Angela Hand is serious about chickens. What began with one rooster and five hens years ago has since turned into a full-blown chicken ranch in Missouri, where she and her husband, Robby, have 22 coops of varying breeds as well as quail and bobwhites.
“It’s a glorified hobby,” Angela laughs. “It’s a lot of work but we love it.”
It wasn’t always so successful, however. When she first started breeding and hatching Polish and Silkies four years ago, Angela says most of her chicks didn’t live past eight weeks – with many dying from coccidiosis or wryneck caused by vitamin deficiencies. Desperate to find out why, she dove into nutrition research and consulted with other chicken keepers, who steered her to Kent Feeds. Angela found a dealer 20 miles away and switched her flocks to Multi-flock Chick N Game Starter/Grower– a move, she says, that changed everything.
“Basically we went from having more dead stock than livestock, to having healthy, thriving chickens for the first time,” Angela says. “We have had amazing results with Kent Feeds. It literally saved our farm.”
Since then, the Hands have learned that Polish and Silkies are prone to certain vitamin deficiencies and need a specific feed formula that supports gut health. Angela says the addition of selenium in Kent Feeds helps prevent wryneck, for example. And her chicks thrive on it.
“We learned the hard way,” she says. “Kent has been the difference between a healthy bird and a dead bird.”
Today Angela proudly shows her Polish breeds around the country – most recently winning 10 blue ribbons at the Oklahoma State Championship in Norman. She also sells chicks and repeatedly reminds her customers to keep them on the Multiflock Crumble when they take their babies home. Those who don’t listen are always the ones who call her to report a problem, she says.
“I’ve had a few customers buy chicks from me and a few months later they call me up and say ‘My chicks are lethargic,’” Angela says. “The first thing I ask them is ‘What are you feeding your birds?’ Because it always comes down to nutrition, and Kent has the right nutrition plain and simple.”
Angela Hand runs Loving HANDS Chicken Ranch in Neosho, Missouri with her husband, Robby, and son Axton. They drive 40 miles roundtrip each week to buy six, 50-pound bags of Kent Feeds for their backyard layers, “regular” chickens and “show birds.” In her spare time, Angela also teaches gymnastics.