If you’re using a mineral form of fly control, like Wind and Rain Storm Fly Control Mineral, consistent intake is key. Calculate consumption to know if cattle are eating enough mineral to control the flies. Aim to hit the target intake listen on your feed tag. Target intake for loose mineral is two or four ounces per head per day if you are using either low salt or complete cattle mineral formula. Mineral tub target intake is six to eight ounces per head per day.
Remember, the active ingredient in Wind and Rain Storm Fly Control Mineral, Altosid IGR only prevents hatching of new flies. It does not control existing flies. If you start using fly control mineral after flies are present, you’ll need other methods to combat adult flies. Work with your veterinarian or animal health supplier to find another method like spray or pour-on.
It’s hard to believe it’s time for spring chicks! J&N Feed and Seed is now accepting orders for specialty spring chicks. Not sure what type of chick to order? Give us a call at 940-549-4631 or stop by the store and talk to us about the different breeds of chicks available. We are happy to help!
Before you bring chicks home, make sure you’ve prepared. 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.
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 diseases 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.
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.
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.
When you want to be successful at sports, you don’t just show up for games and expect to win.
You attend team practices, you practice at home and you follow the game plan outlined by the coach. The same concept applies to showing cattle. You prepare for the ‘game’ through daily animal care, grooming and seeking guidance from the pros or a ‘coach.’ You follow that game plan right up until show day.
Bob May, Purina® Honor® Show Chow® Ambassador from Mineral Point, Wis., uses an intense and individualized game plan for each of his cattle.
“Success in the showring starts with the cattle’s conformation, but is achieved with consistent hard work and daily care to get the cattle where they need to be at the show,” says May.
The calf may be the star athlete, but even the best athletes don’t perform well without proper daily training, management and a supportive team behind them.
May suggests the following daily care tips to help take your show project to the next level:
1. Involve a veterinarian. Before an animal arrives at your farm, have a plan in place through your veterinarian for health and vaccination protocols. Ask the prior owner for a full health history on the animal, so you can have all of the animal’s health information at hand.
2. Earn the animal’s trust. A show calf needs to trust you, and trust comes in the form of working with the animal on a daily basis. It may be a long, slow process, but it’s one that’s essential to form a partnership with your project animal.
3. Have a consistent feeding routine. May suggests feeding individually at the same time each day. Cattle crave consistency, and when they are fed inconsistently they might also eat inconsistently. May also emphasizes that calves may eat better when they eat in a group setting. To make this possible, he will place individual calves in different runs nose-to-nose and feed them at the same time to mimic feeding in a group.
4. Monitor feed intake. Monitor what your animal is consuming at each feeding, and clean out old feed immediately. May has seen cases where new feed is simply dumped on top of old feed.
“You can quickly lose track of how much feed your calf is actually consuming,” explains May. “You think they are getting 15 pounds at night, and they are actually getting 18 because someone didn’t clean out the old feed from the morning.”
5.Ensure water availability and quality. Animals should have access to clean, cool water at all times. This basic animal care tip is sometimes overlooked, according to May.
“We clean our water tanks frequently,” May says. “Clean, cool water will keep cattle drinking and eating in those hot summer months when consumption usually drops off.”
6.Keep pens and cooler rooms clean. May mentions a good rule of thumb is if it smells or looks wet or dirty – clean it. A clean pen or cooler room will make grooming and daily care of the animal easier for both the animal and the exhibitor.
“If you don’t want to be in those pens or cooler rooms because of the smell, then the animal doesn’t want to be either,” he explains. “Cooler rooms do not equate to hair growth. Cleanliness is most important for hair growth.”
7. Learn the hair cycles. Hair grows in 90-day cycles, and this knowledge can help you determine what stage an animal’s hair will be in (or you want to be in) as you arrive at your show date. For example, for a show in August, May’s goal is to have all the old hair removed by the middle of May.
May doesn’t shear off any of his calves, but recognizes this is a standard practice for some breeds. Instead, he relies on a shedding comb to bust through and remove old hair. The shedding comb works best when hair is dirty and dusty, not wet or caked with manure.
8.Practice, practice, practice. May has his own children show their animals in competition at least twice before heading to their target show. This allows the animals and exhibitors to shake their ‘first-time jitters.’
“Specifically at the county fair level, it may be the first and only time both the kids and the cattle have seen the showring,” he explains. “And usually, that is not a good experience for the exhibitor or the animal.”
9.Find a hoof trimmer you can trust. May encourages all exhibitors to seek an expert in hoof care and recommends networking with other show enthusiasts to find a good trimmer in your area. Unlike clipping and fitting, there is little room for practice on hooves.
“Find a good hoof trimmer that will do a little trimming on the top, but does most of the work underneath the hoof,” he says. “A bad hoof trimming can result in disaster.”
10.Stick to the game plan. Have a management plan. Identify important dates before the show, and execute your plan daily.
“If you don’t focus on the management, other exhibitors will,” explains May. “And quite simply, if you don’t focus – those that do will beat you. They will be better prepared.”
Managing and feeding cattle in winter can be tricky. Maybe you can’t tell the difference between 15 and 32 degrees F after spending a few minutes outside, but your cattle can. Slight changes in temperature can have a considerable impact on energy and cow nutritional requirements.Cold stress occurs when cattle require more energy to sustain basic bodily functions at a specific temperature, called the lower critical temperature (LCT). The LCT helps us understand when cows start experiencing cold stress. See the chart to the right for LCT broken down by hair coat. As temperatures decrease, cow nutritional requirements increase. Add in precipitation or wind and requirements increase even more.
If cows are shorted on nutrition during cold stress, it can have a domino effect on performance.
Nutritional deficiency resulting from cold stress can lead to cows producing lighter and weaker calves. Low-quality colostrum and later return to estrus in the breeding season
can also result, compromising conception rates and weaning weights.
Strategies for managing and feeding cattle in the winter can help alleviate cold stress and support cow nutritional requirements.
How can you mitigate cold stress?
Cold stress mitigation should start with keeping cattle warm. Offering protection from the elements like bedding, windbreaks, snow breaks and a place to get out of the mud can all help keep cattle warm and dry. Protecting cattle from wind, rain, and snow isn’t always enough, however.
Snow often reminds us to think about cow nutritional requirements and supplementation options. But what if the snow never falls? Temperature is the underlying factor in cold stress.
When feeding cattle in winter, provide them with nutrition to meet their needs during cold stress. Plan out feeding strategies early, before cow body condition scores start to slip, to help your cows weather cold temperatures.
Know your forages.
Feeding cattle stored forage can be challenging. Testing forages gives you a better understanding of what you’re feeding cattle in winter when temperatures drop.
Testing total digestible nutrients (TDN) will provide an estimate of the total amount of nutrients that could be digested by the animal. The greater the TDN value, the more energy cattle get from forages.
Forage intake is another consideration. Cows will likely spend less time grazing as temperatures decline. Less grazing time results in reduced forage intake which makes it challenging to meet cow energy requirements. Feeding cattle in winter with low-quality hay might not be enough to offset reduced forage intake.
Once you know forage nutritional value and assess intake levels, monitor cow body condition score (BCS) and temperature to identify cow energy requirements.
Evaluate cow nutritional requirements.
A cow’s energy requirement, or TDN, increases by 1% for every degree below the LCT as a rule of thumb.
However, cow body condition scores impact nutritional requirements. A cow in a BCS 5 needs 30% more energy to maintain body condition than a cow in a BCS 6 at 32 degrees. The same principle holds true as BCS decreases below 5.
A third trimester 1300-pound cow requires 13 pounds of TDN at 32 degrees. However, at 0 degrees the same cow needs an additional 4 pounds or roughly 17 pounds of TDN. For comparison, the temperature drop means the same cow now requires 8 more pounds of 50% TDN hay.
When feeding cattle in winter, consider a high-quality supplement to help fill a cow’s energy gap while helping cows get the most out of existing forages.
Purina® Accuration® supplements are a great option to provide additional energy, balance forage nutrient deficiencies and support performance.
Show your horses some love with NEW Purina Carb Conscious and Outlast Horse Treats, now in-stock at J&N Feed and Seed.
Purina Carb Conscious Horse Treats
Your horse will love this great tasting treat, and you will feel great knowing that it is low in both starch and sugar. Carb Conscious Treats were researched at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center and are a perfect nutritional complement to any horse feed, even for horses with metabolic concerns. You can feel good rewarding (or just spoiling) all of your horses!
Purina Outlast Horse Treats
Show your horses (and their bellies!) some love with Purina® Outlast® Horse Treats. These treats contain the Outlast® Gastric Support Supplement that helps support optimal gastric pH. Convenient at home or on the road. Outlast Supplement contains a unique blend of ingredients to support proper pH, giving you and your horse the confidence to perform. Feed as a reward or treat. Do not feed free-choice. Feeding 5-6 treats will help support optimal gastric pH. Feeding 10-12 treats will provide a full serving of Outlast® Gastric Support Supplement for a 1,000 lb horse. *Purina® Outlast® Gastric Support Supplement has been researched at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center and is a perfect complement to any horse’s diet.
Stop into J & N Feed and Seed, located in Graham, Texas, for any and all of your equine feed and supplies including Carb Conscious and Outlast Horse Treats. Have questions? Please contact us and a helpful member of our staff will reach out to you.
Find more information on Purina’s line of horse treats here.
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Regardless of what the groundhog says, spring is right around the corner and it’s time to think about spring weed control. With the mild winter, we’ve had, it’s time to apply pre-emergent for your yard. You have about a six-week window to apply pre-emergents, from the first of February to the middle of March. There are three factors that will determine when a seed will germinate: soil temperature, moisture, and sunlight. The pre-emergent must be applied and active BEFORE that magic moment of germination occurs.
At J&N, we’ve got several products we recommend for weed control:
Hi-Yield Turf & Ornamental Weed and Grass Stopper – Contain dimension pre-emergent, which provides superior control of crabgrass as well as control or suppression of other listed weeds when applied before they germinate. It also provides post-emergent control of crabgrass only and is effective on crabgrass up to four weeks after it has germinated and emerged. Do not apply this product later than four weeks after crabgrass has germinated. The12# bag covers 3,000 sq ft and the 35# bag that covers 10,000 square feet.
A-Vert Plus Lawn Food 18-0-12 – Contains Gallery and Team, pre-emergent herbicides for control of annual grasses and broadleaf weeds in established home lawns. Apply only twice per year for effective dandelion and crabgrass control. A 12lb bag covers up to 2,000 square feet.
Weed Free Zone – Controls over 80 of the toughest-to-control broadleaf weeds including Clover, Ground Ivy, Spurge, Chickweed, Dandelion, Henbit, Oxalis, Poison Ivy, Purslane, Shepherds Purse, Thistle, Virginia Buttonweed, Wild Onion and many others listed on the label. Formulated for cooler weather, it’s a great first application of the season pre-emergent.
Corn Gluten Meal – An all-natural option for weed control is corn gluten meal. It is available in both granulated and powder form and it is applied at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet.
The key to success with these products is to apply the correct amount to your lawn. Follow the label directions and know the square footage of your lawn.
Pick up spring onions & seed potatoes at J&N Feed and Seed. We’ve got a variety of spring onions & seed potatoes in-stock and ready for your garden. We’ll have a good selection of Cole Crops arriving mid-February so keep an eye on Facebook and we’ll let you know when they’ve arrived.
J&N Onion Varieties
1015-Sweet Onion – A giant yellow onion with a super sweet taste. Onions can grow as large as softballs—and store well for 2-3 months.
Georgia Sweet (Yellow Granex) – Sweet as an apple” is the expression used to describe its mild flavor.
White Granex – It is a white version of the popular Yellow Granex hybrid
Burgundy Red– Produces colorful, 4 in. wide onions that have red skins with a white & pink interior. It has a mild, sweet flavor.
February is the time to get your onions sets in the ground. Read more about planting onion sets here.
J&N Potato Varieties
Kennebec Seed Potatoes – Thin, smooth skin and flesh make these oval potatoes an all-purpose pantry staple.
La Soda Seed Potatoes – Adistinctive rosy skin and waxy white flesh. Widely adapted and reliable withstands cold, heat and drought.
Tips For Planting Potatoes
When purchasing seed potatoes, look for certified seed potatoes. These are seeding potatoes which have not been treated with growth retardants to prevent sprouting.
After you have planned and prepared a garden spot with well-drained, loose soil, the seed potatoes can be prepped for planting:
Cut each seed potato into quarters (sulfur dust can be applied to the fresh cut ends) and let the potato quarters set out overnight or longer until cut sides callus over. Seed potato quarters are then ready to plant— for a good rule of thumb, potato quarters should be planted 3” to 4” deep and spaced 12” to 15” apart. To provide plants plenty of growing room, make sure rows are spaced 24” to 36” apart.
Vitamins are an important nutritional component in cattle diets. Vitamins are a specific class of nutrients that are required for efficient metabolic processes and enable cattle to utilize other nutrients. For cattle, it is only essential to supply the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E because rumen bacteria can synthesize vitamin K and the B vitamins to meet animal requirements. The fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in the body, and in the case of older cattle, it can take 100 to 150 days to deplete these stores. Consequently, not replenishing lost body stores of vitamin A could result in production and economic ramifications up to 6 months later.
Vitamin A needs special attention in beef cattle rations as it is important in many metabolic functions. Night blindness is the classic symptom of Vitamin A deficiency. One of its functions is the maintenance of epithelial tissue, such as the skin and lining of the respiratory, digestive and reproductive tracts to keep them in healthy condition. It also plays a role in eye health, proper kidney function and normal development of bones, teeth and nerve tissue. Other signs of vitamin A deficiency in growing cattle include low intakes, rough hair coats, lethargic movements, reduced daily gain, and feed efficiency. Most of these symptoms are common in other diseases or deficiencies and may not be easily recognized as a vitamin deficiency.
Green leafy and yellow plants contain carotene, a pigment in which animals convert to vitamin A. In the spring and early summer months when plants contain high amounts of carotene, Vitamin A deficiency is not usually an issue. However, during the rest of the year when cattle are consuming mature, stored forages or processed feeds, the chances of vitamin deficiency increase. Fall and winter seasons are when the body stores might become depleted and deficiency symptoms may develop.
In the breeding herd, Vitamin A is important for the maintenance of pregnancy in the cow and spermatogenesis in the bull. At parturition, colostrum is the source of vitamin A for a newborn calf which demonstrates the need for proper supplementation of cows prior to calving.
Vitamin D is formed by the action of sunlight or other sources of ultraviolet light rays upon certain sterols. If cattle have exposure to sunlight, or harvested hay, a deficiency is seldom an issue. Young, growing animals have a greater requirement for vitamin D than mature animals. The requirement for young, weaned or starting calves is approximately 300 IU of vitamin D per 100 pounds of body weight. While it is easy to meet the cattle requirements of Vitamin D, that does not reduce its importance in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D helps regulate blood calcium levels and the conversion of inorganic to organic phosphorus. It also aids in the formation of sound bones and teeth.
The primary functions of Vitamin E are to form structural components of membranes and inhibit the oxidation of other molecules. There is a close relationship between selenium and vitamin E as both nutrients work in conjunction with the other. White-muscle disease in calves has been prevented and cured by the use of vitamin E and selenium supplementation. Vitamin E is important for muscle and vascular function as well as supporting the immune system and disease prevention. Green forages and whole grains are sources of vitamin E.
Don’t forget your feathered friends as the weather turns cold. Winter bird feeding is important as food sources for birds slow in the cold, winter months. At J&N Feed and Seed we have a great selection of bird feeders, suet, treats and of course, Purina Wild Bird Chow to keep your backyard friends coming back year after year.
Feeding wild birds in the winter is important as food sources for birds slow in the winter. Read our proven tips and techniques to help you quickly enjoy beautiful wild birds found around your yard.
Most bird feeders are designed to attract a wide variety of wild bird species but some have features that appeal to certain species such as Goldfinches and woodpeckers. An excellent feeder design to start with is a “hopper” feeder with wide ledges which presents black-oil sunflower seeds for big and small birds already living around your backyard. This approach ensures that you will attract beautiful wild birds quickly by using the seeds they prefer.
Place your feeder so you can view it from a favorite room or chair. Think of a picture window, deck railing, patio, comfortable armchair or breakfast table. Some feeders are designed to attach to your windowpane.
Your birds also need to enjoy where your feeder is placed so make sure it’s near plant or tree cover for protection from the weather and safety, yet easily found too.
Take an old, white t-shirt or towel and place it on the ground beneath your feeder (whether mounted on a pole or hanging from a hook or branch). Take a handful of black-oil sunflower seeds and sprinkle them on your “target”. Birds follow other birds’ feeding patterns so when the first bird finds these seeds, you and your feeder are in business!
Re-fill your feeder as often as necessary to encourage your backyard birds to enjoy your feeder every day too.
Get ready for your family to enjoy lots of natural fun!
Stop by your local Farmer’s Coop for Wild Bird Blend seed mix, assorted bird treats and bird feeders.
Good winter cattle management practices help cattle tolerate the wind and cold temperatures. During the cold winter months, close attention should be paid to herd nutrition. Taking shortcuts on your cattle nutrition during the winter months could risk next year’s calf crop, this year’s weaning weights and the long-term viability of your herd. According to information from university of Minnesota extension beef experts, winter feeding programs vary for each cattle enterprise.
Feeding programs are dependent on variables such as:
• Forage quality.
• Cost and availability of winter supplements.
• Animal type (mature cows, replacement heifers or back-grounded calves).
• Body condition of your cattle.
• Calving date, if applicable.
The Minnesota beef experts explain that generally, winter feeding can be accomplished with harvested forages such as hay and silage. Grazing crop residues can also be utilized, but may not always be feasible in areas that receive significant amounts of snowfall during early winter months.
Cows can graze through up to 9 inches of snow to get high quality forages, but reduced forage intake will occur with as little as ¼ inch of ice covering the snow. Plus, cold temperatures and precipitation can decrease the feed’s nutritional value.
Regardless of whether you feed stored forages or graze crop residues, the cow’s diet must be sufficient to uphold a body condition score (BCS) of 5 at weaning, a 6 at calving, and no less than a 5.5 score at breeding. At this level of condition, a cow is able to maintain its body weight and support production functions such as lactation and fetal growth. Maintaining adequate body condition in pregnant cattle is crucial in the two to three months prior to calving.
Depending on the quality of forage, supplementation may be needed by cows when nutrient demands are not met by the basic diet the cow is offered, say the Minnesota experts. Typically, diets of late gestating beef cows will meet nutrient needs if they contain a minimum of 55 percent total digestible nutrients (TDN ) and 8 percent crude protein (CP). However, lactating cow minimum requirements during the winter increase to 62 percent tDn and 11 percent CP, such as with fall calving cows.
When feeding pregnant first- and second-calf heifers due to calve in the spring, maintaining a diet with tDn at 60 percent and CP at 11 percent from the beginning of winter through early lactation should be sufficient.
It is important to compare nutrient intake of the diet with nutrient requirements of the cow based on animal type and pregnancy status, and to determine what additional nutrient(s) are needed for supplementation.
Evaluate Cow Performance
Throughout the winter,it’s important to evaluate cow performance by observing body weight and condition Herd Health Program changes resulting from your feeding program. This will tell you if you are correctly supplementing your cattle through the winter and preparing those spring calving herds for the calving season.
Purina has made it easy for you to maintain your production level by designing supplemental feed products to help economically manage your herd’s nutrition needs in all life stages. these products include Sup-R-Lix®, Sup-R-Block® and Accuration®/Cattle Limiter, all controlled intake products featuring IM Intake Modifying technology®.
Purina also offers Wind and Rain® mineral supplements that have been specifically designed to meet mineral deficiencies based on forage quality and cattle nutritional requirements. These minerals are weather resistant and are proven to enhance consistent consumption.
Contact J&N Feed and Seed at 940-549-4631 with questions and how we can help you get started with this program.