Evaluating Grains Grown in Aroostook County, Maine to Determine the Feasibility of Producing a Locally Grown Poultry Feed
Organic farming will be an ideal complement to the organic potato business in Aroostook County. The grains will be used to create only the Made in Maine Poultry Feed available. Being organic is an added plus to potential customers.
Completed: To date, grain samples have been collected from Aroostook County organic grain farmers and tested for nutritional components. These numbers have been entered into a computer program owned by Linda Kling, the nutritionist assisting with this grant. We have created several excellent rations based on Aroostook County grains. This computer program computes the amino acid values of the grains for you. We are using the nutritional values given in “The Nutritional Requirements of Poultry, Ninth edition”. This book may be found online at http://www.nap.edu/books/0309048923.html/143/html. Most of the vitamins will be purchased from CFS, an organic vitamin company in Wisconsin. The biggest disadvantage to using Aroostook County grains is that we can not grow field corn. An oat base will be used instead. While oats are more “tasty” to chickens than corn, they do not produce the nice deep yellow color in the yolks that corn does. I have located several possible organic pigment additives and am still in the process of testing them. I have researched licensing requirements for the state of Maine.
Additional Non-Grant work completed: Coastal Enterprises, Incorporated of Portland, Maine, has deemed our project to be worthy of their attention. They have paid for consultants to help us write a business plan. They have expanded the base work funded by SARE into a complete business idea. They will also be funding the purchase price of several pieces of equipment we need to upgrade in order to produce poultry feed on a large scale.
To be completed: I still need to finish testing of the pigment additives, to make my brochure, and to disseminate information at the Common Ground Country Fair this September.
University of Maine
105 Hitchner Hall
Orono, ME 04469
Office Phone: 2075812771