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Don’t let weather impact calf development

More than 75% of fetal calf growth occurs in the last trimester, due in part to the rapid growth of a calf’s tissues.

For many beef producers the period of rapid development also coincides with extremely variable weather conditions that often include rain, wind, sleet and snow. These conditions not only put a drain on cows energy stores, but may also have adverse effects on the quality of your mineral sources.

Minerals play a critical role in calf growth and development, particularly during the final trimester. Mineral deficiencies can lead to small or weak calves, decreased milk production, reduced or later conception, and poor immunity, ultimately leading to reduced weaning weights. For instance, copper and zinc play a role in immune function, so if a cow is shorted on copper and/or zinc the calf could potentially have health issues later on. The challenge is to overcome the elements to meet the needs of the cow and her developing calf.

A balanced, weatherized mineral can be a solution to help address these challenges.

Burns Feed Store offers Purina’s Wind & Rain mineral products which are high quality, weatherized, balanced minerals to ensure both your cows and their unborn calves are receiving the trace minerals that they need for optimal performance no matter what the weather.

NOW STOCKING

Loose minerals: All Season, High Magnesium and Fly Control.

Tubs: All Season 4 AVAILA 4, Accuration 25% Protein and Rangeland 17% Protein with Magnesium.

Tips For Keeping your Chickens Healthy throughout the winter.

  1. DON’T USE HEAT LAMPS- Chickens can withstand cold temperatures without supplemental heat. Chickens body temperature runs around 106*, and their feathers provide a layer of protection from the cold. If you feel compelled to provide a heat source, only raise the temp by a few degrees in their coop. If not the chickens will have a very hard time regulating their own body temperature.
  2. FEEDING CHICKENS IN THE COLD- Maintain your chickens on a complete feed. There is no need to try and supplement them with higher energy or high fat source feeds. Layena, Layena plus Omega-3 and Payback layer are some great examples of feeds you can supply all times of the year.
  3. CHECK WATER AND FEED OFTEN- Do not let your chickens become dehydrated from frozen water. Purchase a heated base or heated waterer to help rid your chickens of frozen water! We sell a few different options here at Burns Feed Store. Also check their feed to make sure it has not froze with the added precipitation from wet weather. Ensuring your chicken is consuming enough feed will also help them stay warm and maintain their body temperature.
  4.  LET THEM PLAY- Keeping your chickens inactive can cause their core body temperature to drop. Allowing them their freedom in the cold weather will help keep the blood flowing to their exposed feet. The best way to warn off frostbite is to keep them moving!!
  5. EGGS WILL FREEZE-Make sure to bring in eggs frequently. They will freeze and break!
  6. KEEP SOME AIR FLOW- While making your coop as draft free as possible is a great idea in the winter, make sure you still allow some air flow so the ammonia does not build up. Seal up sides but keep a vent towards the top of coop.
  7. UPKEEP BEDDING DAILY- Remove soiled and wet bedding everyday! This will help keep them dry and warm.
  8. KEEP THEM BUSY- Keep their lives enriched throughout the winter! Your chicken may be less inclined to venture outside in the raining or snowy weather. Add branches, toys, block treats ect. to their coop to keep them active and less bored!! Burns Feed Store has a huge selection of treats and toys for chickens! Come in and let us help you prepare you chickens for the winter.

Information was sourced from Purina Mills

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