Fertrell Blog

Jeff Mattocks

Find me on:

Recent Posts

Feeding milk to chickens

I have had some interesting dialogue regarding feeding milk to poultry and I think there are several points that need to be addressed in regards to feeding milk to poultry:

Invigorate - What is it and how do i use it?

Invigorate is a powerful blend of Vitamins, Trace Minerals, Direct fed Microbials.  It includes Vitamin A, D, E, Riboflavin, Choline, Niacin, Folic Acid, and trace minerals including Cobalt, Selenium, Manganese, Zinc, Copper and Iron.  Invigorate also has direct fed microbials includes Yeast cultures and blended Lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus plantarum).

Creating a Forage inventory

As fall ends and winter begins, many farmers turn their attention to the stored forages they've made for their herd.  The last of the hard field work will soon be over giving way to holidays, weddings and other celebrations seasons.  This is also the best time to inventory all of your stored forages including Hays, Corn Silage, Haylage and grains.  This will allow you to accurately estimate how much additional feed you will need to buy or how much extra feed you will have to sell till next harvest season.

laying hens and winter

In the winter of 2002-2003, I had to learn new lessons about laying hens in cold weather.  In Lancaster County, PA that year we had the coldest winter in the past 50 years, with over 30 days below freezing.  I didn’t give any extra thought regarding my egg producing customers until they started calling.  Several things happened that winter that had not occurred in the past 6 years.  The hens started to get irritable because of overcrowding. They began pecking and eating feathers from each other due to a lack of protein or methionine.  Others were losing feathers because they started molting.  Some hens were eating nearly twice the normal amount of feed to offset the cold  temps and/or poor feed quality.   The extra feed they ate caused their egg sizes to increase significantly.  Meanwhile, egg production numbers were decreasing, which could indicate a number of possible problems.

I Don't See Any Molds!

Something that comes to mind every year during the winter months is molds and toxins in forages.  During the spring, summer and early fall, I don’t need to think about these because the availability of pasture and fresh forages seem to negate the affects of stored feed molds and toxins.  However, during the winter months when feeding all stored or fermented feeds, the affects of molds and toxins become much more prevalent because that is all that is being fed.

Why 90% of Somatic Cell Issues are because of Management

There are a whole lot of reasons why a cow's somatic cell count (SCC) may be on the rise. Farmers would like to find blame with Water, Grain mix, minerals, etc. when actually SCC is 90% management and environmental. Two of the major areas that cause somatic cell issues are Poor Bedding/Wet Ground Conditions and Stress. These two areas are often overlooked, but these are the things that will weaken the immune system allowing for higher SCC. It reduces the cow’s ability to fight off infections. Some of the major areas we look at are: 

About this Blog

The Fertrell Company blog is for farmers, backyard gardeners, and homesteaders alike. Learn from the experts on all things natural and organic for both soil and livestock.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts