HEALTHY HAND: Ely and Joel McCarthy feed hemp seed to their chickens.
HEALTHY HAND: Ely and Joel McCarthy feed hemp seed to their chickens. Caitlin Zerafa

Happy animals full of healthy hemp

HEMP has fast become a popular health product and one local couple has ensured animals can reap it benefits.

Husband and wife entrepreneurs Joel and Ely McCarthy have created a range of hemp products for dogs, horses and chickens with their business Doonan Feed Company.

Beginning last year in Doonan, business quickly expanded and the couple set up base in Bridges.

"We are the first to market hemp seed products commercially for animals,” Mr McCarthy said.

"We have just been working with our distributors and the product will be in 1000 stores across Australia.”

Having grown up with animals, with a background in horse training and a science degree, Ms McCarthy said the benefits of hemp seed products are noticeable.

"We have found that the overall condition of the animals improve,” she said.

"It can improve their skin and coat and the hemp seed is high in Omega 3.”

"There are not a lot of foods that produce that much Omega 3 for animals,” Mr McCarthy added.

The couple have extensively looked into nutritional need of various animals to determine how it can support their health.

"We have found so many different uses for it,” Ms McCarthy said.

"We've had comments from customers that their dog who suffers from hip pain was in less pain.”

Chickens also benefit from the seeds and since introducing it to their diet, the McCarthy's have found their 30 chooks continue to lay in the winter and grow their feathers back quickly after malting.

"If you feed a chicken hemp the eggs will be higher in Omega 3 too, so it add a benefit for humans,” Mr McCarthy said.

Doonan Feed Company's product range of hemp seed and hemp oils contain no THC.

"We like to say its the good stuff without the 'good stuff',” Ms McCarthy said.

"There is a lot of education in what we do to. Clarity always helps people understand that this is different from illegal marijuana.”

The hemp is sourced mostly from a farm in Tasmania and processed on the Sunshine Coast but the couple hope one day to grow the product locally.

"There is so much potential for industry development on the Sunshine Coast,” Mr McCarthy said.

Doonan Feed Company's products are stocked locally at Cooroy Produce, Noosaville Stockfeed and Pomona Ag Supplies and more information is available at

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