Archive for the ‘Chickens’ Category

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

Winterize Your Chicken Coop

Thursday, November 10th, 2022

winterize your chicken coopIt’s time to winterize your chicken coop. Winter is upon us and egg production tends to slow down in late fall due to the shorter days. Lighting is a huge component to this decrease as well as the temperature drop. A laying hen’s endocrine system is stimulated by light so the shorter days slow egg production or can stop it completely. Some flock owners look at winter as a dormant break for their laying hens.  Other owners like to keep the production throughout the winter months. In order to do this, hens need more than 14 hours of light during the day.

Lighting:

A nine-watt compact fluorescent bulb is all that’s needed for a typical backyard coop. Plug the light into a timer and have it come on early enough in the morning to give the birds 15 hours of daylight, and egg production will be improved through the shorter days of winter.The light needs to light up the largest area possible. Clean the lamps once a week to keep them clean to output as much light as possible.

Heat Lamps:

Start this process in late fall since the lighting changes at that time. Make sure to hang the lamp or bulb up in the coop where the chickens can’t snuggle up to the lamp and cinge their feathers. Make sure the light reaches the whole coop and offers heat throughout.

Other Tips on Winterizing:

Keep the coop dry and clean. The best way to do this is to keep make sure the coop will not have standing water if rain comes. Make sure to replace the bedding with dry bedding each week.

Bedding also provides insulation for the chickens. Cover large holes where drafts or critters can enter. Be careful not to cover up all the holes so proper ventilation can occur.

Freezing temperatures can freeze up the water source. Think about getting a heated water source or pour fresh water each day.

It’s important to gather eggs daily because those can freeze as well.

Throw down extra feed or corn before they head to roost at night. This will provide energy and keep them warm at night.

Your flock needs some time and attention during the winter months to keep up with egg production. The extra work is worth it! You’ll have a full carton of eggs all winter!

Visit Kissimmee Valley Feed and check out our poultry supplies online to get a happy and healthy flock!

 

Trick or Treat, Give Your Chickens Something Good to Eat!

Tuesday, October 11th, 2022

A chicken in the foreground with pieces of pumpkin in the background.Trick or Treat, Give Your Chickens Something Good to Eat! There is a cool breeze in the air and the leaves are starting to turn rich hues in many parts of the country. Yes, fall is upon us. It’s that wonderful time of year that brings us many bountiful tidings, including pumpkin spice-everything, hay rides and trick or treater’s. But what does the fall season mean for your chickens? The answer, is likely already a part of your seasonal tradition!

If you are getting ready to carve those annual jack-o-lanterns, you can cringe a little less when scooping the slimy goo of seeds out, because it can serve a purpose this year! The guts of your pumpkins are in-fact a delicious treat to your chickens. Aside from your guys and gals loving the flavor of pumpkin contents, they are loaded with some great nutrients. Pumpkins contain vitamins A, B and C, as well as zinc. Vitamin E can also be found in the seeds. In addition, you can feed all parts of the pumpkin to chickens, just make sure the rinds are cut up some so they can easily eat.

After all the little ghosts and goblins have stopped by, you can even feed the jack-o-lanterns to your chickens! Just make sure there is no molding on the inside or outside. So get to carving, your ladies and gentlemen are awaiting a treat!

Stop by Kissimmee Valley Feed to check out our fantastic backyard flock selection!

Article Source: “Trick or Treat, Give Your Chickens Something Good to Eat!” by GINA THESING for Nutrena’s Scoop from the Coop

Summer Flock Care: How to Keep Chickens Cool

Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

Summer Flock Care: How to Keep Chickens Cool! Summer is a time for fun, adventure and excitement – for both backyard chicken raisers and their flocks. To keep birds cool in the summertime, provide fresh, cool water for hydration, maintain chicken coop ventilation and choose a layer feed with the Purina® Oyster Strong® System to help your hens lay strong and stay strong.

As humans, our habits change in the summer. We adapt to stay comfortable. By providing our backyard chickens the tools they need, they can also adapt and enjoy the sunshine. The summertime essentials are similar for both humans and backyard flocks: stay hydrated, protect yourself from the heat and maintain a complete and balanced diet.

Many people don’t realize that birds are unable to sweat. To cool down, they open their beaks and pant or spread their wings away from their bodies. If these cooling strategies are not enough, birds are more likely to become lethargic and may stop eating feed, which can lead to subsequent health challenges and reduced egg production.

We want to avoid these signs of heat stress by preventing problems before they begin. With the right care, birds will maintain their routines of foraging, pecking and chattering throughout the day.

Hydration is key: Provide the right chicken waterer

Staying hydrated in the summer is a clear choice for humans. As temperatures rise, a good rule for people toHow to Keep Chickens Cool follow is to calculate half your body weight in pounds and drink the equivalent number of ounces of water.

For our backyard chickens, the practice should be similar: Clean, cool water is essential. Follow the general rule of providing 500 milliliters of fresh water per bird per day. This equates to one gallon for every seven adult birds.

Drinking water helps cool a chicken’s body temperature. In high temperatures, chickens will drink up to twice as much water as during temperate conditions. If birds do not have quality water, they are less likely to eat or lay eggs.

Here’s how to keep chickens cool through hydration:

  • Provide extra waterers so each bird always has access.
  • Place waterers in a shaded area to help keep the water cool and the coop dry.
  • Offer fresh, cool water in the morning and evening.
  • Freeze water in a storage container. Place the resulting ice in the chicken waterer in the morning to keep the water cool.
  • Place marbles in waterers to prevent splashing.
  • Wash waterers weekly with a mixture of 10 percent bleach and 90 percent water. Rinse thoroughly.

Watch this video for tips on how to choose the best chicken waterer for your flock:

Chicken body temperature: Keep it in check

Think of your most recent day in the sun. You likely incorporated a few cooling practices to maintain an adequate body temperature and avoid heat stress.

A consistent body temperature is equally important for backyard flocks. Normal chicken body temperature is between 105 – 107 degrees Fahrenheit. If a bird’s body temperature climbs, it can cause a lasting strain. Create a cool and comfortable environment for your flock to enjoy.

Use these tips for keeping chickens cool and comfortable in warm weather:

  • Provide shade by placing roofs on the run or shade cloths over the door. Add misters outside of the chicken coop that spray onto the roof or shade cover for evaporative cooling.
  • Create adequate air flow to maintain chicken coop ventilation. Open all windows and roof vents to allow hot air and ammonia to escape. Add a small fan for air circulation.
  • Swap solid chicken coop doors with screen doors and keep lights off during the day. Reduce bedding to two inches or less to avoid heat being trapped.
  • Provide a peat moss dust bath for your backyard chickens to play in. If mites are a concern, switch to a mix of 90 percent peat moss, 10 percent diatomaceous earth.
  • Avoid overcrowding by providing at least 4 square feet of indoor space and 5 – 10 square feet of outdoor space per bird.

 

What to feed chickens in the summer

It can be argued that fresh-from-the-garden fruits and vegetables, summertime snacks and potluck picnics are true summer highlights. But, no matter the treat, it’s important to maintain a balance.

Summer is perfect for spending time in the backyard with your flock and giving them a few indulgent snacks, but don’t forget the 90/10 rule: 90 percent complete feed and 10 percent healthy treats or snacks!

Choose a layer feed with the Purina® Oyster Strong® System to help your hens lay strong and stay strong. Which layer feed Oyster Strong® System is right for your flock?

To help keep your flock’s diet in balance:

  • Give fresh complete chicken feed in the morning and evening in a shaded area, offering treats only after the flock has finished its complete feed.
  • Offer cold or frozen fruits and vegetables as a summertime treat.
  • Provide special treats such as Purina® Flock Block® or hen treats as a complement to a complete feed. Treats formulated specifically for birds can provide beneficial nutrients while keeping birds active.
  • Offer oyster shell to help maintain calcium intake and eggshell quality when birds may be eating less due to heat.
  • Provide at least six inches of feeder space per bird.

Summer heat tends to reduce feed intake, so the complete chicken feed should be the first dietary priority. When birds have a balanced diet, plenty of water and a cool, comfortable environment, they are better able to remain healthy and productive and enjoy a fun and peaceful backyard summer.

In conclusion, visit Kissimmee Valley Feed for poultry care!

Resources:

Patrick Biggs, Ph.D. for Purina Mills

How Do Chickens Lay Eggs? Understanding Your Egg-Laying Chickens

Thursday, May 5th, 2022

How Do Chickens Lay EggsHow Do Chickens Lay Eggs? Understanding Your Egg-Laying Chickens: Egg-laying chickens lay up to one egg per day at their peak. But how do chickens lay eggs? And how often do chickens lay eggs? The process takes 24 – 26 hours per egg. Eggs form from the inside out. They start with the egg yolk, egg white and egg shape.

Most flock raisers will tell you there’s something special about walking to the backyard and grabbing a few eggs for breakfast. Farm fresh eggs are protein-packed gifts. Families diving into self-sufficiency know this and love this.

But how often do chickens lay eggs? And how do chickens lay eggs? The magic behind each farm fresh egg is a 24-to-26-hour process, with much of the work happening overnight. At their peak, laying hens can lay up to one egg per day.

How do chickens lay eggs?

The biggest involvement for your hen is creating the eggshell. The shell defends the yolk from harmful bacteria and keeps the chick or yolk safe. Hens spend much of the egg formation process making sure the calcium-rich shell is strong and protective. When the lights are off and the hens are sleeping, that’s when most of this internal work happens.

The fact that shells are created at night is clear when looking at the egg formation timeline. For example, if a hen started the process at 7 a.m., she would create the eggshell starting around 12 p.m. She’d continue for 20 hours during the evening and through the night.

To ensure your laying hens achieve a consistent supply of calcium through a blend of oyster shell, vitamin D and manganese, all Purina® premium layer feeds are infused with the Oyster Strong® System. This exclusive system utilizes larger particles of oyster shell to provide a slow and steady release of calcium during the night when hens are forming eggshells. Vitamin D is like the taxi that gets the calcium into your hen’s bloodstream where it’s needed, while manganese helps strengthen and create the structure of the egg.

Here is an approximate timeline for how an egg is formed:

Yolk release (1/2 hour):

Each female chick is born with thousands of immature yolks, known as chicken ova. For most chickens, the ova begin to develop into yolks when the hen is 18 weeks old. Once a yolk has been selected to develop, it spends the next 10 days growing. When it is time for the yolk to be released, it breaks out of its protective membrane and drops into the infundibulum or the beginning of the oviduct. This release takes about half an hour.

Initial egg white is created (3 hours):

First, as the egg enters the hen’s reproductive tract, the egg white begins formation, starting with a clear, protective yolk casing called the vitelline membrane. Second, when entering the magnum, layers of thick and thin proteins, known as the albumen, create the egg white. Third, as the contents travel down the oviduct, they spin. This spinning motion causes the formation of the chalazae or the white, stringy pieces you see in an egg. The chalazae’s role is to keep the egg yolk in the center of the egg instead of sticking to the shell.

Egg shape is formed (1 hour):

Just before the egg enters the shell gland, it spends an hour in the isthmus. While there, the inner and outer shell membranes are added around the albumen and the contents begin to take on the oval shape you expect.

Eggshells are formed (20 hours):

The most significant piece of the egg formation process happens in the uterus or “shell gland” of the hen. The developing egg spends about 20 hours in the shell gland. The shell forms there. Eggshell color is added during the last 5 hours.

The shell formation takes the most amount of time to complete. It is important that the hen is fed a diet that contains the proper nutrition, so she has the nutrients needed to make the eggshell as strong as possible. A solid shell is the best defense against bacteria that will try to get inside the egg.

Eggshell formation requires about 4 grams of calcium per shell; 2 grams of which must come from the hen’s diet. Hens that lack proper calcium levels typically produce soft or brittle eggshells. Sometimes an improper calcium balance can cause hens to pull calcium from their bones to produce eggshells, weakening their overall skeletal structure.

Kissimmee Valley Feed can help you learn more about How Chickens Lay Eggs and how to insure proper nutrients.Visit us! We are open Mon-Fri: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm and Sat: 8:00 am – 2:00 pm at our Main Store at 1501 Eastern Ave. You can also contact us by phone at 407-957-4100. We are open Mon-Fri: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm and Sat: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at Store #2 at 215 13th Street. You can contact us by phone at 407-892-4040.

Article Source: Purina Mills

Navigation



Share this page

Calendar

February 2023
No event found!

Quick Info


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

Contact Info

Phone: 407-892-4040

Store Hours

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