Archive for the ‘News & Updates’ Category

Planning Spring Pasture Management

Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

Spring Pasture ManagementThe arrival of spring presents a prime opportunity for farmers and livestock owners to improve the health of their pastures through proper pasture management. Not only does this help to regenerate growth, but it also ensures that the animals are well-fed and healthy. There are a few steps you can take to improve your pasture management including planning rotations, avoiding overgrazing, and looking out for poisonous plants.

Plan Your Rotation
Rotational grazing is one of the most effective ways to maintain healthy pastures. This practice involves splitting a pasture into smaller paddocks and allowing the animals to graze on each paddock for a set period of time before moving onto the next. Giving the grass time to recover before it’s grazed again is crucial for its health. In addition, rotational grazing provides an opportunity for livestock to graze on nutrient-rich grass as it regenerates. This practice encourages animal movement and even distribution of fertilizer, ultimately resulting in a better-quality pasture.

Avoid Overgrazing
It’s important to resist the temptation to leave all the animals in one area for an extended period. This can lead to overgrazing, a process where livestock consume too much grass, and it is unable to recover. This can harm the overall health of your pasture and reduce its productivity. Overgrazing can increase the presence of weeds, soil compaction, and decreased water infiltration. The best way to prevent overgrazing is to manage your grazing schedule correctly. It’s important not to leave your livestock in any one area for too long.

Beware of Poisonous Plants
It’s essential to be aware of the different poisonous plants that can be present in your pastures. These plants can adversely affect the health of your livestock if ingested, and some can even be fatal. Such plants include poison ivy and poison oak. Be sure to remove these plants from your pastures, and observe closely whether they are growing back. Consider fencing off any areas in which these plants are known to grow, or uprooting and replanting any areas where they may be present.

Spring pasture management is crucial when it comes to keeping pastures healthy and robust. Proper rotational grazing, grazing management, and attention to poisonous plants will ensure your pasture remains healthy, providing sufficient and nutritious feed for your livestock. Whether it’s your private collection of animals, or livestock that provides for your livelihood, it’s important to prioritize their health and well-being by maintaining healthy pastures. Take these three factors into account to ensure the health and longevity of your pasture and in turn your livestock.

Planting Seed Potatoes

Thursday, February 8th, 2024

Planting Seed PotatoesPotatoes are a staple in many households across the world. They are versatile, tasty, and easy to cook. However, not many people know about seed potatoes and how they can significantly affect the quality and quantity of your potato crop. We’ve put together some information about seed potatoes and tips for planting, so you can reap the benefits of seed potatoes too.

What are seed potatoes?
Seed potatoes are potatoes that have been carefully selected, stored, and saved from the previous year’s potato crop. These potatoes are precisely picked based on their size, shape, and quality and are free from any diseases or pests. Seed potatoes ensure that only the best potatoes get planted the following year, resulting in a higher yield and crop quality.

Why are seed potatoes important?
Seed potatoes are critical for any gardener who wants to produce a healthy and fruitful potato crop the following year. Using seed potatoes from a previous crop means that gardeners are not only using potatoes that have been carefully selected and verified but are also avoiding any possible disease or pest infestation.

How to choose the right seed potatoes?
Choosing the right seed potato is essential for producing a healthy potato crop. Gardeners should select potatoes that are firm, free from blemishes, and have a good shape. The chosen potatoes should be stored in a cool, dry place before planting. Before planting, gardeners should also inspect the potatoes to ensure that they are disease-free.

How to plant seed potatoes?
Gardeners should plant their seed potatoes in the spring, 2-4 weeks before the last frost date. The selected potatoes should be cut into small pieces, each containing at least 2-3 eyes. Patios should be planted in the ground with the eyes facing upwards, ensuring that they are covered with soil. As the potatoes grow, gardeners should continue to cover the plants with soil to promote growth.

When to harvest seed potatoes?
Seed potatoes should be harvested in the summer or fall when the plants start to die back. The potatoes will be ready for harvest when the leaves turn brown and start to wilt. Gardeners should carefully dig the potatoes out of the ground to avoid damaging them.

Seed potatoes are a great option for gardeners who want to get a head start on their potato crop. They help produce a healthy, high-yield potato crop. Keep our tips in mind when choosing and planting seed potatoes in your garden for a successful yield. Remember, a healthy and fruitful potato crop results from using healthy seed potatoes!

Guide to Growing Onion Sets

Wednesday, February 7th, 2024

Growing Onion SetsAre you a gardener who wants to add more variety to your vegetable garden? If so, you might want to consider growing onion sets. Onion sets are small onions that are grown from seeds and then transplanted into your garden. They’re a great option for gardeners who want to get a head start on their onion crop without waiting for a full year. In this guide, we’ll talk about the benefits of planting onion sets and how to grow them successfully.

Let’s go over some of the benefits of using onion sets. One of the biggest advantages is time. By planting onion sets in the fall, you’ll be able to harvest your crop in the spring or early summer, rather than waiting an entire year for onions to mature. Onion sets are also easier to plant than onion seeds, as they don’t require a lot of time or effort to get started. Additionally, onion sets are less prone to disease and pests.

So how do you grow onion sets? The first step is to choose a location that gets plenty of sunlight and has well-draining soil. Onions prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH of around 6.0 to 6.8. You can test your soil’s pH using a kit from your local garden center. We have pH kits to choose from in the garden department of our store that are perfect for the job. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, prepare the soil by tilling it and adding compost or other organic matter.

When planting your onion sets, make sure to space them about 4-6 inches apart and plant them at a depth of about 1 inch. Push each set into the soil until the tip is barely visible. Onions don’t need a lot of water, but make sure to keep them well-watered during dry spells. You can also mulch around your onions to help retain moisture and suppress weeds.

As your onions grow, be sure to keep an eye out for pests and diseases. Common onion pests include onion maggots, thrips, and onion flies, while common onion diseases include downy mildew, onion smut, and white rot. If you notice any issues, remove affected plants and treat the surrounding soil with an organic fungicide or insecticide.

Finally, you can harvest your onion sets. Onions are ready to harvest when the tops dry out and start to fall over. At this point, stop watering your onions and let them cure in the garden for a week or two. Once the outer skin is papery and the tops are dry and brittle, you can harvest your onions. Hang them in a cool, dry place for a few weeks to allow them to fully cure before storing them in a cool, dry spot.

Growing onion sets is a great way to add a quick and easy crop to your vegetable garden. With the right growing conditions and care, you can enjoy fresh, homegrown onions in just a few months. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to a bumper onion crop in no time!

Planning Your Garden

Saturday, January 6th, 2024

If you’re looking to grow your own food and enjoy the rewards of a flourishing garden, you’re in the right place. January marks the perfect time of year to start planning and getting everything ready. Whether it’s your first time starting a garden or you’re a seasoned green thumb, there are a few steps you need to take in order to achieve a thriving garden. In this guide, we’ll help you through the essential steps that need to be taken so you can have a successful garden come spring.

Step 1: Decide What to Plant

When it comes to planning your garden, you must first decide on what type of vegetables you would like to grow. Start by deciding what your family enjoys eating and make a list of the produce they love. Next, check which crops are best suited for the climate you live in and what will grow best in your soil type. Consider planting perennial crops that come back year after year, or focus on annual plants that produce food more quickly. Keep in mind that you should space out your plantings to ensure you get fresh vegetables throughout the entire growing season.

Step 2: Choose Your Site

Choosing the right site for your garden is crucial to its success. Look for a location that receives plenty of sunlight and has well-draining soil. Avoid areas that tend to flood or are too rocky, as this can stunt plant growth. Also, pay attention to nearby trees that may cast shade over your garden bed and rob your plants of sunlight. If you are planting a container garden, make sure it has proper drainage holes to avoid over watering.

Step 3: Prepare the Soil

Soil preparation is essential to having a bountiful harvest. Start by removing any weeds or debris from the site that you have chosen. Next, consider tilling the soil to make it easier for your plants’ roots to grow. Adding organic matter to the soil can also provide necessary nutrients for your plants to thrive. Compost is a natural option for enriching your soil and can be added in the fall or early winter before planting.

Step 4: Planting and Care

It’s now time to get your soil ready and begin planting. Make sure to check the seed packet for the ideal planting time and depth, as well as how far apart the seeds should be spaced. Once planted, regular watering is essential for plants to grow healthy and strong. Consider drip irrigation or a hose with a low-pressure nozzle that can help water the plants at the root level. Regularly fertilizing with organic fertilizers will also keep nutrients flowing to your plants.

Step 5: Pest and Weed Control

Pests and weeds can be a common issue when planting a garden. To avoid problems, consider using organic means to control and keep weeds at bay rather than using toxic herbicides, which can harm beneficial insects and pollinators. Consider using natural pest control methods such as companion planting and crop rotation to help control pests and insects. Also, try using natural pest deterrents like plant oils, insecticidal soaps, and beer and yeast traps.

Now that we’ve walked through the various steps involved in planning your garden, you’ll be well-equipped to get started. Sure, there might be a little hard work involved in the process, but the rewards of a flourishing garden that provides fresh, organic produce are more than worth the effort. Remember, planning is paramount to a successful garden, so take the time to choose your site and plant accordingly, and you’ll be on your way come springtime.

Preparing Your Livestock for Winter Feeding

Friday, January 5th, 2024

Cattle eating hayWith colder weather on the horizon, many farmers and ranchers are preparing for the winter months. One of the most important things to consider when getting your animals ready for winter is their feed. During this time, hay becomes the most common type of feed for livestock. However, it is essential to ensure that you have enough hay to get your animals through the season. In addition, it is necessary to think about supplementing your hay with other feeds such as grain or grass to keep your animals healthy. We have some essential tips for feeding and nutrition that will help you prepare your livestock for winter.

1) Plan for Adequate Hay Supply

Before winter arrives, farmers and ranchers need to ensure that they have enough hay to meet the demands of their livestock. One of the key challenges in preparing for the winter months is predicting the amount of hay that will be required. To estimate your hay needs, you must consider the number of animals in your herd, their weight, and the duration of the winter months. To increase the amount of hay available, you may want to consider buying hay from other farmers. Purchasing a large quantity of hay can also help cut the cost per bale.

2) Supplement with Other Nutritious Feed

Unfortunately, hay alone may not be enough to provide your animals with the nutrition they need. During winter, your livestock needs an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals. Therefore, it is crucial to supplement their diets with other nutritious feeds. Grain is an excellent source of protein and helps to maintain body heat. However, you must be cautious when feeding grain to avoid overfeeding, which can cause digestive problems. Grass can provide your livestock with essential micronutrients. This means that you should graze your animals throughout the fall season before snow accumulates on the ground.

3) Provide Adequate Water

Water is critical to the health and survival of your livestock, particularly during the winter season. Since animals rely on hay to maintain their body heat, they consume less water, which can lead to dehydration. Therefore, it is essential to provide your animals with fresh, clean water at all times. Water sources should be checked daily to ensure that it is available and unfrozen. You can also consider installing heaters or de-icers for your water sources to keep them from freezing.

4) Monitor Your Livestock

During the winter months, it is essential to keep a close eye on your animals. Checking that they are eating adequately, drinking enough water, and staying warm is crucial. Moreover, monitoring your livestock helps to detect any signs of disease or illness that require vet attention.

5) Prepare Your Barns

As the cold weather sets in, you may want to prepare your barns for your animals’ comfort and safety. Ensure your barns have proper insulation, ventilation, and clean straw or bedding to keep livestock dry and warm. Ensure that all doors and windows are properly secured to keep the cold outside.

Preparing for winter and ensuring that your livestock’s feed and nutritional needs are met may seem overwhelming. However, with the right planning and preparation, farmers and ranchers can help their animals survive the harsh winter months. By incorporating these tips, you can increase your animals’ health and well-being throughout the winter season.

Tips for Raising Chickens in Winter

Sunday, December 31st, 2023

Raising chickens in winter can be a lot of fun. Some hens love wandering around the yard and their first snow sighting can be quite entertaining. A bird’s thick feathers are a natural protective coat, so most breeds are well-equipped for winter.

Here are a few tips on how to care for chickens in the winter:

1. How to keep chickens warm in winter:

Do not add heat lamps. Chickens, especially cold-tolerant breeds, can withstand winter temperatures without supplemental heat. A chicken’s body temperature is around 106 degrees Fahrenheit, and they have their own protective layer of feathers to keep them warm.

If you feel it is necessary to provide a source of heat, only provide enough heat to raise the temperature a few degrees. The hens will adjust to the cold temperature, but if it is 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the coop and 0 degrees Fahrenheit in the run, birds will not be able to regulate their body temperature.

2. What to feed chickens in winter:

A common myth is to feed oatmeal to birds in the winter. This is not a beneficial treat for chickens. Oats contain some types of fiber that chickens can’t digest which can cause the contents of the digestive tract to thicken. This leads to a reduction in the bird’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients. Greens are also unnecessary. Hens may pick at hay and spread it around, but they are not going to eat it.

Feeding a complete layer feed like Purina® Layena®, Purina® Layena® Plus Omega-3 or Purina® Organic Pellets or Crumbles will provide the necessary nutrition hens need through the winter.

3. Ensure feed and water isn’t frozen.

Consider heated waterers. Feed and water birds more often when it’s below freezing. Energy needs increase in winter. Animals expend a considerable amount of energy to stay warm and will eat more feed. Complete layer feeds include all the energy hens need. The 90/10 rule still applies in winter.

4. Allow exploration.

Birds can tolerate snow, cold air and ice water. There is very little muscle in the lower part of bird legs and feet. The movements are controlled by tendons that stretch from the upper part of the legs down to the toes. \Secondly, the blood entering the lower legs and feet are cooled by the blood returning to the heart. The blood returning is thus warmed by the blood going to the toes. The tissue receives just enough heat to avoid frostbite while also being provided with enough oxygen to keep things functioning.

5. Collect eggs more frequently.

Temperatures below freezing result in frozen eggs. As the egg freezes, the contents expand and will cause the egg to crack.

6. Keep the chicken coop draft free.

But don’t seal it completely. Some air needs to be exchanged to prevent ammonia build up. Open the top vent or higher windows slightly so fresh air can enter and stale air can exit.

7. Keep the chicken coop dry.

Remove any wet spots daily. Provide more bedding than you would in other seasons so birds have a place to burrow and stay cozy.

8. Continue offering activities in the chicken coop.

Hens will spend more time in the coop, so offer enrichment. Logs, sturdy branches or chicken swings can work well and place a Purina® Flock Block® supplement in the coop for a nutritious place to peck.

Visit or call J & N Feed and Seed to get more tips for raising chickens in winter!

Article source: Purina Flock Management

Holiday Hours

Sunday, December 17th, 2023

Holiday Hours for J&N FeedJ&N Feed will be closed on the following days during the holiday season. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season.

Holiday Hours:

Closed Monday, December 25, 2023
Closed Monday, January 1, 2024

Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Thursday, December 14th, 2023

Puppy Wearing Antlers by Christmas TreeAs the holidays approach, it’s a joyous time for us, but it can be quite stressful for our pets. With colder weather, decorations, and fireworks, there are a lot of things that can make our furry friends feel uneasy. It’s important to take measures to ensure that our pets stay warm, comfortable, and safe during the holiday season. In this guide we will discuss some common concerns pet owners face during the holidays and how to take care of our pets.

Keeping Pets Warm During Cold Weather
The winter season can be harsh for our pets, especially those who are not used to the cold. It’s important to keep your pets warm and comfortable during the winter months. For dogs, consider getting a coat or sweater to keep them cozy. For cats, consider providing them with a warm bed near a heat source or a heated pad. Keep in mind that pets may need more food during colder months to keep warm, so don’t forget to adjust their diet accordingly.

Preventing Pets from Getting into Holiday Decorations and Food
Decorations and holiday food can attract our pets’ attention, but they can also pose a threat to their health. Ribbons, tinsels, and ornaments can easily be ingested by pets, causing digestive problems or even blockages. Avoid using materials that are easily chewed or broken. Keep holiday food away from your pets! Some foods, like chocolate, can be toxic to pets. If you want to give your pet a treat, consider giving them a small amount of pet-friendly food.

Keeping Pets Safe During Fireworks Displays
Fireworks displays can be a source of anxiety for our pets. The loud noises and flashes of light can be overwhelming. If you plan to attend a fireworks display, consider leaving your pets at home. If you’re staying at home, make sure to close all windows and doors and turn on some background noise, like the TV or radio, to help mask the noise. If your pet becomes anxious, try to comfort them, but don’t punish them for their behavior.

Keeping an Eye on Your Pets
During the holidays, it’s important to monitor your pets for signs of stress or illness. Pets can become overwhelmed, anxious, or show signs of distress. Keep an eye on their behavior and make sure they have a place to retreat to if they become overwhelmed. If you notice any unusual behavior or symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Spend Time with Your Pets
The holidays can be a busy time, but it’s important to make time for your pets. Spending quality time with them can help alleviate their stress and anxiety. Take them for a walk, play with them, or snuggle with them on the couch. Your pets will appreciate the extra attention and love.

The holidays can be a wonderful time for us and our pets, but it’s important to keep in mind their safety and comfort amidst all the festivities. Be sure to follow these tips to keep pets safe and relieve pet stress for both you and your pet.

Supplementing Your Livestock’s Diet

Friday, December 8th, 2023

Cattle Eating Behind Fence in WinterDecember marks the beginning of winter, which also means that it’s the perfect time to start thinking about supplementing your livestock’s diet. As temperatures drop, animals can struggle to maintain their weight, and their bodies require more energy to keep warm. This time of year, it’s crucial to make sure your animals are getting enough food and nutrients to stay healthy. That’s why December may be a good time to start supplementing their diets. What types of supplements should you consider and how can you ensure your animals are getting the proper nutrition they need?

The Importance of Winter Supplementation

As the temperature drops, animals require more energy to regulate their body temperature, which means they need more food to maintain their body weight. But during the winter months, it can be challenging for animals to find enough food to meet their daily requirements. That’s why it’s essential to start supplementing their diet with hay or other forage that will provide them with plenty of nutrients. Winter supplementation will not only ensure your animals maintain their weight, but it will also help prevent them from getting sick or developing health issues.

The Types of Supplements to Consider

When it comes to choosing supplements for your livestock, there are plenty of options. However, not all supplements are created equal, and choosing the right one will depend on your animal’s nutritional needs. Some supplements you should consider include protein, minerals, and vitamins. Protein supplements are an excellent option for animals that require more energy to stay warm during the winter months, while mineral supplements help prevent mineral deficiencies. Vitamins are also essential, especially if your animal’s diet is lacking fresh fruit and vegetables.

Ensure Your Animals Are Getting the Proper Nutrition They Need

Supplementing your livestock’s diet is one way to ensure they’re getting the proper nutrition they need, but it’s also important to keep an eye on their water intake. During the winter months, water sources can freeze over, making it challenging for animals to access a clean water supply. If your animal’s water source freezes over, make sure to provide them with an alternative source of water to prevent dehydration. Also, it’s crucial to monitor their weight and overall health to make sure your supplementing program is working.

Other Factors to Consider in Winter Livestock Care

Although supplementing your livestock’s diet is essential during the winter months, it’s not the only factor to consider in winter livestock care. Other things you should consider include their shelter, bedding, and exposure to cold temperatures. Providing adequate shelter and bedding will help keep your animals warm and prevent them from getting sick. You should also limit their exposure to cold temperatures by making sure they have access to a warm, dry place to rest.

December is an excellent time to start thinking about supplementing your livestock’s diet. By supplementing their diet with hay or other forage and providing them with the proper supplements, you can ensure they’re getting the nutrition they need to stay healthy. Remember to keep an eye on their water intake, monitor their weight and health, and provide them with adequate shelter and bedding to keep them warm. By taking these steps, you’ll help your livestock thrive during the winter months.

Chicken Chat: Why do hens stop laying?

Monday, October 16th, 2023
Hen on Nesting BoxLIGHT:

Many things can cause hens to stop laying eggs, but the primary reason is decreasing day length. Hens need a minimum of 17 hours of daylight to sustain strong production. If you don’t provide your hens with supplemental light, they will naturally stop laying eggs when daylight drops below 12 hours per day. Hens may also stop laying if light abruptly decreases by a few hours. This is a hormonal response regulated by a tiny gland that responds to changes in light. One 40-watt bulb per 100 square feet of coop space is enough to keep birds laying. Use an automatic timer to keep light and dark hours constant; just a day or two of too little light can end a laying cycle.


Inadequate nutrition is another reason hens stop laying and, surprisingly, the missing nutrient is often water. Hens need a constant source
of fresh water, and they do not like it very cold, so it is important to check and refresh waterers often in the winter. Cool water in the summer will help the birds combat the effects of heat. Never underestimate the importance or power of clean water at the right temperature!

Inadequate protein and/or energy can cause a production decrease. A shortage of dietary calcium will result in weaker eggshells and, eventually, weak bones as the hen robs her skeleton of calcium in an attempt to manufacture shells. Feeding too much “extra” feed, such as scratch grains or table scraps, can dilute and unbalance the complete nutrition in the hen‘s pellets or crumbles, thereby affecting her production and health. Hot weather will inhibit a hen‘s appetite, causing her to eat less and resulting in a drop in egg production on even the best diets. Offer a high-quality feed and severely limit table scraps and alternative feeds to obtain maximal egg production.


Diseases and parasites will reduce a hen‘s productivity as well as her comfort. Build a relationship with a veterinarian who can help you establish a good flock health program. Never introduce new adult birds into your flock — apparently healthy adult birds can be carriers of a number of deadly diseases. Keep all premises as dry as possible to limit growth of coccidia, an insidious and stubborn parasite that flourishes in dampness causing coccidiosis.


Egg production decreases with increasing age. Good hens will productively complete two egg-laying cycles of 50 to 60 weeks each. After that, production will drop off greatly.


Any kind of stress — extreme temperatures, excessive handling or moving, fright caused by predators, or noisy children (they’re all the same to a hen!) — will negatively affect egg production. Keep your hens’ environment as serene and comfortable as possible to help maintain health and productivity.


Sometimes what appears to be a reduction in egg production is really the result of free-range hens hiding their eggs. Be sure you have enough nesting sites for the number of hens you are keeping, especially if you are allowing some to be “broody.” Make sure the nesting area is warm, comfortable, dimly lit and well-bedded with clean litter. Give the hens lots of good reasons to lay their eggs where you want them.