01
Aug

Summer Survival Strategy – August

Hot spots are moist, painful, red, irritated, and—you guessed it—hot lesions that can develop on a dog’s skin, usually on the chest, hip, or head. They can grow rather quickly, especially if your dog ends up chewing, scratching, or licking them, causing further irritation.

 

A hot spot could be caused by anything that ends up irritating your pet’s skin, forcing them to lick or scratch themselves. Some of the common causes include insects and mites, fleas, underlying skin infections, allergies, and poor grooming. If your dog is bored or stressed and constantly chewing or licking their skin, a hot spot could develop in that case as well. Hot spots are also more common during humid, warm weather, so you might notice your dog dealing with this irritation during the summer, which is also when insects and fleas are prevalent.  Vetericyn Hot Spot Spray is non-irritating and cleans, soothes and relieves itchy, irritated skin. It’s fast acting and provides quick relief for your pet to help speed the healing process.

As stewards of the land we have the ability to implement management practices to help increase the water holding capacity of the soil.  This leads to healthier soil (and therefore plants) and reduces the amount of added water needed for plants to thrive. This is important on an ongoing basis, but especially in times of drought.  Adding compost to your soil incorporates nutrient rich, broken down organic material into the soil to improve drainage while maintaining the water holding capacity of the soil. There are a variety of types of compost available on the market if you don’t want to make your own (more info: https://wateruniversity.tamu.edu/soil/composting/). One of the best commercially available is MicroLife Humates Plus, it’s like concentrated compost in a bag.  It quickly opens the soil and the nutrients (over 70 vitamins and minerals) drop into the root zone so bigger root systems can be built.  Water infiltration and oxygen flow to the plants is also increased.
In August-September hummingbirds will be moving back South for the winter.  They tend to feed in the morning and afternoon, travelling during the day. During migration a hummingbird’s heart beats up to 1,260 times a minute and flaps its wings up to 80 times a second, wow!  They tend to fly low so they can easily see nectar sources and stop when needed, to refuel. Nectar found in nature is typically in the range of 12-25% sugar. Keep this in mind when mixing nectar for your feeders, or pick up some Moore Wild Birds Nectar which is formulated with 3 plant sugars and designed to mimic nectar found in nature. There’s no need to dye your nectar red, but have you ever wondered why people do?  Or, why many hummingbird feeders are red?  It’s not necessarily that hummingbirds are more attracted to red, but they have evolved over time to know that red flowers typically have more nectar in them because bees, wasps and butterflies are better at locating pale-colored flowers than red flowers.

If your feeders are prone to bees and ants you can try a non-gravity fed feeder like the MWB So Real feeder (pictured here). The nectar is not forced to the hole by gravity so bees and ants can’t get to it – but a hummingbird can easily reach the nectar even if it’s not totally full.

In ideal conditions chickens will lay an egg once every 24-26 hours after they’ve reached egg-laying age (approximately 18-20 weeks).  Sometimes, though, chickens might take a little break from laying. One of the more common reasons they may take a break is environmental stress, including the heat of our Texas summers.  If you’re flock’s egg production has noticeably slowed this might be part of the reason. After confirming that the eggs aren’t hidden or disappearing you can try a few things to make their coop a little more comfortable during the heat of summer.  Most importantly it is essential to provide plenty of cool, fresh water and make sure your coop is well ventilated. Chickens can drink twice as much water as normal during hot conditions. Make sure you have enough waterers so each chicken has access and put them in the shade to help keep them cooler.  You can also put ice cubes in the waterers and offer cold frozen fruits & vegetables (limit to 10% of their diet).

 

In addition, it’s important to make sure your chickens are meeting their nutritional requirements.  Sometimes this can be difficult if they’re free ranging a lot, or not eating a full portion of a complete diet.  Purina Animal Nutrition’s new Farm To Flock Hen Treats are a great option to supplement their diet. In contrast to treating your chickens with scratch or mealworms, Purina’s treats are fully fortified with essential vitamins and amino acids to provide a healthy, balanced treat.  They are available in two protein levels – Wholesome Hen Treats for daily maintenance and High Protein Hen Treats for birds that need a little nutritional boost.

August Specials

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