Archive for May, 2021

11 Tips to Curb Heat Stress in Cattle

Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

11 Tips to Curb Heat Stress in CattleWater, shade and the right nutrition can help mitigate heat stress in cattle.

The weather report says it’s going to be a scorcher, and sure enough – the temperatures start steadily climbing. Cattle start grouping in shady spots. A few cows start panting to stay cool. The flies settle in. And, suddenly, you’ve got a herd struggling with heat stress.

The heat may be unavoidable, but you can take proactive steps to mitigate its impact on your herd. First, let’s look at the dangers of heat stress in cattle.

When temperatures rise

Cattle have sweat glands, but it’s not a very efficient way for them to cool off. Instead, they rely on respiration, or opening their mouths and panting, to help them dissipate heat. When it’s 80 degrees or hotter out, their ability to regulate their own temperature becomes a big challenge. You start to see behavior changes – more time in the shade, less time grazing and increased water consumption.

To make the heat even more challenging:

  • A cow’s rumen activity naturally increases body heat. Fermentation occurs in the rumen, producing heat as bacteria break down and digest forages.
  • Cattle seek shade to help keep cool. Grouping up in the shade sometimes has the reverse effect and creates a lot of radiant heat between cows. The thermometer might read 90 degrees, but the temperature in the middle of the group could be much hotter.
  • Crowded cattle attract more flies, causing animals to move even closer together to protect themselves.
  • Animals with dark hides have a higher risk of suffering heat stress than those with lighter-colored hides.

Suddenly your herd feels overheated and cattle are less likely to graze.

When grazing stops

Forage is the number one nutrition source for cows on pasture. If they aren’t grazing as much during a heatwave, they’re probably not meeting their cattle nutrition requirements.

When cows don’t get adequate nutrition, they’re at risk of:

  • Losing body condition
  • Taking longer to rebreed
  • Producing less milk for their growing calf
  • Generating a weaker immune response to health challenges
  • Long-term fertility consequences

If cattle are too hot to graze, they may also be too hot to consume mineral at target intake levels. If you’re using a fly control mineral and intakes are below target levels, cows no longer benefit from it because they aren’t getting a full dose of fly control.

Curb heat stress in cattle by planning for proper shade, water and the right nutrition program.

11 hot weather tips for cattle

  1. Ensure access to fresh, clean water. A brood cow drinks 25 to 30 gallons of water on a normal day. She’ll drink even more in hot weather.
  2. Check water tanks often to make sure they are clean and free of contamination (algae, feces, organic material, etc.). You might need additional portable tanks to ensure adequate access.
  3. Place water tanks in shaded areas to keep water cool if possible. Keep waterers several feet away from buildings or fences, so cattle can access water from all sides.
  4. Offer supplements to help cows make the most of their forages. Accuration® Supplements with Intake Modifying Technology® helps feed necessary rumen microbes to keep cattle eating and encourages snack eating behavior.
  5. Choose a mineral designed for consistent consumption during hot weather, like Purina® Wind and Rain® Summer Season Mineral.
  6. Control flies to prevent further stress and grazing disturbance. Purina® Wind and Rain® Fly Control Mineral contains Altosid® IGR, an insect growth regulator offering a beneficial mode of action to deliver fly control via cattle nutrition. Consider Purina® Wind and Rain® Fly Control Mineral to stop the horn fly life cycle by preventing pupae from developing into biting, breeding adult flies.
  7. Supply ample shade. Whether it’s provided by trees, a manmade building or portable structures, shade is critical. It might be necessary to move cattle to a pasture with trees or additional shade.
  8. Strategically move rotational grazing herds to fresh pastures in the late afternoon/early evening instead of the morning. Cows will have access to fresh grass when temperatures are beginning to cool and will be more likely to graze.
  9. Work cattle as early in the day as possible when temperatures are lower.
  10. Don’t graze pastures short before moving cows to another. Pastures with taller, thicker grass feels cooler than pastures with short grass where more soil surface is exposed.
  11. Observe cattle frequently and take precautions when hot and humid weather is forecast.

Call or visit Kissimmee Valley Feed to find the right cattle feed and management plan for you!

Article sourced from: Purina

New Line of Products at KVF Store #1?

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021

Kissimme Valley Feed #1 is considering bringing a new line of products, made by Kalmbach Feeds, to our store.

Kalmbach Feeds is a customer-driven company that manufactures and sells top quality animal feed and custom nutritional products for all livestock and poultry species.

Listed below are some of the products KVF #1 is considering bringing in, but we need your help! Review the product information and let us know what YOU want to see on our shelves using the contact form below.

Kalm ‘N EZ® Pellet:

A low NSC pellet formulated for all classes of mature horses.

Features and benefits: 

  • No corn, oats, or molasses! Keeps sugar and starch levels low.
  • Higher fat and highly digestible fiber support calmer performances without loss of energy or condition.
  • Optimal balance of essential amino acids, organic minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants to support dietary requirements and peak performance.



A high fat, lower NSC pellet with higher antioxidant fortification for all classes of mature horses.

Feature and benefits:

  • Higher levels of Vitamin E to support immune and muscular systems.
  • High fat and highly digestible fiber for calmer performances without loss of energy or condition.
  • Optimal balance of essential amino acids, organic minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants to support dietary requirements and peak performance.


Senior Sport™:

A high fat, high fiber, low NSC textured feed.

Features and benefits:

  • High fat and highly digestible fiber support calmer performances without loss of energy or condition. May be used for total forage replacement.
  • Higher levels of Vitamin E to support immune and muscular systems.
  • Optimal balance of essential amino acids, organic minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants to support dietary requirements and peak performance.


Seniority™ Pellet:

A lower NSC pelleted complete feed designed for mature horses.

Features and benefits:

  • No corn formula results in lower sugar and starch levels.
  • May be used as a complete feed for total forage replacement.
  • Optimal balance of essential amino acids, organic minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants to support dietary requirements and peak performance.



Kalm Ultra®:

A high fat, pelleted feed formulated for mature horses.

Features and benefits:

  • Excellent for hard-keepers, horses in heavy work, and horses recovering from extreme weight loss.
  • High fat and highly digestible fiber support top performances without loss of energy or condition.
  • Optimal balance of essential amino acids, organic minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants to support dietary requirements and peak performance.


In conclusion, share your thoughts on which products would best serve you!

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    June Astro Loyalty Pet Specials

    Tuesday, May 18th, 2021

    astro loyalty specialsIt’s time to head on over to Kissimmee Valley Feed to take advantage of these June Astro Loyalty pet specials. Savings valid at our 215 13th Street St. Cloud, FL 34769. Stock up and save today! Please note the varying expiration dates. 


    • $2.00 OFF select Bird Diets:
      • Sensible Seed
      • Pure Fun
      • Smart Selects Bird Diets

    Valid until June 31st. Limited to 2 per customer.

    Pet Releaf:

    • Dollars OFF Oils and Select Edibites:
      • $2.00, $4.00 & $6.00 OFF USDA Organic Hemp Oils in 100 mg, 200 mg, and 500 mg
      • $1.00, $2.00, and $3.00 OFF Peanut Butter Carob Calming & Peppered Bacon Edibles in Trial Size, Small/Medium Breed, and Large Breed

    Valid until June 31st and IN-STORE only.

    Hurricane Prep for You and Your Pets

    Tuesday, May 18th, 2021

    HurricaneHurricanes are a common occurrence here in Florida. As a result, it’s important to make sure you and your pet are prepared in case there is a hurricane emergency. Subsequently, Kissimmee Valley Feed has a checklist for you:

    • Leash/Collar/ID Tags
    • Food/Bowls (Enough for two weeks)
    • Manual Can Opener
    • Medications (Enough for two weeks)
    • First Aid Kit
    • Pet Carrier
    • Calming Aids
    • Blankets/Bed
    • Crate
    • Portable Litter Box
    • Toys/Chews
    • Proof of Vaccinations
    • Microchip
    • Current Photo of Your Pet
    • Clean Up Supplies (Towels/Newspaper/Bleach)

    In addition, Kissimmee Valley Feed also has tips for Livestock Hurricane Prep.

    Above all, preparation can save you a lot of trouble down the road! In conclusion, we are offering 10% off crates for hurricane season. Visit one of our locations today to stock up!

    Feeding Your Performance Horse

    Monday, May 10th, 2021

    Performance HorseYour performance horse is an incredible athlete, and like any athlete, your horse’s nutrition plays a significant role in his ability to reach his full potential.

    A performance horse’s diet should be tailored to the horse’s individual needs based on certain factors. For example, the type and frequency of training, current body condition, and lifestyle. Here are some common nutrition objectives to consider when feeding your performance horse.

    Goals of Performance Horse Nutrition

    When making decisions about your performance horse’s nutrition, there are some basic goals to keep in mind regardless of the type of work your horse is doing. These include considerations such as:

    • Providing enough energy to sustain the workload.
    • Maintaining appropriate body condition and muscle mass.
    • Ensuring adequate forage intake for digestive tract health.
    • Supplying all required nutrients and replenishing those lost during performance.

    The products you feed your horse should achieve these goals through an appropriate balance of nutrients. The exact ratios of nutrients will vary between products. When deciding what products to give your performance horse, you’ll need to consider several components to determine whether it is right for your horse.


    The energy, or caloric content, of the performance horse diet is a delicate balance. A balanced diet for your horse should provide enough energy to keep the horse in good condition and to fuel the horse for extended exercise. Assessing the amount of energy your performance horse requires will be the first step in choosing an appropriate feed or supplement.

    Carbohydrates and fat are the most important sources of energy in a performance horse’s diet and are typically supplemented as part of the grain ration. All horses need these nutrients as part of a balanced diet, but the ratios required will vary depending on the type of work your horse is doing. Carbohydrates are the primary fuel for short, intense bursts of work, such as racing. Fats, on the other hand, provide sustained energy for endurance work such as eventing. Supplements could also help your horse maintain energy.


    Forage is the mainstay of any equine diet, yet is sometimes overlooked. High-quality forage is not only important for the health and function of the equine digestive tract but also provides other essential nutrients such as protein and carbohydrates. Although most performance horses rely on grain supplementation to meet their energy requirements, recent research has suggested that even performance horses doing intense work can be maintained on a forage-only diet if a high-quality, high-energy forage is used.

    Alfalfa and timothy hay are the most commonly used forages due to their palatability and availability. Alfalfa, in particular, offers a higher energy and protein content than many other forages. The types of forage available for your horse will vary depending on your geographic region, but it is most important to obtain a high-quality early cut. When traveling, be sure to bring plenty of your horse’s usual forage with you whenever possible to avoid abrupt dietary changes.


    Performance horses with heavy workloads typically require slightly more dietary protein than horses with a less active lifestyle. Protein is needed to maintain muscle mass and promote recovery after exercise. However, feeding too much protein may result in health problems and decreased performance. It is recommended that horses receive about 8-12% crude protein depending on their workload. Keep in mind that protein does not just come from grain; high-quality hay often contains as much protein as the grain ration while also providing appropriate forage for the horse.


    As a horse’s workload increases, the energy required to maintain that level of activity also increases. Horses with a moderate to high level of activity need more energy than can be provided by forage alone. Because of this, fat supplementation has become popular in many performance horse diets. A high-quality fat supplement, can provide additional calories to the feed, is highly digestible, and can also be a source of essential fatty acids. However, it takes time for horses to become adapted to fat supplementation, so gradual implementation is necessary.


    Electrolytes are especially important for performance horses. As a horse sweats during exercise, water, sodium, and chloride are lost from the body. If the horse becomes dehydrated, potassium may be lost as well. Ensuring adequate intake of these electrolytes both before and after exercise can support dehydration and promote water intake. Horses should always have free access to fresh water before and after exercise to maintain adequate hydration.

    Choosing the Best Feeds and Supplements for Your Horse

    Good nutrition is a complex subject and is especially crucial when fueling the performance athlete. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to performance horse nutrition, and your horse’s needs may change as his training advances. Your veterinarian is your best resource for more information on choosing an appropriate performance horse feed. By customizing your horse’s diet to meet his unique energy and nutrient requirements, you can help your horse be at his best no matter where he competes.

    Kissimee Valley Feed carries several different feeds and supplements, as well as hay, for Performance Horses, including Purina, Triple Crown and Patriot. Visit one of our locations to find the perfect feed for your Performance Horse!


    Article sourced from: vitaflex


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