Chickens are fun, quirky pets that are environmentally friendly and surprisingly easy to care for. Not only are they often enjoyable as pets, but there are plenty of benefits to raising them. Below, livestock feed experts at Gregg Farm Services in Gassville, AR, explain why you should consider raising chickens.
3 Reasons You Might Want to Raise Chickens
1. You’ll Get Farm Fresh EggsThere’s nothing quite like the rich, delicious taste of farm-fresh eggs. The yolks are a deep, gold-orange color, and the flavor is phenomenal. Be sure you’re feeding your chickens quality livestock feed to ensure they produce eggs on a regular basis. The difference in taste from store-bought eggs is incredible, and they are highly nutritious. Eggs from naturally raised chickens are higher in vitamins and hormone free. You’ll also save money by not having to buy eggs from the store.
2. They Are Free Pest ControlChickens love to eat all kinds of insects. Along with livestock feed, they love to peck around and eat ticks, beetles, worms, grubs, and any other bugs they come across. Give them free range in your yard or pastures, and they’ll help control the pest population.
3. Their Manure Acts as FertilizerChicken manure is an excellent fertilizer, especially for flowers, potatoes and root crops, and vegetables. Calcium-rich chicken manure helps nourish the soil, which then helps your garden flourish. Be sure you’re feeding your chickens well—the better livestock feed you buy for them, the higher-quality fertilizer they will produce for your garden.
Beef cattle require a diet rich in minerals for optimum health and growth. Unfortunately, the soil conditions may not provide the proper nutrients if you rely on forage and feed alone. You can provide a free-choice mineral supplement to cows in the field, or you can add it directly to their feed to ensure they get proper nutrition for development and reproduction.
Mineral supplements are the most expensive of all the nutrient supplements. It is also fed in the smallest quantities. Pound for pound, they may very well have the greatest impact on cow performance. This makes the use of a good quality, palatable, loose mineral product an effective, cost-efficient means of delivering adequate vitamin and mineral supplementation to your cattle. Intake is often targeted at two to four ounces per head daily.
The best method for ensuring the proper dose of supplement is top dressing. After preparing the feed in troughs, sprinkle the supplement over the top as if you are salting food. This ensures that cattle take in a sufficient amount of the supplement as they eat.
Feeding free choice (allowing cattle to feed at will) is less time-consuming for the rancher. If you find the cattle are consuming more than 4 oz of mineral daily, this indicates a craving for salt. Satisfy their need by putting stock salt near the mineral. This will save the mineral for more of the herd.
Minerals are critical to development, such as during the spring, when natural magnesium deficiencies in forage can lead to dangerous health conditions like grass tetany. This is especially critical for spring calving herds, but can also occur in fall and winter.
With so many weed control products available, trying to determine which is the best for your specific needs can be overwhelming. Deciding on herbicides is further complicated when you consider all the different terms used to describe products. Emergent, persistent, selective: What do these terms all mean?
When Do You Intend to Use It? Do you tend to take a reactionary approach to weed development? In other words, do you only use products on weeds after they appear? If so, you’re likely looking for a post-emergent weed product. This means the product is intended to be used only on visible, mature plants.
On the other hand, if you intend to prevent weed growth from occurring before it even has the chance to start, a pre-emergent herbicide is what you need. These products can be administered directly to your soil during the springtime to prohibit weeds from developing altogether.
Where Do You Experience Weed Growth? Another factor to consider is the location where you’ll be applying the product. If your objective is to kill weeds without damaging surrounding plant life, you’ll need a selective product. These products are powerful on weeds yet won’t damage nearby grass, flowers, or other plant life. On the other hand, if your weeds are concentrated to a mulched or paved area, you may prefer to use a non-selective product, which kills all vegetation in the area.
How Long Do You Need It to Last? A few final considerations to be mindful of when selecting an herbicide are how long you need it to last for and whether you’ll spray it directly on the weed itself. Products labeled “persistent” will thwart future weed growth, but non-persistent products work quickly to kill existing weeds without lasting effects on seedlings. Contact weed products, as their name suggests, impact only the plants they come into contact with.
Whether you’re seeking weed control solutions for an entire farm or a small patch of your yard, Gregg Farm Services has an option to meet your unique needs. With herbicides and pesticides for large-scale applications as well as consumer-level products, we provide an ample selection of options. Learn more by calling (870) 481-5165.