Archive for August, 2016

Texas Hunter Education: The Simple Way to Avoid a Ticket

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Texas Hunter EducationReceiving a ticket during a hunting trip is not fun. The number one reason a hunter will receive a ticket is because he or she lacks proof of Texas hunter education. Every hunter, born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, must successfully complete hunter education and carry proof while hunting. If you can’t locate your card, go online and print a duplicate at no charge.

Over 1 million Texans have completed hunter education and the field is a MUCH safer place to be because of it. Speaking of safety, check out this short video of firearm safety tips every hunter should know.

You can take hunter education online or in a classroom, in English or in Spanish. Everyone who hunts with you will feel (and be) safer if you do. Then keep the proof in your pocket and avoid that ticket.

Published courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Get Ready for An Outstanding Dove Season

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Dove SeasonLast year Texas dove season was good, but the forecast for the upcoming dove season is outstanding. In fact, dove populations are so healthy, the season has been extended to 90 days for the first time in 80 years. This makes it the longest dove season in the country – another reason why the hunting is best in Texas.

Opening day is September 1 in the North and Central Zones, September 23 in the South Zone and the daily bag limit is 15. Check your Outdoor Annual for more details. It’s also a good idea to refer to the dove identifier so you’ll know which birds to avoid. Be sure to have a Migratory Game Bird endorsement and HIP certification if you plan to hunt dove.

If you need a new spot to hunt, check out Walk-in Hunts, the Public Hunting Program that gives you access to over 1 million acres across the state, including areas for dove hunting. Wherever you go on opening day, good hunting!

Published courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife

 

3 Ways To Win Texas Hunts

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Win Texas HuntsRegister for your chance to win Texas hunts and a lifetime hunting license from Texas Parks & Wildlife. In appreciation of hunters like you who help keep Texas an ace place to hunt, Texas Parks and Wildlife is offering an awesome new drawing that’s FREE to enter. They’ve also expanded the Lifetime License Drawings, giving you 3 chances to win instead of the traditional 2.

Win Your Dream Year Outdoors – 1 lucky license buyer will win the big shebang: 1 dove hunting trip, 5 fishing trips, $2,000 of Cabela’s gear and more. It’s FREE to enter, you just need a current license. Enter by Nov. 30. Click here to enter.

Lifetime License Drawings – 3 people will win a Lifetime Super Combo License and never EVER have to buy a state license again. Enter by Sept. 30 for the best chance to win. Next drawing is October 31. Only $5 per entry. Click here to read more.

Big Time Texas Hunts – Enter to win 9 different primo hunt packages on top-notch private ranches and wildlife management areas, like this Ultimate Mule Deer hunt. Enter by Oct. 15, just $9 per online entry. Click here to enter.

Body Condition Score for Deer

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Body Condition Score for DeerDo you know how to calculate the body condition score for deer?  Body condition scoring can be a useful tool to monitor the health and condition of your deer. Maintaining optimal body condition in bucks can help to support great antler growth, does may be more fertile with increased potential to produce more high-quality milk which can result in healthy, fast growing fawns.

The Purina Animal Nutrition Body Condition Scoring System allows you to visually score deer based on fat coverage on several key body areas. An ideal Body Condition Scores lies between 3 and 4 and can be as high as 4.5 just prior to the rut, especially in bucks.

Scoring should be done on an annual basis. For does, it’s recommended to score mid-to-late summer. If body condition score is poor, this will give time to adjust nutrition to improve body condition scoring prior to breeding season. For bucks, it’s recommended to body condition score in late winter or early spring. If body condition scores are poor, this will give time to make adjustments to nutrition to improve body condition before antler production begins.

Poor
Deer is emaciated. Majority of ribs are prominent during summer and visible but less distinct in winter. Spine appears sharp with a steep muscle angle and prominent saw tooth appearance form the side. Hip bone is clearly visible with sharp edges, surrounded by sunken muscles at the rump. Tail head is devoid of fat and framed by deep sunken depressions on each side, resulting in sharp looking pin bones. Belly is tucked high with hollow flanks and a sharp shelf. Brisket is thin and narrow.

Lean
Deer is thin. Many ribs visible but not prominent during summer. In winter, ribs are slightly prominent. Spine is evident but not sharp, with a somewhat steep muscle angle and mild saw tooth side appearance. Hip bone is clearly seen, with sharp edges and slightly sunken rump muscles. Tail head displays sunken depressions on each side, with sharp pin bones and a small amount of observable fat.

Prime
Deer is strong, muscular and healthy. Ribs should be slightly visible but not sharp during warmer months. Ribs are nicely covered in flesh and not visible in winter. Spine is visible, but not prominent and surrounded by moderately sloping muscles. No “saw toothing” of the spine is visible. Rump clearly visible but not sharp, featuring flat, angular muscles. Tail head reflects slight hollows on either side, rounded pin bones, and a small bit of fat. Belly has a slight depression with slight shelf and lean appearance with no fat rolls. Slightly rounded brisket.

Heavy
Deer is healthy, but carrying a few extra pounds, considered normal and healthy prior to rut. Ribs are not visible. Spine is not readily seen, with adjoining muscles rising at a gentle slope. Hips are full with hip bone barely visible. Slight depression can be seen beside tail head. Pin bones appear rounded and smooth. Flank is full with no shelf. Slight fat rolls developing. Brisket appears full and rounded.

Obese
Ribs are layered in fat. Spine lies buried in fat, surrounded by rounding muscles with little to no slope. Hip bone is hidden by fat. Rump appears full and overly round. Tail head is covered with rounding at each side, pin bones are buried in fat. Belly is distended, with full flank and no shelf. Fat rolls are clearly evident at the midline and brisket. Does may have reproductive problems.

Monitoring deer utilizing the Purina Animal Nutrition Body Condition Scoring System will help track the health of your animals and allow time to adjust before heading into critical periods of nutritional stress. An ideal body condition score can lead to healthier animals with more production potential that can lead to a healthier bottom line.

Larry Varner – Wildlife Management Consultant for Purina 

When Will My Chickens Lay Eggs?

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

I Chickens Lay Eggsf raising a backyard flock was a treasure hunt, the ultimate prize would be a hen’s first egg. To extend this feeling of exhilaration and help hens produce wholesome, nutritious eggs long-term, care for the flock differently as they begin laying.

The transition from pullet to egg-laying hen often occurs at 4-5 months of age, subject to breed, environment and nutrition. Laying breed pullets will begin laying at about 18 to 20 weeks of age. A rooster is not necessary for egg production.

The first eggs a hen lays may be irregular – possibly small in size, with soft shells, no yolks or double yolks – but, after a week or so, egg production should become more consistent, with peak performance at about 30 weeks of age.

High-producing hens can lay up to 300 eggs per year; however, first year hens may lay fewer: about 200-250 eggs apiece. Because it takes approximately 25 hours for a hen to produce one egg, six eggs per week is an ideal goal.

To help hens reach this target – and stay happy and healthy, consider the following housing and nutrition tips.

Chicken Housing
After moving chicks from the brooder, introduce them directly to the coop that will become their forever home. This helps birds adjust to the coop well in advance of their first lay. Make sure the coop has comfortable nesting boxes that provide privacy to individual hens.

Once a hen begins laying, it’s her tendency to lay in the same spot moving forward. Create several comfortable, clean and cozy nesting areas to prevent hens from becoming competitive in the coop.

A general rule is to provide one 1-foot square nest box for every four or five hens because the flock will take turns using the boxes. Line each nest box with a thick layer of straw or other bedding to cushion the eggs and keep them clean and unbroken. Keep the nests up off the floor in the darkest corner of the coop.

Be sure all the nest areas have a uniform environment. If the hens decide one nest is preferable to the others, they may all try to use that nest, causing themselves stress, which can lead to egg breakage or egg eating. On our farm, we built the nests into the coops. Outdoor access to the nests allows us to collect eggs without disrupting the flock.

When pullets are nearing their first lay, their behavior changes. They may begin spending more time with the rooster, crouching for breeding or investigating the nesting area. At this time, keep hens in the coop for short periods of time. Place golf balls or decoy eggs in the nesting boxes to help the hens understand the use of the nesting boxes.

Chicken Nutrition
Once the first egg appears, the hen’s diet should also be adjusted.

Different nutrients are required to produce eggs as compared to what the pullet needs for growth. Young chicks and pullets need high protein levels as their body and feathers grow. At laying, switching to a complete feed with calcium and omega-3 fatty acids can help hens produce strong shells and nutritious eggs.

  • Calcium: Calcium is essential to form strong egg shells. If the bird does not secure enough calcium from her feed, she may pull the nutrient from her bones, which could eventually lead to a weak skeletal structure. Since egg shells are developed at night, when birds are not eating, a consistent source of slow-release calcium in the diet is important. Oyster shells are the most common and reliable source of slow-release calcium. For strong shells and healthy hens, feed a complete layer feed with 16 percent protein and 3.25-4.5 percent calcium, like Purina® Layena® Premium Poultry Feed or Purina® Organic Layer Pellets or Crumbles. If your layer feed does not include Oyster Strong™ System, supplement the diet with free-choice oyster shells to add slow-release calcium.
  • Omega-3: For even more nutritious eggs, offer laying hens a complete feed that includes flaxseed as a source of Omega-3. For example, when a diet of Purina® Layena® Plus Omega-3 was fed for at least three weeks, those hens produced large eggs (56 g) that contained 250 mg of Omega-3 per egg. 1  For comparison, a typical store-bought egg contains 50 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids per large egg (USDA: National Nutrient Base).  Results may vary with factors such as total diet and hen health.
1When fed a diet of Purina® Layena® Plus Omega-3 exclusively for at least 3 weeks. Based on large egg (56 g). Results may vary with factors such as total diet and hen health. A typical store-bought egg contains 50 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids per large egg (USDA: National Nutrient Base).
Contents courtesy of Purina Animal Nutrition

Big & J BB2 Long Range Attractant

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Big & JIf you want to shoot a big buck, you need to get them onto your property. Lure ’em on with Big & J BB2 Long Range Attractant. In this era of food plots and property management, deer will choose to go to the setup that’s best. BB2 is your secret weapon.  Big & J Long Range Attractant, BB2 Granular,  features a powerful and intense get-noticed aroma that draws deer from far and wide. This natural long-range aroma is the by-product of the proprietary refining process. No artificial ingredients or flavors are added. It’s so long range that even humans can smell it from a relatively long distance.

  • The intense, natural aroma is created through a proprietary refining process
  • Exceptionally high TDN (total digestible nutrition) level
  • Protein-based formula promotes antler growth
  • Keeps deer on your property during the season and all year long

Pick up Big & J BB2 Long Range Attractants and all your hunting supplies at J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, Texas.

Getting the Best Horse Feed Nutrition & Value for Your Money

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Purina Horse Feed from purina websiteIt seems as though diesel, groceries, fertilizer, grain and hay are all on the price escalator going up, up, up. There are a number of reasons for this run in prices, including pressure on crops from ethanol production, poor climate conditions in some areas and the declining value of the dollar. Of course none of these reasons lessen the impact on our pocketbooks, and horse owners are feeling the financial strain. This has caused many horse owners to become more focused on getting the most value for their dollar when it comes to feeding their horses.

Horse feed value
Finding the best-value horse feed means looking past price per bag and calculating the actual cost per day to feed. Divide the price per bag by 50 lbs. to determine price per pound. Then, multiply the price per pound by the pounds fed per day. Horse owners are often surprised to find the feed that is cheaper by the bag may be more expensive per day, because it must be fed at a larger amount per day or requires added expensive supplements to meet nutrient requirements.

For example, compare oats that cost approximately $14 per bag to Purina® Strategy® Professional Formula GX horse feed that costs approximately $17 per bag.1 If a horse eats 6 pounds of oats per day to maintain good condition, that same horse would only need 4.8 pounds of Strategy® horse feed to support the same body condition, because Strategy® Professional Formula GX horse feed contains 25 to 30 percent more calories per pound than oats. Oats priced at $14 per bag, $0.28/lb., fed at 6 pounds per day calculates to $1.68 per day to feed. Strategy® Professional Formula GX horse feed, priced at $17 per bag, $0.34/lb., fed at 4.8 pounds per day costs $1.63 per day to feed.1

Not only does Strategy® Professional Formula GX horse feed cost less per day to feed, the horse feed nutrition also contains the proper balance of protein, vitamins and minerals the horse needs, whereas oats must be supplemented to provide all the nutritional needs of the horse. If you feed a daily protein, vitamin and mineral supplement, you want to figure the cost and add that to your grain cost. Basic supplements will usually add $0.50 to $1.00 per day more to the cost of feeding your horse.

Hay value
In many areas of the country, hay prices have gone up faster than grain prices. Forage quality and weight per bale both factor into finding the best value for hay. Quality is impacted by variety of forage, the maturity of the plant at time of harvest and the conditions at harvest. The assumption that alfalfa is better quality than grass and therefore justifies a higher price isn’t always the case. Moderate-quality alfalfa, 16 percent or less protein, actually may be a lower feed value than good-quality grass, 11 percent or more protein. The moderate-quality alfalfa is usually very mature and lower in digestibility, whereas the higher-quality grass hay is more digestible and palatable to the horse.

Most people are not very accurate when estimating amounts of hay and grain being fed.  For example, a 3-pound coffee can holds 3 pounds of coffee, but it will hold 4 pounds of Purina® Strategy® Professional Formula GX horse feed. The weight of oats can vary quite a bit depending on the quality of the oats, ranging from 2.5 to 4.25 pounds per 3-pound coffee can. Hay weight can vary quite a bit as well so, when possible, hay should be purchased by the ton instead of by the bale. Hay that costs $10 per bale and weighs 65 pounds per bale is a better value than hay that costs $8 per bale but weighs only 45 pounds per bale.

If you are feeding 20 pounds of hay per day, the hay that costs $10 per bale calculates out to $3.08 per day, while 20 pounds from the $8 bale of hay ends up costing $3.54 per day. Also, two flakes from the heavier bale will often weigh more than two flakes from the lighter bale, so your actual feeding rates may vary as well. Weighing a few representative flakes from hay when you first buy it can help keep your feeding rates more consistent and your hay costs more under control.

The cost of owning horses has certainly gone up over the last few years, and there doesn’t appear to be a change in that trend in the forecast. However, using a scale and a calculator to do a little figuring can reveal possible ways to save money without compromising the health and well being of your horses.

Karen E. Davison, Ph.D. – Equine Nutritionist and Sales Support Manager, Purina

Texas Dove Hunting Season 2016-2017

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Texas Dove Hunting

The 2016-2017 Texas dove hunting season dates have been approved by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD), and this year the season has been extended from 70 days up to 90 days, per the new federal framework for migratory bird hunting seasons. The extra 20 days for the season are being split between the early and late parts of the season, giving Texas dove hunters additional time to bag some birds.

Dove Hunting Season Dates by Zone:

North Zone: Sep. 1 – Nov. 13, 2016 and Dec. 17, 2016 – Jan. 1, 2017

Central Zone: Sep. 1 – Nov. 6, 2016 and Dec. 17, 2016 – Jan. 8, 2017

South Zone: Sep. 23 – Nov. 13, 2016 and Dec. 17, 2016 to Jan. 23, 2017

Special White-Winged Area:

Special Season: Sep. 3-4 and Sep. 10-11, 2016 (legal shooting hours are noon to sunset)

Regular Season: Sep. 23 – Nov. 9, 2016 and Dec. 17, 2016 – Jan. 23, 2017

To see the Texas Parks & Wildlife  2016 – 2017 Hunting Season dates, click here.

Get ready for hunting season at J&N Feed and Seed. We’ve got everything you need including ammo, optics from Vortex and Nikon and of course YETI coolers.

Tips For Selecting The Perfect Watermelon

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Tips For Selecting The Perfect WatermelonNot sure how to select a watermelon? Take a look at our tips for selecting the perfect watermelon. Most people have no idea how to select a watermelon. They just knock on this over-sized fruit as if they know what they are doing. Although it can be difficult to know how ripe a melon is by inspecting the outside, there are several  tricks you can learn to help you pick the perfect watermelon.

There’s a definite art to picking the very best watermelons. It involves weighing the watermelon between your hands, turning it over, and giving it a firm thump on the underside. A heavy watermelon with a splotch on its belly and a hollow sound means it is brimming with juice and at the peak of its ripeness.

Buying watermelons at a farmers market takes out much of the guesswork. Farmers know their business and will only harvest watermelons for sale when they’re truly ripe. When in doubt, ask the farmer to pick a melon for you. At a farmers market, you can also taste a sample and feel confident that the watermelon you take home will taste the same.

Tip For Selecting The Perfect Watermelon

  1. Take A Look: Look for a watermelon that has bright skin, is firm, symmetrical, and free of  cuts
  2. Pick It Up: Big or small, the watermelon should feel heavy for its size. “Water” melons contain more than 90% water and the ripest ones have the most water
  3. Look for the Yellow Spot: Watermelons develop a splotch from where it sat on the ground. When this splotch is creamy yellow, it’s ripe.
  4. Give It a Thump: Tap the underbelly of the watermelon. A ripe one will have a deep hollow sound.  If not ripe enough, it will sound solid; if too ripe, it will sound thick; if perfect, it will sound hollow.

Source: The Food Network

West Nile Equine Vaccines

Monday, August 1st, 2016

west nile equine vaccinesProtect your horses from West Nile Disease with West Nile Equine Vaccines available J&N Feed and Seed. We carry single dose syringes of EquiNile West Nile Virus Vaccine and Prestige V + WNV(West Nile) 7 way vaccine. Both vaccines are for healthy horses 6 months or older.

EquiNile West Nile Virus Vaccine is for the vaccination of healthy horses as an aid in reduction of disease, encephalitis, and viremia caused by West Nile Virus. EquiNile WNV is adjuvanted with Havlogen. Give 1 ml IM to horses 6 months of age and older, repeat with a single dose in 3 – 4 weeks. Annual revaccination with a single dose is recommended. Killed vaccine.

Prestige V + WNV(West Nile) available in single dose with syringe + needle, it is the industry’s first 7-way Vaccine plus WNV(WestNile) Vaccine with Havlogen Adjuvant.  A killed virus low-volume vaccine that protects healthy horses against Equine Encephalomyelitis Eastern and Western, equine Herpesviruses(Rhino) EHV-1 and EHV-4, and Equine Influenza virus subtypes A1, A2 including KY93, KY02, and Tetanus Toxoid Plus West Nile – All in one shot!

For horse owners, it is important to be educated on the risks of West Nile to your animals. Prevention and awareness are the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your animals from this disease.

Symptoms of West Nile Virus infection:

  • Elevated temperature
  • Listlessness, apathy, drowsiness
  • Weakness, partial or full paralysis
  • Poor feeding, weight loss
  • Circling, aggressiveness, abnormal sensitivity to light

J&N Feed and Seed carries EquiNile and Prestige V + WNV West Nile Virus Vaccine for horses. We also carry Mosquito Dunks, Ultrashield and Centura to combat mosquitoes. Pick up these products at our store if you have concerns about West Nile in your barn!

 

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