Water: The #1 Forgotten Nutrient

Water: The #1 Forgotten Nutrient

For anyone who has attended our livestock classes, the importance of water is undoubtedly the most stressed point, as it is the most forgotten nutrient in all livestock operations. Good quality water is critical for strong animal health performance, as it aids in nutrient transportation, chemical reactions, temperature regulation, and so much more. Without a sufficient amount of water, an animal’s body undergoes severe stress resulting in poor performance of internal functions. For this reason, we recommend providing multiple water sources for your livestock and replenishing as needed to maintain quality and availability. Water sources will be depleted much more rapidly in the summer months due to both animal intake as well as evaporation. Winter is also a crucial time, as water freezes and becomes inaccessible. For this reason, we recommend using water heaters, insulated water containers, or simply replenishing water sources frequently during the winter months. The general rule of thumb is to provide a minimum of 5 to 6 gallons of water per 100 birds and 2 to 3 gallons of water per 100 pounds of bodyweight for other livestock, increasing this amount as needed to meet environmental conditions. The addition of apple cider vinegar to water sources is also beneficial, as ACV stimulates the microflora in the GI tract, which improves feed efficiency and provides an energy boost. As always, should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to call our Customer Care team at 540-469-0694. We’re always happy to help!   Photo...
Fatty Liver Hemorrhagic Syndrome

Fatty Liver Hemorrhagic Syndrome

Fatty Liver Hemorrhagic Syndrome (FLHS) is a condition that affects the liver and abdominal cavity of poultry and is typically seen in high-producing laying hens. FLHS occurs when high-energy diets are fed to birds in restrictive environments that do not provide enough room for sufficient exercise. While a few cases have been reported to affect males, studies show that high-producing laying hens are at a greater risk of developing FLHS due to increased production of estrogen from overly active ovaries. Signs of this condition can vary, but the most common symptoms are overly plump body condition, pale combs, reduced egg production, and sometimes brittle eggshells due to impaired calcium metabolism. FLHS can be prevented by monitoring feed intake in the flock and providing enough pen space for adequate exercise. While free-choice feeding is common practice for poultry operations, there are always gluttons in every species. The average adult hen will consume approximately 4 ounces of feed per day, so this amount should be used as an estimate to monitor flock feed consumption. Exercise can be encouraged by allowing birds to free range or increasing pen space with access to fresh forage. Giving the flock access to garden, bedding, or other compost materials to scratch also helps improve body condition, as scratching not only helps to breakdown the waste into quality soil but also provides great exercise for the flock. As always, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Care team at 540-469-0694 and we would be happy to help you and your critters. Resources: Leeson, Steven. Overview of Fatty Liver Hemorrhagic Syndrome in Poultry. Merck...
Calcium and Phosphorus: Why is there a 2:1 ratio?

Calcium and Phosphorus: Why is there a 2:1 ratio?

We get a fair amount of questions regarding mineral ratios, particularly that of calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) in ruminants. New Country Organics follows the National Research Council’s recommendations of keeping a 2:1 Ca:P ratio in livestock feeds and minerals. Without this balance in the diet, mineral imbalance can result in a variety of health problems. Calcium is needed by the body in multiple ways such as bone development, blood clotting, milk production, nervous and muscular system functions, heart function, and cell interaction. Gestation and lactation require higher amounts of calcium in the diet to prevent cases of hypocalcemia (also known as parturient paresis or “milk fever”) and to prevent the animal from pulling too much calcium from stored amounts in the body. Signs of hypocalcemia can vary according to severity, but the five most common symptoms are stiff gait, arthritis, ataxia, salivation, and constipation. Phosphorus is needed by the body for fetal development, general bodily functions, and milk production. Signs of deficiency range from slow growth, failure to thrive, decreased appetite, and general unthriftiness. If fed too much grain and not enough forage, it is possible for ruminants to have an inverted ratio with more phosphorus than calcium, which can lead to urinary calculi (mineral deposits in the urine that are typically comprised of phosphate salts). Since phosphorus is mostly excreted in saliva, feeding a quality dry hay helps to keep phosphorus levels in the correct range, as more saliva is needed to break down the feed. Castrated males that are castrated before reaching sexual maturity are at greater risk of developing urinary calculi. In small ruminants, it is generally recommended to not castrate before...
NCO Tips for Birthing Season

NCO Tips for Birthing Season

Even farmers with 10+ years experience can be caught by surprise when birthing season arrives. In some cases, you may not even know the animal is pregnant until contractions begin. For this reason, it is important to always have an emergency birthing kit that is stocked and accessible for both the expected and unexpected deliveries. Here is a short list of items that we find helpful to keep on hand:   Birthing position pictures: I have found this helpful to look at during difficult presentations, as a visual in the moment helps keep my mind focused. Your emergency vet’s phone number: even if you have done this for years, it never hurts to have backup available 7 to 10% tincture iodine: this is needed to dip umbilical cords and to scrub your hands and arms if assistance is needed during delivery Empty and clean film canister: this is ideal in sheep or goat operations, as the canister can be filled with iodine, placed over the umbilical against the stomach, and the newborn tipped backwards to fully immerse the umbilical cord in the iodine solution. Plain dental floss: this is helpful to tie off the umbilical cord if it needs to be cut or trimmed Clean towels or puppy pads for drying or cleaning up fluids: the benefit of puppy pads is that they can just be thrown away after use. Sharp, sterile knife and/or scissors: for trimming the umbilical cord Paper towels: never hurts to have paper towels on hand Flashlight: this is helpful to peer into the sac during birth to ensure the baby is presenting properly KY Jelly: this makes...

Soil Health with Timac Agro: Supplements for Organic Farms and Gardens

This Live Stream will begin on Saturday, January 13 at 10 a.m. and can be accessed here: Live Stream with Timac Agro’s Jonathan Mayo Jonathan Mayo will be presenting at New Country Organics on Saturday, January 13, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Timac Agro develops, manufactures, and sells fertilizers, biostimulants, inoculants, and livestock products specifically developed for sustainable and effective total farm health. Jonathan will be focusing on two OMRI-listed products: Physioflore 0-0-0, a calcified seaweed product that promotes microbial activity, soil tilth, and improves soil pH; and P-15 Nutribalance 0-6-0, a calcified seaweed product used primarily in acidic soil. An Augusta County local farmer, Jonathan holds a dual degree in Animal Science and AgriBusiness and specializes in plant and animal nutrition consultation. Jonathan’s consultation services span over 30 counties in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and he is passionate about helping farmers find efficient and affordable resources to meet their individual needs. Come join us in person or online on our Facebook Live Stream for an open Q&A and educational presentation! Powerpoint Presentation:...