Archive for December, 2018

White Wrangler Kids Show Shirts

Sunday, December 30th, 2018

WranglerAre your kids presenting at a county fair this year? Kissimmee Valley Feed has you covered with the clothing they need to make a great presentation! Come by and check out our white Wrangler long sleeved button up shirts. We’ve also got youth sized black Wrangler jeans to complete the look. Shirts start at $23, and the deadline for ordering a shirt for the Osceola County Fair is Saturday, January 25th.

Kissimmee Valley Feed & Ranch Supply was established in 1991 by Stan Touchstone. In the beginning, the primary purpose of the company was to meet the needs of Osceola County’s extensive cattle industry. Stan’s 15 year involvement with the Florida Cattleman’s Association, as well as managing several cattle ranches, helped create a successful business.

Welcoming Home Your New Chicks

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

After bringing your chicks home, focus on three core elements: warmth, water and feed.

Watch Dr. Mikelle Roeder, Purina poultry nutrition expert, walk new chicken owners through what to do with their chicks once they arrive home.

You can get your chicks from your local Purina retailer, directly order from a hatchery, or if you’re feeling extra ambitious you can try incubating fertile eggs at home. Before your chicks arrive, you should have a few things prepared. You’ll need a brooder, either homemade or store-bought. You can make a brooder out of anything, from a large cardboard box, large plastic tote or even an old empty stock tank works well.

Once you have your day-old chicks, introduce them to the brooder. As you place them into their new digs, dip their beaks in the water to teach them how to drink. Watch your chicks closely for the first couple of days to make sure they adjust to their new home.

If you don’t have a thermometer or a way to monitor brooder temperature, you can judge the temperature by the behavior of the chicks themselves. If they all converge beneath the light in a tight group, they’re too cold. If they form a ring around the light, it’s too hot. Raise or lower the lamp until the chicks are evenly dispersed.

Your chicks will undoubtedly make a mess and keeping the brooder clean is a top priority when it comes to the health of your growing flock. You’ll need to clean and refill waterers daily, as many parasites and diseases can spread quickly through contaminated water. Wash waterers and feeders with a mild dish detergent and sterilize with a mixture of one part bleach to nine parts water. To keep your chicks clean and dry, line the bottom of your brooder with dry pine shavings. Chicks are messy drinkers so they depend on the shavings to absorb excess moisture in the brooder. At least once per week you should temporarily remove your chicks from the brooder and give it a thorough cleaning, again using the bleach solution.

Since chicks can’t regulate their own body temperature until they’re fully feathered, it’s important that the brooder have a source of warmth. A heat lamp is the most common source of heat for the homesteader raising chicks, but there are many devices on the market such as infrared heaters that do a fine job of keeping the chicks warm. Whatever you choose, the starting temperature for new chicks should be between 90 and 95 degrees. As the chicks grow, you can raise the lamp to reduce the temperature by about 5 degrees each week until they are fully feathered.

Your new chicks will need a steady supply of feed and water. A chick-sized feeder and waterer help keep the chicks out of their feed and water and help prevent contamination. It also keeps them from wasting feed by scratching at it.

A complete feed is needed to support the fast growth of new chicks. Pick up a bag of chick starter, containing at least 18% protein such as Purina Start & Grow Poultry Feed or 20% diet like Purina Flock Raiser Poultry Feed for meat birds.
Its never too early to start preparing your coop, run, or outdoor space for your birds. By the time they’re four to six weeks old your chickens will be ready to start exploring, and will need a larger space.

Space requirements for chickens depend on the size of the breed. For the most flexibility going forward, you can implement what I call the four-ten rule, at least four square feet of floor area per bird inside the coop, and ten square feet of outdoor space per bird. Offering even more space, either indoors, outdoors, or both, will significantly decrease future problems with bullying, egg-eating, and health issues.

If you’re preparing to raise egg-layers, you’ll also need to make sure that your coop has nesting boxes for your hens. One nest for every four to five hens should be adequate. Boxes shouldn’t be too roomy. A good size is one cubic foot. You can construct your boxes from wood, metal, or plastic, and you’ll want to consider adding a landing board in front of the box to help the hens get in and out of it.

Finally, your chickens will need a place to roost. Roosts can be made from any natural material. 2×4’s or sturdy branches can be screwed into place to give each bird a place to perch. If you use lumber for roosts, round the corners with a router or plane. It’ll be much easier on your birds’ feet, and you’ll avoid health issues over the longterm. Each bird should get about nine inches of roost space, and each roost should be separated by about a foot.

I’m sure you’ll have more questions as your birds grow and prepare for their first eggs. Be sure to reach out to your local Purina retailer. Their poultry specialists can help address your questions along the way. Visit grit.com for even more great tips, and don’t forget to sign up for coupons and e-tips from Purina as your birds grow. Visit purinachickdays.com today.

Article and Video Attributed to Purina Animal Nutrition

Raising Baby Chicks for Success! Chick Workshop

Friday, December 28th, 2018
Jan
22
6:15 pm

Chick WorkshopJoin Kissimmee Valley Feed for our chick workshop Raising Baby Chicks for Success on Tuesday, January 22, 2018, at 6:15 pm. The goal of this seminar is to educate and inform baby chick owners on how to raise their new chicks for top production. This is an excellent learning opportunity for novice chick raisers and experienced ones. Light refreshments and drinks will be served, and there will be multiple drawings for door prizes and coupons! Bring your questions to this family-friendly event.

Check out our flyer here: KVF Raising Baby Chicks Seminar Flyer

Please RSVP to Kissimmee Valley Feed by calling (407) 957-4100 or sign up below before January 20th.

The workshop is held at our original Kissimmee Valley Feed store located at 1501 Eastern Avenue, Saint Cloud 34769.

Closed Christmas Day

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018
Dec ’18
25
9:00 pm

Closed Christmas Day | Kissimmee Valley FeedKissimmee Valley Feed is closed Christmas Day, December 25th so our staff can enjoy the holiday with family and friends.

Our store will resume normal business hours on Wednesday, December 26th, 2017.

We wish you the blessing of Christmas during this holiday season.

Merry Christmas from Kissimmee Valley Feed.

Winter Tips for Taking Care of Your Horse

Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

Winter Tips for Taking Care of Your Horse

Imagine living in a field of grilled cheese sandwiches and milkshakes. That’s literally what the summer months are like for your horse. It’s easy to forget how much pasture grass can play a role in your horse’s diet until the snow starts to fall. As winter sets in and the pasture grass starts to disappear, there’s 3 key factors that will play a role in our horse’s health: Water, fiber, and essential nutrients. Read below to discover the best winter tips for taking care of your horse.

 

Water
Often one of the biggest concerns of dehydration is impaction colic. This form of colic is mainly caused by your horse becoming dehydrated because it consumes less water. During the winter, horses consume less water because of cooler temperatures (no sweating), less water availability (frozen ponds, cold water, etc.) and a diet of hay (10% water content) instead of pasture (80% water content).

The first step is providing your horse enough water to drink. An adult horse (1000 pounds) in a cool, comfortable environment that is not working or lactating requires a minimum of 5 – 10 gallons of fresh clean water per day.

But here’s the thing about horses: When it comes to water, their European roots start to show. Horses do not like ice in their water. During winter, many owners notice their horses becoming dehydrated, despite the fact that they’ve provided their four-legged friends all the H20 they can drink. When a horse drinks cold water, it causes their bodies to become colder. This means they have to expend additional calories to heat their bodies back up. Horses will naturally drink less water if it’s too cold. Warming water using insulated or heated buckets will allow your horse to drink more. Research has shown that horses drink the most water when the water temperature is between 45 and 70º F.

Fiber

During the winter months, fiber plays an even larger role in a horse’s diet. The fiber obtained from hay is necessary to keep the digestive system of your horse functioning properly which helps your horse keep warm during cold weather. Without enough fiber, horses literally become possessed beavers. They’ll start gnawing the wood off anything from fence post to bedding in order to make up for their lack of fiber.

Horses should be eating at least 1.5% of their body weight in fiber per day. That means about 15 pounds for a normal, 1,000-pound horse. If the fiber is high quality, your horse can consume up to 3% of their body weight per day (30 pounds for a 1,000-pound horse). That’s why here at Standlee, we carefully manage every aspect of the growing and harvesting process to ensure our fiber is of the highest caliber.

Essential Nutrients

In order to stay happy and healthy, your horse also needs protein, trace minerals, and vitamins. Pastures are often a great source of these essential nutrients for your horse, but during the winter, most pastures will disappear.

A common source of supplemental protein, vitamins and minerals come from fortified grain concentrates. However, when choosing a product, it’s crucial that you choose the feed that is intended for your type of horse. For example, if you have a pregnant mare, you should select a feed that is intended for pregnant mares, not “senior” horses. This is why each product page on the Standlee website lists the intended horse type for every one of our products.

The next critical factor in choosing a grain concentrate is making sure you are feeding the recommended amount. If you’re feeding 1/3 of the amount recommended, your horse is getting exactly 1/3 of the intended nutrients. If you feel the amount of feed recommended is too much (i.e. your horse is gaining too much weight), you should feed your horse a more concentrated product. More concentrated products are called “supplement pellets” or “balancer pellets.” They’re designed to be fed at much lower rates but are still fortified to provide your horse with adequate nutrients.

If you’re not 100% sure how much forage your horse requires, check out our improved feed calculator. We’ve carefully designed this free-to-use tool to take into account several key characteristics of your horse so you know how much feed you should be providing your four-legged friend.

Content Courtsey of Standlee Hay Company

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