Deer hunting season is just around the corner. Now is the time to start preparing for the season by picking up your license & taking hunter education classes; clean and repair your equipment; check the lease and property and more. Here are 6 tips to help you prepare now for a great season.
Get your hunting license – Save time and purchase your hunting license ahead of time. Don’t stand in line at the last minute waiting for your license. If you are a new hunter find out if a hunter education workshop is required. Check with your local Parks & Wildlife office or with your county extension agent. Many courses are now offered online which can save you time.
Check dates & regulations – many state regulations are updated annually, take the time to check them and make sure you are in compliance. Find out the dates for the opening season for the various types of deer you are hunting, and for the different hunting methods. In Texas, you can check them at the Texas Parks & Wildlife website.
Clean and repair your equipment – If your equipment has been set aside for some time, take it out and clean it. Check the sight and scope of your rifle. Clean your deer feeders, and check your blinds. Any repairs needed are best done now to save you time during hunting season. Make sure you have ammunition on hand, get it early as supplies can be limited at times. Don’t forget clothing! Make sure they fit.
Test your equipment – If you haven’t been practicing at least once a month, it’s time to start. This keeps you in practice for aiming, shooting and handling your gun.
Check your lease or property – Do you need to clear out some areas? Is your deer feeder in the right place? Put your deer blind up so the wildlife becomes used to it. Scout out patterns and be ready for hunting season
Safety first – Have a first aid kit on hand in the blind, your truck or on the property. Refill it with any missing items. Consider having an emergency plan in place, it’s always best to be prepared.
Preparation is key! Follow these simple tips for a successful hunting season.
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This is the perfect time to plant your chilled bulbs for spring. They should be in the ground before the first frost, so plant now while the soil is still easy to work. Iris, daylilies, and gladiolas should also be planted at this time, although they are not “true” bulbs, but rhizomes, tubers, and corms, respectively. Yet all of these like bulbs require the cooler soil of winter to generate healthy new growth in spring.
Transform your landscape with the addition of fresh, colorful blooms! Pansies are by far the most popular Winter color. The “Matrix” Pansy has been outstanding for our Texas weather. It will not “stretch” during bouts of warm temperatures and is bred to grow out, not up. This compact grower offers shorter stems to support large colorful blooms. Dianthus (also known as “Pinks”), Snapdragons, Cyclamen, Violas and the fragrant Alyssum are also good choices for cold tolerant annuals. Ornamental Cabbage and Kale provide interesting texture in the landscape as well as color. For best effect, limit your planting to two or three colors per bed.
The key to growing beautiful annual flowers is soil preparation. Remember to add 2 to 3 inches of mulch to all beds to reduce moisture loss, prevent weeds from germinating, and to insulate the soil from the cold.
Using the same colorful annuals will add a splash of color to your patio containers. Fill your container with fresh potting soil, plant food and your choice of these beautiful annuals to brighten your winter. Keep them watered as necessary and remove faded flowers to encourage repeat blooming.
If you want those beautiful Texas Bluebonnets in the Spring, sow the seed in early November!
Please remember the birds! Texas is a haven for birds. No other state in the United States has more species within its boundaries. There are currently over 620 species documented in Texas, which is almost 75 percent of all bird species recorded in the continental United States. To attract the widest variety of wild birds, you should consider placing a wide variety of bird feeders and food around your yard.
Pick up the Yeti coolers and drinkware at J&N Feed and Seed. We’re your headquarters for YETI Coolers, drinkware and accessories. Unlike ordinary coolers, which are essentially disposable, YETI® Coolers are made to last! We carry the full line of Yeti coolers including the Tundra, Roadie, Hopper, and stock the Rambler series of drink-ware including the Yeti Colster, 20 & 30 oz tumblers and of course the new Yeti Tundra Hauler. Whether you are looking to protect your investment with a cable lock or just want a secure place to hold your beverage, we have what you need! Not sure what you need? Let our knowledgeable staff
help you find the Yeti that’s right for you!
The original and still the best heavy-duty cooler around, the YETI Tundra is a rugged, all-purpose, large cooler that comes in a variety of sizes for wilderness expeditions, hunting, fishing, tailgating, and more.
NEW Tundra Hauler
Our first-ever YETI cooler on wheels is the answer to taking Tundra’s® legendary toughness and unmatched insulation power the extra mile. And nothing was sacrificed in the making of this cold-holding powerhouse, ensuring the Haul™ lives up to the Tundra name. The Tundra® Haul™ is now the toughest cooler on two wheels.
Small but mighty, the YETI Roadie is the best personal cooler you’ll ever find to protect your drinks from the heat. Built with the same hardy one-piece construction and ice-retaining insulation as our Tundra ice chests, this small personal cooler is equipped with a heavy-duty stainless steel handle for better portability.
Hopper & Flip
Ordinary soft-sided coolers are flimsy, frail, and only slightly better at cooling beverages than just leaving them in the shade. But the YETI Hopper is a portable cooler of a different color. No matter where you carry it or how you handle it, the Hopper won’t leak or break. And just like all YETI Coolers, it’s over-engineered to keep ice for days.
YETI Ramblers are advanced personal drink coolers made from 18/8 stainless steel with double-wall vacuum insulation. Rambler Tumblers will keep your soda or mixed drinks cold twice as long as plastic cups, and make an excellent YETI coffee mug. The Rambler Colster locks in the cold of cans and bottles using a heat-mocking ThermoLock™ Gasket. Available in 20 and 30-ounce sizes.
This stainless steel, double-wall vacuum insulated Rambler will keep your beverage as cold as science allows. But having the frostiest beer in the world doesn’t do you much good if you can’t get it open. YETI bottles are extra-durable and come in a range of sizes that fit in your pocket, in your bar drawer, and even in your cooler. Available in 18, 36 and 64-ounce sizes.
Have you ever wondered what goes through a chicken’s mind?
Wouldn’t it be helpful if they could say, “My feathers are itchy!” or “I’m bored!”? Though humans and hens don’t speak the same language, simple changes can help backyard flock conversations go smoothly.
As backyard flock owners, we are tasked with becoming chicken whisperers. Keeping a peaceful flock requires us to interpret behaviors to decipher what our chickens are telling us.
During fall and winter when chickens are spending more time in the coop, chicken boredom can bring out changes in behavior, such as pecking.
Chickens are naturally inquisitive, but they don’t have arms and hands to inspect things. They use their beaks to explore instead. Pecking is a natural chicken behavior that allows them to check out their surroundings, including their flock mates.
Though pecking is a natural occurrence, the nature of this chicken pecking behavior can change when birds spend more time inside.
Understanding the difference between curious and aggressive chicken pecking is key to knowing when there is a problem. Not all pecking is bad. When it is gentle, this behavior is fun to watch. If pecking becomes aggressive, it can be problematic to other birds in the flock.
Three tips to keep a peaceful backyard flock:
1. Investigate the reason for pecking.
If the pecking chickens become aggressive, the first tip is to determine if something is causing birds to act out.
Start with a list of questions about the environment: Are the hens too crowded? Do they ever run out of feed or water? Are they too hot or cold? Is there a predator in the area? Is there something outside of the coop that is causing them to be stressed?
After the stressor has been identified, the next step is easy: remove the problem and the aggressive chicken pecking behavior may go away or diminish.
To maintain this newfound peace, make sure your birds have a minimum of 4 square feet indoors and 10 square feet outdoors per bird. Adequate feeder and waterer space is also critical.
If a new hen is added to the flock, there may be a period of uneasiness.
Remember, there will always be some dominance in the flock as part of the pecking order. There are typically one or two boss hens who rule the roost. Once the pecking order is determined, the birds usually live together peacefully.
2. Chickens take baths, too.
The next step to prevent feather picking is to keep birds clean. Chickens take a different type of bath than you might expect. They often dig a shallow hole, loosen up all the dirt and then cover themselves in it.
This process is called a dust bath. Dust bathing is an instinct that helps keep birds clean. On our farm, we make dust baths for our hens by following these three steps: 1. Find a container at least 12 inches deep, 15 inches wide and 24 inches long; 2. Combine an equal blend of sand, wood ash and natural soil; 3. Watch your birds roll around in the bath and clean themselves.
Dust baths can also prevent external parasites such as mites and lice. If external parasites are an issue, supplement your chicken dust baths with a cup or two of food-grade diatomaceous earth.
If you add diatomaceous earth, be sure to mix it in well. Diatomaceous earth can be harmful if inhaled in large amounts. By mixing the diatomaceous earth into the dust bath, it has less probability to become airborne while still helping prevent external parasites.
3. Offer an alternative place for birds to peck.
Next, provide birds something to keep their minds busy. Perhaps the most fun of these three tips is to find chicken toys that bring out their natural instincts.
Interactive objects can make the coop more complex and exciting. Logs, sturdy branches or chicken swings are a few flock favorites. These toys provide unique retreats for hens who may be lower in the pecking order.
Another flock boredom-buster is a block for hens to peck, like the Purina® Flock Block™. You can simply place this block in the coop for hens to peck. The block can be a fun experience for hens and prevent chicken boredom when they are spending more time in the coop.
The Purina® Flock Block™ encourages natural pecking instincts. It also contains whole grains, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and oyster shell to provide nutrients that contribute to the hen’s well-being.
Want to find a Purina® Flock Block™ of your own? Find a retail location near you.
Article Attributed to Purina Mills and Dr. Patrick Biggs
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The Fall Armyworm definitely lives up to its name— Given their immense appetite, great numbers, and marching ability, armyworms can damage entire fields or pastures in a few days. Armyworms are on the march due to recent rains and lower temps— come see us at J&N Feed and Seed for the right insecticide solutions for your pasture crops.
Two species of armyworms can be significant pests of Texas forage and pasture production. The “true” armyworm is more of a spring pest of cool-season grasses and tall fescue. The fall armyworm is a summer/fall pest primarily of Bermuda grass, but it can also damage fall-seeded, newly established winter annuals, fescue and orchard grass.
Damage from true armyworms and fall armyworms can seem to appear overnight. Although the damage might appear overnight, larvae have likely been feeding for a week or more before they or their damage appears. Large armyworms may move into an uninfested field (or area of field) adjacent to a field that was just defoliated. Because armyworms are so destructive and compete with livestock for forage, producers should diligently scout susceptible fields for the true armyworm beginning in April and for fall armyworms beginning in July.
At J&N Feed and Seed, we’ve got solutions for armyworm control. There are several different pesticides that can be used to control armyworms in pastures and hayfields. Stop by J&N Feed and Seed and together, we’ll come up with a plan to win the war on armyworms. Read more about managing armyworms here.
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