AgSpeak Blog

King’s Poultry Farm – Reuben King

Reuben King, a 29-year old poultry farmer and business owner, has made a name for himself in Bradford, OH. For 22 years, Reuben has helped out the family slaughtering chickens. His parents, William and Marilyn King, started raising and processing chickens by hand in the barnyard in 1983. They purchased an automatic picker and fixed […]

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Plumage & Performance

Feathering’s biggest role is to serve as protection from the elements. It’s an insulation factor that keeps birds’ bodies warm so that energy can be better used to lay eggs or grow muscle tissue. But why do birds lose their feathers? The answer is sometimes complex. Factors range from housing structures and equipment, to nutrition […]

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2020 – A Year in Review

This year has certainly been a tumultuous one. It started our normal enough. The International Production & Processing Expo took place in Atlanta, Georgia. We featured our newest addition to the VAL-CO fan line, the variable speed V-Fan. VAL-CO has stepped up to help achieve the ideal environment with the introduction of the versatile, highly […]

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Merry Christmas!

Tis the season for candy canes, Christmas sales, and Santa’s at the mall… but what is Christmas really about? Over 2000 years ago, God sent the angel Gabriel to Mary. Gabriel said to Mary, “Peace be with you!” God has blessed you and is pleased with you. The angel said to her “Don’t be afraid, […]

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What we know about woody breast

Woody breast syndrome has been an on-going concern for integrators. It’s not a modern problem; research has shown that it did exist in genetic lines from the 1950s, it was just less noticeable because the condition did not progress far enough. While not detrimental to the birds themselves, it does create a less-than-desirable end product […]

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turkey production

Don’t Let Salmonella Ruin your Holiday

Don’t Let Salmonella Ruin your Holiday When it comes to food safety, everyone has a roll to play. Farmers and integrators often work closely together to ensure that the birds live a healthy life and are processed in sanitary conditions. The entire food chain is designed to reduce salmonella contamination, but let’s face it, the […]

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Alternative Breeder Management Practices: Male Restaurant Feeding

Alternative Breeder Management Practices: Male Restaurant Feeding Male “restaurant” feeding is a breeder management practice that is utilized by some integrators in certain parts of the world. It is a feeding practice where males are trained to come to the sound of a whistle to enter a separate feeding pen. This allows the males and […]

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10 Fun Turkey Facts

This week we celebrate all that we are thankful for around the traditional roast turkey. But what do you really know about that magnificent bird? The North American Turkey was nearly hunted to extinction by the early 1900s when there was just 30,000 birds left. Today, there are nearly 7 million. The dangly appendage on […]

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Post-weaning Diarrhea in Pigs

Post-weaning Diarrhea PWD affects pigs in the first two weeks after weaning, commonly characterized by diarrhea, and followed by dehydration, sudden death, and growth delays. Stress factors, including removal from the sow, dietary changes, and new environments and pig groupings, may decrease immune function and lead to intestinal gut dysfunction. PWD is associated with e. […]

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What is black head disease?

There are no longer any approved treatments available due to the increasing rate of resistance. Therefore, the only “treatment” is to limit the transmission. Black head disease is always fatal, but if it is caught early enough, and the birds are culled and removed promptly, losses can be minimal. Histomoniasis is caused by a microscopic, […]

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Signs & Symptoms of Swine Respiratory Disease

Swine Respiratory Disease (SRD) How to recognize the signs and symptoms Swine respiratory diseases are the largest cause of swine casualties in the United States. Often, multiple strands of bacteria are involved which lead to an increased length and harshness. Multiple strands also can cause infected pigs to go untreated or mistreated due to the […]

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Porcine Circovirus – What is it?

Porcine circovirus – what is it? Porcine circovirus disease (PCVD) is a relatively new viral disease among swine. It’s a very small DNA virus with a circular genome that is hardy in the environment. Originally discovered in 1974, porcine circovirus type 1 (PCV1) was recognized as a non-disease-causing agent that frequently occurred in laboratory tissue […]

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Why choose tube heat?

Radiant brooders have been common-place in poultry houses for many years, and there’s a reason for that. They are great in the south, where there are mild winters and abundant chicken farms. Brooders are easy to install and easy to maintain, as well as being affordable. But there are downsides, as with anything. Improperly serviced […]

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How Plumage Affects Breeder Productivity

Plumage, or feathering, on chickens serves to provide insulation and protection. When the feathering is compromised, it effects more than just birds’ appearance. Hens with poor plumage struggle to be productive. As an insulator, feathers help birds to maintain their warmth. Balding birds have to consume more feed in order to increase their thermal output. […]

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The In Between – Transitional Ventilation

The transitional seasons for ventilation are typically Spring and Fall. These seasons are normally where you are going to have the most fluctuation in temperature making it difficult for growers to ventilate properly. Whether you are transitioning from minimum to full ventilation, or full to minimum ventilation, it is important to regulate temperature changes gradually. […]

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Using the Val Lott Stick

The Val Lott Stick is a great tool to help you measure flow rates through your Val Nipple Drinker System. It’s always important to know exactly how much water is being delivered to your birds, and having a log of flow rates will help you notice problems early on. Water supply, water pressure, dirty or […]

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10 Interesting Facts About Pigs

“I like pigs. Dogs look up to you. Cats look down to you. Pigs look you in the eye and see you as equal.” Winston Churchill Newborn piglets learn to run to their mother’s voices. Adult pigs can run at speeds up to 11 miles per hour. Not that they would… but they could! The […]

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Inlets & Winching Maintenance Guide

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Preventing Barn Fires

Preventing Barn Fires Barn fires wreak havoc in many ways. In addition to the damage to business and livelihood, barn fires are a great danger to employees, neighbors, and livestock. It is crucial to take steps to prevent, as much as possible, barn fires from occurring. Barn fires can be caused by a variety of […]

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E.coli – Symptoms, Prevention, Treatment

Escherichia coli, or E. coli is distributed among poultry of all ages. The Escherichia bacteria is a natural inhabitant of the gut in poultry and most other animals. Normally, it is kept in check by other bacterium in the gut, but if large colonies form it can cause severe discomfort, illness, and mortality. E. coli is […]

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