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AgSpeak Blog

Winter Management of Tunnel Ventilation Devices

Wintertime weather brings its own unique challenges for growers.  Cold temperatures force growers to focus on keeping buildings warm while simultaneously maintaining good air quality without breaking the bank with heating costs.  For most of the cold weather months ventilation needs are adequately covered by “minimum ventilation” and the first couple stages of cooling. So […]

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Optimize Chick Performance with Gas-Fired, Low-intensity Infrared Heaters

Integrators and growers are continually evaluating and implementing automated technologies to produce birds more efficiently. The management of poultry houses during the early brooding stage of a chick’s life largely determines whether they will reach their full potential. Every hour that a chick’s environment is less than optimum reduces growth rate and increases feed conversion. […]

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Creative Problem Solving for Frozen Feed

This week farmers across the countries endured possibly the worst thing about winter: bitter freezing cold. Some parts of the Midwest were colder than Antarctica. In Pennsylvania, it was in the negative double digits. Frigid temps cause frozen everything, the worst of which might be frozen feed lines. And the worst thing about frozen feed […]

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Wet Litter & Antibiotic-free… BFFs?

Litter serves many roles in a poultry barn – insulation, dust bath, scratch area, and importantly, moisture absorber.  This last role is important because houses that are too dry are dusty and can lead to higher incidences of respiratory disease in birds, but too wet leads to ammonia-related illnesses including footpad dermatitis, breast blisters, and […]

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Preventing Inlet Condensation

The steep temperature difference between internal house air and external fresh air can often result in condensation around inlet openings or in the attic of the barn. Aside from being a bit frustrating to fix, it can have a serious consequence on your flock health and performance, because they are not receiving the fresh air […]

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Optimizing Attic Inlet Performance

Winter ventilation comes with a unique set of challenges. Incoming air is cold and dry, heaters seem like they are always running, and the cost of fuel is only going up. Attic inlets are sometimes used to minimize the use of heaters. The idea is that the sun would warm the attic air, which would […]

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2018 – A Year in Review

As 2018 comes to a close, we’d like to reflect on how far we have come this year.   We believe that good business goes beyond providing a high-quality product. Good business is being dependable, approachable, and committed to improving both ourselves and our industry. In 2018 we focused on perfecting our current product line […]

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Grower Spotlight: Matt & Karen Moeller

Matt Moeller and his wife, Karen, are integral members of the South Dakota hog farming community. A farmer from birth, Matt grew up with pigs on the family farm, and often worked with his father and uncle caring for the livestock. Today, Matt raises wean-to-finish hogs, without antibiotics, for Smithfield Foods. His farm has 11,000 […]

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Effective Production Starts with Biosecurity

Antibiotic-free farming is on the rise, and so are the incidences of potentially devastating diseases. Because treatment is not always an option, prevention is key, and it starts with strong biosecurity practices. Here are some points to keep in mind when designed biosecurity protocols: Keep your distance – Restrict access to property and livestock to […]

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Improve winter brooding with air and litter quality

Winter farming comes with a unique set of challenges, especially where litter and air quality are concerned. Respiratory diseases are common in winter when there is less ventilation, and their prevalence has only been increasing since the use of antibiotics has been on the decline. Brooding is arguably the most important developmental stage and eliminating […]

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Is your water line the right height?

Before we get started on why drinker line height is so important, there are a few facts you need to know: One: Chickens consume 1.75 pounds of water for every pound of feed. This is a constant. Two: Chickens have a maximum rate at which they can consume water, and this rate changes with age. […]

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Understanding Coccidiosis

Of all of the health problems found in poultry, one of the most common is coccidiosis. It’s a parasitic disease cause by protozoa found in feces. Consumption of contaminated food or other particles continues the cycle. Coccidiosis is a manifestation of Eimeria, a genus of apicomplexan parasites. Various strains of the disease present more severely […]

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Happy Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving, we at VAL-CO are thankful for many things. First are foremost, we are thankful for all of the amazing people who work day in and day out raising the turkeys, pigs, chickens or ducks that we enjoy on this day.   We are thankful for the customers who support us.   We are thankful […]

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Infographic: Poultry Watering 101

Want to learn more about poultry watering? Check out the Ultimate Poultry Watering Guide.   Subscribe to our blog!

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What’s Prop 12?

Tuesday was election day, and with it came all sorts of change, both good and bad. Besides voting on representatives, some voters could also decide the fate of ballot measures, such as California’s Proposition 12. Proposition 12 – also referred to as the Farm Animal Confinement Initiative – calls for all eggs produced or sold […]

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Winter Blues: Diseases to look out for

We’re coming into winter, and humans are not the only animals spreading germs and catching colds. Your birds are doing it, too. Unfortunately, there is no escaping a sick neighbor in the poultry house. We help our feathered friends out by practicing good biosecurity, but disease can still find its way into a flock. To […]

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A Guide to Brooder Cleaning

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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3 Secrets to Winter Ventilation

Air quality is heavily dependent on humidity Humidity is the culprit for many of the respiratory issues found in poultry flocks. It amplifies the presences of ammonia and carbon dioxide and makes it difficult for birds to regulate their own body temperatures. Air quality is important especially during the colder winter months, when minimum ventilation […]

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18 Egg Facts for Egg Day 2018

18 Egg Facts for Egg Day 2018 1. Eggs are good for your eyes. They contain lutein which prevents cataracts and muscle degeneration. 2. An egg shell can have as many as 17,000 pores.               3. Egg shell and yolk color can vary but have no effect on taste […]

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Poultry Watering: Understanding Iron

Iron can be found in wells and municipal water all around the world. Sometimes it is obvious – the water runs red in the sink, often having a distinctive taste and smell. Sometimes it is less obvious – but still leaves its mark in the form of reddish-brown discoloration on appliances. While mostly harmless, it […]

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