Archive for the ‘articles’ Category

Winter Bird Feeding Tips

Sunday, December 15th, 2019

Winter bird feeding is easy with the help of J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, TexasDon’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.

Bird-feeding tips:

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.

Source: National Bird-Feeding Society

Winter Cattle Management

Monday, December 9th, 2019

winter cattle management

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.

Feeding Supplements
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.

 

 

7 Plants That Need Winter Pruning

Thursday, December 5th, 2019

Between now and mid-February Texas winter pruninggardeners should begin winter pruning.  Neal Sperry offers this list of plants that should be pruned during this time of year.

  • Shade trees:  remove damaged or dead branches (pruning sealant only on oak cuts). All cuts should be flush with the branch collar on the trunk.
  • Evergreen shrubs: prune to maintain natural growth form of your evergreen shrubs.
  • Peach and plum trees:  prune to remove the vertical growth and keep plants low and from spreading.
  • Grapes: for those that grow grapes, remove as much as 80 to 85 percent of cane growth.
  • Summer-flowering shrubs and vines: prune damaged or excessive branches. Do not top your crape myrtle plants.
  • Prune dead stems and leaves from perennials to tidy up your garden beds.
  • Prune freeze-damaged stems from plants hurt by December cold. (Could include gardenias, oleanders, bottlebrush, pittosporum, depending on where you live in Texas.)

Spend the time now to prune and care for your trees and plants, it will pay off in the spring.  Looking for garden supplies?  Come visit our store!

Winterize your Chicken Coop

Sunday, November 3rd, 2019

when will pullet start to lay eggs- https://www.jandnfeedandseed.comWinter is upon us and egg production tends to slow down in late fall due to the shorter days. Lighting is a huge component to this decrease as well as the temperature drop. A laying hen’s endocrine system is stimulated by light so the shorter days slow egg production or can stop it completely. Some flock owners look at winter as a dormant break for their laying hens.  Other owners like to keep the production throughout the winter months. In order to do this, hens need more than 14 hours of light during the day.

Lighting:

A nine-watt compact fluorescent bulb is all that’s needed for a typical backyard coop. Plug the light into a timer and have it come on early enough in the morning to give the birds 15 hours of daylight, and egg production will be improved through the shorter days of winter.The light needs to light up the largest area possible. Clean the lamps once a week to keep them clean to output as much light as possible.

Heat Lamps:

Start this process in late fall since the lighting changes at that time. Make sure to hang the lamp or bulb up in the coop where the chickens can’t snuggle up to the lamp and cinge there feathers. Make sure the light reaches the whole coop and offers heat throughout.

Other Tips on Winterizing:

Keep the coop dry and clean. The best way to do this is to keep make sure the coop will not have standing water if rain comes. Make sure to replace the bedding with dry bedding each week.

Bedding also provides insulation for the chickens. Cover large holes where drafts or critters can enter. Be careful not to cover up all the holes so proper ventilation can occur.

Freezing temperatures can freeze up the water source. Think about getting a heated water source or pour fresh water each day.

It’s important to gather eggs daily because those can freeze as well.

Throw down extra feed or corn before they head to roost at night. This will provide energy and keep them warm at night.

Your flock needs some time and attention during the winter months to keep up with egg production. The extra work is worth it! You’ll have a full carton of eggs all winter!

 

Free Coop Sign During Flocktober at J&N Feed and Seed

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019
Oct ’19Oct
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Flocktober is here at J&N Feed and Seed!

Flocktober at J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, Texas.Are your chicks growing? Once your chicks hit 18 weeks old or lay their first egg, its time to transition to Purina Layena poultry feed to sustain growth and promote egg production!

During the month of October, stop by J&N Feed and Seed and get a FREE limited-edition coop sign, when you purchase a bag of Purina Layena or Layena Plus Omega-3 feed,  40lb bags or larger!

Stop by J&N Feed and Seed this Flocktober for Purina Layena poultry feed!

Free coop signs are available through October 31, 2019, or while supplies last.

Cattle Feed Booking at J&N Feed

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

Cattle Feed Booking

Winter cattle feed booking has ended for the winter 2019-2020 season.

Winter cattle feed booking is now available at J&N Feed and Seed. Yes, it’s that time of year again. Stop by the store now and lock in your feed price for the winter month contract season. Make sure you get the BEST available nutrition for your animals at the BEST price booking with J&N Feed and Seed.  Please call the store at 940-549-4631 or stop by for current pricing.

J&N Feed and Seed
450 Pecan St
Graham, TX 76450-2524
(940) 549-4631

At J&N Feed and Seed we’ve got the quality feeds and the booking proposition you need to stay on top of the cattle business.

 

Seasonal Diet Changes for Horses

Saturday, September 28th, 2019

Changing seasons can bring about potential problems for horses and horse owners. 

Pasture quality fluctuates with every season, but the shift in quality from summer to fall is significant. During the fall, there are often warm, sunny days and cool nights. Pasture plants manufacture sugars in the presence of water, carbon dioxide and sunshine, and then use those sugars to fuel growth during the night. However, when nighttime temperatures drop in the autumn, it becomes too chilly for plants to grow and the sugars are stored for later use.  This leads to a concentration of storSeasonal Diet Changes for Horsesed sugars in the plants, which may increase the risk of digestive upset or laminitis in some horses. Horses at most risk are those that are significantly overweight or those that have trouble managing normal blood sugar levels and are sensitive to sugar content in the diet.

Changing seasons also mean drastic swings in weather conditions and temperatures.  This, combined with a major diet adjustment of moving from pasture to hay, can increase the chance of digestive disturbances. While not scientifically proven, many horse owners and veterinarians have experienced what appears to be an association between changes in barometric pressure and incidence of colic episodes in horses. A dramatic drop in temperature often causes horses to drink less water, and at the same time, horse owners will often increase the amount of hay fed to help horses stay warm.  More hay and less water consumption together may lead to impaction colic.

As we move into fall and winter, hay becomes the major forage source for many horses.  Switching from pasture to hay or getting a new supply of hay represent as big a change to the horse as a change in grain. These significant dietary adjustments should ideally be made gradually to decrease the risk of digestive upset. Horses should be fed good-quality hay to maximize nutrition and minimize potential digestive problems. Good-quality hay, of any variety, will be clean and have a high leaf-to-stem ratio, small-diameter stems, few seed heads or blooms, a fresh smell and appearance, and a bright color (faded, yellow or brown color may indicate aged hay or poor storage conditions). The maturity of the plant at harvest determines the hay quality more than any other factor. Young, leafy, immature plants contain more protein, energy and minerals than older plants with thicker stems.  Also, as a plant matures, it contains more indigestible fiber (lignin), which reduces nutrient availability. Lower-quality hay must be supplemented with higher-quality feed to maintain horses’ good condition and health.

Fall is a season of transition and an important time to evaluate the quality of forage available for your horse and whether the grain ration is appropriate and adequate to meet your horse’s nutrient requirements. When winter arrives, horses must be in good condition to be able to withstand colder temperatures. Adjusting grain rations in the early fall will prevent weight loss due to lower-quality forage and, if horses need to gain weight, there is still time for a thinner horse to gain some before the cold weather really sets in.

Article Attributed to Purina and Dr. Karen E. Davidson

Karen E. Davison

Ph.D. – Director, Nutritionist, Equine Technical Solutions

Fall is Prime Time to Begin a Supplemental Feeding Program for Deer

Friday, September 6th, 2019

A buck can have the best genetics in the world, but without the proper nutrition, he’ll never achieve his potential. One way to stack the deck in his favor is to supplement his nutrition. Fall is an excellent time to begin this.
But before we talk about how to initiate a supplemental feeding program, let’s evaluate the big picture.
The goal: Produce larger bucks with massive antlers. Some big obstacles to that goal:

  • Lack of high quality forage in fall and winter.
  • Stresses due to inclement weather.
  • In fall, deer are heading into a natural period of low metabolism and poor appetite. During the rut, a buck may spend only 20 to 30 minutes per day eating.
  • Burned calories during the rut will greatly deplete any existing stockpiles of nutrients.
  • Antler growth is low on the priority list of functions required to sustain life, so next spring, antlers will receive “what’s left” of nutrients after life-sustaining needs have been met. Deer will not begin growing antlers until they’ve regained body condition.
  • Nutritional deficiencies early in life can stunt a buck’s growth and antler size for the rest of his life, even if he is well fed as an adult.

The opportunity: Fall is one of the best times to initiate a supplemental feeding program because…

  • Fall forage is less available and of poorer quality, so deer are already instinctively searching for new food sources and may be more accepting of an unfamiliar feed form.
  • Getting deer to fully accept a feed form such as pellets can take weeks or months. By beginning the transition in the fall, deer can be fully acclimated by the time severe weather arrives.
  • Antlers are high in protein content (which is why feeding corn won’t produce bigger antlers). Now is the prime time for the body to start stockpiling protein before spring antler-growing season.
  • When a deer goes into winter in optimal body condition, it is less likely to deplete all of its nutrition stores by spring.

The plan: Now that we’ve established the need for a supplemental nutrition program, how do we do it? Here are a few basic steps:

  • Provide the essentials. Deer need three basic things to survive and thrive—food, water and cover. If any one of these three critical factors is insufficient, deer will go elsewhere.
  • Place your feeders along frequently used runways or trails.
  • Be sure to place enough feeders so that deer do not have to travel more than one-half to three-quarters of a mile to a feeder. A good rule of thumb is one feeder per 300-400 acres.
  • Make sure your feeding area has good visibility, access to fresh, clean water and an easy escape route to nearby cover.
  • Place your feeders near the center of your land to keep deer on your property. Do not place feeders along fence lines, roads, power lines or in a large opening.
  • Choose the right diet. With 16 percent protein, AntlerMax® Rut & Conditioning Deer
  • Chow® 16 product is the ideal fall and winter body conditioning diet to set the stage for big antler growth next spring. It has a highly palatable, strong flavor to attract deer and AntlerMax® Deer & Elk Mineral supplement for strong, dense antler growth.
  • One free-choice feeder can comfortably feed 25 free-ranging deer, each consuming 1 to 2 pounds of AntlerMax® Rut & Conditioning Deer Chow® 16 product per day.
  • Deer do not recognize protein pellets as food, but they are accustomed to seeing corn as a food source in the wild. Entice them to the protein pellets by initially mixing corn with the pellets (start with 75 percent corn, 25 percent pellets).
  • Deer do not like abrupt changes in feed, so make them gradually. Once deer are accustomed to eating protein pellets from a feeder, gradually phase out the corn. (NOTE: Although corn provides digestible energy, corn inherently lacks the nutrients needed for strong antler growth. Corn may help deer survive, but it won’t help them thrive. In fact, gorging on too much corn too fast can actually cause a deer to founder and die.)
  • Remember, pellets should be a supplement to, not a replacement for forage.
  • Make sure deer have access to a constant supply of fresh, clean water near your feeder. A deer requires about 3 pounds of water for every pound of dry matter consumed.
  • Plan on feeding year ‘round so that bucks never slip into below-average body condition.
  • Otherwise, next spring, nutrients will be allocated to “playing catch up” instead of to antler growth.
  • Be sure to wear gloves when handling the feeder and feed. Human scent can repel deer.
  • Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Once you’ve spent all this effort to attract deer to a feeding area, NEVER hunt near the feeding area.

Don’t get discouraged. It won’t happen overnight. In fact, the better the forage conditions, the tougher it is to get deer to start eating pellets. But fall is a prime opportunity.
There are many, many more tips and strategies for establishing a successful supplemental nutrition program than we can include here.

Stop by J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, Texas and talk to us about your supplemental feeding needs. We’re here to help.

It’s Time To Plant Food Plot Mixes

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

Food Plot MixesA food plot is a planted area set aside to act as a food source for wildlife. The term was coined by the U.S. hunting and outdoor industries. Food plots generally consist of, but are not limited to, legumes (clovers, alfalfa, beans, etc.) or forage grasses.

We are at the start date to plant winter food plots for deer. Product selection in this area is vast.  At J&N Feed and Seed, we carry a large number of food plot mixes including wheat, oats, winter peas, chicory, clover, turnips and alfalfa.  Stop by today and choose your plot mix. If you have any questions please give us a call or stop by the store.

Fall Seed & Fertilizer

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

fall seedNow is the time to get your fall seed. We have over 40 types of seed including wheat, oats, barley,  assorted ryegrass seed including Elbon and Marshall Rye, and additives such as chicory and buck plot mixes.  Whether your seeding for livestock grazing, wildlife feed plots or something else, we’ve got the fall seed for you! Not sure what you need? Stop by and talk with our experts, we’re here to help!

We also carry a variety of bagged and bulk fertilizer. Need help getting your bulk fertilizer home? No problem! Use one of our fertilizer buggies free of charge! Stop by J & N Feed and Seed or call us for delivery at (940) 549-4631.

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