Feed Store

Solano County's

Livestock and

Ranch Supply Center

The Latest News From Our Feed Store

Check back often to stay up to date with our latest Newsletter, Sales, and Products Spotlights.

March/April Newsletter

Brian Higby - Sunday, March 06, 2016

 

WHERE DID THE RAIN GO?

 

          Dixon has enjoyed a nice series of storms that have given us up to 10 inches +/- of rainfall so far this year. I think average is around 16 inches so we sure do need more! Forecasters are saying second half of March should be wet......Let’s hope so. Due to the drought we decided to stop watering our front lawn and to eventually replace it with a concrete patio. We took advantage of the recent dry spell to get the patio poured and will be spending the next couple of months landscaping around it.

 

          It is really nice to move forward with the project and get rid of the ugly mess we had in our yard! We did this of course to save precious water, but a fringe benefit is we plan to use it for future feed store events! Stay tuned.......

 

WE HAVE PLANNED OUR FIRST EVENT FOR 2016!

 

          Mark your calendars if you like the sound of this one. May 22 we are planning to have Kirk Adkins (former UCD Farrier and Instructor of Equine Science) put on a horse-shoeing clinic. This event will consist of a lecture, demonstration, and question and answer session. Kirk lectures all over the world on this subject, so we feel privileged to have him do one here. Kirk is a Certified Journeyman Horse-shoer and owner of Equithotics, Inc. (a manufacturer of horse-shoer and farrier equipment). More to come on this one!

 

ALL MARKETS ARE CURRENTLY STABLE

 

          Should I say it? I am hesitant because the last few times I put it in the newsletter things started changing even before we went to print! Almost all markets that affect the feed business are relatively stable at this time. We receive monthly price updates for feed and are seeing little to no change. Our hay supply is excellent, and pricing is stable as well. Fencing, gates, and wire pricing are seeing little to no change.

 

SHOW ANIMAL REMINDERS

 

          I try to put this important reminder in the newsletter every year at this time. If your family has horses and the children have animals for the fair, be very careful not to allow the horses to get into the show animal feeds. Most of the show feeds contain medication that may actually be toxic to a horse! Also there are strict laws now about not feeding mammalian protein to ruminants. That means keep the dog, cat, and hog feeds away from the lambs, beef, and goats. These are important reminders because we all know occasionally an animal gets out of its pen and into the feed supply! Please be careful.

 

ANOTHER FUN TIDBIT ABOUT SCOTT

 

          Next time you see Scott have some fun with this one: When he was in college all his classmates longed for Mom’s home baked muffins. Being the enterprising guy Scott is, he learned how to make the best muffins in the world and provided these to his classmates...for a price! He charged $ for them! The way I found out was during one of our Safety Meetings. Scott made his famous muffins and brought them for the guys to enjoy during the Safety Meeting, (by the way, no charge). He then told the story!

 

          Thanks for your business!

 

                              Roland

January/February Newsletter

Brian Higby - Saturday, January 09, 2016

 

31 YEARS IN BUSINESS..... IN JUST A FEW MONTHS 32 YEARS!

 

     In the past couple newsletters I have enjoyed sharing tidbits of information about our business, going all the way back to the beginning in 1984. This time I thought it would be fun to talk about Scott and his history with us.

 

     In 1993 we were looking for a delivery person and put a help wanted notice up at UCD. Scott was a student there and put in an application. I remember a very persistent young man who contacted me several times asking if we were ready to hire him. Actually, I was kind of impressed by his tenacity while thinking to myself, “this kid is really pestering me!”

 

     Scott’s side of that part of our story is even more humorous. He tells me that he just couldn’t understand why anyone would not hire him. After all, he’d been hired on the spot for all his previous jobs! In his words, “I was so naïve I thought it would be that way no matter where I applied for work!” The story wouldn’t be any fun if we didn’t hire him... right?

 

     Scott worked here until early 1997 when he accepted a position with a local hay press (we have four in our local area. A hay press company takes a regular hay bale, double compresses it, then loads the bales on ocean containers for overseas shipment). What kind of an employee was Scott at that time? He was one of, if not the hardest working individual we had ever hired. He took care of our equipment and kept it all in good repair, and just flat worked hard!

 

     I remember one occasion when we were doing a delivery together. I was on top of a stack and he was feeding bales of hay up to me on a hay elevator. Back at that time there weren’t many people that could out-work me on a stack of hay. That day it was hot! I remember we were nearly finished and I wanted very badly to take a break for water and to rest a bit. But stubborn me... I would always wait for the other guy to cry “U N C L E!” then we would stop! Well, Scott didn’t say a word! I was getting all cotton mouthed (when your mouth dries so bad you can’t swallow) but I stuck it out until we finished, whew!

 

     I didn’t tell Scott he’d gotten the best of me until many years later. When I finally admitted it to him, he told me of another occasion when he had wanted to rest but I was the one who didn’t quit! Are we alike or what???? Now, when Scott occasionally goes out on a delivery, he still refuses to let the other guy know he is getting tired...he waits for them to ask to take a break!

 

     Anyway, we stayed in touch after he left in 1997 and would have dinner together occasionally. One time, we discussed Scott possibly coming back to work for Higby’s. He revealed that working here had been one of his most enjoyable experiences. He told me he would consider coming back if he could one day become an owner of the company. In kind of a handshake deal we moved forward with it and he returned to work here in 2002 and lo and behold in 2011 Scott and I entered into a contract for him to initially purchase part of the company with the goal of having full ownership by October 2021!

 

     How is the partnership working out? Scott’s dedication and work ethic make him definitely the hardest working person I know. Our arrangement is a true win/win! Our contracts were easy to draw up because we both wanted them to say the same thing!

 

     One thing that helps is, when it comes to business we think very much alike. Nowadays, Scott attends most of the trade shows, but there was a time when we would trade off. One time when I was at a trade show, I met one of the managers from another store like ours and he asked me, “where did you find Scott? He is like your clone! He thinks, buys, and conducts business just like you do!”

 

This makes our arrangement a winning proposition! Higby’s plans to be here for years to come to service all of you!

 

 

Thanks for being our loyal customer!!!!!!

 

Roland... and by extension...Scott

January/February Sales

Brian Higby - Saturday, January 09, 2016

The new sales for January and February are up! Check our the Sales page for more details.  We have sales on...

 

 

 

-Miller Muck Bucket Carts

-CLC Rain Gear

-Merck Safe-Guard Equine Wormer

-All Galvanized Troughs

-German Horse Muffins

-Minty Muffins

-Winter Dog Coats

-Seasonal Riding Apparel

-Dog Beds and Crate Pads

-Select Weaver and Horsewear Products

-California Natural Dog Food

-Equine Senior

 

 

Sales are valid through February 29th, 2016 while supplies last, unless otherwise noted. We can't wait to see you!

 

November / December Sales

Brian Higby - Thursday, November 05, 2015

Our sales are ready! Look at the Sales page to see what's discounted. We have sales on........

 

-Miller P8 Buckets 

-Forco

-Horse Shoes

-Gallagher S20 Solar Fence Energizer 

-Muck Boots 

-Rubbermaid Stock Tank Floats 

-Old Mother Hubbard Bulk Dog Biscuits 

-Dirty Dog Doormats 

-Pure Vita Duck and Green Lentils, and 

Venison and Red Lentils Entree Pet Food 

-Pet Mate Dog Houses 

-Speedi-Beet : Beet Pulp Flakes  

-Purina Equine Senior

 

Sales are valid through December 31st 2015 while supplies last, unless otherwise noted. We look forward to seeing you soon!

November / December Newsletter

Brian Higby - Thursday, November 05, 2015
  1.  

31 YEARS IN BUSINESS!

 

April of 1984 Denise and I had this brainstorm to start a Feed Store on our property. We got all the necessary permits and we were off to the races! In this month’s newsletter we promised to continue where we left off last time so here are some more fun facts about our business:

 

 Denise actually drove a flatbed truck up to Mallard Creek Shavings in Rocklin, picked up 120 bales of shavings each time and learned how to tie the loads herself. One time a gentleman offered to help her tie down. She told him the only time she ever lost anything off the load was when she didn’t tie it herself and explained to him her husband (me) told her to make sure there was a rope across each bale on the outside edge of the stack! Today we get at least 1100 bales a week in. When we have a wet winter we often times get over 3000 bales a week in to keep up with sales!

  1.  

 In the early days I held down a full time job while Denise ran the store. I would run deliveries after hours that many times took until 8 or 9 in the evening. For larger deliveries my brother would go with me and we were given the “Midnight Hay Haulers” nickname! My brother was very generous in allowing me to use his truck as well as mine for doing deliveries. In those days our truck was an older vintage that would break down on occasion and his truck was invaluable to us in helping keep up. It was not unusual for us to work into the evening then pull the truck into the shop and change the clutch or perform some other repair!

  1.  

 When we started we didn’t even have a forklift! Everything was loaded and unloaded by hand.....whew! Back in the early days 100 lb sacks were not uncommon. I had one customer that would order 4 tons of 100 lb bags and we packed them all into his barn by hand!

  1.  

 We used to buy feed from a feed mill in Lincoln, Lincoln Feeds. They are long since gone but at the time they made a quality product at a fair price! Elk Grove Milling was one of our earliest mills we bought from and we continue to buy from them today!

  •  

 When we first opened our driveway didn’t have a gate. One evening about 10pm a woman drove in and turned around on our lawn. I went out to see what was going on?? She asked “are you open?”

  •  

 We fondly remember some of our first customers. One told us something we always applied in our business, “don’t ever expand until you are bursting at the seams!” If he were still alive he would be pleased that we always followed his counsel!

  •  

 Our first vet supplies order was less than 300 dollars. The sales person patiently worked with us to give us the best mix of inventory we could get for that dollar amount. Even back then he had difficulty holding the order down to 300!

  •  

 I have always wanted to clear this one up: often times during the fair season remarks are made about how much money we make from the kids feeding their fair animals. When you take into account that we attend four major auctions every year buying Junior Livestock Auction animals we actually don’t make anything off the kids, in fact we probably go into the red! So why do it? First and foremost it’s fun! Second, the meat is premium! Our business benefits too.....how? The livestock producers in our area very much appreciate us supporting their industry and they in turn support us! Everything goes full circle! Well, didn’t take long to fill up this page. Hope you enjoy these tidbits of information! Thanks for being our customer!

  •  

Roland


September / October Newsletter

Brian Higby - Monday, August 31, 2015

 

31 YEARS IN BUSINESS!

April of 1984 Denise and I had this brainstorm to start a Feed Store on our property. We got all the necessary permits and we were off to the races! In this month’s newsletter we thought it would be fun to review some fun facts about our store from back then to now.

  • 􏰀
  • Our original building was a 200 square foot tack room my Grandmother had. She called it the old wash house and had one of those wringer type washing machines in it. My Grandfather borrowed a tow truck from Ron DuPratt Ford (he worked there 25 + years selling cars and running a tow truck) to drag the building from their home next door to our property. We opened up with 1,800 dollars’ worth of feed, about 20 bales of shavings and 10 bales of hay. Today we might receive as much as 30 or 40 thousand dollars of inventory in one day! When we demolished the old store we kept pieces of wood to make shelves and we even still have the old front door! Ask me and I will show you! Back in those days we had a service station bell so Denise knew when a customer drove in.
  • 􏰀
  • The first addition we built was a hay shed right next to the original 200 square foot building. Next, we added a storage area to the old wash house and another hay barn. In 1990 we put up our current hay barn and a few years later the feed barn behind it. In 2008 the big change came when we demolished the old wash house, the first storage area and the hay shed and put up our new 7,200 square foot store! Watching the old structures come down was a bit emotional as we actually built those ourselves. It all came down in just a few hours! The new store was a monster project!
  •  
  • 􏰀Scott worked for us during his college years, then left to help manage a hay press where they compress hay bales for shipment overseas. He returned to Higby’s in March 2002 and now is part owner. We are almost 4 years into a 10 year succession plan where he continues to purchase shares until he owns it all. It has been a win/win for us both as we work through this arrangement. It is nice that, Nicole, Scott’s wife, handles the accounts and has done that since May of 2006.
  •  

In the new store we tried clothing and boots. We are closing those items out, just isn’t our niche! Interestingly, we played with the idea of bringing horseshoes in for several years. We were afraid of the investment and not sure they would sell. Now the horseshoe section has grown to occupy 96 linear feet of shelf space! It will soon be moved to where some of the clothing used to be! Who would have thought?????

 

Victor has been with us since March of 1998! Jamie has been with us since 2010!

Mari since 2011!

Dana since 2008!

 

Gary, Brannan, Jose, Susan, Raul, Todd, and Cody have come aboard more recently. We feel we have put together a fantastic crew! We have Ryan starting early in September who will add depth to our fencing and cattle handling categories.

 

 

Oops! Out of room! I guess I will have to continue this in the next newsletter!

 

 

Thanks for keeping us in business all these years!!!! 

 

Roland


September / October Sales

Brian Higby - Monday, August 31, 2015

 

Our sales are ready! Look at the Sales page to see what's discounted. We have sales on........

 

-Horseshoer's Secret

-Laser Sheen Skin & Coat Supplement

-Fly Sheets

-Carefresh

-Python Cattle Fly Dust

-CoFlex Bandages

-Annamaet Dog Food

-Nutrisource Dog Treats

-Dried Mealworms

-Advantage II and K9 Advantix II 

-Greenies Feline Dental Treats

-Seresto Fleaand Tick Collars

-Purina Equine Senior

 

Sales are valid through October 31st 2015 while supplies last, unless otherwise noted. We look forward to seeing you soon!

July-August Sales

Brian Higby - Friday, July 31, 2015

Sorry for being late this round in Sales, we had a little hiccup in communication, but if you still use good old snail mail, you have likely been enjoying our sales all last month.  If not, there's still a whole month left on these deals! Look at the Sales page to see what's discounted. We have sales on........

 

-SandPurge

-Endure Fly Spray

-Bigeloil Poultice

-Farnam Repel-Xpe

-Manna Pro Apple Wafers

-Greenies Dental Treats

-Nutro Max Cat

-Eukanuba

-Speedi-Beet pulp flakes

-Perfect Coat Dog Shampoo

-Purina Premium Horse and Livestock Products

 

Sales are valid through August 31st 2015 while supplies last, unless otherwise noted. We look forward to seeing you soon!

July-August Newsletter

Brian Higby - Friday, July 31, 2015

 

MOVING FORWARD


Last newsletter we were talking about Spring weather and how nice it was. Now it’s nearly July and things are starting to heat up! Hey we live in California...we love it right? Fire up the BBQ!

 

We have started discussing our Annual Customer Appreciation day in October (right now the tentative date is Saturday, October 10). Blink your eyes twice and it will be here! Again we are looking forward to having a great day of fun, food, and surprises. Be there!

 

NEW HAY


Speaking of surprises, really good news if you are in the hay market! We have really nice Oat hay, fine to medium stem size, and it is feeding well. The Oat mix or Three way is coarse stemmed, but by most accounts is feeding well. Some of the Rye hay got ruined by an untimely rain, but we do have quite a bit that was baled later. By the time you get this newsletter we will have new Alfalfa hay as well.

 

Guess what...hay prices are down! We haven’t seen prices this low for years! Why is this? Aren’t we in a drought? One explanation actually has to do with the drought! Rice growers are not able to get enough water to grow their rice, so instead they planted winter oat and rye hay. What’s the result? So much hay available the price is down! Things have a way of going full circle don’t they? Anyway for your hay this year it’s pretty good news!


FEED COST


Another pleasant surprise...feed prices are trending downward! It seems that the corn crop forecast looks really good at the moment which is keeping things very stable. The feed price lists aren’t changing drastically but are just a few cents down. Compared with a few months back when things were going up so fast we couldn’t keep up, this new trend is a welcome change.

 

FENCING AND GATES (STEEL)


The cost of steel has been relatively stable for some time now. We have seen one or two companies take a modest increase but most are steady as she goes. We sold a record number of water troughs this year! I think everyone is getting in to using troughs as planters for their gardens! We have some ourselves and it makes it really nice to have everything growing at waist height...easy to weed, easy to pick. You might want to try one!

 

Thanks as always for your business!

 

Roland 

May / June Newletter

Brian Higby - Thursday, April 30, 2015

SPRINGTIME WEATHER!


     We definitely need more rain, but other than that we don’t have much to complain about when it comes to our weather. At least we got some rain and we are all thankful for that! We have been enjoying some beautiful days and evenings and with the warmer weather you may have noted that there is hay being cut. Some got rained on and is now cattle feed, but more will be on the way soon. With the warmer weather we need to make changes in the way we store our feed. You may have been storing your feed in a steel or plastic container to keep it dry through the winter and that is great! However now that things are heating up that feed needs to “breathe”, especially if at any time during the day the sun hits the container. Otherwise what happens is the feed “sweats” and becomes moist...then we have moldy feed! This is true of all the Stable Mix products that come in barrels as well. Make sure to loosen the screw tops to allow that moisture to escape and not create a problem for you. Here at the store the pallets of feed are shipped to us wrapped with plastic. That plastic needs to come off the pallet as soon as it gets here otherwise the feed cannot “breathe” and can mold. If at your facility you buy pallets of feed you need to do the same. Also do whatever is feasible to keep the storage area as cool as possible.

 

     Something else to think about as Spring Show and May Fair are winding down is that leftover show feed for whatever kind of animal you had. Be cautious about feeding it to your horse or pony! It may contain a medication that is toxic to horses! Many of the feeds shouldn’t be fed to poultry either. If you have any questions about this call Scott or myself.

 

OOPS! NOBODY IS PERFECT


     I wanted to take a section of this month’s newsletter and outline what the procedure is when we make a mistake in loading your feed, or what to do if you get a moldy, buggy, or a bag of feed with something else wrong with it. This also goes for a bale of hay with a problem.

 

1) If we forget to load something for you, or load the wrong item please let us know as soon as you find out. This helps us to correct our inventory numbers and make arrangements to resolve the problem right away. This also helps us to work with the employee who loaded incorrectly. Please don’t just wait until the next time you come in.

 

2) If you get a bad bale of hay, please tie it back up and bring it back to us. If we delivered it, set it aside until your next delivery. This still has value and can be sold as cow hay as their tolerance is much wider for weeds and mold. One of our hay vendors actually wants all bad hay returned so he can feed it to his own cattle. I realize this is nearly impossible with Mountain Grass because it tends to fall apart when opened. In that case bring a small sample of what the problem was back to us so we can report it back to the grower. One exception to the above is when you find a part of a dead animal in a bale. This needs to be thrown away and has no value. We will take care of replacing it for you. Also I wanted to briefly talk about a dead animal in the hay. Occasionally we get a call from someone that is really upset about a dead rabbit or snake in a bale. Next time you see hay being cut, pull over and notice the equipment that mows the hay down and leaves it in a row is at least 16 feet wide or more. This moves through the field of hay that is 2 to 4 feet high when standing and moves at a fairly high rate of speed. It is impossible for the driver to see what is in that hay, be it a dead animal or garbage. Then about 10 days later the baler comes through and quickly picks up that row and puts it in a bale. Again the driver has no idea what is under the row of hay. The point is, no one wanted to give you a dead animal in the bale. It just occasionally happens. Let us know and we will gladly replace it.

 

3) If you get a bad bag of feed, every manufacturer we deal with requires at least a sample of the problem feed and the code off the bag it came in. With that code, some of the feed mills can actually narrow that particular bag of feed down to which shift it was bagged on and who was working during that shift. By precisely locating where the problem started helps in determining if they should do a feed recall. Obviously it also helps with future quality control. So if at all possible return the feed in its original bag. If this isn’t possible still bring a sample of the bad feed and we will take it up with the feed rep. This is much more time consuming for us and doesn’t necessarily help the mill run down where the problem started. Without the date code the mill simply doesn’t have enough information to do anything but issue credit. Also it is worth mentioning that over the years we have dealt with many different feed mills. We currently receive feed from at least 5 mills and I can tell you that problems are rare but they happen with every one of them. The bottom line is look at the feed or the hay. Smell it. If you note any issue with it, or your animal notices something strange...stop! Bring it back and we will exchange it. Think of it like going to the grocery store and bringing home something that is spoiled. The store will surely take care of you if you return it, but you wouldn’t dream of eating it.

 

     I hope these guidelines help. If we can get your help with them, it helps streamline things for us and lets us focus on taking care of your needs even better! Thanks for taking a minute to look at them and we look forward to working with you all for years to come!

 

 

We appreciate you!


Roland


Higby's Feed Store Google +
Teff Hay
Meadow Grass
Orchard Grass Hay
Oat Hay
Rye Grass
Mountain Grass
Alfalfa Hay
Footer

8470 Currey Rd.

Dixon, CA 95620

Have a Question? Call Us!

(707) 678 - 9007

Would you rather email?

Visit our Contact Page

All Contents ©Copyright Higby's Country Feed, 2000 - 2018

Higby's Facebook Page Higby's Farm Animals Logo Higby's Country Feed Store