Looking for railroad ties for your next outdoor project? Look no further than J&N Feed and Seed. We’ve got # 1-grade railroad ties in-stock. Railroad ties lend a raw, natural beauty to any landscaping project. Ties can be used as functional elements or for decorative accents. Construct beautiful fences, corrals, chutes, steps, retaining walls, flower boxes, borders and walkways with ties. Use ties for construction applications instead of brick, cinder block or synthetic materials. Ties can also be used in combination with other materials to create a variety of attractive textures and designs. # 1-grade rail road ties are the best-used ties you can buy, with three good, solid sides and moderate imperfection. Come see us for all your landscaping needs.
Archive for the ‘News & Updates’ Category
Start living sunny side up with new chicken coops from SummerHawk Ranch, now available at J&N Feed and Seed. We’ve brought in the Seaside Cottage Chicken Coop and the Pacific Northwest Chicken Coop so your girls can live in style!
Seaside Cottage Chicken Coop – This design calls to mind those beautiful shoreline escapes. Includes raised coop, decorative cupola, 3 nesting boxes, roosting perch, access ladder, 2 access doors for cleaning, small planter box, 2 windows and a 20-square foot welded metal pen with one door on top and one door at the back. Includes a raised coop with decorative cupola, 3 nesting boxes, roosting perch, access ladder, 2 access doors for cleaning, small planter box, and 2 windows. The 20-square foot welded metal pen features one door on top and one door at the back for easy cleaning access. Product Dimensions: 56″ L x 33″ W x 36″ H; Pen- 66″L x 43″ W x 24″ H
Pacific Northwest Bungalow Chicken Coop – This design embodies a natural connection to the unique climate and landscape of the area. Includes a raised coop with 3 nesting boxes, roosting perch, access ladder, 2 access doors for cleaning, small planter box, truss feature on one side and a window. The 20-square foot welded metal pen features one door on top and one door at the back for easy cleaning access. Product Dimensions: Coop- 56″ L x 33″ W x 36″ H; Pen- 66″L x 43″ W x 24″ H.
- Stronger and sturdier than competitive coops: Canadian hemlock, a harder, heavier wood is used for all structural support components; thick PVC
- Humanely sized for happier, healthier hens: most coops are not sized according to community standards for healthy and humane chicken keeping, visit SummerHawkRanch.com/CrueltyFree to learn more
- Industry-leading full 3-year warranty: 11 times longer than a typical 90-day limited warranty
- Strong, safe and easy to assemble: experience our new patent-pending GrooveLock Assembly System
- Also, great for rabbits and small pets
April can be a tricky month with the weather here in Texas. This year we had some cold nights in March, so you may have delayed your tomato planting. In order to get a nice summer harvest we recommend getting them planted soon. But if you’ve delayed until mid-April, here are some tips:
Which varieties are best? Choose your varieties carefully. With a late planting date, it becomes most important that you avoid the huge types like Big Boy, Beefsteak and others. They simply aren’t going to set fruit when temperatures climb above 90. There’s some type of physiological issue that prevents them from doing so, and that same problem stops fruit set when it’s below 70 degrees at night. You’ll be doing well to get five or six fruits from these types that were bred for the Midwest.
Thanks to seed company mergers and the ongoing quest for something new, you’ll also find many of your old favorite tomato varieties are no longer available. Carnival, Merced and 444 are just a few of the types that have disappeared from the market.
What are the best types? Small to mid-sized fruit. In order of increasing size, your shopping list should include Red Cherry, Red or Yellow Pear, Sweet 100 and other super-sweet types, Porter, Roma, Super Fantastic and Celebrity. Look for stout transplants in 4-inch pots. They should be 6 to 8 inches tall, and they need to be toughened to withstand sunlight and wind. If you’ve already planted tomatoes, and if you don’t have any of these smaller types, you still have time to add a few in.
How should I prepare the soil? Set your plants into well-prepared garden soil to which you have added several inches of organic matter (compost, pine bark mulch, rotted manure and sphagnum peat moss, among others). Plant in beds that have been raised by 5 or 6 inches to ensure good drainage should we have extended periods of rainy weather. Set the plants out 42 to 48 inches apart in rows that are 60 inches apart. If you have transplants that are slightly leggy, dig a shallow trench for each plant and plant it at a 45-degree angle. It will form adventitious roots along the portion of the stem that you plant below grade. Water the plants as soon as you have them all set out.
What are some key points for growing? Keep the plants off the ground as they begin to grow. Cages you can buy in stores are usually too small for Texas tomato plants. Your plants would probably grow up and out of them before you really started to harvest your crop. It’s much better, instead, to put 5-foot-tall wire cages around every plant. Concrete reinforcing wire works best. Cut it into 54-inch lengths, so that each cage will be approximately 17 inches in diameter. Allow all the “suckers” (branches) to develop, and keep them pushed back within the cages. They will shade the ripening tomatoes and protect them from sunscald.
You can also grow tomatoes in patio pots, as long as they’re large enough to allow normal root growth. In most cases, that will mean 7- or 10-gallon pots, and you’ll want to fill them with a lightweight, highly organic potting soil. Remember that potted tomato plants will dry out much more quickly than their in-ground counterparts, so prepare to water them frequently. Tomatoes that are allowed to wilt badly, whether in pots or in the ground, will typically develop blossom-end rot. The ends of the fruits away from the stems will have brown, sunken spots that will ruin the fruit quality completely.
What about pests? The prime pests of spring tomatoes, in order of their appearance, will be aphids, early blight and spider mites. Aphids are already showing up. They’re small pear-shaped insects that congregate on the newest growth. They’re not the worst pests you might encounter, but you’ll still want to keep them washed off with a hard stream of water. You can also eliminate them with most general-purpose insecticides that are labeled for vegetables.
Early blight usually shows up in mid-May. Thumbprint-sized, bright yellow blotches show up on the bottom-most leaves. Left unchecked, it then spreads up the stems. Keep the foliage as dry as you can, and apply a labeled fungicide to stop its spread. When grooming your plants, take care not to carry the fungal spores to healthy plants via your hands.
Spider mites typically appear about three weeks after you see early blight, so that usually means mid-June in our part of Texas. Lower leaves will have fine light tan mottling, and the discoloration will quickly spread up the stems. By the time you see fine webs between the leaves, you will have waited too long. If you want to confirm early outbreaks, thump a suspect leaf over a sheet of white paper. If you see tiny specks starting to move about freely, those are the mites. Most general-purpose insecticides will offer some degree of control.
Source: Neil Sperry, Time for Tomatoes
ASF is proud to introduce our new 100lb D.A.M. Fish Feeder, and we’ve got them in-stock at J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, Texas. This Directional Aquatic Management (D.A.M.) feeder is perfect for feeding fish from the pier or pond dam or can be used as a directional corn feeder. This fish feeder comes with our new Directional Air Drive unit the can blow fish feed up to 60+ feet. The base of the feeder comes with skids for easy mounting to a dock, or it can be staked down to the side of your pond dam. The base tilts up to 45˙ to accommodate the slope of your pond dam. This unit holds 100lbs of fish feed. Corn can be used in the unit as well. Comes with ASF Timer, 12v battery, and 12v solar panel.
- Easy adjust 45-degree tilt for pond dam slope adjustment
- Multiple setting for distance adjustment
- Fish feed approx. distance (L-40’, M-50’,H-60’)
- Corn approx. distance (L-50’, M-60’,H-70’+)
- Easy to fill at 45” tall
- Varmint proof
- 100% Heavy duty galvanized construction
- 1/8” Galvanized skid stand
- Base measures 32″x 32″
- Holes on skids for mounting to dock or dam
• 12v Directional Air Drive Unit
• The Timer
• 12v Battery
• 12v Solar
You know it’s Springtime with the fresh vegetable plants arrive! Our greenhouse is fully stocked with fresh plants for this time of year! We carry a variety of vegetable plants including squash, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes and much more. We also carry select locally grown vegetables, heirloom vegetables, perennials, and beautiful hanging baskets as well. Prefer to start your garden from seeds? We’ve got a great selection garden seeds in regular and organic varieties.
Make J&N Feed and Seed your one stop for all your garden supplies including mulch, fertilizer, compost, seeds (including organic), and plants! Looking to plant an organic garden or raised bed garden? We can help! We carry a variety of organic garden options. Stop by J&N Feed and Seed this Spring to speak with our Garden Experts!
Winter has passed and spring is here and it’s time to get out of the indoor arena, to hit the trails again or start legging up for the summer show season. Unfortunately, the long-awaited changing of the seasons can spell danger to horses on pasture. But by being aware of the potential problems and taking steps to protect your horses from them, you can still enjoy the season.
April showers bring May flowers….and lots of green, green grass
During this time of year, as pastures come out of winter dormancy their photosynthesis activity greatly increases. As a result, the grass becomes full to bursting with the byproduct of all this activity – sugars. Grass contains numerous different types and amounts of sugars depending on the species. Glucose, sucrose and fructose are produced through photosynthesis and used for energy and as building blocks of other plant components. Excess sugars are stored in the plant as starch and fructan. (Simple sugars, starch and fructan in plants are referred to as non-structural carbohydrate (NSC)).
Warm season grasses, such as Bermuda grass, crab grass and native grasses, store excess sugar as starch. Starch levels in these grasses may increase when they are grown under heat stress. Cool season grasses such as rye grass, orchard grass, timothy grass and fescue primarily store sugars as fructan. Studies have shown that there is a considerable variability in NSC levels in grasses depending on the season, ambient temperature, light intensity and time of day. In fact, NSC concentration is primarily a function of these environmental factors. NSC concentrations are highest during late spring, cool temperatures, bright sun and late afternoon. Interestingly, studies have also shown that there is an inverse relationship between nitrogen and NSC content. You would think that fertilized pastures that grow more robustly would have higher NSC content and on a per acre basis you would be correct. However, the concentration of NSC within the grass itself is lower if it has been fertilized.
When horses consume grass, starch is digested to glucose by enzymes in the small intestine and absorbed, along with the simple sugars contained in the plant. If too much starch is ingested, it many overwhelm the capacity of the small intestine to digest and absorb it, resulting in overflow into the hindgut (cecum and colon). Fructans and structural carbohydrates (cellulose, hemicellulose and pectins), pass undigested through the small intestine and into the cecum and colon where the microbial populations ferment them. Abnormal or elevated levels of fermentation within the cecum and colon may lead to increased production of gas which can result in colic. If large amounts of fructan and starch reach the hindgut, a shift may occur in the microbial population favoring lactic acid-producing organisms. Excess lactic acid may decrease the pH in the hindgut, which can result in increased permeability of the intestinal wall, allowing various toxins and other substances into the blood stream where they may be carried to the hoof and incite laminitis.
Since not all horses grazing a spring pasture will experience problems like colic and laminitis, it is reasonable to assume that certain horses are more susceptible than others to the ingestion of NSC (especially fructan) in grasses. Horses that are obese or insulin resistant due to disease (such as Equine Cushing’s Syndrome or Equine Metabolic Syndrome), appear to be more susceptible than those with more moderate body condition and normal insulin sensitivity. Several conditions associated with being overweight or insulin resistant could exacerbate the effect of fructan and starch in the hindgut, including increased stress on the hoof due to high body weight; the existence of a pro-inflammatory state which makes them more apt to produce an extreme inflammatory response; reduced glucose delivery to the cells of the lamina of the hoof; alteration in blood flow to the hoof; and/or changes in the function of the cells lining the blood vessels in the hoof.Prevention of pasture-associated laminitis and colic is relatively simple in theory but can be very challenging in practice. Limiting access to pastures during periods when NSC levels can be expected to be high (late spring, days that are sunny and cool, and during the late afternoon) is ideal. However, for many horse owners this may not be practical. Alternatives to restricting pasture access include mowing pastures, building partitions in the pasture to limit the space where horses may graze lush grass, moving horses to shaded pastures, using grazing muzzles, limiting turnout times (2 to 4 hours per day), and feeding supplemental hay and concentrates to curb hunger with the hope of limiting pasture consumption. Maintaining horses in ideal body condition (BCS 4.5 to 6) may be one of the most important ways to minimize the risk of pasture associated laminitis and colic. (Go to www.horse.purinamills.com for more information about body condition scoring and weight management techniques). A regular, consistent exercise program is beneficial in controlling weight as well as stimulating gut motility which may help decrease the risk of colic. Being aware of the dangers associated with spring pastures and taking steps to protect your horses from them helps everyone to enjoy the season.
Source: Katherine Williamson, DVM
Spring marks the beginning of fire ant season, when warm weather and frequent rains brings the ants above ground where they build dirt mounds that dot the Texas landscape like a terrestrial pox. For us here in the Lone Star State, fire ant season can stretch well into fall. These little red pests may look harmless, but their bites can be devastating, as they sometimes overwhelm and kill newborn livestock, wildlife and can even cause anaphylactic shock to some humans.
Fire ants can re-infest from long distances and the reproductive potential is great, so it is important to treat not only the mound, but also the surrounding areas in your yard to stay ahead of them! At J&N Feed, we’ve got two options for fire ant control. Treating early and often is the key to controlling these pests.
Over’N Out! Advanced – Stop the fire ants early with Over’N Out! Advanced fire ant killer from GardenTech. The deep-penetrating and odorless formula kills the pesky pest and their queen. Treat the mounds to kill fire ants fast, then apply the ready to use granules to your yard to prevent new mounds for 6 months. The 11.5 lb. bag covers up to 5000 sq. ft.
Hi-Yield Fire Ant Control may be used in a variety of exterior settings include fields, pastures, recreational, residential and landscaped turf, for excellent control of fire ants. To get the best results, apply the product around dawn or dusk, because that is when the ants are most active.
There are some nutritional concerns, however, during spring and some management issues we should address to ensure the health and performance of our horses.
First, as we start working our horses more, we must increase the plane of nutrition to ensure that the horse’s increased requirements are met. Energy is possibly the most important nutrient to consider in a working horse. As a horse works harder, its energy (calorie) requirement increases, and we must supply those additional calories in a form that will not compromise the horse’s digestive health. We can add more calories by increasing the amount of feed offered daily to the horse. However, in general, horses should not be fed meals larger than 0.5 pounds per 100 pounds of body weight, especially when feeding oats or a feed with high grain content. Grains such as oats and corn are high in starch and sugars, and when fed in larger meals may increase the risk of digestive disturbances such as colic and/or laminitis. Alternate energy sources include fat and fermentable fibers. Feeds such as Purina’s Ultium® Competition, Strategy® Professional Formula GX, Strategy® Healthy Edge® and Omolene #500® horse feeds are higher in fat and fermentable fibers, and lower in starch/sugars than traditional grain mixes and sweet feeds, therefore are excellent feeds to increase the calories in a working horse’s diet. Omolene #200® horse feed is also an option for these situations, with the calories supplied by a combination of fat and soluble carbohydrates. These performance feeds also contain all the essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals to support the increased demands of the performance horse. Keep in mind that all feeding changes must be made gradually, so it is important to slowly increase the amount of feed as the horse’s workload increases.
If you are only planning to work your horse lightly or your horse is naturally an easy keeper, a concentrated feed such as Purina®Enrich Plus® Ration Balancing Feed may be the best way to meet the horse’s nutritional needs without adding many calories. If your horse stays in good body condition (not too fat or too thin) on hay or pasture alone and doesn’t need additional feed for more calories, feeding one to two pounds of Enrich Plus® per day will provide the protein, vitamins, and minerals that the horse needs to meet essential nutrient requirements.Next, we need to keep in mind that the forage portion of the horse’s diet may be changing, and we must be aware that these changes may be problematic for some horses. For many horses, the advent of spring means that the source of forage changes from hay to fresh grass. Most horse owners are well aware that an abrupt change in feed puts a horse at risk for laminitis. However, they don’t always realize that a change from eating dry hay to grazing lush pasture is a very big change in the diet for the horse’s digestive system. This change from hay to pasture should be made gradually to minimize the risk of laminitis as horses are exposed to fresh pastures.
Why can fresh grass cause laminitis in horses? First, there is a big difference in the quality of fresh forage horses will graze in a green pasture compared with any forage harvested for hay. Simply changing the diet abruptly can create problems for the horse’s digestive system. In addition, the green grass horses graze is often higher in sugars than the hay. During the process of photosynthesis, plants manufacture sugars which the plant used to fuel the growth of the plant or store as starch or fructans. The storage form of the sugars depends on the plant species (cool season grasses tend to store sugars as fructans, while warm-season grasses tend to store sugars as starch). These sugars can accumulate in the spring when there are sunny days and chilly nights because the plant produces the sugar during the sunny days but doesn’t grow in the colder temperatures at night. So, the sugars don’t get burned to fuel growth, they just begin to accumulate. This can cause problems for horses, especially when the sugars are stored as fructans because fructans are mostly digested in the hindgut through microbial fermentation. Excessive fermentation of fructans in a horse’s hindgut may be a possible trigger for colic and/or laminitis, similar to a grain overload reaching the hindgut. The fermentation of fiber carbohydrates in the hindgut is normal and does not increase the risk of digestive disorders in the horse. Other environmental conditions such as drought, stress, duration and intensity of sunlight, salinity (salt content) of soil, and overall health of the plant can contribute to excess storage of sugars and/or fructans.
How then do we manage pasture turnout and grazing to minimize the risk of laminitis? Horses that are kept on pasture year-round usually adjust to the new grass as it grows. Nature does a fairly good job of making the pasture changes gradually. Problems are most likely to occur when horses have been confined and fed a hay and grain diet during the winter, and are then abruptly turned out on the lush green pasture in the spring. Further, horses that have been kept up through the winter may overeat when turned out because of the high palatability of lush green foliage. This sudden change in the diet, especially when it includes a rapid influx of unfamiliar fructans into the hindgut, may trigger digestive upset.
There are several ways to prevent or minimize problems when introducing horses to spring pastures. Feeding hay immediately before turn-out may help keep horses from overeating since they are less likely to overeat on an already full stomach. Restricting grazing time will also help minimize risks, and turning out in the early morning may help minimize the number of sugars in the pasture at that time. A suggested schedule is thirty minutes of grazing once or twice a day on the first day of grazing; then increase grazing time by 5-10 minutes per day until the horses are grazing 4-6 hours per day total. At this point, they have adapted to the green grass.
One final consideration when getting back into the saddle is the condition of the horse. On that first warm sunny day, it is very tempting to head out to the barn for a nice, long trail ride to enjoy the great weather. However, if you have not been riding your horse regularly through the winter, your horse is not conditioned for that type of physical activity (and possibly neither are you!). To prevent muscle soreness, and possibly “tying-up”, horses should be gradually reintroduced to work. Start with slow, easy work and short workouts, and gradually increase the intensity and duration of the workouts until your horse is adequately conditioned. This will help decrease the risk of problems and injuries in your horse. It may take up to 90 days to get a horse properly conditioned for strenuous physical workouts. Once your horse’s nutritional and management considerations are addressed, and your horse is adequately conditioned for the desired workload, you are ready to head out and enjoy the warmer weather and sunshine.
Article Attributed to Purina and Dr. Katie Young
April Garden Tips
If April means spring to you; get out your gardening tools and get moving. A successful garden begins with good soil. Organic material is important to the soil composition. It helps with drainage and increases the microbe population. Expanded shale is used to break up hard compacted clay soils. Top dress your flower beds and containers with organic mulches.
Hopefully, you have your tomatoes, peppers, squash, and other warm season vegetables already planted; if not get them in the ground right away. To get the highest yields, make additions of fertilizer every couple of weeks, starting about a month after transplanting or seeding.
If your yard is too small for a traditional garden plot, try gardening in containers. The bigger the container, the better! Container gardens need more attention since they dry out faster and need regular additions of fertilizer to compensate for the more frequent irrigation.
If you want to create a truly dynamic garden, inviting colorful guests like butterflies and hummingbirds are definitely the way to go. Butterflies like sunshine and plenty of space to fly around, so opt for a sunny, open spot. Both enjoy having some type of cover as a resting spot. Your garden should include some type of water feature as butterflies and hummingbirds often congregate around water.
St. Augustine and Bermuda lawns should be actively growing now; so it is a great time to apply fertilizer. A correctly fertilized lawn now will better help your lawn to handle the Texas Summer Heat!
Keeping 6-8 Week Old Chicks
Between 6 and 8 weeks of age, your chicks will be much larger and will need twice the amount of floor space they started with. It’s also time to start thinking about moving your chicks from the brooder to more permanent living quarters outside. If the temperature is mild and the chicks are fully feathered, they can be allowed outside during the day. If you purchased straight-run chicks (50/50 males and females) you may be able to distinguish the males from the females around 5 to 7 weeks of age. The combs and wattles of the males usually develop earlier and are usually (but not always) larger than in the females. Females are typically smaller in size than males. If you are still uncertain of their sex by appearance, you’ll be sure who the males in the flock are when you hear them attempting to crow.
Your chicks are able to regulate their body temperature by this time and should not need a heat source any longer unless the outside temperatures are still very cold. Keep temperature at 65°F if this is the case.
Prepare your chicken house or coop. Housing should provide approximately three to four square feet of space per mature bird and should contain sufficient feeders and waterers to accommodate your flock size so that all birds can eat and drink at the same time. Two to three inches of litter should be put down to minimize dampness and odor. A nest box for every four hens should be made available for laying pullets. Roosts can be considered for laying pullets but not recommended for meat birds because of the potential for developing breast blisters.
If possible, prepare an area outside the coop for your birds. Outside runs or fenced in areas will allow chickens to scratch and peck to their hearts desire, returning to the roost at dusk to sleep. The house needs to have a secure latch that is fastened each night if they are allowed outside during the day. An outside run attached to the coop with screening on the top and sides for protection will allow chickens unlimited access to the yard and save you time and worry.
Once you move your birds to their permanent residence, make sure they are protected from predators, especially at night. Even a latched door may not be secure enough to keep raccoons out.
- Your birds are still growing so keep feeding Purina® Start & Grow® Recipe to help them reach their maximum potential. Chicks should remain on this feed until at least 18 weeks of age.
- If your flock is a mix of chicks, ducks and geese, continue feeding Purina® Flock Raiser Recipe.
- Turkeys can start on Flock Raiser Sunresh® Recipe at 8 to 10 weeks of age. Keep feeding this until market weight or laying age.
- If chicks were purchased for meat production, the normal weight for processing is 3 to 4 pounds for broilers and 6 to 8 pounds for roasters.
Laying pullets will need to receive a constant amount of light exposure once they reach 16 weeks of age to promote good egg production. For optimum egg production, a maximum of 17-18 hours of light (natural and/or artificial) per day is recommended. Gradually change your layer flock over to Purina® Layena® Sunfresh® Recipe at 18 to 20 weeks of age to support egg production.
Pullets will usually begin laying between 18 and 22 weeks of age. Increasing day length in the spring stimulates normal egg production, and egg production is naturally decreased in the fall when the days get shorter. Artificial light can be used in addition to natural daylight in the fall and winter months to maintain egg production all year long. If artificial light is not used, hens will stop laying when daylight hours decrease. It is very important that the supplemental light be consistent, as even one day without supplemental lighting can cause a decrease in egg production.
After 10-14 months of egg production, hens will molt and stop laying eggs. During molting, old feathers are lost and replaced by new feathers. It usually lasts between eight and twelve weeks (though it can be shorter or longer, depending on the individual hen and her environment) and it gives the hen’s reproductive system some much needed rest. Hens will return to production after the molt. Eggs laid in the next cycle are usually larger with improved shell quality but production typically drops about 10 percent.
Source: Purina Poultry
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