Archive for August, 2021

Six Signs of Good Quality Horse Hay

Friday, August 27th, 2021

Forage makes up between 50 and 90 percent or more of a horse’s diet. Much of the forage part of the diet comes in the form of hay. Because it’s such a big part of the ration, a good quality hay can help keep a horse healthy, while a poor quality hay can be detrimental. This is why, as nutritionists and horse owners, we put a big emphasis on the quality of hay we feed.

The nutritional value of hay is the most important factor when determining its quality. This begins with the stage of plant maturity at time of harvest. Young, immature plants contain more nutrients than older, stemmier plants. Though after hay is harvested, the level of horse hay quality goes beyond the age of the plant at harvest.

Identifying good quality hay for horses:

When selecting your horse’s forage, keep these six signs of good quality hay in mind:

1. High leaf-to-stem ratio 

Think about the leafy greens you eat. You likely prefer greens with leaves rather than just stems. The same is true for your horse. Look for more flat leaves in the hay and fewer round stems; this indicates the plant was less mature when cut. More leaves typically mean higher digestibility and nutrient content for your horse.

2. Small diameter stems

Stems smaller in diameter or finer are also indicators of higher quality horse hay. Small stems mean the plant was less mature when cut. To test stem size, grab a handful of hay and give it a squeeze. Good quality hay is soft and pliable, and feels good in your hand. If it feels like you’re squeezing a handful of sticks, it is not a good choice of hay to feed your horse.

3. Few seed heads or blooms

No matter the species of plant, hay with little to no seed heads or blooms indicates a younger, early maturity plant, and thus a higher quality hay. For example, timothy hay should be cut in the pre-bloom or early-bloom stage when you see little to no seed heads; and alfalfa should be cut when you see few to no blooms.

4. Fresh smell and appearance

On our farm, there’s nothing like haying season. We love the smell of fresh hay. The same is true for your horse. Good quality hay should have a fresh cut smell and appearance. Avoid musty, moldy or off-setting smelling hay, because it can reduce palatability and indicate poor quality.

5. Cleanliness

Hay should be primarily made up of the harvested forages. Look for a clean forage with little to no dust. Even if the majority of the hay is high quality, hays containing dirt, mold, weeds, trash or other foreign materials indicate poorer quality hay and may be unfit to feed to horses.

6. Hay Color

Good quality hay should be bright green in color with little fading. A bleached, yellow, brown or black color may indicate aged hay, mold or poor storage conditions. Storage condition and age have a significant effect on vitamin content of hays. Many vitamins, such as vitamins A and E, are not stable over time and lose biological activity. After approximately six months, almost all vitamin A and E activity levels are lost. The nutritional value of hay is compromised with increased exposure to heat, sunlight and rain, which speed up this process.

When good quality hay for your horse is scarce or too costly, you may need to compensate for poorer quality hay. You can do this by supplementing with a quality balanced horse feed. Hay balancers help provide the missing essential nutrients the horse requires in the diet. In some cases, they can replace hay in the diet entirely.

Equine feeds and supplements available at Kissimmee Valley Feed offer built-in forage for situations where hay is not available in a horse’s diet.

Article source: Purina Animal Nutrition

Closed Labor Day

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021
Sep
6

Closed Labor DayBoth Kissimmee Valley Feed Locations are closed Labor Day on Monday, September 6th, 2021. Labor Day means a day off for most and the beginning of hunting season!

Enjoy spending time with friends and family. We will reopen with our normal hours on Tuesday, September 7th. Stop by before then and stock up on animal supplies, feed and more!

Why Fat is Important for Performance Horses

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021

Fat is important for performance horses. The use of fat in the equine diet has a long history.  A very old book, Horse Secrets by A.S. Alexander, published in 1913, points out that horse traders knew back then that adding fat to the diet was beneficial for gaining weight and improving hair coat.  They may not have known why it worked, but they knew that it worked!

Horse Feed With High Fat Content – The Evolving Role of Fat: The Omega-6 and Omega-3 Ratio

Corn oil was an early oil source as it was available and palatable.  Flax seed also provided both fat and protein. Boil the flax seed . Boiling both softened the husk and eliminated anti-nutritional factors.

The use of vegetable oil as an energy source has become standard in horse feeds.  Animal fat sources, while used in early research, have pretty much been eliminated from use in horse feeds. This being primarily due to palatability and perception issues.

From an energy standpoint, all of the common vegetable oils are very similar.  More recently, considering the essential fatty acid content, particularly the Omega-6 and Omega-3 levels, has become important in selecting the oil source.  As with many things, balance along with quantity is important.

As grazing herbivores, horses are accustomed to the limited amount of fat (3-5%) found in forages, particularly fresh pasture, which is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, whereas oils from grains and seeds tend to be higher in Omega-6 fatty acids.

Scientists have not yet pinpointed the ideal total dietary intake or ratio of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids for horses.  Multi-species work has indicated that a ratio someplace between 2:1 and 10:1 is an acceptable Omega-6: Omega-3 ratio in a total diet.  This considers the higher Omega-3 content of forages and the higher Omega-6 content of grains and some vegetable oils

Omega-3 Benefits:

Dietary supplementation with Omega-3 fatty acid sources has been shown to provide numerous benefits to horses and other animals including:

  • Improved skin and hair coat quality
  • Decreased joint pain in arthritic individuals
  • Reproductive benefits
  • Reduction in risk of gastric ulcers
  • Anti-inflammatory effects

Better sources of Omega-3 areFlax seed, flax oil, soy oil and fish oil (limited use due to palatability).  Chia seed and oil may also be a useful source and other sources are becoming available.

The fat present in forages is balanced by feeds and supplements containing added oil . Which, subsequently, deliver balanced Omega-6 and Omega-3 levels in the total diet.

Here at Kissimmee Valley Feed, we are happy to lend our knowledge to maintain the perfect diet for your horses.

Source: Roy Johnson at HorseFeedBlog.com

September Astro Sales

Monday, August 23rd, 2021

Head on over to Kissimmee Valley Feed Store #2 to take advantage of these September Astro Sales. Savings valid at our 215 13th Street St. Cloud, FL 34769. Stock up and save today! Please note the varying expiration dates.

Victor Super Premium Dog Food – $5.00 OFF:
September-October 2021

  • Save $5.00 on 30lb and 40lb bags of Victor Select line and Realtree line. (Limit 10 per customer)

ZuPreem – $2.00 OFF:
September 2021

  • Get $2.00 off ZuPreem Blended Products (Limit 2 per customer).

Vetericyn – Dollars OFF:
September 2021

  • $5.00 off ALL-IN Dog Supplements in Puppy, Adult and Senior 90 Count.

Download the Astro Loyalty app to download coupons and see more specials!

September Astro Loyalty Sales are valid at our 13th Street, St. Cloud location only, while supplies last.

Store #2 30-Year Anniversary Specials

Monday, August 23rd, 2021

Store #2 30-Year Anniversary SpecialsCelebrate our 30-year anniversary with huge sales, raffles and giveaways at store #2! The 3-day sale is from September 30th-October 2nd. Store #2’s fundraiser will be for Happy Trails Animal Rescue,  a non-profit animal rescue organization serving the Orange, Osceola and Seminole county areas in Florida.. All proceeds from the raffle tickets will be donated to them. Raffle tickets will be on sale two weeks prior of sale for $1.00 a Piece.

Purchases made during the 3-day sale qualify for prize drawings. Earn additional entries by donating any monetary amount Happy Trails Animal Rescue.

Raffle prizes include:

  • Grandprize giveaway: Traeger Pro 22 Grill
  • 3 gifts certificates for $200.00
  • 1 10X10X6 Midwest chain link kennel
  • Table of various baskets

Specials:

DAY 1 – THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30th
  • Buy 3 dog or cat toys and get one free (same or lesser value)
  • 30% off all Wild Bird Seed (limit 2)
  • Buy 3 pet house candles get 1 50% off
  • 30% off all leashes, harnesses and collars
  • Baths $3 off
DAY 2 – FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1st
  • Buy 3 of any bulk biscuit or bulk seed and get 1# free
  • $3 of any 25# bag of Tropical bird food
  • 30% off all shampoos (limit 3)
  • $3 off all dog beds
  • 30% off all leashes, harnesses and collars
  • Baths $3 off
DAY 3 – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2nd
  • $3 off all chicken feed
  • Bulk treats, buy 3 get 1 free
  • Buy 3 bags of dog treats, get 1 free (same of lesser value)
  • Mealworms…1/2# for $3** While supplies last!
  • $3 off all bird feeders/houses
  • Flea pills, buy 3 get 1 free
  • Advantage and Advantix and Seresto collar $3 off
  • All cups and mugs 30% off
  • $3 off all small animal bedding
  • $3 off all small animal food
  • All 12# and larger dog and cat food $3 off
  • 30% off all electronic collars and fences
  • 30% off all leashes, harnesses and collars
  • Baths $3 off

In conclusion, please celebrate with us and enjoy our 2nd store’s 30-year anniversary specials! We look forward to seeing you!

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Main Store
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


Second Store
215 13th Street

St. Cloud, FL 34769

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Phone: 407-892-4040

Store Hours

Mon-Fri: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday: Closed