Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary, 17 Barker Road, Lebanon, CT, 06249

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Majestic Diary

May 6, 2008

We have had trouble with our grain supplier since Majestic’s beginning...

We used to feed our 2 pet ducks Purina Duck Feed, but when Purina changed formulas and came up with Purina Flockraiser. I didn’t like the idea of one grain trying to meet the needs of diverse types of poultry. I called Purina. One of their customer service representatives highly suggested I feed my pet ducks Mazuri Waterfowl Maintenance (one of their divisions) because it is actually intended for the health and longevity of pet ducks—unlike the Flockraiser.

I went on Mazuri’s website and found the closest dealer and ordered a bag. Our first year of owning ducks, I maybe spent $200 on duck food. A year later we opened the sanctuary and 2 ducks grew to become 35 ducks/geese. We currently spend around $2600 a year on duck food. You would think this would be worth something to a local grain supplier, but trying to get any kind of customer service out of this man is like pulling teeth… big, rooted-in teeth.

I can’t tell you how many times he has forgotten to call in our order and we have had to run to our local Agway store and buy a bag of substandard Purina Flockraiser to keep the ducks fed until he brought in a shipment. Every time I showed up to buy grain, I’d place the order for the next shipment. This was the routine every 2 weeks and still, I couldn’t get my grain in—nor would he order any reasonable quantity at a time. And then for some stupid reason he brought in a half dozen bags of Mazuri Waterfowl Breeder—that I never ordered. I couldn’t get him to order the Maintenance formula we needed, but he ordered a pile of Breeder mix that just sat there. 

Finally, I put my foot down last December and told him that we needed a supplier that could meet the growing needs of our sanctuary and reminded him that we’ve gone from spending $200 to $2600 in two years and are still growing. He agreed to bring in a whole skid of Maintenance. It was still a pain in the ass to get this guy to order the next skid and I have resorted to ordering it a month ahead of time. I show up every 3 weeks or so and pile about 8 bags into my car, chipping away at the skid and then calculating out when we will need more along with when he will be placing his order, to be sure we get the next skid in on time. He was making me manage his business—and I’m the one paying!

Now it’s Spring and we have lots of hens laying and, as usual, I call and place an order for a few bags of Breeder to get us through the season. The kid that works there says he will tell the owner to bring it in, and it will be in within a week and a half.

I call today to see if my bags came in. The kid tells me that the owner refuses to buy any more Breeder food until I buy the 6 bags he has on hand—that ones that HE ordered over a year and a half ago in error (nothing like calling me a week ago to let me know. Good thing I still have some on hand). I told the kid I am not paying for the owner’s screw ups to relieve him of his aged inventory that no longer contains any worthwhile nutritional value—especially for a laying hen. The kid says he’s sorry, and I immediately go to the Mazuri website and look for other dealers. This is the last straw.

I left messages at a number of places and talk to a couple people who say they will have their owners or managers call me back. In the meantime, I just keep on calling, “Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary looking for a new Mazuri feed supplier.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but if I have a grain business and I get a call from an animal sanctuary looking for a new feed supplier, I’m going to at least call them and find out how much business we are talking about. But, I can tell you, not one of them called me back. Not one.

In the meantime, I just kept on calling. And then… the light shined down upon Majestic. I found a place where the owner is actually willing to come to the phone and talk to me. I tell her who we are and what we do, and I tell her we need a Mazuri supplier who can handle our growing needs—a supplier our animals can depend on. She says she orders twice a month from Mazuri and would love our business and will even call me every 2 weeks to see if we need to place an order! No more micro-managing our feed supply! TAH DAH! That means I no longer have to order by the skid either and we can have fresher food for our ducks and geese!

I tell her it’s also been frustrating that we have handed out business cards to all of our new adopting families and every one of them who has driven out to our supplier’s place have found that he didn’t have any Mazuri in stock… lost business for him, unreliable information provided for us. Not good. She said she will gladly give us a stack of business cards to put in our adoption packages and she will keep a few bags in stock at all times, so folks can have a reliable source for duck and goose food. She will even offer to sell it by the pound for folks who have only one or two ducks. How about that customer service! WOO HOO!

She says she orders special bunny food for a guy with a rabbit and special monkey food for a few monkey owners (monkey owners?!). She took our first order and it will be in on the 20th. She said if we need any bags in the meantime, just let her know and she can get them from other dealers in the area that she knows of. I assure her we are all set—plenty on hand to get us through.   

Since our OLD supplier refuses to order the grain we need, he can keep his skid of Maintenance food until it too ages to be a year and a half old. I told our NEW supplier, “I have never burned this guy—given him our business for three and a half years, and if he would have seized the moment, he could have had the business of a dozen other families as well. There is no way I’m paying for $300 worth of old, bad grain that should be discarded. No way. And if he’s pulling this stunt now, I can’t risk that he will step up his game when we are ready to order a new skid of Maintenance.”

She said to me, “Kim, every single grain dealer loses bags of grain every year. Someone moves, or finds another dealer, or sometimes an animal dies, and we’re left with the grain. It is built into our budget—it’s part of the business.” And then she added: “I can’t believe this guy actually told you that it is your responsibility to purchase his old grain or he won’t buy you any new grain.”  She said she knows a number of other grain dealers in CT and has never heard of such a thing from any of them.  

And so… the bags of Breeder still sit there… along with a fresh skid of Maintenance food. If he no longer wants to meet our sanctuary’s needs and refuses to order our grain for us, then we are done buying our grain from him. Our ducks and geese deserve better and now they will have it.

I just love a happy ending that starts with a new beginning…


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