Skipio has eliminated added fat from Dirty Grain. We have been informed by several aficionados that added fat is not only unnecessary but potentially harmful. We have found fat additions very useful with other birds and made the natural move to include it in test diets in the wild pheasant and quail studies that Dirty Grain was based upon. A secondary aspect of the fat is that it worked well as a binder for the fine micro-ingredients that comprise the “dirty”, the spirulina, and kelp that serves as our natural mineral resource. We are using a more costly, in terms of equipment and labor, method to bind the same ingredients together without the fat component.
One of the main reasons free range chicken eggs taste so much better than industrial eggs is that the hens have the opportunity to root around in the soil. This allows them to get minerals, micronutrients and grit. It also contains microbes and noticeable insects. I’ve heard lots of gardeners and farmers extol the virtues of their soil. It is with confidence and comfort I call this lovely poultry supplement Dirty Grain because it contains the same minerals and nutrients that can be found in soil.
Included in this mix is non-GMO wheat and corn coarse ground along with alfalfa, flax and oyster-shell. Into this base I blend fine powdered kelp and powdered spirulina. Next, coarse ground dehydrated Musca domestica larvae and pupae that were grown and processed at my insectary. The insect particles stick to the greasy grain particles and give the “dirty look”. Every peck gives most all of what is offered.
One of the tricks I’ve used over the years is to employ the ultraviolet reflectivity of the pupae. Many natural foods reflect UV and bird’s eyes can detect it. They also know that it generally means there is something to eat. So I add dry pupae to act as little beacons enticing the birds to investigate.
Last year my cousin Dave, who is a superb baker, made a huge batch of canolis for desert for a family party. They looked to me very much like housefly pupae cases or shells from which the adult insect had emerged and left behind. Dave filled his shells with luscious creams, cheese and fruit. Now while the empty pupae cases do not have the same nutritional benefit of the whole insect there is significant value none the less. That dessert prompted me to try to fill the empty pupae cases because I knew the birds already liked them. I worked up a technique for “loading” additional nutrition, spirulina and kelp, into the empty shells. These nutritious UV reflective gems are the finishing touch to Dirty Grain. They catch the bird’s attention and excite them to feast.
As usual we have the quality on the inside of the bag where it belongs. Our packaging is selected to protect and preserve the food. The labels are simple, clear, legal and accurate.
Ingredients: Wheat, corn, alfalfa, flax, kelp, insect (fly larva and pupa), oyster shell, spirulina
Protein 16%, Fiber 8%
Directions for Use: broadcast to feeding area or use as top dressing on other grain, scratch or crumble.