The Rise of Clean Urban Farming

by Scratch and Peck Feeds

Something good happened in the agricultural industry, but it came quietly. On January 1, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) restricted the use of antibiotics in animals. That means that farmers of food-producing animals need to find alternatives to treating their animals, such as improved housing conditions to limit infection and viruses, as well as natural remedies to maintain overall health of the animals. If antibiotics are necessary, producers need authorization by a licensed veterinarian who has an understanding and knowledge of the producer’s operations. The goal? Help eliminate the casual, widespread use of antibiotics — a routine practice in factory farming.

Since the 1940s, antibiotics have been freely administered at low doses to animals raised for the mass production of meat, eggs, and dairy products. The intent was to help facilitate rapid weight gain, promote faster growth, and ward off sickness from poor and unsanitary living conditions. Even if an animal is not ill, large-scale producers have often given antibiotics to keep potential illness at bay. That’s like treating ourselves daily with antibiotics to stave off potential infections, rather than incorporating healthy lifestyles and natural remedies to build our immune systems.

The overuse of antibiotics in the U.S. is staggering. In 2012, the FDA reported 32 million pounds of antibiotics were used in the production of food animals! This practice has reduced the effectiveness of drugs in the long run and has resulted in antibiotic resistance in humans, something that first came to light as early as 1969. Further proof that you are what your animals eat!

As the filthy and shocking conditions of factory farming have come to the public’s attention, interest in where food comes from has piqued, and more and more people have taken matters of food into their own hands. The rise in backyard poultry keeping and homesteading has been an impetus for large-scale food producers to start cleaning up their acts. Workers at smaller, sustainable farms know that clean coops, lots of natural lighting, and open spaces for pasturing create a healthy environment with happy animals. Eliminating factors that breed bacteria means that antibiotics are rarely needed to produce healthy poultry and eggs. This collective force of all of us growing more of our own food has lit a fire for a more sustainable food movement!

Scratch and Peck Feeds was born from the need for cleaner, higher quality feed. Our raw, whole grain feeds allow animals to receive optimal nutritional benefits that are often lost in pelletized feeds. Our feeds have always been antibiotic free, and we’re proud to be working alongside the fresh wave of today’s organic farmers in the quest for clean feed. Those relationships help create community, support sustainable agriculture and increase the amount of land dedicated to organic farming while delivering healthy food for animals. Even as we have expanded our product line to include feeds for goats, pigs, turkeys, and poultry supplements and treats, we maintain our value of producing all natural, medication-free products for animals.

We’re dedicated to educating others about proper care, clean housing, natural pest deterrents (such as apple cider vinegar and herbs) and feeding their animals organic from day one, so that their animals can live healthier. Every week, we hear from customers expressing their gratitude for quality products they feel confident feeding their animals. We’re so grateful for all the farmers — from the urban farmers to the homesteaders to the sustainable growers and producers — who support what we do and have helped shape these new guidelines for clean, whole foods for both our animals and ourselves.

Scratch and Peck Feeds is a Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified animal feed producer. Their mission is to make honest, wholesome organic animal feed products with the most heartfelt regard for our planet and fellow living creatures.

Dalia Monterroso is a chicken educator and enthusiast, focusing on teaching the basics of backyard chicken keeping in Northwest Washington. She is the former owner of a local farm store, has a popular Facebook page called “Welcome to Chickenlandia”, and is currently an ambassador for Scratch and Peck Feeds. Dalia loves sharing the ins and outs of chicken keeping and aims to pass on the peace and significance it brought into her life.