Why did the chicken cross the road? To eat Non-GMO Project Verified feed, of course! Spring is in the air and we are excited to welcome all the baby animals that are born this time of year – especially chicks!
Since 1996, poultry farmers have fed genetically modified grains and oilseeds to their chicken flocks and herds.  Chicken feed is commonly comprised of corn, soybeans, canola meal, and alfalfa meal – all of which are considered “high-risk” crops because there are commercially available genetically modified versions currently on the market. Because more than 80 percent of the corn and soybeans grown in the U.S. are now grown from genetically modified seed, almost all corn and soy used in conventional poultry production is genetically modified.
Did those statistics ruffle your feathers? Rest assured, in order to produce Non-GMO Project Verified eggs, chicks must be fed non-GMO feed starting from the second day after hatching.
You can also consider raising your own chickens; a great way to ensure your fresh eggs are non-GMO is to feed them Non-GMO Project Verified feed. This month, we teamed up with Scratch and Peck Feeds to glean some helpful tips on raising backyard chickens.
Scratch and Peck Feeds is dedicated to promoting sustainable farming practices and producing healthy, wholesome, and clean animal feeds using quality ingredients. Diana Ambauen-Meade started making her own chicken feed in 2009 because she couldn’t find a high quality organic whole grain feed in stores. What started as a small operation in her backyard with a borrowed cement mixer has now turned into a successful, full-blown animal feed mill in Northern Washington; by 2013, Scratch and Peck Feeds was both certified organic and Non-GMO Project Verified.
Why was it so important for Scratch and Peck to become Non-GMO Project Verified? “More and more people are making the connection that ‘you are what your animals eat,’ our tagline,” Diana remarked. “If we’re raising chickens on a diet of Non-GMO Project Verified and certified organic whole grain feeds, we’re doing our own bodies good when we cook up a delicious omelet or bake with those fresh eggs. It’s why we decided not to include soy in any of our products and to only use Non-GMO Project Verified and certified organic corn in our feeds and treats that include it. Ridding our food chain of GMOs has to start from the ground up.” Sounds fresh to us!
Before you run out to your local farmers’ co-op and buy a dozen of the cutest chicks they have, Diana cautioned that raising chickens is a responsibility. “Before delving into backyard chicken keeping, you should consider if you are ready to do things like clean out the coop, feed the chickens daily, and provide ample space for them to express their chickenness. You will also need to be well-versed in city ordinances for keeping chickens and consider who will take care of the flock if you go on vacation, and decide what you will do with the hens once they are no longer laying.”
Once you’ve committed to your new pastoral endeavor, sourcing Non-GMO Project Verified feed is easier than ever thanks to innovative companies like Scratch and Peck. Many other feed companies have followed suit, and Scratch and Peck hopes that is an indicator that they’ve been able to lead by example.
If you live in the city, or can’t make the commitment to raise your own flock – don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Simply purchase Non-GMO Project Verifiedat your local market … they’re an eggs-cellent choice!
Learn more about Scratch and Peck Feeds here!
 National Chicken Council