Archive for October, 2020

November Garden Tips

Monday, October 19th, 2020

November Garden Tips

This is the perfect time to plant your chilled bulbs for spring. They should be in the ground before the first frost, so plant now while the soil is still easy to work. Iris, daylilies, and gladiolas should also be planted at this time, although they are not “true” bulbs, but rhizomes, tubers, and corms, respectively. Yet all of these like bulbs require the cooler soil of winter to generate healthy new growth in spring.

Transform your landscape with the addition of fresh, colorful blooms! Pansies are by far the most popular Winter color. The “Matrix” Pansy has been outstanding for our Texas weather. It will not “stretch” during bouts of warm temperatures and is bred to grow out, not up. This compact grower offers shorter stems to support large colorful blooms. Dianthus (also known as “Pinks”), Snapdragons, Cyclamen, Violas, and the fragrant Alyssum are also good choices for cold tolerant annuals. Ornamental Cabbage and Kale provide interesting texture in the landscape as well as color. For best effect, limit your planting to two or three colors per bed.

The key to growing beautiful annual flowers is soil preparation. Remember to add 2 to 3 inches of mulch to all beds to reduce moisture loss, prevent weeds from germinating, and to insulate the soil from the cold.

Using the same colorful annuals will add a splash of color to your patio containers. Fill your container with fresh potting soil, plant food and your choice of these beautiful annuals to brighten your winter. Keep them watered as necessary and remove faded flowers to encourage repeat blooming.November Garden Tips

If you want those beautiful Texas Bluebonnets in the Spring, sow the seed in early November!

Please remember the birds! Texas is a haven for birds. No other state in the United States has more species within its boundaries. There are currently over 620 species documented in Texas, which is almost 75 percent of all bird species recorded in the continental United States. To attract the widest variety of wild birds, you should consider placing a wide variety of bird feeders and food around your yard.

Equine Gastric Health: The Key to Your Horse’s Best Self

Friday, October 16th, 2020

Gastric discomfort may negatively affect a horse’s health, attitude and performance. Fortunately, recognizing signs of discomfort and providing proper equine management can help support your horse’s gastric health.

Did you know that the prevalence of gastric discomfort in active horses is high? Studies indicate that the prevalence of gastric ulcers in performance horses is 90% or more¹.

 

What causes gastric discomfort in horses? 

As grazing animals, horses are made to steadily eat a forage-based diet throughout the course of an entire day. As a result, this constant slow-feed intake naturally regulates the acidity of the horse’s stomach contents. Additionally, the saliva a horse generates through chewing naturally buffers the acid.

Modern horse-keeping practices often limit feeding to two or three daily meals. Unless a horse is turned out to graze or barn staff frequently refills the hay supply, the horse doesn’t receive more hay until the next feeding.

Even though the horse isn’t eating, his stomach still produces acid because without chewing, there isn’t a steady source of saliva and natural enzymes to help protect the stomach. As a result, an overabundance of acid and a lack of saliva means the stomach’s natural pH level drops too. These factors create the trifecta for gastric discomfort in equine health.

Stress can also put horses at a greater risk for gastric discomfort. Rigorous exercise, long-distance travel, a new environment and confinement can contribute to lower gastric pH levels.

 

What are the signs of gastric discomfort in horses? 

Gastric discomfort can present differently in individual horses. Common signs of equine gastric discomfort include:

  • Poor appetite
  • Picky eating
  • Poor body condition
  • Weight loss
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Poor coat condition
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Changes in behavior, including aggression, nervous behaviors, side biting and “girthiness”
  • Acute or recurring colic
  • Poor performance

 

How to manage a horse with gastric discomfort

Research has shown continuous acid production and low gastric pH can contribute to the development of gastric ulcers and Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS)1. Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize your horse’s risk for developing EGUS and manage a horse with gastric discomfort.

1. Recognize factors or events known to cause gastric discomfort in horses.

Firstly, some factors include:

  • Environment stressors
  • Lack of turnout
  • Injury
  • Fasting
  • High starch diets
  • Inadequate forage
  • Prolonged use of NSAIDs
  • Travel
  • Elevated exercise, training, showing or racing

2. Recognize the signs of gastric discomfort in horses.

Secondly, common signs are listed above, but individual horses present discomfort in different ways. Become familiar with your horse’s normal behavior to help determine if behavior changes are a sign of gastric discomfort.

3. When to seek help from your veterinarian. 

Thirdly, work with your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment if you recognize risk factors or symptoms. Gastroscopy is the only way to confirm the presence of gastric ulcers, and prescription acid suppression therapy may be required to heal ulcerations. If treatment is necessary, work with your veterinarian to determine the best medication for equine gastric health.

4. Manage gastric discomfort.

Develop a management program to minimize the factors contributing to gastric discomfort. Provide ample turnout and continuous access to fresh water. Anticipate stressful events, such as traveling or showing, and use Purina® Outlast® Gastric Supplement to support and maintain gastric health and proper pH during those times.

5. Horse nutrition.

Finally, by choosing the right feed products and implementing good feeding management practices are vital in managing your horse’s gastric health.

  • Never allow more than six hours of fasting and provide frequent access to good quality hay and/or pasture.
  • Incorporate alfalfa into your horse’s diet.
  • Feed higher fat and fiber concentrates and avoid high starch and sugar feeds. The Purina horse feed lineup includes many appropriate options
  • Support optimal gastric pH by feeding Purina® Outlast® Gastric Support Supplement along with concentrate meals. In addition, feed Outlast®1 supplement as a snack before you ride, trailer or show to maximize gastric support during these activities.
  • For horses needing more calories, Purina® Ultium® Gastric Care and Race Ready® GT horse feeds both contain a full serving of Outlast® supplement and are designed to support gastric health and caloric needs of performance and race horses. Strategy® GX  and Strategy® Healthy Edge®,  Impact® Professional Performance, Omolene 100® Active Pleasure, Omolene 200® Performance, Omolene 300® Growth, Omolene 400® Complete Advantage and Omolene 500® Competition horse feeds now also all contain Purina® Outlast® Gastric Support Supplement.

In conclusion, recognizing the signs associated with gastric discomfort and adjusting management and dietary practices, you can help support your horse’s gastric health. Learn more about your horse’s gastric health and Outlast® supplement by visiting Argyle Feed Store and checking out our horse feed selection.

Article brought to you by Purina and Kelly Vineyard, M.S., Ph.D. Senior Nutritionist, Equine Technical Solutions

1Sykes, B., et al. (2015), European College of Equine Internal Medicine Consensus Statement—Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome in Adult Horses. J Vet Intern Med, 29: 1288-1299. doi:10.1111/jvim.13578

What Makes Purina® Outlast® Supplement Better?

Monday, October 12th, 2020

What makes Purina® Outlast® supplement better?Is your horse irritable, agitated, or uncomfortable? If your horse suffers from gastric discomfort, you might be shopping for a new supplement to help provide relief. Forget the trendy new products and unproven additives. Go with your horse’s gut and choose a product you can trust – Purina® Outlast® gastric support supplement.

Outlast® products contain an exclusive form of seaweed-derived calcium that’s functionally different from other marine-derived sources in five significant ways:

 

  • Source – proprietary ingredient derived from two specific types of seaweed
  • Composition – more than just calcite
  • Structure – highly distinguished honeycomb structure increases surface area 3 to 5 times higher than other sources
  • Maintenance of optimal pH – multiple studies have demonstrated superior buffering capacity
  • Research – four peer-reviewed research abstracts evaluating Outlast®supplement have been published

 

90% of horses experience gastric discomfort. As a result, Gastric discomfort affects your horse’s health, attitude, and performance. Support your horse through any stressful event with Purina® Outlast® gastric support supplement.

Give them relief by stopping at the Argyle Feed and Hardware Store and shopping our Horse Feed selection.

 

 

Article brought to you by Purina. Try their 60-day challenge to receive buy-one-get-one coupons for Purina® complete feeds, including Purina® Strategy® feed with the Outlast®supplement.

Check out Purina’s one-of-a-kind farm to find out what makes their 1,200-acre working farm in Gray Summit, Missouri, so unique. Find out in this short video, which explains our research and innovation philosophy. Plus, get a behind-the-scenes look at a few of the 80 beautiful horses that call it home. As a result, Purina conducts a lot of research to support horse health here.