Wildlife Nutrition and Health

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Deer carry the tick Ixodes scapularis also known as blacklegged ticks. They are most often known simply as deer ticks because their favorite feeding spot is on white-tailed deer. Unfortunately, they also feed on other large mammals as hosts, including people. Most importantly, the deer tick is the carrier of Lyme Disease and that means any place where deer travel (like your back yard) can become a reservoir for the deer tick – possibly infecting your dog or you!

That’s why we’re working with Timber Hill’s Ranch and other deer experts to trial Repellion in a deer cookie. Not only can you control ticks, but you’ll see deer with bigger antler growth.

We’re also working on a natural endectocide for deer and other wildlife to help eliminate parasite loads.

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Information from our poultry experts

What type of housing do I need to provide for my flock?

Chicks need adequate space and warmth so be sure to thoroughly research the needs of the poultry breed you’re interested in, before purchasing. Some have very specific environmental needs and may not mix well with the average backyard flock and others require specialized equipment and supplies.  At a minimum, you’ll need heat lamps and/or brooder stove, feeders, waterers and a thermometer.  Generally, all the necessary equipment and supplies can be obtained from a local farm and feed store or through many online outlets.

How long before I start to see fresh eggs?

The fastest way to get those farm fresh eggs we all love is to purchase started pullets at 18 to 22 weeks of age.  These are going to be more expensive, but almost immediately start to produce.  Another option is to purchase older hens that are past their most productive stage. This older generation should have another year of reasonable production in them, just rest or molt these birds for 7 to 8 weeks then resume production.  If you want to start from hatch, with the right nutrition and care, you can expect some eggs at 18 to 20 weeks of age.

How do hens’ diets affect egg quality?

It’s quite a miracle how good hens are at incorporating what they eat into the developing egg.  Feed with ground flaxseed will produce eggs with a much higher level of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an important omega-3 fatty acid, while those fed algae meal will lay eggs with higher amounts of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), another very valuable omega-3 fatty acid.  The BackYard Farmer has a great article on feeding chickens for optimal health and production with a great list of 5 essential dietary ingredients

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