Pellets, Crumbles or Mash?

July 29, 2016 – Modesto, CA

Modesto Milling recently started formulating soy-free layer crumbles. This augments our organic poultry feed line that already includes starter and grower crumbles; broiler finisher pellets; layer pellets and crumbles; whole grain layer; turkey starter crumbles; scratch; soy-free layer pellets; soy-free starter and grower crumbles; soy-free finisher pellets; corn and soy-free layer pellet; and corn and soy-free starter and grower crumbles.

So, the question is why use crumbles versus pellets or mash? Several factors go into the choice.

Some people prefer to make their own feed or buy mash (where the ingredients are ground up and/or mixed together in a powdery form), then mix in their own ingredients. Popular add-ins include milk, cream, yogurt, scrambled eggs, table scraps, vitamins and others. But mash also has some downsides. There tends to be more waste and poultry also may pick out the pieces they like, leaving behind pieces they don’t, which may mean they don’t get all of the intended nutrients.

Pellets take the mash process further and use heat and pressure to form the mash into pellets. The heat and pressure help to break down some of the starches within the pellets, making digestion easier. Extra benefits include less waste and that the poultry have a harder time picking out the pieces they want, meaning they get a more balanced diet with all of the intended nutrients.

Crumbles add another step to the pellet process. The pellets are sent through two rollers that break the pellets into smaller pieces or crumbles. All of the benefits of the pellets still remain.

Some breeders have a preference for one of the three feed processing methods. Others vary the feed selection based on the age of the bird, the breed or the flock’s preferences.

Starter crumbles, as an example, tend to be fed to younger birds that may have a harder time eating large pellets. Bantam breeders tend to like crumbles because the breed is smaller than other breeds. And some birds just prefer crumbles over pellets or vice versa.

Modesto Milling produces organic crumbles and pellets that meet the needs of most breeders and the poultry they are feeding. If you have questions about which type of feed is best for your goals, situation and birds, we are here to help. You can learn more at or by emailing