Archive for August, 2023

Preparing Your Animals for Breeding Season

Thursday, August 24th, 2023

Preparing Your Animals for Breeding Season: photo of a baby goat peering over a fence.Preparing Your Animals for Breeding Season: Breeding season is a crucial time for animal owners, full of possibilities and excitement. However, it can also be a challenging period, especially if you are new to the process. Getting your animals ready for breeding takes careful planning and consideration. Ensuring your animals are healthy and in top condition is vital to a successful breeding season. Whether you’re a seasoned breeder or a newcomer, we have put together a guide to help you prepare for the breeding season ahead. We also carry feeds for all animals, small and large; livestock or pets.

Schedule a Pre-Breeding Checkup

The first and foremost step to begin preparing your animals for breeding season is to schedule a pre-breeding checkup with a reliable veterinarian. The vet will examine your animals, perform any necessary tests, and give you a clean bill of health for them. Ensure all vaccinations are up-to-date and administer any necessary medications under the vet’s guidance. Also, while you’re at it, ask the veterinarian for advice on how to prepare your animals for the coming breeding period.

Ensure Proper Nutrition

A well-balanced and nutritious diet is critical to success during breeding season. Ensure your animals are fed high-quality forage, plenty of clean water, and a complete and balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. Feed them food rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals as it will help to maintain their body condition and boost their reproductive health.

Maintain Optimum Health

Maintaining optimum health is key to the preparation of your animals for breeding season. Ensure that the living environment is suitable and clean for your animals. Any external parasites such as lice and flies can lead to health issues. Take the appropriate measures to eliminate these parasites. Additionally, be sure to give your animals exercise to strengthen their stamina and maintain their physical health.

Plan for Newborns Arrival

Breeding is the start of a new life, and it should be a planned event. You need to plan for the newborn animals’ arrival, including space, food, and other necessary items. Ensure that a designated area or pen is prepared, and it has all needed supplies and equipment, such as heat lamps, colostrum replacers, resuscitation equipment, or foaling kits on hand. Plan for transportation and have a backup plan in place.

Keep Accurate Breeding Records

Keeping accurate breeding records is crucial to the success of any breeding program. You should track breeding dates, gestation periods, births, and any offspring’s health. Accurate records will help you identify patterns, identify any potential issues or trends, and make improvements in your breeding program.

Breeding season can be an exciting and challenging time for animal owners. However, with careful planning and consideration, you can ensure that your animals are healthy and prepared to create offspring that will be productive and generous in the future. Work with a vet, maintain proper nutrition, keep optimum health, plan for the newborn’s arrival, and track accurate records for a successful breeding season.

The Molting Process

Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

The Molting ProcessAhh, the molting process. Shorter days and cooler temperatures…For people, it’s a sign that it is back to school time and fall. To chickens, it’s a sign that it is time to renew their feathers. Losing feathers and re-growing them is called molting and occurs every year when the days get shorter.

During molt, chickens typically stop laying eggs and use this time to build up their nutrient reserves. Even though they are not laying, it is critical that your chickens have a high quality diet during this time.

Feeding a high quality ration such as NatureWise Feather Fixer™ during molt will help your birds get through the molting process and back to laying eggs as quickly as possible. Feather Fixer™ is a unique and innovative life-stage product that can also be fed year round if desired. It has elevated levels of protein as well as a mix of vitamins, minerals and amino acids that help maintain healthy skin and develop strong and beautiful new feathers.

Top tips for feeding through the molt:

  • Feed a high protein feed like NatureWise Feather Fixer that is a complete feed, so you don’t have to worry about feeding other protein supplements to feed along with layer feed during molt.
  • Make feed available free choice
  • Limit scratch to 10% of diet during molt so you don’t dilute the protein content of the ration
  • Molting and growing new feathers requires a lot of energy. Feathers are 85% protein… so be sure your birds’ diet includes a highly nutritious feed like NatureWise or Country Feeds that consists of at least 16% protein, or ideally, the higher protein NatureWise Feather Fixer. You don’t need to add medications or other vitamins if you’re feeding one of these feeds.
  • Just as your chickens have individual personalities, they will go through molt differently as well. Some lose a few feathers and grow them back in as quickly as 3-4 weeks. Other chickens lose a lot of feathers and take 12-16 weeks to grow them back.

Other tips for helping chickens get through molting:

  • Reduce stress as much as possible, avoid bringing new birds into the flock if possible
  • Chickens should act normal during their molt – if they seem sick, something else is wrong
  • Both roosters and hens go through molt
  • Avoid handling your chickens during molt, it is painful for them and increases stress

Chickens will lose feathers in a sequence starting with the head and neck and then down the back, across the breast and thighs and finally their tail feathers. The new feathers that emerge are called pinfeathers and will grow in following the same sequence they were lost.

So don’t panic when your chickens start losing their feathers and stop laying eggs. Molting is a normal and natural process of shedding feathers and re-growing them that all chickens go through. The best thing you can do to help your chickens through molt is to feed a high quality, high protein layer feed.

In conclusion, visit Kissimmee Valley Feed for all things chicken!

Article source: Nutrena World

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