Valco

AgSpeak Blog

Spring Biosecurity Checklist

Spring sees the reemergence of new plants, animals, and insects alike. Unfortunately, it also brings with it the reemergence of diseases that we haven’t seen since fall. That makes early spring a good time to check your structural and operational biosecurity to protect your farm, flocks and family from diseases like Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. […]

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IPPE 2018 New Product Showcase

If you missed us at IPPE 2018, then you also missed all of the new products that we had on display this year. Worry not, my friends, we’re here to highlight our hottest products for 2018. Interested and want to learn more? Contact us directly, contact your local sale rep, or contact your nearest dealer. […]

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Local Hog Shows Shape 2018 Swine Industry Outlook

We like to kick off each year by participating in the many of trade shows and expositions going on across the country, specifically the swine shows throughout the Midwest. From Missouri to South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa…wherever the pigs are, so are we. These shows give us the opportunity to connect with producers, integrators, and […]

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What makes a good feed pan?

Everyone has their opinion on which feed pan is the best feed pan. It creates a loyalty that is hard to shake, even in the face of evidence of something better. The reality is that it’s really hard to know what makes a great feed pan, because there are so many shared features. For instance, […]

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Best Management Practices for Broiler Brooding

If you haven’t seen it already, the Chicken Farmers of Ontario recently released a short video detailing some Best Management Practices of broiler brooding. Throughout the video, Dr. Scott Gillingham stresses the importance of stockmanship, biosecurity, and attention to detail. We’ll summarize some of his main points below, but strongly encourage you to check out […]

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Brooding Healthy Birds – A Pre-Placement Checklist

Chicks are dependent on their environment to survive the early days of life. Because they cannot regulate their own body temperature, they require a warm brood chamber and easy access to food and water. The down feathers on chicks offer poor insulation and they will quickly lose heat through radiation (to the air), conduction (contact […]

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Keep Warm During Winter With These Tips

Winter is never easy, and from the look of it this week, this winter season will be no different. Bitter cold temperatures make it hard to keep positive, especially when you’re watching your fuel costs go up and up. Here’s some tips to keep you warm at night. Chickens can handle their own when it […]

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2017 – A Year in Review

As 2017 comes to a close, we’d like to reflect on how far we have come this past year. In 2017, we saw the launch of our freshly-updated website, and along with that, we also started this blog. It’s been a rewarding, but challenging, learning experience as we work to come up with new topics […]

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10 Interesting Facts about Chicken Vision

Whether in commercial flocks or backyard coops, chickens are endlessly fascinating. While we might never understand what all those quirky head nods mean, we can get a better sense of how chickens see the world with these 10 interesting facts about chicken vision. A chicken’s eyes are about 10% the entire mass of its head. […]

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Stress-free Swine Handling – Knowing signs of stress

Stress on pigs during transport can cause losses; not just pig losses, but it can adversely affect the meat quality. Stress in transport can cause meat that’s too soft and pale or too dry and firm. This stress begins with the movement out of pens or barns so stress reduction should be front of mind […]

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Stress-free Swine Handling – Understanding pig behavior

Pig handlers should understand pig behaviors to move pigs with as little stress as possible. Most pig behavior can be attributed to natural instincts. Pigs are herd animals and find being isolated from the group stressful. They have a strong tendency to follow each other while maintaining visual and bodily contact and prefer to be […]

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Winter Prep: Choosing A Heater

Forced air heaters have largely become obsolete in poultry houses as producers have switched to brooders and tube heaters. These radiant heating options deliver heat directly to the floor and the birds at a much more affordable rate. Radiant heaters are significantly more efficient, offer drier litter, and create a heat-storing reservoir for the birds […]

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Brooder Cleaning: A Step-by-Step Guide

Brooder cleaning is one of the most important tasks done on the farm. Brooders rapidly lose heating efficiency when they are dirty. Routine maintenance ensures you get the most out of your heating equipment and prevents fire hazards. Brooders should be cleaned and inspected before every flock. Regardless of what they look like on the […]

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missing attic insulation

Attic Insulation – Stop Burning Money

Attic insulation is beneficial year-round, though it’s something that is often overlooked. During cold weather, hot air produced by heaters and livestock quickly rises to the ceiling. If the attic insulation is lacking, uneven, or missing entirely, that warm air will escape the barn and cause heaters to run longer and more often. With fuel […]

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House Tightness: The Best Winter Prep

House tightness should be the first thing on your winter prep checklist. Heat lost through building air leaks causes the heaters to run excessively and waste fuel. Air leaks can also cause cold air drafts that can chill livestock, create cold spots on the floor, and result in poor floor conditions. Houses can be divided […]

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Improve 7-day Chick Performance with these 6 Considerations

Want to improve your final live weight and feed conversion? Achieve good 7-day live weight and you’ll do just that. So much of a bird’s final potential rests on the first seven days of frame development and immune system maturation. Nutrition, feed availability, water quality (and ease of finding and getting the water), temperature, air quality, […]

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Best Practices for Weighing Breeder Hens

In order to know how much feed should be given to your breeder pullet or hen flocks, you need to know how much they weigh and how quickly they are gaining weight. By frequently and accurately weighing a representative sample of your flocks, you can track uniformity and weight gains to be sure you’re on […]

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Feeding for Success in the Breeder Hen House

Feeding breeder hens can be tricky. You have to hit target weights, but can’t let the birds grow too fast or get too big. You already know that raising a consistent flock is imperative to success, but how do you maintain that once the birds are moved to the laying house? Have a plan Have […]

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World Food Day Helping to Feed a Hungry World

VAL-CO’s Mission of Helping Animal Agriculture to Feed a Hungry World is something we work towards every single day. We pride ourselves in offering quality products at affordable prices to help farmers all over the world raise important proteins, but we take our commitment one step further. We donate. Every year, we donate our time […]

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An Introduction to Feeding Broiler Breeder Hens

Today’s broilers grow so rapidly because of a genetic predisposition to accelerated growth rates which are supported by a nearly insatiable appetite. Plain English? They were bred to eat a lot. It’s a great characteristic for meat stock – we can produce a large amount of lean meat in a small amount of time, usually […]

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