Archive for the ‘News & Updates’ Category

April Garden Tips

Monday, March 18th, 2019

April Garden Tips

If April means spring to you; get out your gardening tools and get moving. A successful garden begins with good soil. Organic material is important to the soil composition. It helps with drainage and increases the microbe population. Expanded shale is used to break up hard compacted clay soils. Top dress your flower beds and containers with organic mulches.

Hopefully, you have your tomatoes, peppers, squash, and other warm season vegetables already planted; if not get them in the ground right away. To get the highest yields, make additions of fertilizer every couple of weeks, starting about a month after transplanting or seeding.

If your yard is too small for a traditional garden plot, try April Garden Tipsgardening in containers. The bigger the container, the better! Container gardens need more attention since they dry out faster and need regular additions of fertilizer to compensate for the more frequent irrigation.

If you want to create a truly dynamic garden, inviting colorful guests like butterflies and hummingbirds are definitely the way to go. Butterflies like sunshine and plenty of space to fly around, so opt for a sunny, open spot. Both enjoy having some type of cover as a resting spot. Your garden should include some type of water feature as butterflies and hummingbirds often congregate around water.

St. Augustine and Bermuda lawns should be actively growing now; so it is a great time to apply fertilizer. A correctly fertilized lawn now will better help your lawn to handle the Texas Summer Heat!

6-8 Week Old Chicks

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

chickdaysgraphicpurinaKeeping 6-8 Week Old Chicks

Between 6 and 8 weeks of age, your chicks will be much larger and will need twice the amount of floor space they started with. It’s also time to start thinking about moving your chicks from the brooder to more permanent living quarters outside. If the temperature is mild and the chicks are fully feathered, they can be allowed outside during the day. If you purchased straight-run chicks (50/50 males and females) you may be able to distinguish the males from the females around 5 to 7 weeks of age. The combs and wattles of the males usually develop earlier and are usually (but not always) larger than in the females. Females are typically smaller in size than males. If you are still uncertain of their sex by appearance, you’ll be sure who the males in the flock are when you hear them attempting to crow.

Things to do with your chickens at this stage

Your chicks are able to regulate their body temperature by this time and should not need a heat source any longer unless the outside temperatures are still very cold. Keep temperature at 65°F if this is the case.

Prepare your chicken house or coop. Housing should provide approximately three to four square feet of space per mature bird and should contain sufficient feeders and waterers to accommodate your flock size so that all birds can eat and drink at the same time. Two to three inches of litter should be put down to minimize dampness and odor. A nest box for every four hens should be made available for laying pullets. Roosts can be considered for laying pullets but not recommended for meat birds because of the potential for developing breast blisters.

If possible, prepare an area outside the coop for your birds. Outside runs or fenced in areas will allow chickens to scratch and peck to their hearts desire, returning to the roost at dusk to sleep. The house needs to have a secure latch that is fastened each night if they are allowed outside during the day. An outside run attached to the coop with screening on the top and sides for protection will allow chickens unlimited access to the yard and save you time and worry.

Tips to grow on

Once you move your birds to their permanent residence, make sure they are protected from predators, especially at night. Even a latched door may not be secure enough to keep raccoons out.

  • Your birds are still growing so keep feeding Purina® Start & Grow® Recipe to help them reach their maximum potential. Chicks should remain on this feed until at least 18 weeks of age.
  • If your flock is a mix of chicks, ducks and geese, continue feeding Purina® Flock Raiser Recipe.
  • Turkeys can start on Flock Raiser Sunresh® Recipe at 8 to 10 weeks of age. Keep feeding this until market weight or laying age.
  •  If chicks were purchased for meat production, the normal weight for processing is 3 to 4 pounds for broilers and 6 to 8 pounds for roasters.
Looking ahead for layers

Laying pullets will need to receive a constant amount of light exposure once they reach 16 weeks of age to promote good egg production. For optimum egg production, a maximum of 17-18 hours of light (natural and/or artificial) per day is recommended. Gradually change your layer flock over to Purina® Layena® Sunfresh® Recipe at 18 to 20 weeks of age to support egg production.

Pullets will usually begin laying between 18 and 22 weeks of age. Increasing day length in the spring stimulates normal egg production, and egg production is naturally decreased in the fall when the days get shorter. Artificial light can be used in addition to natural daylight in the fall and winter months to maintain egg production all year long. If artificial light is not used, hens will stop laying when daylight hours decrease. It is very important that the supplemental light be consistent, as even one day without supplemental lighting can cause a decrease in egg production.

After 10-14 months of egg production, hens will molt and stop laying eggs. During molting, old feathers are lost and replaced by new feathers. It usually lasts between eight and twelve weeks (though it can be shorter or longer, depending on the individual hen and her environment) and it gives the hen’s reproductive system some much needed rest. Hens will return to production after the molt. Eggs laid in the next cycle are usually larger with improved shell quality but production typically drops about 10 percent.

Source: Purina Poultry

GopherHawk Gopher & Mole Traps

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

GopherHawk Gopher Trap at J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, TexasAre gophers and moles tearing up your lawn and garden? We can help! Introducing GopherHawk, a new approach to gopher trapping and removal, that is effective and easy to use. Gophers and mole can be a big problem. Now trapping these pests cleanly and organically can be fast, simple and effective.

The GopherHawk trapping set comes with all the tools for the job in one box. The trapping set provides the essentials for effective gopher & mole removal including the trap, wedge, and probe. Anyone from homeowner to professional will find this trap simple and effective for trapping and ridding your yard of these burrowing pests. Get rid of your gophers and moles without the use of a shovel with GopherHawk gopher traps from J&N Feed and Seed.

Interested in how this trap works? Watch our short video:

[jwplayer mediaid=”5574″]

Weed and Brush Control

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

Proper weed and brush control management is one of the most cost-effective practices for range and pasture producers. Weeds cost pasture farmers and ranchers millions of dollars in lost production each year because they rob desirable forages of moisture and nutrients. This is the time of year we usually apply herbicides to our summer pastures for broadleaf weed control and a few troublesome kinds of grass. At J&N Feed and Seed, we offer a variety of herbicides for weed and brush control as well as hand-held and agricultural field sprayers from Wylie and Bell.

Weed and Brush Control products at J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, TexasPick up the following products at J&N:

  • RM43
  • Weed Free Zone
  • 2, 4-D Amine
  • PastureGard HL
  • Oryzalin
  • Sure Guard
  • Tordon RTU
  • Hi-Yield Atrazine Weed Killer
  • Weed-Out
  • Killzall
  • Roundup
  • Pramitol 25E
  • TVC Total Vegetation Control

Stop by J&N Feed and Seed and talk to the experts about weed and brush control needs.

Fish Truck Deliveries At J&N Feed

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

fish truck deliveriesThe fish truck delivers to J&N Feed this month. Looking for pond stocking in Graham, Texas?  The Stock My Pond and Abney’s Fish Truck will make deliveries to J&N Feed and Seed this month.

Abney’s Fish Truck
  • Wednesday, April 3, 2019,  from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Stock My Pond Fish Truck
  • no dates currently scheduled

Stock My Pond Fish Truck will have channel cat, largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, hybrid bluegill, red ear bream, and fathead minnows.  Click here for pricing.  It is not necessary to pre-order the fish, but if you are looking for a large quantity or pond packages we suggest you call.  Questions?  Call Stock My Pond at 501-676-3768.

Abney’s Fish Truck will have channel cat, largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, hybrid bluegill, red ear bream, and fathead minnows. Click here for pricing. It is not necessary to pre-order the fish, but if you are looking for a large quantity we suggest you call. Questions?  Give us a call at 940-549-4631.

Stock My Pond and Abney’s Fish truck provides containers for all fish but the 11″ channel cats, so please bring your own containers for them.

How long can the fish be in the bag? No longer than 1 hour! Determine how far a drive you have before purchasing your fish. Transport the fish in a cool and shaded area of your vehicle.

 

Sandbur Control With Prowl H20 & ECGrow

Saturday, March 2nd, 2019

sandbur controlIt’s time to map out your sandbur control plan for your pasture and lawn. Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow: if you had a sandbur problem last year and were unable to control it, there is a good probability it will be back this year. The way to control sandbur that is already established is to use pre-emergent herbicides. This must be done in early spring before the soil temperature reaches 52 degrees Fahrenheit and seeds germinate. A second application should be put down in June. At J&N Feed and Seed, we recommend Prowl H20 pre-emergent and ECGrow for the control and prevention of sandbur.

Like all pre-emergents, Prowl H20 must be applied before the sandbur emerges. In southern Oklahoma and northern Texas, the most common application time is February or early March before the grasses break dormancy.  Rainfall must occur within two weeks of application or efficacy will be reduced dramatically. Please note, there is a 60-day haying restriction and a 45-day grazing restriction when using Prowl H2O.

If you miss your window for applying the pre-emergent for sandbur control, come see us for post-emergent solutions to your sandbur problem. Let our educated experts help map out your pasture-management plan today.

 

 

Special Order Spring Chicks at J&N Feed

Friday, March 1st, 2019

spring chicksIt’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 disease 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.

Warming:
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.

It’s Time To Plant Spring Pasture Seed

Thursday, February 28th, 2019

spring pasture seedIt’s time plant Spring Pasture Seed for grazing or haying.  For our region of Texas, mid-April is the right time to plant your spring seed.  J&N Feed and Seed offers a wide selection of pasture grasses, including individual species as well as mixtures containing several grass-seed species. We offer over 40 types of seed, including Giant Bermuda, Klein Grass and Cattle King 3 Way Cross Sudan and more. We also carry a variety of native grasses and improved pasture grasses. Mixtures include specific pasture-grass blends that will work best for horse pastures and “all-purpose” mixtures for pastures where horses, cows, goats, etc. may be grazing together. Not sure what to plant? Click here to learn more about the different warm-season grasses that thrive in Texas.

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 fertilizers for delivery or pickup.  Stop by J & N Feed and Seed, or call us for delivery at (940) 549-4631.

4-5 Week Old Chicks

Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

Keeping 4-5 Week Old Chicksbaby chicks 2

Your babies are growing up! By weeks four and five, you begin noticing that your chicks’ fluffy appearance slowly disappears and their fuzzy down is replaced with feathers of a mature bird. Chicks will usually be fully feathered by 5 to 6 weeks of age. You also observe their wattles and combs growing larger and taking on a deeper red color.

As they mature, chicks naturally establish a “pecking order” which determines each chick’s social position in the flock. Their place in the order will determine who eats and drinks first and ultimately who “rules the roost”. Although establishment of a pecking order is normal behavior, you should be watchful for excessive pecking in chicks as it may indicate a more serious problem, cannibalism. This is when birds peck the feathers and other body parts of other birds and if allowed to get out of hand, can lead to bleeding, open sores and even death.

Cannibalism can occur at any age and needs to be controlled as soon as it rears its ugly head. It is costly and can spread through a flock rapidly if left unchecked. Cannibalism is usually the result of stress, which can be caused by poor management. Some of these stressors may include crowding, excessive heat, bright lighting, noise, hunger, thirst, the presence of sick or injured chicks, parasites, or other stress factors. Providing the correct living environment in terms of these factors will help reduce the potential for cannibalism from occurring in your flock.

Things to do for your chicks this week
Your chicks require less heat as time goes by and they grow larger and more able to regulate their body temperature. Continue reducing the temperature each week to keep them comfortable to a minimum of 65°F. Continue providing clean fresh water each day and providing unlimited Sunfresh® Recipe Start & Grow® feed in their feeders.As your chicks grow, adjust the height of the feeders and waterers. A good rule of thumb is to keep them adjusted to the birds’ back height while standing. This will help to keep litter out of feeders and waterers, as well as curious chicks. Around 4 weeks of age, ducklings and goslings will thoroughly enjoy the addition of a swimming area. Be sure if you provide this to keep any resulting wet litter cleaned up. Because of their water-loving, messy nature, it is best to separate ducklings and goslings from chicks.Tips to grow on
Maintain good sanitation practices to reduce the chance of disease. Bigger chicks make bigger messes, so be sure to keep up. As the chicks grow, make sure they have sufficient space to prevent crowding. Additional feeders and waterers may need to be added now to allow adequate space for all chicks to eat and drink at the same time. Keep a close eye on your chicks for signs of possible health issues. Chicks that are sick may appear droopy or listless, have diarrhea or be unwilling to eat.
Looking ahead
Your chicks will soon be mature enough to leave the brooder and move into more permanent living quarters, the chicken coop. If you don’t have one ready, now is a good time to start looking into getting one and preparing it for new occupants. You’ll be surprised at how fast your chicks will grow and how quickly moving day will arrive. Many types of poultry housing are available for purchase or you can venture to build your own. Whatever you decide, make sure that the house you choose is ventilated, predator proof and provides protection from extreme temperatures, wind and rain.

 

Source: Purina Poultry

10 Daily Tips for Your Show Cattle

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

10 Daily Tips for Your Show CattleWhen 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.”

For more management tips join the online community of show enthusiasts at www.facebook.com/HonorShowChow or at www.twitter.com/HonorShowChow.

Article Attributed to Purina Animal Nutrition

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