Archive for September, 2017

Managing Weight Gain in Pigs

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Weight Gain in PigsIt is not enough to merely weigh enough to make the minimum weight, or just barely slip in under the maximum weight when showing pigs.

The pig must look its absolute best when it takes its first step into the show ring. Anything less is unacceptable.

So, how do we accomplish this task? The best method to arrive at the weight you desire for your pig and have it looking its best is to think about this when you purchase your pig. Beginning to think about this with 10 days or less until show time is poor planning, and a design for failure.
Progressive judges are selecting modern showpigs that are fresh, full, youthful, muscular, and are shown at about 6 months of age. So, the best way to limit the aggravation and mental anguish of holding a pig for extended periods of time is to purchase appropriately aged pigs. Pay attention to the date of birth, and use the days until weigh in at your show to calculate the age the pig will be at that time. If you find a really good pig that will be 7 months old at weigh in, select another that will be the right age.
Hand feeding your pigs will result in most control over weight gain. You determine how much feed the pig will receive each day, and you have control over the ultimate weight of the pig. Allow your pig to grow fairly normally until at least 150 lbs. It is important to feed the correct amount of feed daily. Under feeding the pig will result in poor growth performance and underweight pigs with inferior muscling and body condition.
Below is a table containing the daily feeding rate for HONOR® Show Chow® grow/finish products, to produce normal growth and development:
FEED 50 -100 lbs 100 – 150 lbs 150 – 200 lbs 200 – 250 lbs
HSC SHOWPIG 709 4 – 5 lbs 4.5 – 6 lbs 5.5 – 6 lbs 6 – 7 lbs
HSC FINALE® 809 – 5 – 6 lbs 6 – 7 lbs 6 – 7 lbs
By feeding the correct amounts per day you will ensure your pig will have the proper nutrition to adequately express its genetic roadmap. If nutrition is limited early on before the pig reaches about 150 lbs, the pig will not have the opportunity to reach is genetic potential for muscle and frame size. In addition, the pig might well be permanently programmed for a negative outcome.
Okay, you purchased an appropriately aged pig and just happened to growth fast and efficiently. You find yourself in this situation:
  • Maximum weight limit 280 lbs
  • Weight of your pig 240 lbs
  • Days until show 45
  • Pig needs muscle shape
  • Pig needs help with rib shape
  • Pig needs more cover
Since the pig needs more muscle shape, Paylean® will be fed for the final 14 – 21 days. Paylean® will greatly increase growth rate. So, the pig will need to grow a little slower prior to being fed Paylean to manage weight.
The pig also needs help with rib shape. High Octane® Depth Charge® will help greatly with adding gut fill and rib shape. The pig will also need to be fed an energy supplement to increase body condition or cover.
The following is a list of products that will be needed to manage weight gain and have the pig looking its best on show day:
High Octane® Powerfill™
High Octane® Champion Drive™
High Octane® Power Fuel®
High Octane® Showpig Paylean® Premix
High Octane® Depth Charge®
High Octane® Heavy Weight™
The basic principle behind slowing growth and keeping the pig fresh, muscular and youthful appearing is to meet its daily nutrient requirements in as small a daily feeding rate as possible. In that way the pig remains looking great, but cannot grow fast because of the small daily meals.
To accomplish this, use the supplements above to concentrate essential amino acids, energy, minerals and vitamins.
Another very important point to remember is the pig will lose some weight during the transportation to the show. At any one time during the feeding period, a pig will have somewhere between 6 and 8 lbs of feed in its digestive tract. When the pig is transported to show, it empties the contents of the digestive tract along with losing some water weight in the form of urination. Conservatively, the average pig will lose 5 lbs during transportation. Add this weight on the weight the pig can gain before going “overweight”.
The pig weighs 240 lbs currently, the maximum weight limit is 280 lbs, and it will lose 5 lbs on the trip to the show for a total amount it can gain in the next 45 of 45 lbs (280 – 240 + 5).
The pig will be fed Paylean® for the final 14 days leading up to show, so it will gain faster for that period. The pig will need to gain slower for the initial 31 days. Feed so that the pig gains about 0.60 to 0.70 lbs per day. Feed this diet for the first 21 days:
High Octane® Powerfill™ 2 lbs
High Octane® Champion Drive™ 1/2 lbs
High Octane® Power Fuel® 1/2 lbs
High Octane® Depth Charge® 1/2 to 1 lbs
If the pig did not need to improve in cover, Champion Drive™ could be fed at 1 lbs per day and the Power Fuel®could be omitted at this point. However, Paylean® does two other things well in addition to improving weight gain. Paylean® also decreases the amount of body fat (if sufficient energy is not fed each day), and it also drastically increases muscle. So in order to produce a pig with “soft” muscle on show day, we will need to improve the body fat (cover) of the pig prior to feeding Paylean®. That is why the Power Fuel® has been placed in the diet above.
Champion Drive™ will also do a very nice job at improving the shape and volume of the pig’s top. It is a very useful tool in creating the “show” look you want.
Depth Charge® is a pelleted product that expands in the pig’s digestive tract creating fill, and helping with rib shape. Depth Charge® is very palatable and usually there is no need to wet the product prior to feeding.
It is also important to note that when hand or limit feeding the pig needs to receive two equally sized meals about 12 hours apart each day. So, divide the above in two equal feedings morning and evening. In addition, never limit water intake.
The pig should gain an average of about 0.7 lbs per day on the above diet. Remember that pigs are different and respond to nutrition, especially small daily portions differently. One pig might gain 0.5 lbs per day on the above diet, while another may well gain 0.8 lbs per day. So weigh the pigs frequently when limiting weight gain. Weighing every day is not too often. If you find the pig is gaining slower or faster than you desire adjust the feed, either an increase to improve growth rate, or decrease to slow growth rate.
At the end of the initial 21 days, the pig should have gained about 15 lbs. That will put the pig at 255 lbs with 24 days until weigh in. Remember that the pig will be fed Paylean® the final 14 days, so for the next 10 days we will need to 1) continue to limit growth, 2) increase body condition, and 3 keep the pig looking great.
Feed the following diet for the next 10 days to continue limiting growth and improving cover:
(Again total per day)
High Octane® Powerfill™ 1 ½ lbs
High Octane® Champion Drive™ ½ lbs
High Octane® Power Fuel® ¼ lbs
High Octane® Heavy Weight™ ½ lbs
High Octane® Depth Charge® ½ to 1 lbs
The pig should again gain 0.70 lbs per day. However during the period the pig should be increasing body condition (cover) at a faster rate. At the end of the 10 days the pigs should have gained 7.0 lbs and should now weigh 262 lbs.
There is now 14 days left until weigh in, and the pig can gain 23 lbs, for an average daily gain of about 1.64 lbs per day.
Feed the following diet (again divided into two equal feedings per day):
High Octane® Powerfill™ 1 ½ lbs
High Octane® Champion Drive™ 1 lbs
High Octane® Power Fuel® ½ lbs
High Octane® Heavy Weight™ ½ lbs
High Octane® Showpig Paylean® Premix 2 ounces
High Octane® Depth Charge® ½ to 1 lbs
If you find that the pig is gaining less than the 1.64 lbs per day, you can increase the Powerfill™ to 2 lbs per day. At the end of this 14 day period the pig should be muscular, fresh, youthful, and full.
Remember that the goal is to not only get the pig where you want it to weigh, but have it looking its absolute best on show day. Exercise is a vital component to a great feeding program. It is especially important when managing weight gain. A daily routine of walking and practicing showing is important to the success of your showpig project.
High Octane Heavy Weight™ is a new high fat (70%), water miscible product that helps increase daily feed intake, fat cover, and growth rate. It is very useful in scenarios where limiting growth and keep the looking great is a must. Feed at the rate of 2 to 4 oz per day to help encourage more feed intake, and 4 to 16 oz per day to improve fat cover and growth rate.
Do not be afraid to ask for help. There are experienced feeders that can be a wealth of experience for you.
Article Attributed to Purina Animal Nutrition

October Garden Tips

Monday, September 18th, 2017

October Garden Tips

October Garden Tips

Usher in the autumn season with creative displays for indoors and out! Transformation quickly occurs with pots of mums, pansies, cabbages and ornamental peppers when combined with pumpkins, gourds and bales of hay.

Create a spectacular vignette in your landscape with bales of hay, a scarecrow or two, multiple sizes of pumpkins and gourds, pots of garden mums, corn stalks and for more texture consider adding old tools, a set of antlers or birdhouses. The autumn color palette offers a myriad of wonderful colors from which to choose; purples, rusts, gold’s, yellows, oranges, deep greens and browns can be used. Whether you are mixing colors or working with only one, use color abundantly to create massive appeal. Create a pyramid of pumpkins and gourds by selecting different colors and stacking them one on top of the other. Simply displaying a “pile” of pumpkins in the same color palette and different sizes will draw ones eye and interest to an area of your landscape.

Color Creations filled with blooming or colorful foliage plants can be used on patios and porches. Freshen up existing containers by nestling an interesting pumpkin or gourd in amongst the plants. Fill a favorite basket or pot with a mixture of produce for a simple, impressive look. Add a bit of nature into your containers with branches, corn husks, berries and other materials to enhance the overall look.

If you did not apply a pre-emergent herbicide to your lawn in September; apply it by the first two weeks of October. You should also fertilize your St. Augustine or Bermuda lawns no later than the first week of October.

October is bulb buying month. They are in fresh supply and will provide welcome late winter and early spring color for the landscape. Refrigerate Tulips and Hyacinth bulb for at least 45 to 60 days to provide enough chilling to bloom properly. Plant them in late November or early December.

 

Fall is Prime Time to Begin a Supplemental Feeding Program for Deer

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Supplemental Feeding ProgramA buck can have the best genetics in the world, but without the proper nutrition, he’ll never achieve his potential. One way to stack the deck in his favor is to supplement his nutrition. Fall is an excellent time to begin this.
But before we talk about how to initiate a supplemental feeding program, let’s evaluate the big picture.
The goal: Produce larger bucks with massive antlers. Some big obstacles to that goal:

  • Lack of high quality forage in fall and winter.
  • Stresses due to inclement weather.
  • In fall, deer are heading into a natural period of low metabolism and poor appetite. During the rut, a buck may spend only 20 to 30 minutes per day eating.
  • Burned calories during the rut will greatly deplete any existing stockpiles of nutrients.
  • Antler growth is low on the priority list of functions required to sustain life, so next spring, antlers will receive “what’s left” of nutrients after life-sustaining needs have been met. Deer will not begin growing antlers until they’ve regained body condition.
  • Nutritional deficiencies early in life can stunt a buck’s growth and antler size for the rest of his life, even if he is well fed as an adult.

The opportunity: Fall is one of the best times to initiate a supplemental feeding program because…

  • Fall forage is less available and of poorer quality, so deer are already instinctively searching for new food sources and may be more accepting of an unfamiliar feed form.
  • Getting deer to fully accept a feed form such as pellets can take weeks or months. By beginning the transition in the fall, deer can be fully acclimated by the time severe weather arrives.
  • Antlers are high in protein content (which is why feeding corn won’t produce bigger antlers). Now is the prime time for the body to start stockpiling protein before spring antler-growing season.
  • When a deer goes into winter in optimal body condition, it is less likely to deplete all of its nutrition stores by spring.

The plan: Now that we’ve established the need for a supplemental nutrition program, how do we do it? Here are a few basic steps:

  • Provide the essentials. Deer need three basic things to survive and thrive—food, water and cover. If any one of these three critical factors is insufficient, deer will go elsewhere.
  • Place your feeders along frequently used runways or trails.
  • Be sure to place enough feeders so that deer do not have to travel more than one-half to three-quarters of a mile to a feeder. A good rule of thumb is one feeder per 300-400 acres.
  • Make sure your feeding area has good visibility, access to fresh, clean water and an easy escape route to nearby cover.
  • Place your feeders near the center of your land to keep deer on your property. Do not place feeders along fence lines, roads, power lines or in a large opening.
  • Choose the right diet. With 16 percent protein, AntlerMax® Rut & Conditioning Deer
  • Chow® 16 product is the ideal fall and winter body conditioning diet to set the stage for big antler growth next spring. It has a highly palatable, strong flavor to attract deer and AntlerMax® Deer & Elk Mineral supplement for strong, dense antler growth.
  • One free-choice feeder can comfortably feed 25 free-ranging deer, each consuming 1 to 2 pounds of AntlerMax® Rut & Conditioning Deer Chow® 16 product per day.
  • Deer do not recognize protein pellets as food, but they are accustomed to seeing corn as a food source in the wild. Entice them to the protein pellets by initially mixing corn with the pellets (start with 75 percent corn, 25 percent pellets).
  • Deer do not like abrupt changes in feed, so make them gradually. Once deer are accustomed to eating protein pellets from a feeder, gradually phase out the corn. (NOTE: Although corn provides digestible energy, corn inherently lacks the nutrients needed for strong antler growth. Corn may help deer survive, but it won’t help them thrive. In fact, gorging on too much corn too fast can actually cause a deer to founder and die.)
  • Remember, pellets should be a supplement to, not a replacement for forage.
  • Make sure deer have access to a constant supply of fresh, clean water near your feeder. A deer requires about 3 pounds of water for every pound of dry matter consumed.
  • Plan on feeding year ‘round so that bucks never slip into below-average body condition.
  • Otherwise, next spring, nutrients will be allocated to “playing catch up” instead of to antler growth.
  • Be sure to wear gloves when handling the feeder and feed. Human scent can repel deer.
  • Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Once you’ve spent all this effort to attract deer to a feeding area, NEVER hunt near the feeding area.

Don’t get discouraged. It won’t happen overnight. In fact, the better the forage conditions, the tougher it is to get deer to start eating pellets. But fall is a prime opportunity.
There are many, many more tips and strategies for establishing a successful supplemental nutrition program than we can include here.

Stop by J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, Texas and talk to us about your supplemental feeding needs. We’re here to help.

Fall Seed & Fertilizer

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

fall seedNow is the time to get your fall seed. We have over 40 types of seed including wheat, oats, barley,  assorted rye grass seed and additives such as chicory and buck plot mixes.  Whether your seeding for livestock grazing, wildlife feed plots or something else, we’ve got the seed for you! Not sure what you need? Stop by and talk with our experts, we’re here to help!

We also have carry a variety of bagged and bulk fertilizer. Need help getting your bulk fertilizer home? No problem! Use one of our fertilizer spreaders free of charge! Stop by J & N Feed and Seed or call us for delivery at (940) 549-4631.

Orange Deer Corn & Feeder Mix from Orange Corn Company

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

orange deer cornOrange Deer Corn and Trailpheez Feeder Mix from the Orange Corn Company is now available at J&N Feed and Seed.  Bring the deer in close with Orange Deer Corn. This 100% irrigated Yellow Corn deer attractant is available in 50 lb. bags. It is a highly potent deer corn attractant mixed with all-natural minerals packed with the irresistible scent and taste of oranges.  Best of all, this irresistible deer attractant is grown and produced in Rio Medina, Texas.

Want to mix your own deer corn? Try the Orange Corn Company Trailpheez Feeder Mix, available in convenient 5-ounce packets. Use in feeders to give pain corn that irresistible orange flavor and scent.  Simple to use, just mix one 5 oz packet of Traipheez Feeder Mix with 150 pounds of corn.

 

Quickdraw Deer Block Attractant & Supplement

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Quickdraw Deer Block

Attract and hold big bucks with Purina Mills Quickdraw Deer Block attractant and supplement available at J&N Feed and Seed.

Designed to attract deer with its irresistible scent & flavorings. Designed in a 20 lb block, it attracts big bucks and helps keep deer coming back. It can also be used to supplement poor quality forage or habitat. Studies on the Primos® Quick Draw® Deer Block attractant show strong consumption, driven by a proprietary flavoring agent not found in any other deer block.

Pick up all your hunting supplies, blinds, feeders, and wildlife feed at J&N Feed and Seed.  We’re all hunters here, so if you have any questions, please give us a call or stop by. We’re happy to help!

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Seasonal Diet Changes for Horses

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

Karen E. Davison

Ph.D. – Director, Nutritionist, Equine Technical Solutions

Changing seasons can bring about potential problems for horses and horse owners. 

Pasture quality fluctuates with every season, but the shift in quality from summer to fall is significant. During the fall, there are often warm, sunny days and cool nights. Pasture plants manufacture sugars in the presence of water, carbon dioxide and sunshine, and then use those sugars to fuel growth during the night. However, when nighttime temperatures drop in the autumn, it becomes too chilly for plants to grow and the sugars are stored for later use.  This leads to a concentration of storSeasonal Diet Changes for Horsesed sugars in the plants, which may increase the risk of digestive upset or laminitis in some horses. Horses at most risk are those that are significantly overweight or those that have trouble managing normal blood sugar levels and are sensitive to sugar content in the diet.

Changing seasons also mean drastic swings in weather conditions and temperatures.  This, combined with a major diet adjustment of moving from pasture to hay, can increase the chance of digestive disturbances. While not scientifically proven, many horse owners and veterinarians have experienced what appears to be an association between changes in barometric pressure and incidence of colic episodes in horses. A dramatic drop in temperature often causes horses to drink less water, and at the same time, horse owners will often increase the amount of hay fed to help horses stay warm.  More hay and less water consumption together may lead to impaction colic.

As we move into fall and winter, hay becomes the major forage source for many horses.  Switching from pasture to hay or getting a new supply of hay represent as big a change to the horse as a change in grain. These significant dietary adjustments should ideally be made gradually to decrease the risk of digestive upset. Horses should be fed good-quality hay to maximize nutrition and minimize potential digestive problems. Good-quality hay, of any variety, will be clean and have a high leaf-to-stem ratio, small-diameter stems, few seed heads or blooms, a fresh smell and appearance, and a bright color (faded, yellow or brown color may indicate aged hay or poor storage conditions). The maturity of the plant at harvest determines the hay quality more than any other factor. Young, leafy, immature plants contain more protein, energy and minerals than older plants with thicker stems.  Also, as a plant matures, it contains more indigestible fiber (lignin), which reduces nutrient availability. Lower-quality hay must be supplemented with higher-quality feed to maintain horses’ good condition and health.

Fall is a season of transition and an important time to evaluate the quality of forage available for your horse and whether the grain ration is appropriate and adequate to meet your horse’s nutrient requirements. When winter arrives, horses must be in good condition to be able to withstand colder temperatures. Adjusting grain rations in the early fall will prevent weight loss due to lower-quality forage and, if horses need to gain weight, there is still time for a thinner horse to gain some before the cold weather really sets in.

Article Attributed to Purina and Dr. Karen E. Davidson

Closed On Labor Day

Sunday, July 30th, 2017
Sep
4

Labor DayJ&N Feed and Seed will be closed on Monday, September 4, 2017, in observation of Labor Day.  Enjoy the holiday!

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

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