For Julie Ortloff, the natural way is the best way, especially when it comes to raising her chickens. Each day, she lets her 31 heritage breed hens and three ducks out to free range on her Cold Spring, MN, farm. Along with their free-range diet, she supplements with natural herbs and essential oils.


Raising chickens naturally isn’t a new idea for Julie. As a child on her family’s beef cattle farm, her parents regularly added herbs to their livestock’s diet. “When we had chickens growing up, my parents always raised additional herbs in the garden for the chickens and other animals,” she shared. “They always had fresh oregano on hand for our chickens.” She’s kept that practice for the ten years she’s had her own flocks. “I added herbs to my garden and now I raise enough herbs to supplement their diets through the long Minnesota winter.”

Julie adds rosemary, oregano, basil, and thyme to her chickens’ feed to help the birds internally by strengthening their bones, eggshells, and respiratory systems. “I try to keep their respiratory system very well maintained and I find that herbs help with that, especially in winter when they’re spending so much time inside the coop. Air quality so important and those herbs help with that.”

She also uses herbs in other ways to help her birds. Mint keeps mice away from the coop, lemon and thyme repels flies, and lavender placed in nesting boxes promotes calmness and relaxation in hens. Who’d have thought? Julie also treats her animals’ injuries with an herb-infused salve she makes. “If you use natural remedies from generations ago and keep your flock as natural as possible, it’s better for the bird.”


When Julie discovered New Heritage Feed Co. — AgVenture Feed and Seed’s proprietary 18 percent layer mash with essential oils — she eagerly tried it out on her chickens. “New Heritage Feed Co. seemed like a natural fit that this type of food infused with essential oils would work well with what I was trying to do with my flock.”

Because essential oils are made from plants — including many of the herbs that Julie already was feeding her birds — the healing properties of those herbs are infused in the New Heritage Feed Co. feed. “I started feeding it as soon as it was developed and my chickens have absolutely loved it.”

Julie noticed a change in them, as well. “Certainly, all my birds are healthy and happy, but I feel like the other thing I’ve really noticed is they have much more of a sheen or gloss to them. It definitely has changed the feather composition.”

While Julie is careful about what her chickens eat, that doesn’t mean they don’t get a treat once in a while. “I do feed table scraps as treats, but they’re not getting them constantly and certainly not as a percentage of their diet. They’re mostly eating feed, and even now when it’s warm enough to free-range all day in green grass, they eat less feed, but I am still pretty careful about how much I supplement their diet with treats and things.”


New Heritage Feed Co. enhances the quality of life of animals with a focus on nutrition, health, natural ingredients, and the benefits of essential oils. This unique product is formulated to produce healthy animals while decreasing the reliance on antibiotics or medications. We give health-conscious consumers access to proven technology previously available to commercial raisers only. The essential oil blend is a feed additive is proven, tested, and proprietary. Our product is made with locally- sourced, all-natural ingredients. We’ve partnered with a company whose chemists have been leaders in the essential oil and natural health market for over a decade.

Some of the key benefits of New Heritage Feed Co. include:

  • Ensures ingredients reach complete absorption with patented essential oil technology
  • Grows healthier, more productive animals
  • Supports microbial balance and increased feed conversion with probiotics
  • Stimulates appetite and has antifungal and antioxidant properties
  • Increases feed intake and decreases need of antibiotics, based on studies
  • Provides complete supplement of all proteins, minerals, and vitamins.

We understand the challenges farmers face today, from ensuring top-quality products to managing changing industry demands. Your farm can benefit from harnessing the power of essential oils incorporated in your animals’ food. We created this product because we care about the community, our customers, and your creatures.