Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Early Bird Gets the 13.5% Pellets

Ok - let me preface this post by saying that I do not have a one-stop shop for all of my farming needs. The Goats eat Goat Chow, by Purina, which is available at the Ace Hardware in Lincolnton. But Ace is a hardware store - not a farm supply store - and so I have to go to Duan Farm Supply up in Maiden to get hay, straw, mineral blocks, etc. (although last time we were up at Duan the manager told us they make their own feed which was comparable to Goat Chow and Marty & I are considering making the switch.) We can also get corn at Duan, which is good, because right now we get it directly from the Shrum farm (although since we put the goats on a diet, they've been eating less corn) which is just one more stop to have to make on the ever growing list of farm-related shopping trips.

It's all sort of one giant pain in the...and I've been dreading having to get Dixie's feed because, well - you guessed it, it's located at a completely different place.

Now, I know. You're thinking I am high maintenance and therefore my animals are high maintenance. Shouldn't I just pick one store and suck it up and buy whatever they have? Possibly. But actually, with horses, a change in feed can cause them to colic (or so says my vet) and even though I've got a shot of Bamamine in the fridge, I don't really want to have to use it and so I am playing it safe.

It's true that as long as you keep the protein and fat ratios constant, it shouldn't matter what brand of feed you get, but the breeder was feeding Dixie Bartlett 13.5% protein pellets and that's what we've been feeding her (since the breeder was nice enough to give us a small bag to bring home) and so I wanted to get her Bartlett 13.5% protein pellets.

Well, Bartlett is available at Hillside Feed & Track out in West Lincoln. I called at around 10:30am this morning to find out a) if they had the 13.5% pellets in stock and b) what time they were open until. First things first: they did have 13.5% in stock - but "only 8 bags." I assured the gentleman on the other end of the phone that all I had was 1 miniature donkey and that 1 bag would be plenty. When I asked how late I could come by to pick it up, he told me he wasn't sure how long he'd be open because he was selling out of everything. I can't imagine being a store and running out of everything so that you'd have to close but then again, you've got to love the South.

I offered to hop in my truck and be out there in 20 minutes if he would set 1 bag aside for me. He did - and it was a good thing, because by the time I arrived, he was completely sold out of 13.5% pellets. He had a run in the 20 minutes from when I hung up the phone until I got there. In fact, the old man in front of me (who was buying 6 bags of something or other and whose old red pick-up didn't look like it would be able to move under the weight of 300 lbs. of horse feed) wanted 13.5% and I got the last bag!

Maybe Saturday morning is when you stock up on feed. Or maybe it's because it's the middle of the month. Or a full moon. Who knows. All I know is, the early bird gets the 13.5% pellets.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...