Join J&N Feed and Seed and Purina Cattle Specialist, Chad Brown for a Cattle Mineral Meeting on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, at noon. Learn more about cattle minerals and have lunch with us right here at the store, located at 450 Pecan St, Graham, TX 76450.
You probably know it’s important to feed your cattle a well-balanced mineral supplement, but you might not know why it is. Cattle with mineral shortages or imbalances do poorly in reproduction, lactation, weight gains, body condition, etc. – all the factors that affect your profitability. But most mineral deficiencies don’t show obvious symptoms until it’s too late, and without good records, it’s hard to identify a gradual decline in cattle performance.
Please RSVP for this Cattle Mineral Workshop by calling J&N Feed and Seed at (940) 549-4631.
The coming of warm weather means the advent of troublesome horn flies for beef producers. Get a jump-start on fly control with Purina Wind and Rain Storm Fly Control Mineral. This feed-through mineral is available in tub or granulated form, right here at J&N Feed and Seed.
Horn flies are annoying, to be sure. But they are more than just pests, they are “obligate parasites” that must stay with—and live off of—their hosts in order to survive. They feed on cattle by cutting through the skin and sucking blood. This is not only painful and distressing for the animal, but also has a direct impact on body condition and, consequently, on the producer’s bottom line.
“Making blood is an expensive process,” according to Scott Boutilier, vice president of sales and marketing for Central Life Sciences (CLS) professional businesses. “All that blood is lost body mass, weight, meat and muscle that could have been going on someone’s plate.” As a result, Boutilier says, an estimated $800 million is lost each year to horn flies.
The gold standard in controlling these pests is S-Methoprene, the generic name for Altosid® IGR, which is registered to a subsidiary of CLS. The product, originally developed in the late 1960s for mosquito control, was registered by the EPA in 1975 as a cattle feed-through product. Incorporated into cattle feed, Altosid passes through the animals without affecting them, remaining in manure to control horn flies. It does this by mimicking a juvenile fly hormone that inhibits fly larvae from maturing.
“Methoprene by nature is very similar to juvenile insect hormones,” said Boutilier, who studied entomology, chemistry, and insect physiology in undergraduate and graduate school. “It’s very complex chemically, but environmentally benign. It breaks out into very simple compounds, so it doesn’t have negative effects on the environment.”
In fact, the EPA has determined that the use of methoprene is exempt from tolerance. And, insects have not developed a resistance to Altosid, unlike many other insect control products that kill the adult. “At the same time,” Boutilier explained, “the product is sensitive to sunlight, so delivery and formulation is critical to its performance. And, you have to make sure you deliver the correct amount to achieve the right effect.”
As a result, CLS has created a variety of formulations, all very specific to their intended uses. In the cattle market, for instance, they created a formula that will pass through and remain in manure. The dosage is low enough that it affects horn flies, but doesn’t inhibit dung beetles’ ability to break down manure. The dosage is typically about 1.1 mg per hundredweight of animal, per day.
Boutilier described the work Purina has done on consumption and intake management as “elegant.” It’s a method the company uses in its Wind and Rain® Fly Control Mineral tubs, which incorporate Altosid. Through taste and physical properties, the method actually controls how much the animal consumes, keeping the nutrients at appropriate levels for the desired effect.
“They’ve made the product attractive, so that cattle will eat it, but only eat so much,” Boutilier explained. “Then after a while, they will come back for more. It’s an amazing level of sophistication that has evolved with Purina’s IM Tech (Intake Modifying Technology®) program.” Boutilier says incorporating Altosid with pre-existing feeding programs is a very cost-efficient method of controlling horn flies.
“If you are going to feed an animal anyway, you have no additional labor cost to deliver the horn fly control with feed,” he pointed out. “Plus, this method is so much easier than an ear tag or back rubber. And every dollar you spend, yields 6 to 10 dollars in increased weight gain and faster weight gain, so it is a high value solution for cattle producers.”
Boutilier said producers should start administering the product about a month before horn flies start maturing until about 30 days after the first hard frost. That way they can virtually eliminate the horn fly season. He stressed that ranchers need to administer Altosid 30 days after the first frost to make sure the insects don’t go into pupae.
“Most cattle producers who start on the program stay on it, because it is effective and delivers a good return,” Boutilier concluded. “Customer satisfaction is very high.”
For more information about options for controlling horn flies through mineral supplements, contact us.
There have been significant changes in the global vitamin market which will impact the availability and price of vitamins and premixes used to manufacture animal feed starting in January 2018. Rest assured that we are committed to working with you to navigate this challenge while providing optimal nutrition from our suppliers. We’d like to share some details with you as to what is going on in the market.
Global supplies of vitamin A and vitamin E will be in short supply over the next few months, due to a manufacturing issue with one of the leading suppliers, BASF. Earlier this month, BASF declared force majeure for all its vitamin A and vitamin E and for several carotenoid products. This declaration is a legal clause that exempts them from fulfilling their contractual supply obligations for all their vitamin A and vitamin E products and several carotenoid products. It was made following a fire that reportedly damaged BASF’s citral facility in Germany. Citral is key to the manufacturing process of those vitamins.
This global supply issue and very limited availability of the impacted vitamins have resulted in significant price increases in the animal nutrition market. You will begin to see those prices reflected in the pricing of animal feeds starting in January 2018. These price increases from manufacturers will impact the prices of feed in businesses across the country. We are doing what we can to mitigate the impact and will stay in close contact with you as we manage through this until supplies are restored.
Our number one priority is to continue to provide you with the quality products you and your customers expect from us. Thank you for working through this global industry challenge with us.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.
Raising chickens is a great experience for the whole family. One of the primary requirements is providing housing that is comfortable for your backyard flock. Young chicks can be raised in a variety of structures, but the area should be warm, dry and ventilated, but not drafty. Also make sure it is easy to clean.
Small numbers of chicks can be warmed adequately with heat lamps placed about 20 inches above the litter surface.
Bigger groups of birds in a large room, such as a shed or a garage, should have a supplemental heat source such as a brooder stove.
Before you bring them home:
Several days in advance, thoroughly clean and disinfect the brooder house and any equipment the chicks will use. Doing this in advance will allow everything to dry completely. Dampness is a mortal enemy to chicks, resulting in chilling and encouraging disease such as coccidiosis (parasite infection).
When the premises are dry, place 4 to 6 inches of dry litter material (wood shavings or a commercial litter) on the floor.
Feeders and Waterers
It’s important to ensure your chicks have access to fresh feed and water. Positioning the feeders and waterers along the edges of the comfort zone will:
Keep the water and feed from being overheated
Help keep water and feed cleaner (chicks milling and sleeping under the warmth source often scatter bedding and feces)
Encourage the chicks to move around and get exercise
Be sure to have plenty of fresh feed and water when the chicks arrive:
At least two 1-quart or one 1-gallon waterer for every 25 to 50 chicks
Dip the beaks of several chicks into the water to help them locate it. These chicks will teach the rest.
Day 1: Use clean egg flats, shallow pans or simple squares of paper with small piles of feed on them.
Day 2: Add proper feeders to the pens.
A few days later: Remove the messy papers, pans or egg flats once chicks have learned to eat from the feeders.
Should be emptied, scrubbed, rinsed and refilled daily
Wet litter around waterers should be removed as often as possible. Dampness encourages disease and parasite transmission. The drier the premises, the healthier and happier the chicks.
At about 4 weeks of age, ducks and geese will appreciate a swimming area, but you will need to keep the wet litter cleaned up.
In winter months, you may need to purchase a water heater to prevent water from freezing.
As chicks grow:
Feeders and waterers can be moved outward from the heat source, expanding their area of activity and helping keep the feeders and waterers clean.
As the birds grow, the feeders and waterers should be adjusted to the height of the back of a standing bird. This will help decrease contamination and minimize wastage
Feeding your chicks
It is important to select a complete feed that gives your chicks all the nutrition they need to grow into healthy hens. Once they’ve reached maturity,a high-quality complete layer feed will help to maximize egg production and quality. If they are broiler chicks, choose a feed designed to support their more rapid growth. Layer chicks will reach egg-laying age at about 18 to 20 weeks; broiler chicks will reach market weight at 8 to 10 weeks.
You may also consider occasional supplements to their diet, such as table scraps, scratch grains, oyster shell and grit. However, supplemental feeds should make up no more than 10 percent of a hen’s diet.
Purina offers a complete line of poultry feeds appropriate for each bird in your flock. A list of Purina products can be found here.
Lighting and heating for your chicks
A thermometer should be placed at the chicks’ level to accurately gauge temperature.
Adjust the brooder stove and/or heat lamps 24 hours in advance so that upon the chicks’ arrival, you’ve created a comfort zone that is 90º F at “chick level.”
For turkey chicks, the comfort zone should be 100º F.
Use a brooder guard (a plastic, cardboard or wire barrier) for a few days to encircle the brooding area so that the chicks don’t wander too far from the warmth.
Once chicks have learned where the heat is, remove or expand the guard. This will allow the chicks to escape the heat if necessary. Getting overheated can be as dangerous as getting chilled.
Chicks that huddle under the lamp are too cold. Chicks that sprawl along the brooder guard are too hot. Chicks happily milling around all portions of the brooder area are comfortable.
The temperature can be gradually reduced by 5º F per week to a minimum of 55º F.
Even after your chicks have grown into hens, keep a standard old-fashioned 40-watt incandescent light bulb handy; or, if you’re using the new energy-efficient bulbs, a 28-watt halogen, 10-watt compact fluorescent, or 8-watt LED bulb, to maintain the artificial light necessary for egg laying to continue through the winter months.
Source: Purina Poultry
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During the winter months, it’s easy to find reasons to skip your cattle feed supplements.
After all, trudging across fields when it’s windy and cold — and sometimes snowing — isn’t anyone’s favorite task. The cold, wind, dampness and mud all take a toll on your herd, 24 hours a day, increasing their energy requirements dramatically. And, for spring calving cows, that’s especially significant. Their bodies are already struggling to meet the energy demands of a maturing fetus. Consequently, it’s crucial they remain in sound body condition to successfully calve, produce milk and rebreed promptly.
Provide adequate nutrition for pregnant cows
“The last third of gestation accounts for about 70 to 80 percent of calf growth,” said Les Anderson, Ph.D., extension professor at the University of Kentucky. “During the last two weeks, an average calf grows about two pounds each day.” Anderson explained that cows must at least maintain body condition — and preferably gain slightly — during that last period so they will have sufficient energy stores to calve rapidly and easily. He said one common myth is that increased feeding will increase calf birth weight, thus raising the chances for dystocia.
He said a number of studies have explored this and concluded the opposite is true. “Cows that lost weight during the last trimester had smaller calves, but also had more problems calving,” he remarked. “They simply didn’t have sufficient energy stores in their bodies to calve rapidly and easily on their own. On the other hand, cows that maintained or gained weight had a lower incidence of calving problems — even though their calves weighed slightly more.” But, the benefits of maintaining body condition during winter don’t stop there. Body condition also affects fertility, rebreeding and pregnancy, all of which can have a direct impact on herd profitability.
Consider long-term cattle health, profitability in decisions
Lee Dickerson, Ph.D., and senior cattle consultant at Purina Animal Nutrition, agrees that body condition throughout the entire reproductive cycle can make a significant difference on reproductive success and overall net return to the producer. Dr. Dickerson recommends “targeting a body condition score of 6 at calving, a 5.5 at bull turn-in, AI (artificial insemination), or ET (embryo transfer) and a 4.5 to 5 at weaning.” So what keeps producers — and Anderson says it’s a big percentage of them — from achieving the desired body condition, especially during winter?
He says the short-term cost of cattle feed supplements during the winter months often blinds producers to the long-term return they will receive on that investment. “With feed costs being what they have been over the past few years, producers ask, can I afford it right now?” Anderson explained. “Ultimately, if they don’t make the expenditure, they end up paying the price because their cows will have a reduced ability to conceive — and conceive early, plus a lower overall reproduction rate. But, they don’t see that loss right off.” He said the University of Kentucky Extension helps producers make better decisions through “enterprise analyses” that evaluate potential expenditures against projected calving rates, weaning weights, rebreeding rates and pregnancy rates. “This makes intelligent decisions a lot easier,” he explained.
The cost of skimping on nutrition
Anderson described a retrospective analysis his extension conducted for a producer who had experienced an excessively dry summer and fall. The producer opted not to spend the $6,000 to $7,000 needed for feed to maintain body condition from calving to breeding. On review, they found he only achieved a 42 percent pregnancy rate. That lower rate resulted in a $17,000 loss — more than twice the amount he would have spent on feed to achieve his usual 85 to 90 percent pregnancy rate.
Supplementation during winter months
Clearly, maintaining body condition in the winter is important. To achieve it, supplementation is required. “You need to boost the nutrient supply when the weather gets colder to maintain the cows’ nutrient needs,” Anderson explained. “Even with balanced forage, a rudimentary ration won’t take into account their additional needs during these months.”
Purina has a wide range of cattle feed supplements, such as Purina® Accuration® supplements, to provide that extra nutrition opportunity. Purina® Accuration® supplements not only provide balanced protein and energy, but also incorporate Intake Modifying Technology® which enhances digestion and aims to prevent overeating by stimulating cattle to eat smaller, more frequent meals. This self-regulated eating means cattle eat just what they need, so less feed is wasted and less hand feeding is required.
Pre-winter preparation, spring moderation
In addition to supplementing during winter, Anderson emphasized the importance of getting cattle in shape before the cold weather hits. Plus, he cautioned producers to avoid the “rush to grass” in the spring, which can also have a negative impact on rebreeding. “Early spring grass is so nutrient dense that it passes through animals rapidly and they are not able to absorb all the nutrients. They can actually get in a negative energy balance because they don’t have it in their bodies long enough to absorb it,” he said.
Anderson recommends adding supplements at this time as well, to slow the passage rate and keep energy up. But, most of all at this time of year, Anderson says it’s important to keep in mind that “when the weather gets bad and you don’t want to go outside, that’s when the cattle need you most. They’re trying to fight that weather, and they need more energy. It’s well-documented that if they lose weight during this time, it will affect their ability to rebreed.”
Article Attributed to Purina Animal Nutrition
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Feed AntlerMax Deer 20 with Climate Guard during antler growth season. So much of what we do in the care and feeding of deer pass relatively unnoticed in the short term. But antler growth season is when “instant gratification” seekers can practically see results occur right before their eyes.
Growing at a rate of half an inch per day, antlers are some of the fastest growing tissues in the animal kingdom. That’s why it’s essential that deer consume the most nutritious diet of the year during antler growth season. Unfortunately, this is also the time when forage quality is typically low. However, there are things you can do to compensate.
As winter comes to an end, breeding season is officially over, testosterone levels drop and bucks begin shedding their antlers. Usually, within a month, they’ll start growing their next set.
If the required nutrients are in short supply during the antler growth period, several things can happen—none of them good:
Antler growth rate can slow down. There’s only a small window of opportunity for antler growth (about 120 days a year), and an antler growing at the rate of 15 grams per day is obviously going to be smaller than one growing by 25 grams per day
Less dense antlers are more subject to breakage in rut fights
Desirable characteristics that affect Boone & Crockett Score, such as antler mass (volume and weight), number of points and beam circumference are negatively impacted by poor nutrition.
Growing a new set of antlers places huge demands on a buck’s body. Since a buck cannot eat enough in a day to mineralize his antlers, his body is forced to extract minerals from his ribs, sternum, and skull and deposit them in the antlers. As a result, his bone density may actually be diminished by as much as 30 percent. So not only does a buck have to grow antlers, he has to replenish the minerals in his bones in order to be able to do the same thing again next year. (This is why mineral nutrition is so critical even after antlers are finished growing.)
Hardened antlers are high in minerals, mostly calcium (about 20 percent) and phosphorus (about 10 percent), in addition to a lot of trace minerals such as zinc, copper, and manganese. Phosphorus, which is commonly deficient in many soils and plants throughout the US, is particularly critical. And what many people do not realize is that, even after they harden, antlers are still over 35% protein.
Because antler growth is low on the priority list of functions required to sustain life, antlers only receive “what’s left” of nutrients after life-sustaining needs have been met. In other words, deer will not even begin to grow antlers until they’ve regained body condition (This is why a year-round feeding program gives you such a distinct advantage.)
So what can you do to ensure the best possible outcome during the antler growth period? From now through August, try feeding a diet that is formulated especially for optimal growth, density, and strength. A good option is Purina Mills® AntlerMax® Deer 20 product. This pelleted ration is 20-percent protein, highly palatable and should be fed free-choice to wild deer with access to good habitat or quality hay. Formulated with patented AntlerMax® Technology, it’s one of the most critical steps you can take right now to help deer attain their full potential—and satisfy your need for “instant gratification.”
Our Certified Public Scale is OPEN at J&N Feed and Seed. Our certified public scale is available for all of your trucks and trailers, or any vehicle-weighing needs. We issue Certified Weight Certificates for cars, trucks, boats, trailers, campers, tractor trailers, and more. Whether you’re moving in our out, hauling livestock, or towing a vehicle, get it weighed on our certified scale, right here in Graham, Texas.
J&N Feed and Seed 450 Pecan Street
Graham, TX 76450
Call us today to find out more information about our new public scale. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.
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