AgSpeak Blog

Nest Pad Care for Cleaner Eggs

Nest pads are used as a hygienic alternative to other nesting amendments. Straw, peat, and litter all work as nesting substrates, but hold more dirt and debris than nest pads, and often don’t allow eggs to roll out of the nest so easily, which can result in cracks and damage. Nest pads are designed with […]

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Celebrating National Agriculture Day

National Ag Day is held every year on March 14 as an effort to tell the true story of American agriculture and remind citizens that agriculture is a part of all of us. The National Ag Day program encourages every American to understand how food and fiber products are produced and to appreciate the role […]

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Preventing African Swine Fever in the US

For most of the 20th century, African Swine Fever had been comfortably concealed in Eastern and Southern Africa. First described in Kenya in the 1920’s as an acute hemorrhagic fever, African Swine Fever was noticed in domestic swine after they had come into contact with wildlife, primarily warthogs. With globalization and industrialization came the spread […]

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Extend Fan Life with Regular Maintenance

Fans are arguably the most important component to an effective ventilation design, and therefore require regular maintenance to keep them working at their full capacity for as long as possible. We’ve developed some guidelines to help keep performance up flock after flock. Inspect the propeller Check that it is secure on the shaft and there […]

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2019 IPPE Showcase

In case you missed it…  The 2019 International Production & Processing Expo was held February 12-14 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The show expanded this year to cover all three show halls, included more that 1,400 exhibitors, and welcomed over 30,000 guests. In addition to the tradeshow, there were conferences held […]

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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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