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.

November / December Newsletter

Brian Higby - Thursday, November 05, 2015
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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!

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 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!

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 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!

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 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!

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 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?”

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 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!

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 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!

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 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!

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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.

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  • 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.
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  • 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!
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  • 􏰀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.
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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

May / June Sales

Brian Higby - Thursday, April 30, 2015

Can you believe it? It's the first and our sales are ready! Look at the Sales page to see what's discounted. We have sales on........

 

 

-All Justin and Ariat Boots

-Farnam Super Masks

-Rubbermaid Carts

-Showsheen

-Ultrashield Insect Control

-Nutro Natural Choice Adult Lamb and Rice

-Iams Cat Original

-PetLock Plus

-Stella & Chewy's Meal Mixers

-Mallard Creek Shavings & Bedding

-Assorted "Endcap" specials

 

 

Sales are valid through June 30th 2015 while supplies last, unless otherwise noted. We look forward to seeing you soon!

March/April Sales

Brian Higby - Friday, March 06, 2015

We did a little better this month.  Our Sales are ready. Head over to our Sales page to see what's discounted. We have sales on........

 

-All Justin and Ariat Boots

-Wahl Pocket Pro Clippers

-Apple Elite Elecrolyte 5lb Bucket

-Apple Elite Paste

-Safegaurd Equine Wormer

-Greenies Dog Treats

-Nutro Max Cat

-Pure Vita

-Dried Meal Worms

-Liberty 50 Plus IGR Spot

-Purina Equine Senior

 

Sales are good through April 30th 2015 while supplies last. Hope to see you at the feedstore!

March/April Newsletter

Brian Higby - Friday, March 06, 2015

CATCHING UP!

 

     Wow! Seems like just a couple of weeks since the last newsletter! ...... Wait! ......... Oh! It was just a couple of weeks ago! We kind of got overwhelmed by the busy nature of our business as we started the New Year and got behind.

 

     Well, now we are catching up! We are still going through the pains of integrating our Quick Books P.O.S. and Financial but we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Whew! We got our tax information to our CPA in plenty of time to meet the March 15 filing date for Corporations.

 

     About two weeks ago we had a really nice event featuring Dr. Nancy Martin DVM. She addressed a number of topics related to canine health and nutrition. We had a light dinner and some nice appetizers all prepared by Higby’s Staff. Many who attended made comments about how informative the talk was and how much they enjoyed the event overall. This was the first seminar we have ever done that was related to pets. Of course as you know we have done many about horses! We may just have to do more in the future! Dr. Martin is well respected in the cattle world as well as with pets. Thought I would throw that in as some of you may not know that she works the large animals with the local ranchers as well! Thanks again to Nancy for helping us put on such a nice event!

 

WE HAVE GONE SOLAR!



 

     Last December we had a 10K solar array installed. It has reached the point that it is cost effective to put solar in. Add that to the 30 percent tax rebate available and it made total sense to have it installed. DG Electric (Dan Granillo) did a beautiful job installing the unit at a very competitive price. He also completed the installation in time for us to get the tax write off in on our 2014 taxes (the rebate is available in 2015 as well). The general feeling is this rebate will not be renewed because it makes financial sense to install Solar even if there is no tax incentive. We decided to put the unit on the ground as opposed to on the roof so we could keep the panels clean, etc. without climbing on top of the store and slipping and sliding around on the metal roof. I already took a good fall about 22 years ago.....don’t need to do that again!

 

BUSINESS IN GENERAL

 

     We got our truckloads of T-posts and Red Brand Wire late February. Something to note is when you buy Red Brand fencing from us you are entitled to a rebate and your purchase helps increase an annual check Red Brand sends to Dixon FFA. This is called Red Brand’s Homegrown program and you can look it up on Red Brand’s Website. Click on Homegrown and type our zip code in and we will pop up. The rebate form is there and we also have them in the store. To enroll in this program we make a 750 dollar annual donation to the National FFA Association and Red Brand does the rest! Nice program!

 

 

Thanks for all your support over the past 30 years! 

 

Roland

Last minute Sale! Helen's Best Layer Pellet

Brian Higby - Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Helen's Best Layer Pellet 50# is on sale $1 off, through March 15th 2015.  Normal price is $17.99.  It's a great feed for your chickens featuring:

 

- Balanced Protein and Energy

- Enzymes - Increases utilization of the feed

- Yeast - Increases the good bacteria in the gut

- Chelated Minerals - To achieve maximum absorption

- Flax - Omega 3 fatty acids to strengthen the immune system

- Sel-Plex - Digestible source of selenium

- Odoraize - Lowers the ammonia content of the manure = less manure smell

- Calcium - For shell integrity

- 1/8" pellet - Ease in consumption with the benefits of a pellet

 

All of this means your chickens are healthier and will lay better. The eggs will be more consistent in size (lessons the chance for egg binding) and you'll have a cleaner egg.

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8470 Currey Rd.

Dixon, CA 95620

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