Archive for September, 2016

Stop Animal Damage with Rodent Stopper

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

rodent stopperStop animal damage with Rodent Stopper from Messina Wildlife. Rodent Stopper is an effective, pleasant smelling, liquid rodent repellent for use indoors and outdoors on all surfaces to prevent damage, feeding and entry by mice, rats and other rodents. One bottle covers 1, 000 square feet and should be applied every 30 days. Rodent Stopper dries clear and odor-free in about 20 minutes and will not wash off after a heavy rain. Spray around building structures, directly to burrows or even on garbage cans and storage areas to prevent animal intrusion. Spray Rodent Stopper on wires to keep the little varmints from chewing through.

  • 100% satisfaction guaranteed!
  • Pleasant to use formula!
  • Lasts for 30 days, regardless of weather including rain!
  • For mice and rats!
  • For use indoor and outside

Stop by J&N Feed and Seed for all your pest control needs. We’ve got a variety of products and options to help keep the rodents away. Talk to our educated experts about your pest control needs today. We’re happy to help.

Training Your Deer To Eat From A Feeder

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Training Deer

Training Deer To Eat From A Feeder

Deer and elk have unique nutritional needs at different times of the year, as a result there can be benefits to year-round supplemental feeding to help maintain optimal health. A successful supplemental feeding program is dependent upon on training deer to consume pellets from a feeder, something that does not come naturally to them.

Utilizing the three steps below will help deer transition smoothly onto a supplemental feeding program, helping to ensure the deer’s nutritional needs are met year-round.

  1. Choose a high quality deer feed

Select a feed that is formulated to match the unique needs of animals in your area; providing them a high quality diet year round can help maximize production and health. Look for feeds that are well researched and water-resistant, this will help reduce pellet waste and labor.

  1. Select a high quality deer feeder

Free-choice self-feeders protect pellets and provide them to deer whenever they want to eat. Because deer eat several times a day, professionally made free-choice feeders (or even trough feeders) can be the best way to feed deer for maximum intake and antler growth.

One free-choice feeder can comfortably feed 25 free-ranging deer if each consumes an average of 1.5 lbs of feed per day. Place your feeders along frequently used runways or trails and be sure to have enough so that deer do not have to travel more than ½ to ¾ of a mile to a feeder. A good rule of thumb is to provide one feeder per 300-400 acres. Never hunt in a feeding area.

 

For best results, make sure your feeder location provides:

  • Easy approach into the wind
  • Good visibility
  • Access to water
  • Easy escape routes near cover
  • Good deer traffic

To help keep deer on low or unfenced property, place feeding areas near the center of your land and at least 500 yards from the perimeter, if possible. Do not place feeders along fence lines, roads, power lines or in large openings.

 

Spin feeders with corn can be a useful tool to attract deer to the area you would like to start feeding with free-choice feeders. Spin feeders toss out grain or pellets at timed intervals. It can be beneficial to mix at least 25% corn with the pellets to maintain good flow through the spin feeder.

Note that corn is extremely low in the nutrients necessary to grow big antlers. In addition, corn can founder and may kill deer if too much is consumed at one time. However, when safely used in moderation, it is ideal for drawing deer to an area and training them to eat pellets.

  1. Follow these steps to get deer eating from the feeder

Most deer are not used to seeing pellets, so they must be trained to recognize them as food and to eat them out of a feeder. It is best to start a supplemental feeding program when typical food sources (farm crops, natural vegetation, new food plots or even acorns) are no longer in abundance, such as during winter or drought conditions.

To set-up a feeder, select an area where deer traffic is good, and then follow these steps:

  1. Set up a spin feeder to throw out 1-2 pounds of corn every 6 hours, or spread it by hand using gloves or a scoop to limit human scent. This amount will attract them to the area you want to feed. Be sure to have at least one feeding in the middle of the night. Continue this until deer are consistently coming to the area to eat every day. This may take several weeks, depending on deer density, time of year and availability of other food sources.
  2. Once deer are consistently coming to the area daily looking for corn, set up a free-choice feeder filled with corn. Hand-toss corn on the ground around the feeder. When you observe deer consistently eating out of the free-choice feeder, stop hand-tossing corn.
  3. Once the deer have been eating corn out of the feeder for at least one week, change the self-feeder mixture to 1/3 pellets and 2/3 corn for another  week so the deer can get accustomed to eating pellets. Make sure they clean up the pellets before replacing the mix. If they refuse to clean up the pellets, mix in more corn with the pellets.
  4. After deer are cleaning up the pellets, transition to a mixture of ½ pellets and ½ corn for one week. If the deer continue to sort out the corn and leave the pellets, continue to mix corn in gradually reducing the amount of corn until they have access to only pellets.
  5. When the deer are consistently cleaning up the mixture and don’t leave any pellets, put 25 to 50 pounds of just pellets in the free-choice feeder. NEVER fill a feeder full of pellets the first time regardless of its size – leave room to mix in a little corn in case the deer regress a bit and stop eating pellets. When they are consistently eating pellets from the self-feeder, you may fill it completely with pellets.
  6. Keep feeders clean. Remove old, wet or spoiled feed before refilling, as deer are very sensitive to odors, and damp or spoiled feed may prevent fresh feed from flowing down. Fresh feed will keep deer coming back.

For additional information on training deer or nutrition programs for deer or elk, stop by J&N Feed and Seed.

The Magic Behind Farm Fresh Eggs

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Most flock raisers will tell you there’s something special about walking into the backyard and grabbing a few eggs for breakfast. In the ‘pets with benefits’ equation, farm fresh eggs are protein-packed gifts that families across the country have come to love.

The magic behind each farm fresh egg is a 24-26 hour process, with much of the work happening overnight.

The biggest involvement for the hen is creating the egg shell. The shell defends the yolk from bacteria and keeps the chick or yolk safe. Because of this importance, hens spend much of the process making sure the calcium-rich shell is strong and protective. When the lights are off and the hens are sleeping, that’s when most of this internal work happens.

The fact that shells are created at night is clear when looking at the egg formation timeline. For example, if a hen started the process at 7 a.m., she would be creating the eggshell, starting around 12 p.m.  and continue for 20 hours during the evening and through the night when the birds are not eating.

Through this entire process, hens incorporate nutrients from their feed into the egg and shell. For instance, hens offered a nutritionally-complete feed with calcium, like Purina® Layena® Premium Poultry Feed or Purina® Organic Layer Feed, can lay eggs with vibrant, yellow yolks with strong shells. The addition of flaxseed meal in Purina® Layena® Plus Omega-3 can help hens produce eggs with high levels of valuable omega-3 fatty acids.

Following is an approximate outline of the egg production process:

Ova release (1/2 hour): Each female chick is born with thousands of immature yolks, known as ova. Over time, the ova mature. When the first ova is developed and ready to start the egg production process, it is released into the hen’s reproductive funnel. This release takes about half an hour.

Initial egg white is created (3 hours): As the egg enters the reproductive tract, the egg white begins formation, starting with a clear, protective yolk casing called the vitelline membrane. As the ova enters the magnum, layers of thick and thin proteins, known as the albumen, begin forming, creating the egg white.

The egg shape is formed (1 hour): The developing egg then travels to the isthmus. Here, the ova is shaped into the oval-shaped recognized as an egg, a process that takes about one hour. The inner and outer membranes are also formed during this stage.

Shells are formed (20 hours): The most significant piece of the egg formation process happens in the uterus or ‘shell gland’ of the hen. The developing egg spends about 20 hours in the shell gland, where the shell is formed and its color is added during the last 5 hours.

The shell formation takes the most amount of time to complete.

Egg shell formation requires very high levels of calcium. If the hen does not have the nutrient to support shell production, she may pull the calcium from her specialized (medullary) bones to support shell formation. To support egg shell formation, select a complete layer feed that includes Oyster Strong™ System, like Purina Layena® Plus Omega-3 or Purina Layena® Pellets or Crumbles. This added ingredient provides slow-release calcium, helping to supply calcium to hens at night when they need it most.

Once the shell is formed, pigments, called porphyrins, are secreted from cells within the uterus to add color to the egg shells. Chickens that produce eggs with white shells do not produce any of these pigments.

Bloom is added and egg emerges (1 hour): The formed egg travels to the vaginal area where bloom is added to the shell. Bloom, or the cuticle, is a protective coating that helps protect the egg from bacteria. A natural lubricant is also added to the shell for a safe exit through the cloaca.

After laying the egg, the hen will either start the process again or take a day off after completing a clutch of eggs. To help the process go smoothly and keep hens healthy and productive, a quality ration is important. After all, the formation of nutritious eggs is contingent on what the birds eat.

Gordon Ballam, Ph.D. – Purina Research & Technical Services

4 Tips To Establish A Healthy Pond

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

healthy pondTo raise healthy game fish you need to provide the right environment for them to thrive. There are four key elements which are considered ideal for a productive and healthy pond that is convenient to maintain. Use these as standards when constructing a new pond, or as guidelines to make improvements to your existing pond.

  1. Pond location

Check the location of your pond. It should be adjacent to a source of clean, clear water. Soil in this area should be at least 30% clay so it will hold water. The watershed should be large enough to keep the pond full – typically 10-30 times the size of the pond. If the watershed is too large, or too close to fertilized cropland or livestock pastures, consider building a ditch around part of the pond to divert some of the water.

  1. Pond structure

Next, look at the banks of your pond. The slope of the above-water banks should be 3:1 or 4:1 to make maintenance easier and to help prevent soil erosion. The minimum pond depth for underwater weed control is 3 feet; information on minimum depth to prevent winterkill in your area is available from local extension agents. Depth should be determined by comparing rainfall to evaporation in your area. Maximum depth is what is reasonable for your pond’s location and, of course, your budget.

  1. Pond drainage

Install a drainpipe that drains the pond from the bottom to make management and maintenance easier. For example, drawing down the water level for three consecutive winters can reduce as much as 90% of undesirable submerged vegetation. Also, the number and size of harvestable game fish usually increases following drawdowns.

In order to protect the nutrient quality of your pond water, it is always better to divert excess water around rather than through your pond. You may also consider adding an emergency drainway in case of heavy rains; do consult your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for information and regulations in your area.

  1. Pond water quality

There are five main factors that determine the overall quality of water in a given pond. These include:

  • Fertility: This is the amount of nutrients in the water available for the growth of microscopic plants called phytoplankton which are the first link in the pond’s food chain. Phytoplankton levels are directly proportional to the number of fish which can be supported by the pond. Fertility may be determined by measuring the depth of visibility. Most recreation ponds should be maintained at moderate to high fertility. This can be accomplished with an initial fertilization and continuous input of fish feed.
  • pH: This is the level of acidity of the water. Most fish prefer a pH of 7 (neutral). While ponds fluctuate on a daily basis, they should be maintained at levels of 6.5 to 9. In areas where the soil is acidic (such as the southern U.S.) or in areas where the soil has little buffering capacity (such as northeastern U.S.), lime may be added to reduce pond water acidity.
  • Alkalinity: This is the measure of the buffering capacity of the water and should be at least 30 parts per million (ppm) for proper phytoplankton growth. Some ponds are naturally well-buffered; others may need periodic liming. Consult your local NRCS, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) or a professional pond management company for advice on this matter.
  • Dissolved Oxygen (D.O.): This is naturally supplied by aquatic plants and phytoplankton, the wind, and wave action at the surface of the pond. This is the oxygen that fish need to survive. An adequate level of D.O. for most fish is 4 ppm; salmon and trout, however, require more than 6 ppm. Keep in mind that some plants that produce oxygen in the sunlight consume it in the dark. So ponds with very high levels of phytoplankton (water that looks like pea soup) are subject to critically low D.O. levels at night and on cloudy days. This can lead to fish kills. Mechanical agitation of the pond water with, for example, paddlewheels or fountains may be used to aerate the water.
  • Temperature: The temperature determines which species of fish will thrive in your pond. Cold-water ponds (remaining under 70° F) are preferred by trout. Bass, bluegill, and catfish prefer warm-water ponds (warming to more than 75° F). Cool-water ponds (in the 65° F – 75° F range) may, depending on the size of the pond, support smallmouth bass or walleye. Some ponds in this temperature range may also support cold and warm water fish. Consult your local extension agency or a professional pond management company for information on species that perform best in your area.

Source: Larry Varner, Purina Animal Nutrition

Will Great Nutrition Guarantee Trophy Bucks?

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Trophy Bucks

Will Great Nutrition Guarantee Trophy Bucks?

If only it were that simple! Great nutrition will give your deer the opportunity to maximize their genetic potential for antler growth, but it is just one (albeit an important one) of many factors that affect deer antler growth. Even assuming that you are providing the best nutrition possible, other things, some within your control and some not, will affect production of trophy racks.

Factors in deer antler growth

General health greatly influences a variety of factors that affect deer antler growth, such as feed intake and hormone production. If your deer are laboring under a parasite load (internal or external), clinical or sub-clinical disease challenges, or have been injured, antler growth will be negatively affected no matter how nutritious the feed because nutrition will be siphoned off to deal with these other issues. Good management must go hand-in-hand with nutrition to get optimum results.

Deer habitat and antler growth

Environmental conditions are also a factor. Climate can affect how much time a deer spends eating, moving around, resting, etc., and how much energy it expends just staying warm or cooling down. Stressors such as traffic or roaming dogs can upset deer, raising blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol and negatively impacting feeding behavior and nutrient usage. Even something like an improper feeder design can affect how much a deer will eat.

Hydration maximizes feed intake in deer

Water availability is critical. Research has shown that in many species of ruminants, if water intake is reduced even minimally, food intake drops also. Water must be fresh, clean, available, and away from stressors that might inhibit a deer’s water intake. Maximizing water intake will help maximize feed intake.

The genetic footprint

Genetics, of course, are very important. If a buck is genetically programmed to be average, then the best feed in the world will make him only average. Keep in mind, however, that a lesser feed will allow him to be only less than average. However, a buck genetically programmed to have a superior rack will not achieve that growth without optimal nutritional support. If you want your bucks to achieve their genetic potential, then you must feed them accordingly.

Population density relative to antler growth

Finally, there are population factors that can affect deer antler growth, primarily population density (how many animals are in a given space) and dominance relationships between bucks. Even mild crowding is a stressor that affects hormone levels, impacts feeding behavior, and leads to increased energy expenditure and even injuries due to increased movement and numbers of altercations. Bucks must be managed with their social hierarchy in mind if injuries are to be minimized and desired breeding strategies achieved.

All in all, while nutrition is extremely important, and great trophy racks will not be achieved without optimal nutrition, management and genetics are also critical to achieving superior antler growth.

Before you head to the deer lease, stop by J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, Texas and pick up Purina Antlermax feed and deer blocks. We’ve got everything you need for a successful hunting season.

Source: Purina Animal Nutrition

All Seasons 600 lb Stand & Fill Feeder

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

Stand & Fill Feeder

It’s time to get your deer feeders ready!  Looking for a stand and fill feeder?   The All Seasons 600 lb Stand & Fill Feeder  is now available at J&N Feed and Seed. The 600 lb Stand & Fill Feeder maintains the quality and durability of our traditional 600 lb broadcast, while offering you a much safer way to fill your feeder, from the ground, without ladders!  As always, All Seasons feeders are made right here in Texas.

All Seasons Wildlife Feeders are built to hold up to the harshest environments Mother Nature has to offer. Their exclusive designs are made to deliver feed to target animals, while reducing waste on the ground.

Feeder Features:

  • Perforated feed tray to keep feed fresh and dry
  • Can feed up to 6 times a day
  • Dispenses 12 lbs of feed in 10 seconds
  • Skids for easy relocation
  •  Hinged door for easy access to control unit
  •  Low-profile design to allow easy filling from the ground
  •  Feeder stands approximately 6 ft. tall
  • Fits between the wheel wells of a pickup truck for easy transportation

Feeder Includes:

  • ASF timer with motor speed control
  • 12v solar
  • 12v battery
  • Heavy duty cage to protect your feeder components from abuse of large animals and varmints

Yeti Flip Soft-Sided Cooler Is Here

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

yeti flipThe Yeti Flip, personal size soft sided cooler from the folks at Yeti, is now in-stock at J&N Feed and Seed. The Yeti Hopper Flip 12 lets you pack light in a heavy-duty cooler that keeps ice for days and stands up to any adventure.

Like the original Hopper™, the Hopper Flip can withstand serious abuse in the field, even with everyday use. Its wide-mouth opening makes for easy loading and access to your food and drinks. Plus, its compact, cubed body allows for ultimate portability, never slowing you down. It’s the only personal cooler that’s game for full days in the tree stand, early mornings in the duck boat, or afternoons on the water.

J&N Feed and Seed is an authorized Yeti dealer. See us for Yeti coolers, drink-ware and accessories.

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