Archive for September, 2015

October Doorbusters at Argyle Feed & Hardware

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

 

ArgyleFeed_OctDoorBustersTake advantage of these October deals now on limited quantity hardware and pet products at Argyle Feed & Hardware!

Just in time for Fall, all of these items are only available while supplies last:

MintCraft Poly Lawn/Leaf Rake $5.69 EA

  • Poly rake with 26 tines
  • 24″ head
  • 48″ handle with cushion grip

RazorBack Steel Leaf Rake $10.99 EA

  • Used for clearing leaves and debris from lawns
  • 24 steel tines
  • 54″ wood handle

Sylvania 65W Indoor Reflector Floodlight Bulb $3.99 EA

  • 2,000 Average Life Hours
  • Frosted, 120 Volt ballast
  • Medium screw base

PetMate 27in X36in Camo Pillow Bed $16.99 EA

  • Shadow grass blades design
  • Made form 300 denier oxford fabric
  • Treated for moisture resistance

Visit us today at Argyle Feed & Hardware for best prices and selection while supplies last!

Chicken Behavioral Issues

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

chickens in coopThere are two major behavioral problems that backyard poultry owners must address at the first appearance. Both can be caused and cured by management practices.

EGG EATING: Egg eating generally occurs when a hen finds a broken egg, tastes it, likes it and begins searching for other broken eggs, then learns to break them herself. Broken eggs occur more often when there is inadequate litter to cushion them, inadequate nutrition (either from improper feeding or heavy parasite or disease challenges) that results in weak egg shells, and infrequent gathering. The longer an egg lays in the hen house, the greater the chance it will be broken, so frequent gathering is your primary weapon against egg eating. Broody hens can increase the likelihood of broken eggs; because they constantly occupy a nest, they cause increased traffic in the other nests. Bright lights in the nesting area are stressors that can increase nervousness and picking behavior. Scaring hens out of nests can also result in broken eggs. Always approach hens quietly and encourage gentle movement.

If eggs are being broken, you must find the perpetrator and get rid of her. Hens that learn to eat eggs must be culled, because they will never give up the habit and they will teach it to other hens. However, before culling, make sure the culprit is, indeed, a hen. Egg-eating hens will usually have dried yolk on their beaks and heads. If your hens are clean, suspect another culprit. Snakes, rats, weasels, even domestic pets, all enjoy eggs. Be sure your hen house is well-barricaded against predators and unwelcome visitors.

CANNIBALISM: Cannibalism is a vicious habit that is upsetting and costly. It can occur in fowl of any age, breed, strain or gender. It is almost always caused by stress related to poor management. Once stressed, birds begin picking at the feathers, vent, comb or toes of another bird. Once blood is tasted, this terrible habit can spread like wildfire through the entire flock. Unless you eliminate this problem immediately, it can rapidly get out of control. One way to curb this behavior is to provide a pecking source, such as Purina® SunFresh® Recipe Flock Block. It encourages pecking instincts to help reduce cannibalism.

STRESSORS THAT CAN CAUSE CANNIBALISM:

  • Overcrowding. Refer to Space Requirements in General Equipment and Supplies section.
  • Excessive heat. Be sure to adjust heat lamps and brooder temperatures as chicks mature, and keep all buildings well ventilated, especially during the hot summer.
  • Bright light. Very bright light or lengthy periods of bright light induce tension among birds. Use dim lights to calm and comfort birds; 40-watt bulbs provide plenty of light, and 25-watt bulbs can be calming. Heat lamps should be red or infrared to help maintain a dimly lit environment.
  • Absence or shortage of feed and/or water. Hunger, thirst and the need to fight for food induce aggression. Keep ample food and water available, with plenty of feeder space for the number of birds present.
  • Unbalanced diets. Very high-energy, low-fiber diets increase activity and aggression levels. Lack of protein or specific amino acids can encourage feather picking. Offer a high-quality feed, and minimize the role of table scraps. Scratch grains scattered about can give the birds something to do, but they should not constitute more than 10 percent of the birds’ diet.
  • Mixing birds. Combining birds, especially those of different ages or with different traits, such as crested and non-crested fowl, disrupts the pecking order and can cause pecking due to curiosity.
  • Abrupt changes in environment or management procedures. Always make changes as gradually as possible. If changing feeder types, be sure to leave the old equipment in the pen for a few days. Gradually adapt birds to new diets, new feeding times, new lighting schedules, etc.
  • Remove all crippled, injured, slow-feathering, and dead birds from the flock. Birds will naturally pick on defenseless companions due to curiosity and social order. Slow-feathering birds have young, tender feathers exposed for a longer period of time and are therefore susceptible to pecking.

There are some things you can do to keep your flock busy and happy. Having an enclosed run to encourage exercise is beneficial. Providing fiber via clover, grass or weeds helps increase contentment. Aggressive game birds can be fitted with a variety of “peepers,” small plastic “blinders” that attach harmlessly to the beak and limit forward vision, thus limiting the tendency to fight.

If you experience a cannibalism outbreak, closely review all your management and environmental circumstances. Darken your facilities with red or low-wattage light bulbs, remove injured birds, lower the pen temperature if possible, and apply anti-peck ointment or pine tar to damaged birds. Identify and remove overly aggressive birds. Do not return to normal lighting, until serenity has returned to the flock, and then do so gradually.

Raising Chicks at 7 Months

Monday, September 14th, 2015
Keeping chickens, 7 months

At seven months, egg production in your flock should be well established and you may be experiencing peak production at this time. Maintain good management practices to ensure the health of your birds throughout the laying cycle. Don’t be surprised if you notice your pullets start to lose their feathers. Molting is a normal process when feathers are lost and replaced by new ones. When pullets lose all their feathers, it is called a full molt. Others may only lose some of their feathers, usually around their neck, which is a partial molt. During molting, a bird will go out of production. This period gives the reproductive tract time to rest after the stress of many months of producing eggs.

After molting, egg production resumes about 8 to 12 weeks later. Once they return to production, the rate of lay is about 10 percent less than the first cycle. However, the eggs are usually larger with stronger shells. Although molting occurs naturally after 10 to 14 months of egg production, it can also be caused accidentally as the result of stress due to disease, extreme temperatures, decrease in light exposure, and a lack of feed and/or water.chickdaysgraphicpurina-300x204.jpg

Purina Feed Frenzy Days

Sunday, September 13th, 2015
Sep ’15Sep
1419

FeedFrenzy

Stop by Argyle Feed & Hardware, September 14th through 19th and pick up a Purina Scratch Off Card when you purchase Purina Feed products during Feed Frenzy Days! You could win one of the following Feed Frenzy Days giveaways:

  • Grand Prize: A Trip for two to Nashville/Bobby Bones radio show & concert
  • Yeti Cooler
  • Instant Win Savings on Purina Feeds
  • Scratch Off cards good while supplies last!

Celebrate during Purina Feed Frenzy Days with these great deals:

  • Save $2 off your purchase of Select Purina Feed products September 14th through 19th with our exclusive coupon for Argyle Feed customers! See coupon below for details:

 

Mobile Vet Vaccination Clinic September 6th

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015
Sep ’15
6
11:00 am

 

ArgyleVetMobileUnitNeed to update pet shots but no time during the week? Argyle Feed & Hardware hosts a mobile vet clinic on Sunday, September 6th from 11 am to 4 pm. Argyle Veterinary Hospital will be here providing vaccinations and heartworm testing for your pets.

About Argyle Veterinary Hospital AVH offers everything from the routine preventive/wellness care to comprehensive internal medicine and surgery for small animal and equine health care. Argyle Veterinary Hospital’s seven doctor practice is continuously staying educated in the latest state of the art medicine to ensure each pet gets the care they deserve.

For more information about services and fees, please contact Argyle Veterinary Hospital at 940-464-3231. Bring your pets to Argyle Feed for convenient mobile vaccination services on Sunday, September 6th!