Archive for July, 2018

Closed for Labor Day

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018
Sep ’18
3

Labor Day means a day off for most and the beginning of hunting season! Both Kissimmee Valley Feed locations will be closed on Labor Day, Monday, September 3rd. Enjoy spending time with friends and family. We will reopen with our normal hours on Tuesday, September 4th.

Preparing for Backyard Chicks

Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

Preparing for Backyard ChicksRaising 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.

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.

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.

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:

  • At least two 1-quart or one 1-gallon waterer for every 25 to 50 chicks
  • Dip the beaks of several chicks into the water to help them locate it. These chicks will teach the rest.

Feeders

  • Day 1: Use clean egg flats, shallow pans or simple squares of paper with small piles of feed on them.
  • Day 2: Add proper feeders to the pens.
  • A few days later: Remove the messy papers, pans or egg flats once chicks have learned to eat from the feeders.

Waterers

  • Should be emptied, scrubbed, rinsed and refilled daily
  • Wet litter around waterers should be removed as often as possible. Dampness encourages disease and parasite transmission. The drier the premises, the healthier and happier the chicks.
  • At about 4 weeks of age, ducks and geese will appreciate a swimming area, but you will need to keep the wet litter cleaned up.
  • In winter months, you may need to purchase a water heater to prevent water from freezing.

As chicks grow

  • Feeders and waterers can be moved outward from the heat source, expanding their area of activity and helping keep the feeders and waterers clean.
  • As the birds grow, the feeders and waterers should be adjusted to the height of the back of a standing bird. This will help decrease contamination and minimize wastage

Feeding your chicks
It is important to select a complete feed that gives your chicks all the nutrition they need to grow into healthy hens. Once they’ve reached maturity,a high-quality complete layer feed will help to maximize egg production and quality. If they are broiler chicks, choose a feed designed to support their more rapid growth. Layer chicks will reach egg-laying age at about 18 to 20 weeks; broiler chicks will reach market weight at 8 to 10 weeks.

You may also consider occasional supplements to their diet, such as table scraps, scratch grains, oyster shell and grit. However, supplemental feeds should make up no more than 10 percent of a hen’s diet.

Purina offers a complete line of poultry feeds appropriate for each bird in your flock.

Lighting and heating for your chicks
A thermometer should be placed at the chicks’ level to accurately gauge temperature.

  • Adjust the brooder stove and/or heat lamps 24 hours in advance so that upon the chicks’ arrival, you’ve created a comfort zone that is 90º F at “chick level.”
  • For turkey chicks, the comfort zone should be 100º F.
  • Use a brooder guard (a plastic, cardboard or wire barrier) for a few days to encircle the brooding area so that the chicks don’t wander too far from the warmth.
  • Once chicks have learned where the heat is, remove or expand the guard. This will allow the chicks to escape the heat if necessary. Getting overheated can be as dangerous as getting chilled.
  • Chicks that huddle under the lamp are too cold. Chicks that sprawl along the brooder guard are too hot. Chicks happily milling around all portions of the brooder area are comfortable.
  • The temperature can be gradually reduced by 5º F per week to a minimum of 55º F.

Even after your chicks have grown into hens, keep a standard old-fashioned 40-watt incandescent light bulb handy; or, if you’re using the new energy-efficient bulbs, a 28-watt halogen, 10-watt compact fluorescent, or 8-watt LED bulb, to maintain the artificial light necessary for egg laying to continue through the winter months.

Article Attributed to Purina Animal Nutrition

Preventing Heat Stress in Cattle

Friday, July 20th, 2018

Preventing Heat Stress in CattleChanges in dairy-ration formulation and feed management can help prevent reductions in dry matter intake during hot weather, advises Alvaro Garcia, South Dakota State University Extension dairy specialist.

“Heat stress occurs when cows cannot dissipate enough heat to maintain their core temperatures below 101.3°F,” says Garcia. “Internal heat production increases at higher dry-matter intakes, which makes high-producing cows more sensitive to heat stress. Body-temperature increases of just 2.7° have been shown to result in intake reductions of almost 13 lbs.”

When intake drops, nutritionists often formulate energy-dense rations with more concentrates and less forages. That’s a sound practice, says Garcia, if there’s sufficient effective fiber to stimulate rumination and maintain adequate rumen pH.

“Heat-stressed cows reduce rumination and tend to select finer feed particles. This combination of more concentrated rations, together with a reduced capacity to buffer rumen pH, increases the risk of acidosis during hot weather. These changes can be observed in farms by a reduction in milkfat and higher incidence of lameness.”

Here’s Garcia’s checklist of feeding strategies that help reduce excessive drops in intake:

  1. Feed in early mornings or evenings so the highest metabolic heat production doesn’t coincide with maximum environmental temperatures.
  2. Avoid feed shortages in the bunk. When offering fresh feed, there needs to be 0.5-5% refusals. Target refusals by pen as follows: fresh cows, 3-5%; high pen, 1-4%; low pen, 0.5-3%. Remove refusals at least once a day to minimize heating of the fresh feed.
  3. Feeding a TMR is better than supplying feedstuffs individually.
  4. Silages improve ration acceptability and have low pH, so they slow mold and yeast growth and reduce heating.
  5. Including other high-moisture products such as sweet bran, beet pulp or wet distillers grains also helps increase ration acceptability.
  6. Add water when ration dry matter exceeds 60% to bring it down to 50%. Water conditions the ration, reduces dust and increases its acceptability.
  7. Feeding at least twice a day and mixing the TMR immediately prior to feeding helps reduce heat buildup in the feed bunk.
  8. Push up feed 8-10 times a day. Make sure there’s feed available all along the feed bunk; cows tend to concentrate and eat close to fans or water troughs.
  9. Manage the silo face to prevent secondary fermentations and heating. Defacer equipment minimizes air infiltration. Remove at least 1’ daily from all the exposed face, and use all removed silage as soon as possible.
  10. Use feed additives to control mold growth and reduce secondary fermentations and excessive heating in the feed bunk. Most of these products contain propionic acid.
  11. Feed high-quality, highly digestible forages. Target minimum effective NDF at 22% of the diet dry matter.
  12. Avoid excessive particle breakdown during mixing. Most TMR mixers have three- to six-minute mixing times when they have been turning during loading. Check particle size with a Penn State forage particle separator. The top sieve of a three-sieve separator should retain 2-8% of the diet.
  13. Feed additives such as yeasts, fungi and/or probiotics can improve rumen health.
  14. Increase sodium bicarbonate to 1% of the diet; also supply it free choice.
  15. Heat-stressed cows lose lots of minerals. Increase sodium, potassium and magnesium to at least 1.5, 0.45 and 0.35% of the diet dry matter, respectively. White salt (sodium chloride) is a source of sodium; however it’s important to maintain chlorine at 0.35% of the diet dry matter, and not exceed 0.5% white salt.
  16. Use rumen-protected fat to increase the ration’s energy density, but avoid unprotected fats such as vegetable oils or tallow.
  17. Maintain high levels of starches and sugars in the diet (26 and 8%, respectively). Cereal grains that contain starch with slower degradation rates, such as corn and milo, are better than wheat and barley, which have faster degradation rates.
  18. Place water troughs in shade and clean them frequently. Cows prefer to drink water with a temperature between 63 and 82°F. If the water isn’t cool enough, it further adds to the heat load.

Source: Hay & Forage

Protect Pets from Summer Heat

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

Protect Pets from Summer HeatTemperatures are soaring into the 90s and 100s and such intense heat is not only dangerous for humans but for pets as well. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) offers a few tips to protect pets during summer heat waves.

Cars are potential death traps during the hot summer months because inside temperatures can quickly climb to more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit on even a mild sunny day. It’s best to leave your pet at home while running errands during hot weather. If you absolutely must leave your pet in a car, please do the following:

  • Open windows and vents as wide as possible without providing an escape route; or, put your pet in a well-ventilated cage inside the car and open the windows fully.
  • Provide fresh water.
  • Check the car every 10 minutes.
  • If your pet is panting, has a staring or anxious expression, does not obey commands, has warm, dry skin and a high fever, rapid heartbeat, or is vomiting, lower the body temperature quickly with cool water – either by immersion or by spraying thoroughly with a garden hose. Call your veterinarian immediately.
  • If your pet lives outdoors, make sure there is adequate shelter for protection from the midday sun and heat. Outdoor kennels should be well-ventilated and in a shaded area. There should always be some shade for the pet to get out of the sun.
  • Also, make sure there is plenty of fresh drinking water available to your pet. The bowl should be placed in a shaded area where it cannot be heated by the sun.
  • Exercise is important, but overexertion during hot weather commonly causes heat stress. Avoid excessive exercise during hot days.
  • And, keep your pet well-groomed. Long hair and hair mats may need to be clipped to help cool the animal.

Source: Sand Road Animal Hospital

Doggy Play Day

Monday, July 9th, 2018
Aug ’18
11
11:00 am

doggy day playJoin Kissimmee Valley Feed at our newest location, 215 13th Street, St. Cloud 34769, for Doggy Play Day on Saturday, August 11th from 11 AM to 1 PM. Bring your dogs by the store to play. Dogs must be dog-friendly and get along with other dogs. We’ll offer 1/2 price baths and 10% off toys during the event. We will have bobbing for treats and a pool set up out back for those that would rather play in water! There will be a free gift for all that attend. Please, no in heat females.

This is a great opportunity to socialize your pets, try out our pet wash, and pick up some toys or treats! If you have any questions about this upcoming event, give us a call or stop by the store. We are happy to answer your questions!

 

 

Navigation

Newsletter

Sign up for our free monthly newsletter! Learn about events and special savings at Kissimmee Valley Feed.
Sign Up Now

Share this page

Calendar

July 2018
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031EC

Quick Info

Our Location
1501 Eastern Ave map
Saint Cloud, FL 34769..

Contact Info
Phone: 407-957-4100
Fax: 407-957-0450

Store Hours
Mon-Fri: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sunday Closed