AgSpeak Blog

Investing in Ventilation

The ideal bird environment can pay back in dividends, but if mismanaged, be costly to a farm. Investing in the bird environment will always pay better in the end. There are several primary goals to ventilation. Ventilation should: Evenly distribute fresh air to the entire flock. Remove excess heat and moisture. Limit the accumulation of […]

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Maintenance Checklist – Community Nest

Equipment maintenance is imperative to keeping things running smoothly. By cleaning the nests regularly, you can prevent transmission of disease from one flock to the next, as well as preserve the health and hatchability of the eggs. The lifespan of equipment is also prolonged when it is properly cared for, allowing farmers to catch potential […]

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Biosecurity Prevents Salmonella

This spring, The Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued a final update for its investigation into the outbreak of Salmonella Reading, which according to its investigation, caused 133 hospitalizations and 1 death across 42 states. The outbreak was linked to raw and ground turkey products and resulted in product recalls in 2018. Despite this particular […]

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Workplace Safety in Agriculture

Every time I see a medical helicopter fly overhead, I’m am both sad and thankful…sad for the person whose day turned disastrous, and thankful for my safety and well-being. It is a reminder of the fragility of life. Every day, workers across the country head off to work with the full expectation of returning home […]

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Grower Spotlight – Jay Goodman

Until recently, Jay Goodman was a corporate man working for a major beverage company. As the desire for the corporate life waned, he found himself on the hunt for the perfect farm. He finally found it – with the help of his younger brother – on the Delmarva Peninsula. “I came up from Georgia to […]

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AgSpeak Magazine Vol. 4, No. 1

The strongest possible commitment to customer support drives nearly everything we do at VAL-CO. In the latest edition of AgSpeak™, you will read about how we support our customers with training on the proper use and maintenance of our equipment. Our Tech Support team is available by phone 24/7 but is also hands-on and corrects […]

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Poultry Red Mites

Red poultry mites are one of the most common external parasites to plague commercial egg flocks and backyard birds alike. They are a common vector of pathogenic diseases, but are arguably a bigger problem on their own. The two-week life cycle of the red mite means they reproduce rapidly. They prefer high heat, high humidity […]

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Methods for Managing Heat Stress

We’ve all seen it before – it’s the middle of the day and your broilers are hunkered down on the floor, wings slightly spread, and panting fast. Your birds are too hot, and are spending their energy trying to cool themselves rather than eating, drinking, and growing. In swine we see similar actions – pigs […]

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The Importance of Water Pressure & Volume

It’s easy to forget the importance of the water supply when the power is running and the pump is working; when water is coming into the house. The increasingly hot weather only highlights the importance of having an adequate amount of water available to help birds regulate their temperature. Two factors affect the availability of […]

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Understanding Rodents & Controlling Them

Rats and mice have long been a problem on farms where food and nesting sites are plentiful. They are carriers of some 45 diseases and are capable of contaminating farm feed and water supplies helping to spread disease from contaminated to uncontaminated areas and from animal to animal. Many of these diseases are harmful to […]

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International Food Safety Day

The first-ever World Food Safety Day (7 June 2019) celebration comes as International Poultry Council continues food safety engagement in the supply chain globally. The theme for World Food Safety Day is “Food Safety, everyone’s business” to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent and detect foodborne risks. Every step of food creation, from […]

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Equipment Care – Watering Lines

We have to care for equipment in the poultry house in order to keep it working for as long as possible. Water is the most important nutrient that we can supply to our birds, so we should take extra care to ensure that the water delivery system is always clean and free of debris. It […]

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Construction Site Organization

Construction sites, whether new builds or retrofits, can be hectic, messy and dangerous. Site organization is a detailed and well thought out process which ensures a healthy and safe construction site throughout the project duration. With good organization, installs can progress smoothly with less damage to both equipment and personnel. Here are a few key […]

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Preparing for Spring – Tunnel & Exhaust Fans

Fans get used all year long, but they still require regular maintenance and cleaning so that they continue to work smoothly and efficiently. Remember to put safety first, and always unplug the fans before performing any maintenance procedure. Start the summer off right with a little care, and a lot of fan performance! Subscribe to […]

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Setting Up & Troubleshooting a Gas Cremator

A cremator is a great method of mortality removal. It uses relatively little energy, works quickly to reduce mortality to ash, and kills all potential pathogens in the process. Properly setting up and troubleshooting a cremator are imperative if the unit is going to function the way it was designed to, so we are here […]

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Breeder Management to Avoid Floor Eggs

Floor eggs are bound to happen, but too many floor eggs will require corrective action to prevent a recurring problem. Floor laying is habitual, and once it become routine, there is no way to stop it. Therefore, good nest setup and maintenance is necessary from the very beginning. To start, you can “train” pullets during […]

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broiler breeder systems

Male Spiking to Maintain Fertility

Spiking is the addition of young broiler breeder males into an older flock to compensate for the decline in fertility that occurs around 35 weeks of age. This decline in fertility could happen for several reasons – a lack in mating interest or decrease in sperm quality, a decrease in mating efficiency or an increase […]

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Preparing for Spring – Cool Cell Pads

Spring is in the air! As the temperature starts to rise we have to start thinking ahead and getting our barns ready for warmer weather. Part of that preparation process includes cleaning up the cool cell pad system and making sure all of the necessary components are working. We’ve developed this comprehensive checklist on how […]

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How Automation Changed Broiler Breeder Rearing

Remember back in the day when breeder eggs were hand gathered from galvanized nests? Farming was a lot different then than it is now. Today, automation is in full swing and moving forward. Conventional nests are still being used today in various applications, but they require a significant amount of manual labor. From collecting eggs […]

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