Archive for November, 2021

Your Horse: Avoid Being Felled by Fall Founder

Monday, November 22nd, 2021

Avoid Being Felled by Fall FounderYour Horse: Avoid Being Felled by Fall Founder: If you’ve been involved with horses for any length of time, you’re no stranger to the anguish caused by laminitis. You may be aware of common causes of founder. For example: grain overload, endocrine disturbances, and overloading of supporting limbs, there’s one you may overlook: fall grazing.

Spring pastures contain high levels of sugar that can induce a bout of laminitis. However, a feeding frenzy in the fall could have the same effect.

Fall Founder:

“Some rain and a late-summer heatwave, especially after a long, dry summer, can cause pastures to have a growth spurt similar to what happens in the spring. These pastures can have high water-soluble carbohydrate levels, including both sugar and fructan, that may induce laminitis,” explained Catherine Whitehouse, M.S., a Kentucky Equine Research nutrition advisor. “Fall founder can also occur following the first frost.”

Cool-season forages such as tall fescue continue to grow late in the year, posing a risk for any horse or pony predisposed to developing laminitis. Further, cool-season grasses often experience a dramatic increase in sugar content after a frost.

“Grazing muzzles must be used for at-risk horses even in the fall to avoid pasture-associated laminitis,” Whitehouse said.

Management:

Using a research-proven buffer such as EquiShure will help minimize changes in hindgut pH, thereby stabilizing the intestinal microbiome.

Laminitis remains one of the most common reasons for euthanasia of horses. Above all, direct efforts at hoof health regardless of the season. One study* reports reasons related to euthanasia were attributed to disease stage, severity, and progression. For example, persistent lameness following a recent bout of laminitis commonly prompted owners to elect humane euthanasia.  A horse had a slow recovery from a laminitic episode. Some owners perceived their horses were at risk for future episodes and chose to euthanize.

“Owners were also more likely to elect humane euthanasia if slow recovery necessitated prolonged periods of time in a stall. Owners believed extended stall rest would negatively affect their horse’s psychological well-being and quality of life,” added Whitehouse.

Horses that have recovered from laminitis may benefit from a well-rounded hoof supplement. “Kentucky Equine Research offers high-quality products that include nutrients necessary for growth of strong, resilient hooves, such as biotin, zinc, methionine, and iodine,” shared Whitehouse.

In conclusion, do you have a specific question about your horse’s  health or diet? Visit Kissimmee Valley Feed today to check out our horse feed, hay and supplies!

Article Source: Kentucky Equine Research

*Pollard, D., C.E. Wylie, J.R. Newton, and K.L.P. Verheyen. 2020. Factors associated with euthanasia in horses and ponies enrolled in a laminitis cohort study in Great Britain. Preventative Veterinary Medicine 174:104833.

 

Tips for Raising Chickens in Winter

Friday, November 19th, 2021

Raising Chickens in WinterRaising chickens in winter can be a lot of fun. Some hens love wandering around the yard and their first snow sighting can be quite entertaining. A bird’s thick feathers are a natural protective coat. As a result, most breeds are well-equipped for winter.

Here are a few tips on how to care for chickens in the winter:

      1. How to keep chickens warm in winter:
        Do not add heat lamps. Chickens, especially cold-tolerant breeds, can withstand winter temperatures without supplemental heat. A chicken’s body temperature is around 106 degrees Fahrenheit, and they have their own protective layer of feathers to keep them warm.

        Most importantly, if you feel it is necessary to provide a source of heat, only provide enough heat to raise the temperature a few degrees. The hens will adjust to the cold temperature, but if it is 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the coop and 0 degrees Fahrenheit in the run, birds will not be able to regulate their body temperature.

      2. What to feed chickens in winter:
        A common myth is to feed oatmeal to birds in the winter. This is not a beneficial treat for chickens. Oats contain some types of fiber that chickens can’t digest which can cause the contents of the digestive tract to thicken. This leads to a reduction in the bird’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients. Greens are also unnecessary. Hens may pick at hay and spread it around, but they are not going to eat it.

        Feeding a complete layer feed like Purina® Layena®, Purina® Layena® Plus Omega-3 or Purina® Organic Pellets or Crumbles will provide the necessary nutrition hens need through the winter.

      3. Ensure feed and water isn’t frozen.
        Consider heated waterers. Feed and water birds more often when it’s below freezing. Energy needs increase in winter. Animals expend a considerable amount of energy to stay warm and will eat more feed. Complete layer feeds include all the energy hens need. The 90/10 rule still applies in winter.
      4. Allow exploration.
        Firstly, birds can tolerate snow, cold air and ice water. There is very little muscle in the lower part of bird legs and feet. Tendons control the movements. They stretch from the upper part of the legs down to the toes. Secondly, the blood entering the lower legs and feet are cooled by the blood returning to the heart. The blood going to the toes warms the blood returning. As a result, the tissue receives just enough heat to avoid frostbite while also being provided with enough oxygen to keep things functioning.
      5. Collect eggs more frequently.
        Temperatures below freezing result in frozen eggs. Moreover, as the egg freezes, the contents expand and will cause the egg to crack.
      6. Keep the chicken coop draft free.
        But don’t seal it completely. Some air needs to be exchanged to prevent ammonia build up. Open the top vent or higher windows slightly so fresh air can enter and stale air can exit.
      7. Keep the chicken coop dry.
        Remove any wet spots daily. Provide more bedding than you would in other seasons so birds have a place to burrow and stay cozy.
      8. Continue offering activities in the chicken coop.
        Hens will spend more time in the coop, so offer enrichment. For example, logs, sturdy branches or chicken swings can work well and place a Purina® Flock Block® supplement in the coop for a nutritious place to peck.

In conclusion, visit Kissimmee Valley Feed to treat your flock!

Article Source: Purina Mills

Ready to see the difference a complete feed can make in your flock? Sign up for Purina’s Feed Greatness® Challenge.

December Astro Sales

Thursday, November 18th, 2021

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

The Honest Kitchen – FREE Treat:
December 2021

Buy any two bags of our Cookies, Cod Crisps, Ocean Chews, and Purely One Fish Treats, Get 1 bag FREE!

Redbarn – 5.00 OFF
August – December 2021

Get $5.00 OFF all CHEW-A-BULLS Dental Treat Bags

NaturVet – $2.00 Dollars OFF
December  2021

Get $2.00 OFF all NaturVet Products (Limit 6 per customer)

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

Kamado Joe and Traeger Grills on Clearance

Thursday, November 18th, 2021

Grills on ClearanceKamado Joe and Traeger Grills are on Clearance as well as the brand’s grilling accessories! Kissimmee Valley Feed’s Second Store, located at 215 13th Street, St. Cloud, FL 34769, is hosting this deal. Head on over to that location and check out the grills and accessories on clearance.

To get a good idea of the product selection, click here.

 

How to Keep Grass Green in Winter

Thursday, November 11th, 2021

Green Grass in WinterWith a little preparation and winter grass seed, you can keep your grass green in winter. When you live in hot southern and southwestern climates, fall and winter temperatures bring welcome relief from summer heat. But cooler temps can put a damper on plans for outdoor fun when your lush lawn turns brown. But don’t cancel your plans to show off your yard — take steps to keep it green instead.

WHY SOME LAWNS TURN BROWN IN WINTER:

Lawn grasses go through predictable seasonal changes. Grasses like Bermudagrass, common in southern and southwestern lawns, are called warm-season grasses because they hit peak growth when temperatures are high. But the same grass in winter slows down and turns brown when temperatures drop. Even though your lawn looks dead, it’s not. Your winter grass has gone dormant until warm temperatures return.

In northern lawns, homeowners have the opposite situation. Their cool-season grasses peak in cool weather and sometimes go dormant in summer heat. In winter, they stay relatively green — even when blanketed with snow. Those cool-season ways hold the secret to keeping your southern or southwestern lawn green with winter grass seed.

WHY RYEGRASS IS BEST FOR KEEPING WINTER LAWNS GREEN:

Like trees, shrubs and other plants, lawn grasses differ in how fast they grow. Annual and perennial ryegrasses are the fastest germinating grasses among all common cool-season lawn grasses. That’s why they’re used for erosion control and quick green color while new lawns take hold. As a grass that grows in winter, ryegrass flourishes at temperatures that turn Bermudagrass brown.

To keep warm-season winter lawns looking green, lawn care pros (and savvy homeowners) do what’s called “overseeding” for temporary winter color. Overseeding is just like it sounds: You plant winter grass seed over your existing lawn. It’s similar to overseeding to make thin lawns thick again.

The cool-season ryegrass keeps winter lawns green. When warm temperatures return, ryegrass dies out and lets your lush Bermudagrass take center stage.

HOW AND WHEN TO PREPARE YOUR LAWN FOR WINTER GRASS SEED:

When green winter grass is your goal, overseed your lawn in fall when your existing warm-season grass starts to lose its green color. Most southern lawn owners log this on their warm-season lawn care calendar for early to mid-September. Wait until your nighttime temperatures consistently stay below 65 degrees Fahrenheit — prime time for ryegrass to take off. Avoid all weed killers for at least three weeks before overseeding.

Set your mower blade as low as it goes, then mow to “scalp” your lawn and cut grass right above the soil level. You want the soil exposed and ready for winter grass seed. Use a bag to collect all your clippings. Then use a metal rake and gently loosen soil so it’s ready to receive seed.

HOW AND WHEN TO SEED YOUR LAWN WITH WINTER GRASS SEED:

Once your lawn is prepped, you’re ready to plant your winter grass seed. Always choose a premium ryegrass seed such as Pennington Smart Seed Perennial Ryegrass or Pennington Annual Ryegrass Grass Seed. By buying the best grass seed for your lawn, you can make sure you get the quick green color and lush winter lawn you desire.

Use a regular lawn spreader to apply the seed evenly at the overseeding rate listed on the seed label. With Pennington Fairway Supreme Perennial Ryegrass Blend with Fertilizer, you get premium ryegrass enhanced with fertilizer, designed especially with overseeding warm-season Bermudagrass lawns in mind.

Once you’re through seeding, gently rake again. This helps ensure your winter grass seed makes good contact with your soil.

HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR GREEN WINTER GRASS:

Watering is the most important step in keeping your winter grass green. Give your newly seeded lawn light, daily waterings — twice a day if needed — so soil stays consistently moist. Continue until ryegrass sprouts and grows about 2 inches tall. Under proper conditions, ryegrass typically germinates in seven to 10 days. Once established, lawn grasses need about 1 inch of water per week from irrigation or rainfall combined.

Start to mow once your green winter grass reaches 3 inches tall. That’s one-third higher than its recommended mowing height. While that’s taller than Bermudagrass, the extra height helps ryegrass look its best. Always use best practices for how to mow your lawn and follow a regular lawn maintenance schedule. Avoid all weed control products until you mow your green winter grass three to four times.

When cool temperatures make your lawn brown, turn it green again with these simple steps for rich, green grass from winter grass seed. At Pennington, we’re dedicated to helping you grow a beautiful lush green lawn — wherever you live. We’re here to help you grow and succeed.

Check out Kissimmee Valley Feed’s Lawn and Garden product selection to help keep your yard in tip-top shape in every season.

Article Source: Pennington

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