WOW! DID WE GET SOME RAIN!
Remember a couple of months ago when we were hoping we would get good rainfall this winter? Wow, did it come through! Our average rainfall here is around 16 inches a year. So far this year we have more than doubled that amount! Lake Berryessa filled up and spilled over the “Glory Hole” (if you didn’t know this is what locals call the spillway for Monticello Dam). At its peak level it was three and a half feet over the top of the Glory Hole! That was several weeks ago, today it is still about six inches over. This has only happened a handful of times since the dam was built in the 50’s. I can remember driving up to witness it spilling over every few years since I was a child. Here is a picture of what it looks like.....quite majestic!
We needed the rain, but I know it presented a challenge for some of you. It was indeed a lot at one time! The good news is we are out of the drought!
FEED AND HAY REPORT
Recently livestock feed pricing has inched upward slightly. This is due to rail shipping problems caused by the snow. Hopefully as things settle down prices will move back down. Hay is relatively stable. We have run out of some types, but still have a nice selection for you to choose from. It is too early to say how our new hay crop will turn out. Do you realize in years past we have been cutting hay already in March? This year it looks like it is still a few weeks out. We will just have to hold on and see how things play out!
CHANGES IN REGULATIONS
Starting this year we have new regulations regarding over the counter antibiotics for treating livestock. Overall this is a good thing if you have followed the rise in human diseases that are resistant to antibiotics. However this does present challenges to raising livestock, as we all have to adjust.
Scott and some of our staff have been attending seminars and other discussions on this subject. He is going to share some of what
he has learned and hopefully this will benefit you! Thanks again for your continuing business! Roland
THE SCOOP ON ANTIBIOTICS
On January 1st of this year the USDA implemented new rules governing the use of oral antibiotics in livestock. All medically important antibiotics used in or on feed and in drinking water will now require a Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) from your veterinarian, like a prescription. All low dose growth promoting antibiotics are no longer allowed. Our feed suppliers have taken out prohibited antibiotics from their feed and replaced it with approved non medically important antibiotics and coccidiostats, which has made it an easy transition for our customers. Water soluble products, like tetracycline and sulfamethazine that many of our customers have used to treat illness in livestock, now also require a VFD and are no longer available at Higby’s.
With these new rules in place we want to remind our customers of the importance of preventing disease and maintaining healthy animals by use of proper animal husbandry practices. Developing a vaccine and deworming program with your Veterinarian and following an appropriate feed, mineral, and supplementation program will help to keep your animals healthy. Clean drinking water is often overlooked but is also extremely important in keeping disease out of your livestock. Also, using probiotics in all animals helps them maintain healthy gut function which enables your livestock to fight disease and remain healthy.
We have diligently educated ourselves about the new regulations and have researched products and practices that prevent disease. After our poultry seminar last summer we learned of the importance of vaccinating our chicks at hatching and supplying them with electrolytes and probiotics when they arrive to eliminate the need for treating unhealthy birds with regulated antibiotics. This year all of the chicks we have brought in to sell have been vaccinated and proactively given electrolytes and probiotics. These preventative measures have resulted in very low death loss and extremely healthy birds for our customers. If you have any questions about the new regulations or need help with preventative practices please come in and talk to our knowledgeable staff and we will be sure to help.
Hope to see you soon! Scott