Posts Tagged ‘feeding’
I’m sitting here tonight going over our monthly and annual budgets. We’ve been doing pretty good at saving some money wherever we can in our goal to move to another state next year. I’ve worked at slashing our spending and am surprised at the savings I’ve found in one important area – pet food.
By pets, I’m not including the poultry, horses or cattle. Strictly dogs and cats – 3 pooches and 7 purrers. Even though we are now feeding a higher priced feed to both cats and dogs, we have actually been saving quite a bit of money. It all comes down to a better quality feed and the animals eating/needing less to be healthier and more satisfied.
Even though I am fairly well versed in animal nutrition, I used to be bad about watching sales and using coupons for my cat and dog food. Whatever seemed to be decent pet food for a decent price AND had coupons available prompted me to try to save a buck. Unfortunately, my critters paid for it with poor coats and up/down weight issues. So I went to the other extreme and bought really pricey, overly hyped feeds. I think probably more to assuage my guilt than anything else. This also didn’t really benefit my animals or my pocketbook.
Flash forward to last winter when I went to work part-time for our new Tractor Supply. I chatted with a few of the nutritionists and feed reps to see what they were feeding their own animals. I found it very interesting that most of them were using the TSC brand “4 Health” pet food. It’s priced pretty much in the middle of the scale and the ingredients seem to be exceptionally good. So I gradually switched my crews over to the age or issue-appropriate formulas and I am thrilled!
Both cats and dogs have all done very well with these feeds. Their coats are thick and glossy, they all maintain healthy weights, fewer hairballs for the cats and a large bonus overall – less poop. That may seem funny or trivial to some, but when you have a 125 pound hound, you want much smaller landmines and way fewer of them. Since there are so many less fillers and more of the good nutrients, the animals utilize the feed better and need less to be happily full.
So I’m curious what kind of pet food do you feed your furballs? Anyone else use 4 Health?
Like many of you I spend hours upon hours this time of year drooling over the newest seed catalogs and planning the garden’s future. There’s a big difference for us at MoonCat Farms this time around though, we’re also deciding what kind of crops to grow for our chickens!
Since becoming the chicken mama to my feathered friends, I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can about what I can feed them – especially at this time of year. The ground is bare and there aren’t many tasty bugs to be had so I need to supplement their fare. Trying to give them fresh produce is costing a fortune! They’ve been eating some very interesting concoctions that I’ve been creating in the kitchen as well.
For the most part, I’ve gathered that if it is natural and healthy for us ~ it should be pretty much the same for them. They have been enjoying A LOT of fresh spinach, cooked peas and beans, various fruits, a bit of fish or other proteins on occasion, homemade suet cake treats, etc. This is of course on top of their chicken mash, scratch and pellets.
When the garden was still in full swing we discovered that tomatoes and watermelon are their top choices. They’d line up like little inmates at the fence and beg for tomatoes. Squash and peas were OK once they’re cooked by the chicken mama, most greens were welcomed as well. Strawberries and blackberries were another favorite treat along with cucumbers.
Besides the normal fruits and veggies that we’re growing for ourselves, I’m trying to figure out what we can add for the chickens. I will be doing a lot of canning, freezing and drying of our own foodstuffs and things such as comfrey, spinach and other greens for the birds. I would like to get any suggestions that some more experienced chicken keepers might have as to what else would be good for getting us through the winter a bit cheaper..