Archive for January, 2023

What Do Baby Chicks Eat? Chick Starter Feed Is Key for Lifetime Success

Thursday, January 19th, 2023

What Do Baby Chicks Eat?What Do Baby Chicks Eat? Baby chicks grow quickly, doubling their hatch weight in the first week and growing up to seven times their hatch weight in the first month. To support this early growth, baby chicks should eat a complete starter-grower feed which contains the 38 unique nutrients they need to start strong and stay strong. A starter-grower feed with the Chick Strong® System helps raise strong chicks that grow into happy, healthy hens.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. No dessert before dinner. Eat your vegetables! Do you remember hearing these phrases at the dining room table while growing up? Although you may have hated brussels sprouts, these wise words had the best intentions: Eat healthy, so you can grow strong.

We give advice with the same intent to backyard chicken raisers.

Lifetime success begins on day one. It all starts with chick nutrition and care. Baby chicks need 38 unique nutrients to grow into happy, healthy hens. Each of these nutrients – and the proper balance of them – plays a role in growth, performance and flock happiness.

Raising baby chicks into happy, healthy hens starts on day one:

Your mother’s advice to eat more vegetables wasn’t just something to roll your eyes at. A balanced diet supports life-long health and well-being.

Industry research shows the long-term impact of early nutrition on lifetime health and performance.1 The same holds true for backyard chickens. Feeding chicks for a strong start can better equip them for a lifetime of success.2

Just like people and other animals, chicks need a strong start to grow into happy, healthy adults. Many people begin raising backyard chickens for farm fresh eggs, but before the first egg arrives, early chick nutrition is the foundation.

Early nutrition develops the digestive tract and builds a healthy immune system, ultimately improving chick growth.Providing chicks a complete starter-grower feed is key.

Chicks grow quickly, doubling their hatch weight in the first week and growing up to seven times their hatch weight in the first month. This early growth requires the correct balance of nutrients.

What to feed baby chicks:

Start your chicks strong by feeding a complete starter-grower feed from day 1 until the first egg arrives around week 18.

Each of these starter-grower feeds includes all 38 nutrients baby birds need to start strong and grow at the proper pace. Some nutrients directly impact bone, skeletal and chick growth while others work in tandem to support overall bird health and appearance.

Nutrients in Purina® complete starter-grower feeds include:

  • 18% protein and 1.25% calcium for bone and body growth
  • Prebiotics and probiotics for immune and digestive health
  • Amino acids for muscle and feather development
  • Marigold extract for brightly colored beaks, feet and legs and overall appearance
  • Phosphorous and trace minerals for bone strength
  • Vitamins A, D, E, K and B for overall health and growth
  • Continue feeding the same starter-grower feed from day 1 to week 18. We recommend waiting to introduce treats or scratch to the diet until week 18. If you are feeding a complete starter-grower feed, your chicks do not need grit. If you start chicks on a medicated starter-grower feed, keep feeding that same medicated feed until their first egg.

Most layer chick breeds will lay their first egg around week 18. At that time, transition to a complete Purina® layer feed to help hens lay strong.

In conclusion, visit Kissimmee Valley Feed for all your backyard flock’s needs! Check out our supplies here.

Article Source: Patrick Biggs for Purina Mills

12 Calving Season Essentials

Wednesday, January 4th, 2023

12 Calving Season Essentials12 Calving Season Essentials:

Start planning early for a seamless calving season.

Now’s the time to plan for spring calving and/or fall calving. Make sure you have a reliable team, including a trusted veterinarian on speed-dial.

Prepare a dedicated calving area with ample space that’s clean, dry and protected from the elements. And, stock up on these spring calving and fall calving season essentials.

1. NON-IRRITANT ANTISEPTIC AND EXTRA BEDDING

Protect newborn calves during calving season from disease-causing pathogens with a clean, dry environment.

2. CLEAN TOWELS

Calving season can be a messy business, be ready to clean it up.

3. IODINE, VACCINATIONS AND ANTIBIOTICS

Work with your vet to create or refine a spring calving or fall calving protocol for your operation.

4. OBSTETRICAL CHAINS, TWO HANDLES AND MECHANICAL CALF PULLERS

Keep these supplies on hand in case you need to pull a calf.

5. A CLEAN SURFACE FOR USED EQUIPMENT

Avoid having to pick up tools or equipment from soiled bedding.

6. DISPOSABLE OBSTETRICAL SLEEVES

Use a new pair every time.

7. LUBRICANT

Nothing fancy required. Get the job done with non-detergent soap and warm water.

8. A CALVING BOOK FOR RECORD-KEEPING

There’s no such thing as too many records, be ready on day one.

9. EAR TAGS AND A TAGGER

Add a spare tagger for good measure.

10. A SLED WITH ROPES AND A HEATER

Protect calves from the elements during extra cold winter weather.

11. COLOSTRUM REPLACER, ELECTROLYTES AND AN ESOPHAGEAL FEEDER

Ensure calves get the nutrition they need if the weather’s especially harsh, or if they can’t nurse their dam.

12. EXTRA COVERALLS AND BOOTS

Keep extra hats and gloves handy in case there’s unexpected cold weather.

Just like a well-planned calving season can support calf performance down the road, a balanced cow nutrition program can support breeding performance for years to come.

Don’t put cow nutrition on the back burner during calving season. Providing cows with the proper mineral now can pay dividends next year.

Feed a high-quality mineral year-round to build up mineral stores and prepare cows to breed back quickly. Consider a source with Availa 4® organic trace minerals, like Purina® Wind and Rain® Mineral to support cow nutrition. Visit a Kissimmee Valley Feed for all your calving needs.

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