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AgSpeak Blog

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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Dehydration, Pig Stress – Not Just a Summer Problem

Pigs are made up of almost 70% water. Too much of a decrease in that water balance means that your pigs won’t be able to digest food properly, leaving them malnourished, underweight, and susceptible to disease.  Dehydration is often a symptom of any kind of stress, usually stemming from critical points in production. While heat […]

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Flushing Watering Lines 101

Flushing the water lines is a necessary tool to keep your water as healthy, fresh, and clean as possible. While it might be a little tedious or time consuming, especially if you have a large operation, it can pay off big time in the end. Regular flushing helps to remove dirt or debris from the […]

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Your Winterization Checklist – Preparing for Winter

Winter is coming. Unfortunately, so are heating costs. If your heaters don’t work properly, you lose fuel. You lose profits. If your heaters do work properly, but you have a loose, drafty house, you’re still wasting fuel. And wasting money. And your birds are probably cold and unhappy and not growing as well, which will […]

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Give Litter Beetles the Boot

Litter beetles. Darkling beetles. Black beetles. Whatever you call them, you know what I’m talking about. They disturb chicks, harbor disease, damage houses, steal food, and cut into profits. They’re everywhere. In every flock. In every house. You know why? They love it. Seriously.  They prefer temperatures of 75-95°F. They prefer 12% moisture but will […]

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How to Handle Mass Mortality on the Poultry Farm

Do you have a plan in place to handle mass mortality? While we hope that mass mortality is something no one should deal with, it does happen, and it’s good to be prepared. If your farm is infected with a contagious, high mortality disease, dealing with sheer volume can be a challenge. It’s important to […]

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floor eggs

5 Tips to Prevent Floor Eggs

Whether you are raising breeders or layers, floor eggs can become a huge problem. They require more labor to gather, they can be rife with contamination, and they could lead to much larger issues, like egg eating. To keep production up, and effective, we need to give the hens every possible reason to lay their […]

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windrowing

Windrowing for Litter Quality Control

Windrowing allows the natural metabolism of bacteria present in the litter to cause a partial composting process that generates enough heat to destroy many pathogenic bacteria and microorganisms. Litter management between flocks is crucial to ensuring a healthy environment for chicks and will help to reduce potential health problems. Windrowing allows the litter to be […]

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Flock Uniformity in 3 Simple Steps

  Flock uniformity is crucial to good performance in a breeder flock. It starts with what and how much a bird eats each day – assuming the feed contains all the proper nutrients, we should focus on delivering the nutrients to each bird equally. A flock uniform in size comes into production better, peaks higher, […]

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Cage-free Layer Husbandry Best Practices

The switch to cage-free layer housing isn’t a new one, and definitely hasn’t been an easy one. We scoured the internet to compile a list of practices and recommendations to help you meet welfare standards and still maintain healthy, profitable flocks. Feed In cages, feed is wasted when birds overeat from boredom. In cage-free systems, […]

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BigTom Turkey Drinkers – Europe Sees the Difference

There are no Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey dinner traditions in the Old World, nevertheless, turkey meat spread its fame and now, there is a number of European countries like Italy, UK, and Poland who are historically holding a lead in EU turkey production and a few new producers like Germany, France, and Spain are gearing […]

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Summer Ventilation Basics Slideshow

We believe in getting back to the basics, and in poultry farming especially, the basics are the best place to start. The summer days may be getting shorter, but the summer heat is only getting hotter, and it’s imperative that barns stay cool and birds stay comfortable to avoid heat stress. This short slide show […]

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High Pressure Fogging – Another way to keep cool

When we talk about evaporative cooling, most people think first of cool pad systems. Today, however, we want to highlight the less well known but more versatile evaporative cooling that comes from fogging systems. First to clear up a little confusion of terms: Fogging, misting, and sprinklers. Some people use them interchangeably but there is […]

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