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Scratch and Peck: New feed company comes to town

Sep 16th, 2010 | Category: Community

by Becca Schwarz Cole

Diana Ambauen-Meade began making homemade chicken feed for her backyard flock in 2009. A year later, she’s still making it, but in far larger batches.
Based in the Bremerton area last year, Ambauen-Meade had concerns about labeling and what exactly was in her chicken feed, and aspired to create a wholesome recipe using regional ingredients. “It’s important to me and I think it’s important to others,” she said about knowing what ingredients are in feed. “That’s my whole “you are what your animals eat” thing.” Word spread about her feed, and she admits “It just grew from there.”
Ambauen-Meade, with help from her husband Dennis, an electrician, and son Bryon, opened Scratch and Peck Feed, a mill located in the Irongate district of Bellingham. Bryon graduated from Western Washington University with a business degree, and the couple now plans to move to the Bellingham area.
“I love working with my family,” she said.
The family purchased used equipment for a fraction of what it would cost new, including a grain hopper, elevator and mixer. With the help of Michael Rudolph, who put together all of the equipment and refurbished some of the parts, they were in business. “He came down from heaven and saved us,” Ambauen-Meade said of Rudolph.
In the course of a year, Ambauen-Meade had gone from blending feed at home – even borrowing a neighbor’s cement mixer to finish the process – to a mill that literally blends and stores tons.
Feed is available in different formulas  – feed for egg layers and meat birds for example – in 25-, 40-, and 50-pound bags, as well as a half and full ton. “We use almost the same ingredients, they are just formulized differently based on the animals’ needs,” Ambauen-Meade  said, adding she works with a nutritionist to create the whole grain, soy-free feeds. Blends are also available for pigs, goats, sheep and turkeys.
The feed is comprised of ingredients grown in the region, including grain from eastern Washington, and peas from Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota. However she recently connected with a pea farmer in eastern Washington who also grows wheat.
The ingredients are organic, however the company is currently going through its certification process.
Ambauen-Meade said they are continuing to set up their retail space, and customers are welcome to stop by. The company has several retailers including Hohl Feed & Seed Co. on Railroad Avenue in Bellingham and Lynden Farm and Garden, as well as into Seattle.
Ambauen-Meade said she’s excited about the business and meeting other people who raise chickens. “Chicken people are wonderful people,” she said.
Scratch and Peck Feed is located at 3883 Hammer Drive in Bellingham and can be reached at 318-7585 or online at www.scratchandpeck.com.

One Comment to “Scratch and Peck: New feed company comes to town”

  1. This chap Michael Rudolph is quite the guy. He did some work for us when he lived in Southern California and it was examplary. Even when we had to have the job inspected, the inspector upon hearing that Mr. Rudolph did the job, said in that case he would not even have to come out, that Mr. Rudolph did excellent work, of course he did show, part of his job.
    This man is inventive, a perfectionist and does show up on time.
    Sincerely
    Karin I. Reynolds

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