Not Just Chicken Feed
Organic Feed Grains Come to the Northwest

by nw farms and food  -  Permalink
July 26, 2010

Ambauen-Meade Family

The Ambauen-Meade family at the Scratch and Peck organic feed mill.

When Diana Ambauen-Meade began raising backyard hens she never imagined she’d someday trade in her job as a mortgage banker for chicken feed. “I was mixing up my own feed, because I didn’t like what I was finding in the stores,” said Diana. She wanted non-soy, non-GMO, organic, Washington- grown whole grains for her chickens. And soon, her friends who had chickens saw what she was doing and wanted some too.

Happy to oblige, Diana borrowed her neighbor’s cement mixer and blended a variety of ingredients into a ton of feed. Over time, by carefully researching commercial and academic information and experimenting with her own pastured flock, Diana developed a high protein mix of organic whole grains, peas, sunflower seeds, kelp, and fish meal. The chickens and their eggs flourished, and the Scratch and Peck Feed Company was born.

Today, at their facility in Bellingham, Washington, Diana, her husband Dennis Meade, and son Bryon are building a grain mill capable of producing two tons of feed per hour. With Diana’s research, Dennis’ experience as an electrical contractor, and Bryon’s business education from Western Washington University, they bring an advantageous mix of skills to the enterprise.

chicken feed

Scratch & Peck layer blend

To start, they hired a grain mill consultant to advise them on the equipment needed for the Scratch and Peck organic feed mill. They located reconditioned equipment in Idaho and Eastern Washington, and hired master craftsman and designer, Michael Rudolph, to customize it to their needs. The result is a mill, consisting of four main machines connected by steel tubing: an intake hopper, an elevator leg, a mixing blender, and a hammer mill. This setup allows for the custom mixing of a variety of intact or milled whole grains into either 50 pound bags or one-ton tote bags for bulk orders.

The Ambauen-Meades source their grains from Whatcom, Skagit, and Snohomish Counties, with corn and peas coming from eastern Washington. They will use this locally-sourced organic grain to make custom feed for chickens, turkeys, pigs, goats, and sheep. Scratch and Peck expects to begin selling to the public around August 15th, 2010 from the mill site in the Irongate Industrial Park at 3883 Hammer Drive in Bellingham, and at Northwest feed stores.

When asked what she enjoys most about her new business, Diana says, “Working with farmers. They’re the best! Everyone’s down to earth and friendly. Really caring about what they’re doing.”

Grain Mill

The Scratch & Peck Grain Mill

More articles:
The Man Who Planted Wheat: Reintroducing Organic Grains to Western Washington
Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill: The Only Organic Mill in Washington State

15 Responses leave one →
  1. 2014 August 31
    Lisa permalink

    Where can I buy this feed? I live in North Idaho and would love to buy more locally from a trusted company.

  2. 2014 July 5
    Crystal permalink

    I am looking for chicken feed that is not just organic, non-GMO chicken feed but 100% vegetarian feed without any fish products or fish meal in it……

  3. 2014 January 27
    heidi permalink

    I make fodder from the Scratch and Peek feed. My girls go absolutely crazy for it and refused to eat their layer pellets.

  4. 2012 April 30
    Adams Princewill A. permalink

    Hi, I must say that’s an excellent work you got there.
    Please, how do i set up a feed mill as yours? I long to set up a feed mill as yours to help poultry farmers with the challenges they face as regards to feed needs of birds and to create employment opportunities for my community.
    Many thanks.
    Adams P. A. from Nigeria, Africa.

  5. 2012 February 14
    Mr.Mesbah Uddin permalink

    Hi, this is Mr.Mesbah Uddin from Bangladesh, Thanks to all of you. I highly appreciate your Farming Project ideas. I’m going to start a Sustainable Cooperative Based Poultry Project for the rural People.

  6. 2011 April 15
    peter Bressers permalink

    After languishing through winter our hens started on your feed and began laying again. Thanks. We are what they eat.

  7. 2011 April 14
    Jessica Gillis permalink

    Great article! We are hoping to start raising hens in our backyard soon and I am encouraged knowing there will be organic, healthy feed available. We are what we eat!

  8. 2010 September 14
    Sarai Stevens permalink

    Are you selling wholesale? There are some small scale commercial farmers in our Chuckanut area that would like to get a feed co-op going.

  9. 2010 September 6
    Ade permalink

    Am a final year mechanical engineering student in one of Nigerian universities, i intended designing a small(mini) chicken feed mixer as my final year project, i will be very grateful if you can help me with the design procedures. I need a model design to serve as a guide line for me to follow. Am looking forward to you for help

  10. 2010 September 1
    Barry & Debbie Doll permalink

    I remember going to Meade’s house to take photos for insurance and thier chickens were absolutly beautiful. Diana was mixing her special blend in her kitchen at the time. Having 15 chickens of our own, we asked to have the recipe. Diana went one further and began producing and selling her feed. Our girls absolutely love it and and look great too. It makes a major difference in general health and egg production to have this great product for our chickens.
    Thanks Diana,Dennis, and Bryon. We’re telling everyone about you!

  11. 2010 August 16
    Craig Drexler permalink

    Hi I just saw your web site. and an article on your company on another site.
    Nice to see someone doing things the right way.
    I do not have any poultry, but plan on raising some in the next couple of years. I have been researching the quality of food available in the US for a few years now, and Iam greatly disapointed at the garbage that is being passed of as quality food and or feed.
    Keep up the good work, and if I am ever in a position to order organic poultry feed from your company, I will do so.
    By
    Craig/phoenix

  12. 2010 July 31
    Christina permalink

    This is a great article and encouraging news! It is so nice to see businesses like Scratch n Peck take off! Yay for the local food movement and for locally fed hens!

  13. 2010 July 28
    Sarah permalink

    I’m really looking forward to your new milling process. Having less flour-like grain would be great. My hens love your feed but waste a lot of it on the floor of the coop. Yea for cracked grains!

  14. 2010 July 28
    Justine permalink

    What can I say, this feed is fabulous! I use Scratch & Peck feed for my small backyard flock and the girls love it and are flourishing. I also really appreciate being able to conveniently buy chicken feed that’s as locally sourced and unprocessed possible. Thank you Ambauen-Meade family and local farmers!

  15. 2010 July 27
    Suzanne Chandler permalink

    My ladies LOVE their Scratch and Peck feed.

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