Hubbard Life

Hubbard Life Blog

Your resource for advice from Hubbard® Life experts.


A Weedy Problem: Watch your pastures

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes I have thumb problems.  While many people are very proud of their green thumbs, mine tends to look a little, well, black.  It usually shows up when I have a weed eater or a jug of Round-Up in my hands.  If it is not a corn plant, a tomato or a flower WITH a bloom, it looks like a weed and therefore it is the enemy that must not live on my farm.  My wife gets upset with me sometimes for destroying some flowers but I usually keep the place looking ok. 

But in my pasture/hay fields, where I want my plants to flourish, I continue to have a little more of a “black instead of a green” thumb.  With horses, mini donkeys and chickens, I am very hesitant to use any herbicide on the hay fields/pastures.  I know there are ways to clear weeds but there is a reason why I went into animal science and not crop science.

Some of the problem weeds that may be in a pasture or hayfield may include thistle, Milkweed and Queen Anne’s Lace. Their names make it fairly easy to know what they look like and that are not good for my animals…but other noxious plants are not as familiar. 

As I was doing research about bad weeds for horses, I found there are so many weeds they will not fit on this page.  Some are very regional (Houndstongue in the Pacific NW) and some are found in most places like Red Oak leaves. 

A short list of toxic plants may include Nightshade, Milkweed, Buttercups, Braken Fern, Lilly of the Valley and if ingested in large amounts, plants like lambsquarter and pig weed can create issues.

Luckily, most animals will not eat these toxic plants as long as there are other things to eat.  A problem may occur however when the weeds are cut and baled in hay so the horses may eat some accidentally.

So the question becomes, what can you do about these bad plants?  First is learn to identify them.  I have a lot of nice neighbors that have farmed around me for a long time that know their plants.  Second, decide how you wish to get rid of weeds.  Pulling or cutting them is one way but if you have a weed that grows via rhizomes (a horizontal root system), then that does not work well as I found with Johnson grass.    You could “Round-Up” the whole field and start again but that takes time and, correctly done, lots of money.  You can use some form of the herbicide 2,4 D that does not have a withhold time (please check application directions) that will get rid of all broad leaf plants (which includes most of the bad weeds).   I have tried a couple of ways with limited success and am going to try another direction this year but I hope after reading this, your thumb is now a little greener. 

Posted on 8/7/2014 by Dr. Ed Bonnette  |  Category: Equine, Poultry, Cat, Dog, Rabbit, Sheep, Goat, Specialty
0 Comments  |   Read More  |  

Hubbard Life and Exmark Launch “This is the Life” Sweepstakes

Hubbard Feeds announced a joint promotion with the leading manufacturer of commercial mowers for the landscape professional, Exmark. The companies are teaming up to give away three top-of-the-line Exmark zero-turn mowers away in the Hubbard Life ‘This is the Life’ Sweepstakes.

 

According to Exmark Director of Marketing, Daryn Walters, the partnership between Exmark and Hubbard Life is a natural fit.

“Exmark and Hubbard Life share a single-minded dedication to excellence. While the focus of our businesses may be different, our commitment to leadership and delivering the very best for our customers is much the same,” Walters said.

“The difference between good and great is dependability, reliability and the integrity of the people and products they represent,” said Michael Hinton of Hubbard Feeds. “No one knows this more than Hubbard and Exmark.

“From focusing on the nutritional care of your animals, to the design and performance of your mower, Hubbard and Exmark work every day to earn our customers’ trust and exceed their expectations. It’s how we do business and it’s why we’re excited to send customers to our Hubbard Life dealers to register.”

Three winners will be selected – one from each of the three Hubbard Life business unit regions. Each winner will take home a 2014 Exmark Lazer Z X-Series zero-turn mower with a 60-inch cutting deck and a retail value of more than $13,000.

The Hubbard Life ‘This is the Life’ Sweepstakes begins July 30, 2014. No purchase is necessary to enter. Visit a participating Hubbard Life dealer for complete contest rules, or to complete the postage-paid sweepstakes entry card. Visit https://www.hubbardlife.com/dealers to find the nearest Hubbard Life dealer. All entries must be received by October 1, 2014.

Posted on 7/21/2014 by Shannon Zika  |  Category: Equine, Poultry, Cat, Dog, Rabbit, Sheep, Goat, Specialty
4 Comments  |   Read More  |  

Goat Herd Health: Increase efficiency and productivity

The goal of any goat herd health program should be to increase efficiency and productivity.  Herd health programs should include general husbandry, nutrition, and parasite and vaccination programs.  Your emphasis should be on disease prevention rather than treatment.  There are three major approaches for disease control:

  1. Keep resistance high  
  2. Avoid exposure
  3. Recognize and address diseases early

Using all three approaches together is the most effective way to eliminate or minimize disease costs and losses in your herd.  A veterinarian should take part in helping you develop a vaccination program that helps you with disease prevention regardless of how many goats you have.

Culling: Proper culling will increase productivity.  Cull chronically injured, sick, or open (unbred after 1or 2 attempts) does to increase profitability and herd quality.

In this blog I will concentrate on the nutritional impact on herd health.  That is one of the four primary factors involved in herd health.

Good quality forages are the cornerstone of goat nutrition.  Supplement grain based on the body condition and reproductive and growth stage of the animal.  Most goats should be able to thrive on pasture and hay.  Over-conditioned (overweight) goats are more likely to have problems with pregnancy toxemia and dystocia (trouble giving birth).

Provide clean, fresh water and a complete mineral salt at all times.  Goats are more resistant to copper toxicity than sheep, so a sheep mineral will not provide enough copper for goats.  Either a goat mineral or cattle mineral is suitable, but do not feed a sheep mineral.  The importance of good water cannot be overstated!

Bucks and wethers fed grain can develop urinary calculi (bladder stones) that can cause a urinary blockage. You will notice it as a “waterbelly” look; the goat’s sides are very distended and stretched to an uncomfortable level.  Feeding ammonium chloride at a level of 1% to 2% of the diet will help decrease the incidence of bladder stones.  The calcium to phosphorus ratio in the diet should be 2 to 1, which will also decrease the incidence of bladder stones and provide the proper mineral balance for bone development.

Consult your veterinarian if selenium deficiency is a problem in your herd.  Vitamin E and selenium injections may be necessary.  The best means to prevent selenium deficiency is to feed good-quality mineral containing selenium throughout gestation. 

In caring for the newborn kids make sure priority #1 is to get colostrum into them.  A kid should receive colostrum in the first 4 hours after birth.  Feed colostrum four times per day for a total of 1.5 -2 pints per day.  Then follow that will a high quality milk replacer

The nutritionists who designed the Hubbard Life Goat Feeds have covered all the bases by creating good nutrition products for your goats.  Learn more about these products by visiting www.HubbardLife.com or contact your nearest Hubbard dealer on the dealer locator portion of the website.

Hubbard Life Goat Feeds are formulated with quality ingredients to help provide optimal nutrition for all life stages of meat and dairy goats.  These feeds contain ingredients like chelated zinc for better immune function, organic selenium and vitamin E for improved breeding and cell health and a balanced calcium/phosphorus ratio to better fit the needs of today’s faster growing animals.

Posted on 6/23/2014 by Amy Brown  |  Category: Goat
0 Comments  |   Read More  |