Fertrell Blog

Perfecting Pullet Management

The first 18 weeks of a chick’s life is the most critical and will impact future production. Errors made during this time are difficult to overcome. During pullet development, their body is focusing on growing and building reserves for future laying. Low egg production and poor shell quality during lay can often be traced back to pullet development. Pullet management is essential for the success and profits of the future laying flock. The overall aim of pullet development is to reach a target body weight with high uniformity. Less than 85% uniformity will cause a decrease in egg production and peak production will be hard to maintain. Understanding developmental stages, maintaining brooder temperature, providing enough space, and providing fresh, balanced rations will help ensure the success of your future layer.

Fertrell No-Soy Protein Crumbles

What are Non-Soy Protein Crumbles, and why would you need them? Here at Fertrell, we receive more and more requests for non-soy poultry and swine rations. Many of you would probably ask, “Why?”

Keys to Maintaining Production in Your Laying flock during winter

Can you believe that it's January already? Winter can be a very challenging time to keep laying hens as there are so many things to take into account. Some of these things seem quite rudimentary, but these are what we see farmers most often "miss" when they call us about production drops for their laying hens.

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).

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.

The Latest Trend: On-Farm Feed Mixing

(This article was originally published in the APPPA Grit Newsletter and has been republished here). 

Air Quality Impact on Animal Health & Performance

One of the most frequent questions we are asked is "Does air quality really matter that much?" The answer is an overwhelming YES. Air quality really does matter that much, and it's doing a lot more to impact herd/flock health and performance than you might imagine. 

A Guide to Poultry Pecking

Anyone that raises poultry- whether it be broilers, layers, or turkeys- has experienced pecking issues in their flock. What's not always clear is why the birds are pecking and how to stop it. The number one thing we hear in the office is "my birds are pecking eachother so there MUST be something wrong with my feed!!". Chances are, that's actually not the case. We've found that birds tend to peck more because of environmental reasons than because there's something wrong with your feed. Poultry pecking is avoidable if you know what to look for. The chart below comes straight from Jeff Mattocks and his 20 years of experience working with pastured flocks. Let's look at it in more detail.

6 Essential Steps to Raising Turkeys

Why Turkeys?

Raising turkeys can be a great way to diversify the livestock on your farm. Whether you're looking to add a new revenue stream or you're just looking for a little entertainment, turkeys are sure to delight!

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.

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