Archive for February, 2019

6 Week Old Chicks

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019
6 Week Old ChicksBetween 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 Purina® Flock Raiser® at 8-10 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 transition to Purina® Layena® Premium Poultry Feed or Purina®Organic Layer Feed at 18-20 weeks 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.

Article Attributed to Purina Animal Nutrition

Puppy Training Classes

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

Puppy Training Classes

TEMPORARILY DISCONTINUED DUE TO THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK. WE WILL UPDATE YOU WHEN THEY RESUME – 3/18/2020

 

Kissimmee Valley Feed and All-Star Mutts are now hosting puppy training classes on Saturdays. Open to puppies between the ages of 8 and 20 weeks. Puppies must have proof of vaccinations and should arrive on a leash with a collar. Be sure to bring some of their favorite treats and an encouraging attitude!

The puppy training classes will focus on structured socialization, foundation behaviors, everyday life behaviors, confidence building, and making the vet visits fun.

Class times are from 10:00 am to 11:00 am on Saturdays. The cost is $10 per class. Sign up at the feed store. Classes are inside Kissimmee Valley Feed Companion Animal Center and space will be limited. Don’t hesitate to reserve your spot!

To find out more information please call the store at 407-892-4040. Store address: Kissimmee Valley Feed, 215 13th Street, St. Cloud, FL 34769.

 

 

4-5 Week Old Chicks

Monday, February 4th, 2019
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 to provide clean, fresh water each day. In addition, provide unlimited complete starter feed.
– Layer chicks, provide Purina® Start & Grow®.
– Meat birds, ducks and geese, provide Purina® Flock Raiser®.
– Organic chicks, provide Purina® Organic Starter-Grower.
– Turkey poults, provide Purina® Gamebird and Turkey Startena until week 8.

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.
Article and Video Attributed to Purina Animal Nutrition

Cattle Mineral Quick Tips

Monday, February 4th, 2019

Cattle Mineral Quick TipsBy Kent Tjardes

If you’re using a mineral form of fly control, like Wind and Rain Storm Fly Control Mineral, consistent intake is key. Calculate consumption to know if cattle are eating enough mineral to control the flies. Aim to hit the target intake listen on your feed tag. Target intake for loose mineral is two or four ounces per head per day if you are using either low salt or complete cattle mineral formula. Mineral tub target intake is six to eight ounces per head per day.

Remember, the active ingredient in Wind and Rain Storm Fly Control Mineral, Altosid IGR, only prevents hatching of new flies. It does not control existing flies. If you start using fly control mineral after flies are present, you’ll need other methods to combat adult flies. Work with your veterinarian or animal health supplier to find another method like spray or pour-on.

Source: Purina Checkpoint

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