Three trimesters that last a lifetime

July 12th, 2017

Make the most of calf development during cow gestation.

When you think of the first moments of a calf’s life, you might picture a newborn calf vigorously nursing a healthy mama cow. You probably don’t think of that calf in utero. But a calf’s lifetime performance can hinge on the nine months before birth. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of the 283 days of a cow’s gestation and reduce the potential “bad days” she has during her pregnancy. “A bad day is when a pregnant cow loses weight due to stressors like poor nutrition, disease challenges or harsh environment,” says Ron Scott, Ph. D., director of beef research for Purina Animal Nutrition. “External stressors can impact the cow’s entire metabolism and how nutrients flow to the growing fetus.” Limiting the cow’s bad days and improve your chance of positively influencing fetal growth, which is important during every trimester.


Building a foundation

“You might wonder, ‘why is a little-bitty fetus such a big deal?’” says Scott. “It’s simple: The first trimester is when you’re building the foundation of life for a calf. During this time the placenta develops and serves as a hotel room service for the fetus for the rest of the pregnancy.” The placenta is a direct connection that provides oxygen and nutrients from the dam to the developing fetus. If the placenta is not well developed because of cow stress, reduced blood flow can negatively affect fetal nutrition throughout gestation.

The first trimester is also when the fetal brain, heart, liver and reproductive organs form.

“We typically don’t think about replacement heifer development until there’s a live calf on the ground,” says Scott. “But developing a successful replacement heifer begins in the first trimester when germ cells start forming the reproductive system developed in utero will affect a heifer’s fertility throughout her life.


Muscling up

During the second trimester, the fetus continues to grow organs and establish internal systems that influence those organs for a lifetime. Fetal muscle fiber development also begins during this time. “Cattle produce muscle we sell in the form of weight, but a stressed cow can lead to reduced muscle fiber development and, ultimately, lower carcass weights,” says Scott. “When you think about what we sell as an industry, the second trimester is vital.”


Preparing for parturition

Growth skyrockets during the last trimester, and lung development is critical as the calf prepares for breathing on its own.

“The calf has, hopefully, been in an excellent environment, getting all of its nutrition and oxygen from the dam,” says Scott. “But once it’s born, it’s going to need to breathe on its own. It’s also going to need a nutritious diet. Stress and nutrition for the cow during the third trimester impacts colostrum quality and quantity.”


The most critical time

Is there a most important trimester?

“That’s like asking a parent to pick their favorite child,” says Scott. “Each trimester is vital in its own way.”

Historically, the last trimester was considered the most important because of 75 percent of fetal growth occurs during this time. Recently, more attention has been paid to the first trimester when the foundation of life is occurring. More research is being conducted to determine exactly how important this stage really is.

“One thing is clear – each trimester plays a significant role,” says Scott. “Consistent, daily nutrition to the dam can help avoid bad days that shortchange a developing fetus and its future performance.”


Take out the guesswork

What does all of this mean for you nutrition program?

“You don’t want to overfeed because it means you’re overspending,” says Scott. “However, feed is an investment, and good-quality forage is essential, especially during extreme heat or cold when energy intake is compromised.”

Cattle nutrition requirements change with the season, and it can sometimes be challenging to know what to provide your cows. One solution that helps eliminate guesswork is Accuration Supplement with Intake Modifying Technology. Accuration Supplements are designed so cows only consume them when they need them, which allows cows to get the nutrition they need.

Three trimesters and zero bad days. Take a look at your herd. See if there are ways you can reduce stress, provide more consistent cow nutrition and set your calves up for a bright future.


Article Attributed to Purina Mills and Ron Scott, Ph. D.

Don’t set and forget self-fed supplements

July 12th, 2017

Better management of self-fed supplements could improve consumption and optimize performance.

 Self-fed supplements are commonly used to deliver essential nutrients to cattle and to meet their nutritional requirements. However, use of a self-fed supplement does not translate to a self-managed supplementation program. Proper management of self-fed supplements is important to achieve desired intake and cattle performance goals.

One of the biggest challenges producers face with self-fed supplements is consumption,” says Christina Hayes, Ph.D., beef product manager with Purina Animal Nutrition. “When intake isn’t within the expected range, cattle performance may suffer. For optimal performance, management of self-fed supplements is essential.”

Many things can influence consumption, from forage quality and amount to supplement location and water availability. But you can take steps to help manage supplements and optimize intake.

The first step to becoming a better supplement manager begins with measuring intake.


Determining Consumption

“Calculating consumption can help you get a baseline intake for your herd, which you can then compare to target intake levels for the supplement,” says Hayes. “If your herd’s intake is below or above target intake levels, then you know it’s time to make adjustments.”

The following calculation can help you measure herd intake:

(Pounds of supplement distributed / # of cattle) / # days supplement was available

When making this calculation, don’t forget that calves will consume some supplement as well.

“If a supplement is not being consumed at target intake levels, it’s time to start troubleshooting,” says Hayes. “What is the forage quality? Where is the feeder located? Have there been weather challenges? What is the overall feeding program?”

If consumption is a challenge, there are strategies you can implement to help achieve the desired intake.


Managing Supplements

Implementing some simple strategies can go a long way toward ideal supplement consumption.

Here are a few tips:

  • Look for a high-quality supplement that includes protein, energy, calcium, phosphorus and trace minerals
  • It is best to start supplementing early to ensure cattle requirements are being met. If you wait too long to supplement and cows have to play nutritional catch-up, you may experience supplement overconsumption.
  • Initially, place supplements near a water source or in loafing or grazing areas. Cattle frequently visit those spots, giving them more opportunity to consume as they adjust to using the supplements. As the cattle become more comfortable with supplements, you can gradually move supplements further from those areas to entice them to graze underutilized pasture.
  • Ensure fresh, cool water is available, preferably in the shade during the warm, summer months. As temperature and humidity rise, cattle will require more water. Poor water quality, or lack of water, can cause cattle to go off feed quickly, which can limit feed intake and overall cattle performance.
  • Do not move a full bulk feeder. The feed may pack, which can compromise flow, especially if the feed is oily.
  • Clean feeder troughs regularly to remove any compromised product and help keep product fresh. When it rains, feed behind an adjustable gate can become wet, causing feed to swell, and preventing flow of fresh feed. Removing wet feed will also prevent mold and rot.
  • For supplements with Intake Modifying Technology, consumption will adjust with changes in forage quantity and quality. Expect higher consumption with lower quality/quantity forage and lower consumption with higher quality/quantity forage. Be aware that in times of lower quality/quantity forage, cattle may consume supplements rapidly.

Here are some general rules of thumb by self-fed product:

Wind & Rain Storm Mineral:

  • Put fresh, non-medicated mineral out once per week.
  • Use a covered mineral feeder to help protect the mineral.
  • Know if your mineral is complete or non-complete. Complete minerals include salt, which helps drive intake.

Accuration Block or Tub Supplement:

  • In contrast to a plastic tub, blocks have corrugated cardboard sides. Initially, in smaller pastures, more than one big block can be placed in a feeding location. When consumption is determined, then the blocks can be relocated or separated.
  • Cows per block is a function of block size and pasture size.
    • 500 lb. block: One block per 20 to 25 cows
    • 200 lb. block: One block per 10 to 15 cows

Accuration Liquid Supplement:

  • All storage tanks and lick tanks must be cleaned prior to adding liquid.
  • At the end of the feeding season, tip tanks on their sides so the remaining liquid will flow out from the wheel slot. This prevents the remaining liquid from gelling, separating or molding inside the tank and keeps rain water from entering the tank.
  • Accuration Liquid is a suspension product. Without agitation, it can become thicker over time, so it is important to move the liquid on a regular basis to maintain the free-flowing state. If forage quality is meeting cattle requirements and liquid intake is low, it is a good practice to more the lick wheels manually. That should be done weekly to keep the product from thickening in the tank.


Driving performance

No matter the product form, a self-fed supplement should not be approached with a “set it and forget it” strategy. “Small things like adjusting tub location and cleaning out a feeder can work together to help you achieve desired intake levels,” says Hayes. “And more desirable consumption can, potentially, lead to improved cattle performance.”

The extra time spent calculating supplement consumption and making adjustments may be well worth it.


Article Attributed to Purina Mills and Christina Hayes, Ph. D.

Summer Mineral Minute

July 10th, 2017

Quick and timely considerations for your mineral program.

  • If using a mineral form of fly control, consistent intake is key. Consider using Wind and Rain Storm Fly Control Mineral with Altosid (IGR) in either granular or tub form.
  • To help achieve consistent mineral intake, use enough mineral feeders for your herd size. A good rule is to use one feeder for every 20 to 30 head.
  • Make sure all cattle, including calves and timid cows, have equal access to feeders. Placing feeders in multiple locations helps provide all cattle the opportunity to consumer the mineral
  • Use water as a tool to adjust intake. If mineral intake is lower than desired, move feeders closer to water sources. If intake is higher than desired, move feeders further from the water.
  • As grasses start drying, antagonists can block absorption of minerals. If antagonists are a concern, consider using a mineral with Availa 4.
  • If you plan to use a mineral with chlortetracycline to control anaplasmosis, a VFD will be required.

Article Attributed to Purina Mills.

Back to Starter Feed Basics

July 10th, 2017

VFD may require you to take a second look at your weaned calf program.


If your buy starter feeds, this may be the first year you’ll purchase under the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). And what may have been a simple feed order in years’ past could now cause some frustration if you plan to use a starter feed containing a VFD-regulated drug. Instead of getting hung up on whether your starter formulation will include a drug, now is a good time to look at the goals of your weaned calf program and get back to starter feed basics.


Starter feeds 101

“The single most important job of a starter feed is to get calves to eat,” says Ted Perry, cattle nutritionist with Purina Animal Nutrition. “Once calves are eating, their immune systems increase, and they have a better chance of staying healthy through the weaning period.” “Healthy calves supported by a quality starter feed, whether the feed contains a drug or not,” Perry adds. Palatability is extremely important when making a feed selection because it’s what drives calves to start and continue eating. “A less palatable feed may take a calf three days to really start consuming – that’s 72 hours where a calf’s energy and protein reserves are being depleted and their immune status is in jeopardy,” says Perry. “We need to get calves eating from day one to build rumen microbe populations and immune status.” A quality starter feed should have research-proven consumption. When making your starter feed selection, ask questions about palatability and request intake research. “Once calves are on feed, everything else becomes very simple,” adds Perry.

Sorting through feed options

There are a variety of palatable starter feeds available, but Perry advises selecting one to fit your management style and weaned calf goals. “Based on your labor resources, feeding facilities and performance goals, you can select either a self-fed or hand-fed starter feed,” says Perry “Complete feeds and supplements are available based on your existing forage.”


The Purina starter feeds below provide a convenient solution for any operation:

Accuration Starter Feed: This coarse-textured, complete feed includes roughage and utilizes Intake Modifying Technology to help achieve target intake levels. Accuration Starter is a high-energy feed that helps maximize efficiency. This self-fed feed does not require additional forage and is designed for calves with superior genetics going directly to the feedyard.

Precon Complete Feed: This pelleted complete feed includes roughage and is highly palatable and nutrient dense. It gets calves quickly to restore nutrients lost through the stress of weaning and shipping. Precon Complete Feed is designed for calves with moderate genetics or unknown previous management. This feed is also recommended for high-stress or high-risk calves and does not require additional forage.

Stress Care 5 Supplement: This pelleted starter is designed to deliver a potent dose of essential nutrients for stressed cattle in a small inclusion package (five pounds per head per day). This hand-fed supplement is for producers looking to take advantage of their feedstuffs and is designed to be fed alongside unlimited, good-quality forage. The three feeds listed are available in medicated and non-medicated forms.


Don’t navigate alone

When evaluating starter feed options, don’t be afraid to ask for help. “Talk through your weaned calf goals with your nutritionist,” Perry says. “They can help you identify a starter feed to fit your forage availability, labor resources, feed type preference, feeding facilities, and cattle genetics. Your nutritionist can also help develop a budget, set realistic expectations for your program and help sort through different market scenarios and potential return on investment.” No matter which starter you choose, a weaned calf nutrition program should support healthy calves and more pounds. “Calves receiving proper nutrition, whether the feed contains a drug or not, have stronger immune systems and are less likely to get sick,” says Perry. If you do plan to use a starter feed containing a VFD-regulated drug, it’s critical to have a conversation with your veterinarian and nutritionist now. It has been said that getting back to basics is the simplest way to find calm in the chaos. This mantra couldn’t be truer for weaned calf programs in a new VFD world. Getting back to starter feed basics can help you navigate this new era and achieve your goals.

Article Attributed to Purina Mills and Ted Perry.

Vacation Survival Guide for Your Garden

June 22nd, 2015

Source: Bonnie Plants

Sure, that beach vacation you’ve been planning is going to feel like heaven to you – but it won’t to your garden. That’s because a week or two without the usual TLC can leave your plants feeling dry and wilted, not to mention vulnerable to all sorts of critters and ailments. But your time away doesn’t have to spell doom for your veggies and herbs. Just follow these tips from regional extension agent Gary Gray of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System for top-notch garden care while on vacation, so you’ll return to happy, healthy plants.

Put in an irrigation system. The biggest hurdle facing your garden while you’re away is getting enough water. Overcome it by installing drip irrigation in all of your beds and pots (soaker hoses are another option, though they tend to be less efficient), then add a timer so the system will turn on and off automatically.


Add mulch. Putting mulch around all of your plants not only helps control weeds, but it’ll help retain moisture by putting a barrier between the soil and the hot air. So if you haven’t mulched already, do so before you leave. Good options include wheat straw, pine straw, finely ground pine bark (also known as soil conditioner), and leaf compost.

Draft a garden assistant. Nothing can replace having a pair of actual eyes on the garden. Make a deal with a trustworthy friend or neighbor: They agree to care for the garden on a daily basis (watering, weeding, looking for problems, etc.), and in return they get to take home everything that’s ready to harvest. Ask them to text you photos of anything suspicious (a strange bug, a spot on a leaf), and have them over a couple of times before you leave to shadow you as you tend the garden.

Feed the plants. Give your garden an extra helping of nutrients pre-trip. Use liquid fertilizer for a quick boost, and also give a dose of granular fertilizer if you plan to be gone more than a week. Be sure to follow the application directions on the package.

Inspect the garden. If you want to return to a healthy garden, you’ll need to make sure you leave it in good shape. Look closely at your plants, at their color and vigor. Are some of the older leaves looking a little yellow and in need of a bit of nitrogen? Are there aphids on the tomato plants that could use a spritz of insecticidal soap? Any weeds that need pulling? Whatever you find, take care of it.

Plan some post-trip garden time. As soon as possible after your return, go spend some time with your plants. Give them a good watering if they need it, then pull all the weeds that have cropped up. Most importantly, look carefully at every (yes, every) leaf on every plant for problems that might’ve sprung up – or simply become more obvious – while you were away. Pinch off any dead or questionable leaves, then deal with any insect or disease issues. Finally, hello harvest time!

Looking for mulch and fertilizer? Come see us, we can help.  Thanks to Bonnie Plants for these great tips!

Chickens & Culling

June 16th, 2015

If you don’t want to wait through a molt, you can cull non-laying birds and replace them. Culling is the removal of birds in your flock that are not laying or developing as they should. If the bird is not sick, it is perfectly suitable for home cooking. You should always cull lame or sick chickens, because they are not productive and may spread disease.

A hen will give many clues that she is no longer laying. Non-laying hens have small, dull combs rather than the bright red combs of layers. Their vents will be small and dry, not stretched by egg production. The width between their pubic bones will be just one finger, not two or more, and the depth between pubic and keel bones will be only a few finger widths rather than four or more. The feathers will be ragged, with no apparent new feathers.

On the other hand, culling may not be an option for less productive or non- productive hens that have endeared themselves as pets, or if your goals are primarily to simply watch and enjoy your birds rather than obtain maximal egg or meat production from them. With good care, many types of poultry can live 20 years or more!

Egg Production in Hens

June 16th, 2015

Hen on Nesting BoxHealthy hens will begin laying at about 18 to 20 weeks of age. It is not necessary for a rooster to be present for egg laying to start, but without a rooster, all eggs will be unfertilized. Hens will be at peak production at about 30 weeks. Excellent production would be considered 80 percent to 90 percent, (100 percent is considered 1 egg per hen per day), but breed, housing, weather, management, parasite load and nutrition can all affect rate of lay.

Eggs should be gathered three times daily, more often in hot weather. Store the eggs at 55oF and 70 percent to 75 percent humidity if you plan to keep them for hatching. Eggs for eating should be refrigerated. Eggs are laid with a protective coating, which helps to keep bacteria out, and it is best if this is not disturbed. Excessive washing can force bacteria through pores in the shell and into the egg, greatly reducing its chance for successful incubation and hatching. If washing is necessary, be gentle and quick, and use only water. Be sure to use water that is warmer than the egg. Dry and cool the eggs as quickly as possible.

Frequent egg gathering serves two purposes: 1) it helps to keep the eggs cleaner and prevents bacterial growth, thus eliminating the need for washing; and 2)
it lessens the opportunity for hens to learn the bad habit of egg eating.

Chickens and Molting

May 16th, 2015

brown henMolting is the process wherein hens lose feathers and grow new ones. It occurs naturally after 10 to 14 months of production, or it can be caused accidentally by temperature extremes, running out of feed or water, a decrease in light, or disease. Hens will not lay eggs during a molt. Molting gives birds a chance to rest. After seven to eight weeks, they will return to production for a second cycle, though they will not be as productive the second time around. However, they will often lay larger eggs than during their first cycle.

Horse Care: Managing Spring Turnout

March 20th, 2015
horse eatingSpring has sprung and green pasture is coming on like gangbusters in most parts of the country. For most of us, this is good news because green grass relieves some pressure of searching for quality hay at a reasonable price. Of course, with the rising cost of fertilizer, it may be hard to decide which is the lesser of two evils: high-priced hay or high-priced fertilizer. However, if you have pasture and intend to utilize it for horses, there are some things to consider.
Take it slow
Keep in mind that going from dry hay and grain to lush, green pasture is a drastic change in diet and may increase the risk of founder or colic. Horses that are in the pasture full time will gradually become accustomed to the emerging green grass as it comes up. But horses that haven’t had green grass should only be allowed to graze for an hour or two at first, then gradually increase grazing time by an hour every couple days until the horses are out full time. It is also a good idea for horses to have eaten dry hay prior to turnout so they are not overly hungry. Individual horses will have different tolerance levels to the diet change and the nutritional profile of the grass, so a slower introduction is usually better.
Meet horse nutrient requirements
Spring pasture often looks beautiful and nutritious but can be very high in water and low in fiber content. In this stage of maturity, pasture may not meet a horse’s minimum requirement for dry matter intake and it may be necessary to provide 10 to 15 lbs. of dry hay per day until the pasture matures. Even when the pasture is sufficient to maintain horses in good body condition with no supplemental grain, there will still be nutrient deficiencies. Providing a forage balancer product such as Purina® Enrich Plus™ will supply a balance of protein, vitamins and minerals to complement pasture. This product is formulated to meet nutrient requirements of mature horses with 1 to 2 lbs. per day, whereas most feeds are formulated to be fed at a minimum of 3.5 to 4 lbs. per day.
Ensure adequate pasture
Pasture simulates a natural environment for horses and is considered beneficial to horses from a nutritional standpoint and from a mental health perspective as well. You may have enough pasture to serve both functions but, in many cases, pasture space is simply a place to roam around and nibble for a few hours a day. To determine if there is enough pasture for grass to be a significant source of nutrition, you have to consider the available acreage, type of forage and the number of horses or stocking rate.
The very best pastures may support one horse per acre, but average conditions may require closer to 2 to 3 acres to sustain one horse grazing full time. The effective stocking rate will depend on the type of grass, fertilization and rain fall. For shorter varieties of grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, pasture must grow 3 to 4 inches tall to provide adequate forage for horses. Taller grasses, including Coastal bermudagrass, should sustain a height of 6 to 8 inches. Stocking rates may be improved if there is an option to rotate pastures. Grazing tall forage varieties down to 3 to 4 inches and shorter varieties to 2 inches in height, then rotating to another pasture for four weeks can help maximize grazing potential of available acreage. Rotating pastures is also a good way to reduce the risk of internal parasite infestation. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see manure piles in your pasture and if horses are grazing close to those manure piles, your pasture is overgrazed and horses should be removed to let it recover.
Pasture time is certainly a plus when it comes to managing happy, healthy horses, but not all pastures are created equal. Some pastures provide a significant source of nutrition while others are just a place to play. Providing safe, quality pasture forage that meets a large portion of your horse’s nutritional requirements takes careful management and additional caution during seasonal transitions.  Consulting with a horse pasture and forage expert in your area, such as the local county extension agent, a university agronomist or State Extension Horse Specialist, may help you maximize the safety and value of your available pasture.
Source: Purina Mills, Karen E. Davison, Ph.D. – Special – Sales Support Manager


Chicken Behavioral Issues

February 16th, 2015

chickens in coopThere are two major behavioral problems that backyard poultry owners must address at the first appearance. Both can be caused and cured by management practices.

EGG EATING: Egg eating generally occurs when a hen finds a broken egg, tastes it, likes it and begins searching for other broken eggs, then learns to break them herself. Broken eggs occur more often when there is inadequate litter to cushion them, inadequate nutrition (either from improper feeding or heavy parasite or disease challenges) that results in weak egg shells, and infrequent gathering. The longer an egg lays in the hen house, the greater the chance it will be broken, so frequent gathering is your primary weapon against egg eating. Broody hens can increase the likelihood of broken eggs; because they constantly occupy a nest, they cause increased traffic in the other nests. Bright lights in the nesting area are stressors that can increase nervousness and picking behavior. Scaring hens out of nests can also result in broken eggs. Always approach hens quietly and encourage gentle movement.

If eggs are being broken, you must find the perpetrator and get rid of her. Hens that learn to eat eggs must be culled, because they will never give up the habit and they will teach it to other hens. However, before culling, make sure the culprit is, indeed, a hen. Egg-eating hens will usually have dried yolk on their beaks and heads. If your hens are clean, suspect another culprit. Snakes, rats, weasels, even domestic pets, all enjoy eggs. Be sure your hen house is well-barricaded against predators and unwelcome visitors.

CANNIBALISM: Cannibalism is a vicious habit that is upsetting and costly. It can occur in fowl of any age, breed, strain or gender. It is almost always caused by stress related to poor management. Once stressed, birds begin picking at the feathers, vent, comb or toes of another bird. Once blood is tasted, this terrible habit can spread like wildfire through the entire flock. Unless you eliminate this problem immediately, it can rapidly get out of control. One way to curb this behavior is to provide a pecking source, such as Purina® SunFresh® Recipe Flock Block. It encourages pecking instincts to help reduce cannibalism.


  • Overcrowding. Refer to Space Requirements in General Equipment and Supplies section.
  • Excessive heat. Be sure to adjust heat lamps and brooder temperatures as chicks mature, and keep all buildings well ventilated, especially during the hot summer.
  • Bright light. Very bright light or lengthy periods of bright light induce tension among birds. Use dim lights to calm and comfort birds; 40-watt bulbs provide plenty of light, and 25-watt bulbs can be calming. Heat lamps should be red or infrared to help maintain a dimly lit environment.
  • Absence or shortage of feed and/or water. Hunger, thirst and the need to fight for food induce aggression. Keep ample food and water available, with plenty of feeder space for the number of birds present.
  • Unbalanced diets. Very high-energy, low-fiber diets increase activity and aggression levels. Lack of protein or specific amino acids can encourage feather picking. Offer a high-quality feed, and minimize the role of table scraps. Scratch grains scattered about can give the birds something to do, but they should not constitute more than 10 percent of the birds’ diet.
  • Mixing birds. Combining birds, especially those of different ages or with different traits, such as crested and non-crested fowl, disrupts the pecking order and can cause pecking due to curiosity.
  • Abrupt changes in environment or management procedures. Always make changes as gradually as possible. If changing feeder types, be sure to leave the old equipment in the pen for a few days. Gradually adapt birds to new diets, new feeding times, new lighting schedules, etc.
  • Remove all crippled, injured, slow-feathering, and dead birds from the flock. Birds will naturally pick on defenseless companions due to curiosity and social order. Slow-feathering birds have young, tender feathers exposed for a longer period of time and are therefore susceptible to pecking.

There are some things you can do to keep your flock busy and happy. Having an enclosed run to encourage exercise is beneficial. Providing fiber via clover, grass or weeds helps increase contentment. Aggressive game birds can be fitted with a variety of “peepers,” small plastic “blinders” that attach harmlessly to the beak and limit forward vision, thus limiting the tendency to fight.

If you experience a cannibalism outbreak, closely review all your management and environmental circumstances. Darken your facilities with red or low-wattage light bulbs, remove injured birds, lower the pen temperature if possible, and apply anti-peck ointment or pine tar to damaged birds. Identify and remove overly aggressive birds. Do not return to normal lighting, until serenity has returned to the flock, and then do so gradually.