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Ask the Experts!

Tuesday, September 29th, 2020

Your top Purina® Wind and Rain® Fly Control Mineral questions, answered.

Q: When should I stop feeding fly control mineral this fall?

Feed Purina® Wind and Rain® Fly Control Mineral with Altosid® Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) through summer, until 30 days after the first frost in the fall.1 Keeping fly control mineral out long enough in the fall is just as important to control flies as providing it early enough in the spring (30 days before the last frost).

Q:Why keep feeding if fly populations are declining?

Keeping it out 30 days after the first frost in fall gives you a head start on controlling next year’s fly populations. Horn flies overwinter (hibernate) in the pupal stage which can jump-start adult populations in the spring. Using it longer in the fall decreases the opportunity for flies to overwinter below manure patties because Altosid® IGR stops horn fly development. That means those eggs can’t develop into adult flies. If you don’t keep fly control mineral out for 30 days after the first frost, you also risk temperatures bouncing back and allowing more fly generations to survive.

Q: How do I transition cattle off?

Switching between mineral formulas is simple – just fill the feeder or set out a tub of the new mineral once it’s gone. All Wind and Rain® minerals feature a special formulation to help cattle consume mineral at target intake levels. At the same time, the weatherized mineral’s large particle size holds up to mother nature for a smooth transition, anytime

Q: Will it negatively impact cattle if I feed too long?

Wind and Rain® Fly Control Mineral functions via Altosid® IGR passing into the manure to stop horn fly development. Cattle do not absorb IGR into their bloodstream, so they’re not negatively impacted by continual consumption. However, depending on your location, it might not make economic sense to feed the mineral after cattle no longer need it. Alternately, if you live in a southern state, consider offering it year-round since fly season lasts so long. Using the same mineral all year can also simplify your mineral program.

Q: How can I make the most of fly control mineral through fall?

Ensure cattle are consuming mineral at target levels. If cattle aren’t consuming enough of the mineral, they won’t get the full benefits. Consider these tips if consumption is off, and work with your Purina rep or dealer to troubleshoot:

  • Use enough mineral feeders or tubs. A good rule of thumb is one tub or mineral feeder for every 25-30 cows. Always review manufacturer recommendations. ƒ
  • Strategically place mineral feeders and tubs to encourage consumption. For example, cattle will likely cover more grazing ground as weather cools off. Consider repositioning mineral closer to high-traffic areas, like water sources, which cattle return to regularly. ƒ
  • Check mineral tubs or feeders every week. Make sure feeders are full and tubs still have enough product, so cattle don’t miss a day of fly control mineral.

Click here to see our selection.

article thanks to Elizabeth Belew, Ph.D. and Purina. Get more expert advice to beat the buzz at purinamills.com/fly-control.

Want More Productive Cows?

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

Focus on replacement heifer development for more productive cows

Replacement heifer nutrition and management can impact your cow herd for generations.

Think of the most valuable cows in your herd. What makes them stand out?
They probably…

  • Stay in good body condition
  • Breed back early in the breeding season
  •  Calve without difficulty
  • Wean a heavy, healthy calf…

and they do it all consistently, staying in the herd for many years as a profitable cow. But, let’s take it back a life stage. Your most valuable and productive cows all started as replacement heifers. Set heifers up for long-term success in the cow herd with these tips:

Select the right replacements

Use visual appraisal. Look for fertile, easy-fleshing females. A heifer that’s easy-fleshing stays in good body condition score (BCS), and if she stays in good BCS, she has better odds of getting bred earlier.

Identify older heifers. Older heifers are typically the offspring of cows that calved early in the breeding season, which can imply that those heifers are fertile like their dams.

Refer to calving records. Without records, we tend to select heifers that are bigger, not necessarily older. If large heifers are consistently selected as replacements, you might end up with cows that are too big for their environment. Large cows can also require more supplemental feed to breed back promptly and raise their calves.

Take reproductive tract scores 45 days before breeding. Work with a veterinarian to score reproductive tracts. Cull the heifers scoring below a 3 on the 1 (immature or infertile) to 5 (cycling) scoring scale. Heifers that score a 4 or 5 are ideal replacement heifers.

Set heifers up for success

Target proper weights. Once you select your replacements, aim for them to reach 60-65% of their mature weight at breeding (around 14-15 months of age). Research has shown you could sacrifice conception rates and longevity if heifers are below 55% of mature weight at breeding.1

Monitor growth rates. Heifers should grow 1.25-1.5 pounds per head per day from weaning until first breeding to meet target weights. Monitor heifer weights to ensure they’re on track.

Provide nutrition to hit growth rates. Select high-energy nutrition, like Purina® Accuration® supplements with Intake Modifying Technology®, to complement your forages and help provide predictable intake that delivers targeted gains. Depending on weather and forage conditions, spring-born heifers require 4-8 pounds of supplemental nutrition per day.

Don’t forget about mineral. Offer Purina® Wind and Rain® Mineral year-round to build mineral reserves ahead of high mineral requirements during pregnancy and at calving.

Choose the right environment. Develop heifers in the same environment that they’re going to work in as productive cows. If you have pasture and forage available to develop heifers, that’s the way to go.

Consider breeding heifers earlier. Heifers then get 20 to 30 days extra to come back into estrus and breed back with the mature cow herd.

Focus on nutrition during the first pregnancy

Maintain high-quality nutrition. Bred heifers have increasing nutritional needs throughout gestation. They’re eating to nourish a fetus and to grow to 85% of their mature weight by first calving. Continue offering supplemental nutrition, like Accuration® Liquid supplement or Accuration® Range Supplements, designed to match bred heifer requirements with changing forage conditions.

Keep your eye on shifting targets. Target heifers to be around 85% of their mature weight and in a BCS 6 at calving. Score heifers 90 days before calving to allow adequate time to help heifers add body condition if needed. Research shows heifers in proper BCS at calving have optimized rebreeding success. Conversely, heifers with inadequate body condition at calving can have a 24% reduction in rebreeding success.2

Develop a customized replacement heifer nutrition program at Kissimmee Valley Feed.

Article brought to you by N.T. Cosby, Ph.D., Senior Cattle Nutritionist, Purina Animal Nutrition

October 2020 Specials

Wednesday, September 16th, 2020
Check out the October 2020 Specials at Kissimmee Valley Feed Check out Kissimmee Valley Feed’s October 2020 specials for you. These specials, starting October 1st through October 31st include $3 off Vetericyn Plus Wound, Skin, Eye and Ear care, $5 off Carefresh Large Bedding, and $2-$7 off all Acana kibble. For all of these savings, you must sign up with Astro, which is free of charge. You can also stop by on Halloween (10/31) to save up to $1 on all dog and cat treats.

Vetericyn will be $3 off Vetericyn Plus Wound, Skin, Eye and Ear care 10/1-10/31

Whether it’s helping cuts or hot spots heal, soothing irritated eyes and ears, cleaning the coat, or nourishing vital systems, pet owners trust Vetericyn for at-home animal care. Vetericyn is committed to developing the safest, most effective, and innovative animal wellness products in the world. Their goal is to manufacture their product in the USA while adhering to the highest and strictest quality guidelines in the animal industry. Their line of safe, effective, cutting-edge animal wellness products helps pet owners and veterinarians around the world take better care of animals.
This special requires enrollment in our free Astro Loyalty program.

Carefresh Large Bedding is $5 off 10/1-10/31

Carefresh Bedding makes the softest, driest, most comfortable home for your pet. Only carefresh® is made from scratch with pillowy soft, ultra-absorbent comfyfluff™ designed specifically for small pets. Unlike other bedding, we make our own paper using a raw, natural fiber obtained directly from the source to ensure your small pet lives a happy, healthy, and loveable life.

The special requires enrollment in our free Astro Loyalty program. Carefresh Bedding is part of our frequent buyer program (via Astro Loyalty).

All Acana kibble is $2-$7 off  through 10/31

Acana makes Biologically Appropriate dog and cat foods from Fresh Regional Ingredients and they make them from start to finish in their very own award-winning kitchens. We think you’ll love ACANA. More importantly, we think your dogs and cats will too.

The special requires enrollment in our free Astro Loyalty program. Acana is part of our frequent buyer program (via Astro Loyalty).

All dog and cat treats are a $1 off on 10/31

Trick or Treat! To celebrate the spooky season, KVF is offering $1 off of all dog and cat treats. Let your furry friend take part in the Halloween festivities by buying them treats too.

Be sure to stop by Kissimmee Valley Feed Store #2 during the month of October for these specials!

Halloween Pet Costume Contest

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020
Oct
31
9:00 am

Join Kissimmee Valley Feed Store #2 for a Halloween pet costume contest! We invite you to bring your costumed pets and kiddos to the store for fun on Saturday, October 31st, 2020, between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. We’ll award a prize for the best costume, all pets in costume can enter. A random drawing will determine the winner.

Contest Rules: KVF $5 coupon good for a future visit and valid with pet photo and permission to use on Social Media Platforms. Need not be present to win. Photos judged at 4 pm- winners receive a KVF $25 gift certificate.

Also, Take advantage of special pricing on Pet Treats at the store throughout the day.

All dog and cat treats will be $1 off on Halloween!

The costume contest is held at our Kissimmee Valley Feed store #2 located at 215 13th Street, Saint Cloud, FL 34769.

Arrival of Show Pigs

Saturday, August 22nd, 2020

Arrival of Show PigsWorking on a show pig project? Show pigs arrive at Kissimmee Valley Feed on October 5th at 4:00 pm.  This is your opportunity to hand-pick your piglet. The show pigs arrive on the trailer at 4:00 pm. Make sure you set your alarms to be on time.

Lyons Show Pigs have generously agreed to supply us with a top-quality selection. They are one of the best producers in the industry, we are confident that your blue ribbon winner is on its way! In order to get your name on the list, please fill out the attached form below. Forms are also available at the store. Registration opens August 26 and closes September 26. You must reserve your spot before the deadline closes.

This year the total for your show pig is $260. This includes your pig and a first free bag of show pig feed of your choice. You may either pay in full or submit your deposit of $130. The final payment is due on the date when you pick up your piglet. No exceptions. If you have any questions, give us a call at (407) 957-4100.

We look forward to supplying you with the highest quality feed and supplies and supporting each of our customers from start to finish. New to the show ring? Welcome! We can’t wait to see the final outcome in February. Check out our list of products here.

Click here to download the Show Pig Order Form.

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