milling started working with the livestock council at Antelope Valley Fair in 2016 to implement an organic fed hog class. Modesto Milling donated $500 in premium money, which the fair allocated $300 for champion and $200 for second place. A buckle for champion was provided by a separate sponsor. Lori Bianchi from Modesto Milling accepted an invitation to speak at the Antelope Valley Livestock Symposium in January 2017. This was a chance for young opportunists to jump start their education on raising livestock organically.

At the fair, organic fed pigs were on display in their own section of the swine barn, for fair attendees to view. Andrea Kaldhusdal from Modesto Milling was there to watch on show day. She was able to visit with the kids before they went in the show ring. Participants demonstrated their knowledge by showing her their organic scrub made from organic sugar and coconut oil. Kids shared their feeding program and what they learned by choosing to feed organically.

Once the kids were in the show ring, the ring steward read the class rules from the premium book, so the audience would understand these kids were trying something new and different from a regular market class. Degan Calandri from Quartz Hill 4-H Club left the show ring with his Champion Organic Fed Hog.

On August 24th, the Kiwanis Jr. Livestock Auction proved to be the concluding excitement for the week. Organic fed hogs sold for $9 per pound, which was above the sale average. The final highlight of the auction was when Tanner Rocky, a young 4-Her validated exactly what 4-H promotes, a heart for greater loyalty and hands for larger service. Tanner generously donated his organically fed pig to the Antelope Valley Livestock Council Scholarship fund.  Tanner’s pig sold last in the auction and raised $7,000!

Modesto Milling is proud of these youth who tried something new, and gained knowledge along the way. What an amazing experience for all who participated at the Antelope Valley Fair. As for the future, who knows where this will lead…..

If you have questions about the class or raising organic fed hogs, you can always reach out directly to Chris Wagner at 209-523-9167 ext.9107 or; Andrea Kaldhusdal, Sales/Territory Manager, Southern Region at or Lori Bianchi, Sales/Territory Manager, Northern Region at

Monitoring Regional Feed Trends

August 4, 2017 – Modesto, CA

There is no better way to monitor feed trends than to talk with end-users, retailers, distributors and other feed producers. Modesto Milling participates in many tradeshows each year to get the information we need to stay ahead of the curve on movements and needs within the organic feed community. Shows like the Mother Earth News Fair, The Heirloom Expo and Super Zoo are all examples of how we do mass outreach across the feed “food chain”.

Mother Earth News Fair in Albany, OR ( is a general interest show that draws 15,000 people from the western states and other parts of the country. There are lots of vendors showcasing organic and handcrafted products but, most importantly, shows like this one and The Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa, CA ( allow us to tap into grassroots demand, needs and conversations – hearing directly from feed consumers (or at least their owners). These types of conversations actually led to the release of our new Whole Grain Gamebird (#745) and Duck Layer (#755) formulations.

Super Zoo in Las Vegas, NV ( is more focused on pet food retailers and distributors. Shows like this one help us connect directly with stores from across the country that market our feeds locally or want to. Additionally, we have the opportunity to interact with industry and pet wellness experts while sharing our experience in the organic space and trends we are seeing in other areas of the country. One of the trends we are seeing amongst pet stores, for instance, is that where they traditionally predominantly served the dog and cat markets, they are now seeing increased interest in backyard poultry, especially for chickens, and also hearing more demand for rabbit and chinchilla feeds.

Watching the entire supply chain from production through distribution and retail to the farmyard or backyard has proven to produce some of our best ideas and helped customers continue to reach their goals. Shows are just one way we do that, though. If you have questions, goals or needs to discuss, you can always reach out directly to Chris Wagner at 209-523-9167 ext.9107 or; Andrea Kaldhusdal, Sales/Territory Manager, Southern Region at or Lori Bianchi, Sales/Territory Manager, Northern Region at

Modesto Milling Welcomes Coastal Farm and Ranch

July 5, 2017 – Modesto, CA

The Modesto Milling blog has recently covered the expansion of its distribution footprint. This month, we would like to showcase one of the regional chains that is an example of that growth: Coastal Farm and Ranch.

Coastal Farm and Ranch is based in the Pacific Northwest and is now selling Modesto Milling feed in 10 of its stores in Oregon and Washington. Our feed will help round out Coastal’s organic feed offerings and provide a regional organic option in addition to some of its existing nationally available and high-production feed products.

We often talk about our customers’ goals and desires for breeding and raising their birds and animals. We also talk about a desire for organic, non-GMO and environmentally friendly feeds. We don’t always cover some of the broader buying and consumption goals that tend to be important to our clients. These goals include supporting local or regional businesses and artisanship or handcrafted offerings.

Companies like Coastal Farm and Ranch understand that these goals are important to their customers and that, while some customers take comfort in a large national brand, others are much happier to support the “little or medium-sized guy.” Plus, organically-oriented consumers tend to like the idea of being able to reach someone directly involved in the production of their products, as opposed to having to navigate a corporate phone tree if they have a question about ingredients, philosophies or product uses. Modesto Milling helps our retailers satisfy those needs of the end users.

Coastal Farm and Ranch is currently testing five Modesto Milling feeds in its stores in Albany, OR; Eugene, OR; Oregon City, OR; Gresham, OR; Cornelius, OR; Redmond, OR; White City, OR; Sequim, WA; Mt. Vernon, WA and Auburn, WA. These organic feeds include: Soy-Free Dairy/Livestock Grain Pellets #5046, Hog Grower Pellets #5006, Scratch #5039, Whole Grain Layer #5066 and Rabbit Pellets #5044. If you are near one of their stores and are running low on feed or want to try something new, you may want to stop by and check local availability.

Happy Independence Day!

Modesto Milling is Expanding Its Retail Distribution

June 6, 2017 – Modesto, CA

Modesto Milling is seeing huge growth in the amount of feed stores it services across the country. We are bringing on new retailers in California, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Montana as well as other states. This is not only great news for Modesto Milling, it is also great news for customers.

Local retailers add convenience, reduce lead times, help distribute shipping costs and, in some cases, can produce a volume of orders to warrant custom feed formulations to meet specific needs of their regional customer base.

Feed stores and other retailers that tend to be our strongest partners have some common attributes. They watch trends, and they are in very close contact with their customers, so they understand those customers’ needs and goals. For example, they may be tracking a local interest in organic feed or a growing disenchantment with large, high-production feed brands. These stores realize Modesto Milling can satisfy both of these issues.

We try to make it easy for these stores to dip their toes in the water to see if Modesto Milling will appeal to their clients. We often provide free samples and signage to stores to help them get started. We don’t require minimum orders, so there is little risk for new potential retailers. We also list them on our website and announce them in our monthly email newsletter to make it easier for customers to find them.

We can customize formulations for those who gain traction or want to increase traction. We can fully customize the feed for orders of 3 tons or more, but we also have 5 “secret menu” semi-custom formulations available in 1 ton tote or larger orders. Some retailers even use us to formulate for their own house “bagged and branded” offerings. These large scale orders and production runs often qualify for wholesale pricing.

If you manage a feed store and are considering trying Modesto Milling or customizing a feed offering, reach out to our sales team at If you are looking for a local retailer, you can find a partial list at or contact Chris Wagner at 209-523-9167 ext.9107 or

Gamebird and Duck Feeds Available Soon

May 2, 2017 – Modesto, CA

Modesto Milling will soon be producing two new product offerings to respond to demand for feeds for gamebird growth and duck egg production: Organic Whole Grain Gamebird #745 and Organic Duck Layer Pellets #755.

The Organic Whole Grain Gamebird formula is a complete feed for growing and adult gamebirds, ducks, geese, turkeys and chickens. It has 20% protein and 4.6% fat levels, which are helpful for growth; feather quality, brightness and darkness; energy levels and muscle development.

The gamebird feed is made up of half whole grains like whole corn, peas, wheat, milo, barley, oats and black oil sunflower seeds – all of which are organically grown. The other half of the ingredients are pelletized items like soy bean meal, alfalfa, herbs, essential oils, vitamin mix, kelp, and diatomaceous earth. The combination is designed to meet breeders’ desires to provide a “just harvested” type of feed regimen, while adding aesthetic and flavor qualities that will be attractive to the birds all in a way that reduces wasted feed.

The Organic Duck Layer Pellets are designed to be a standalone feed, but can also be used in combination with a pasture-based diet. Organic feed is a major component of organic egg production. The duck layer pellets have 17% protein and 2.6% fat levels, which are helpful for aiding in the egg production process.

If egg quality is important to you, you will be happy to know that our customers have shared testimonies of stronger shells, darker yolks and better flavor while using our layer feeds. We have also heard many stories about the layers having healthier plumage, better meat taste and higher production levels.

Both new feed offerings will be available in 50 pound bags in coming weeks, but you can pre-order them now at If you have questions or want to determine which feed is right for you and your flock, please contact Chris Wagner at 209-523-9167 ext.9107 or

Do different breeds require different feeds?

April 5, 2017 – Modesto, CA

Some breeds of chickens grow and reach egg-producing maturity much more quickly, while others traditionally grow and mature at a slower pace. So, questions come up about whether it makes sense to prolong the use of chick feed, grower, etc. The simple answer is that it depends.

There is not an exact science to feed choice or length of time each feed phase should be maintained. Factors such as cost, age and size of flock, philosophies and other goals all need to be considered.

Agriculture production levels may require developing more rigid phase and feeding schedules just to maintain processes and profitability. Backyard or urban farming, however, may allow much more flexibility and, in some cases, may be the only way to achieve a desired outcome.

Many people want access to organic poultry and eggs to reduce exposure to GMOs and to avoid unnecessary pesticides and toxins. Those needs might be satisfied by commercially available products in the general marketplace. But clients who want soy-free or corn- and soy-free poultry and eggs will likely be unable to find them at their local big-box or grocery store. The only options for these consumers will likely be raising chickens themselves or finding local producers who put those qualities over profitability.

Ultra-specific goals like these will reduce feed choices and may affect production and costs. Soy-free feeds may meet the goal of avoiding soy, but there can be tradeoffs in the areas of quality of protein and amounts of amino acids. Lowering the amino acids may also reduce egg production, which could increase the amount of time, cost and birds needed to reach the same overall production goals.

The feeding of flocks for specific goals isn’t necessarily an exact science, but if it starts to feel complicated, reach out to Chris Wagner at 209-523-9167 ext.9107 or He will help you simplify the process and reach your goals.