Snoco Minute

April SNOCO Minute

4/2/2021: Raising Turkeys

Turkeys can be some of the sweetest and friendliest birds to keep on the farm. They are very social, and will follow you around the garden, helping with chores like weeding, and insect eating.

Baby turkeys are called poults, and they imprint heavily with their caretaker. Holding turkeys regularly at a young age will teach them to be friendly and devoted to their human keeper. They are very inquisitive: young poults and will try anything you offer them from above: meal worms, scrambled eggs, leafy greens, bits of fruit.

For their first few weeks of life, turkeys need a high-protein diet. The Snohomish and Monroe Co-Op carry multiple choices of turkey feed, conventional or organic.

Turkey poults have fewer feathers than chicks, and need more attention to keep properly warm. They require a brooder temperature of 95o for their first 10 days. You can then start to lower the temperature about 5o a week, until reaching ambient temperature.

Consider providing Chaffhaye to your turkeys from day one. Chaffhaye is a fermented alfalfa product. The natural probiotics provided by the fermentation process with help strengthen your turkey’s natural immune system. The alfalfa provides fiber to support the digestive tract. Plus, having Chaffhaye to scratch and peck through gives your turkeys something to do. Bored birds often pick on each other.

Both the Snohomish, and the Monroe Co-Ops will be receiving regular shipments of turkeys throughout the spring and summer. We will have production black, bronze, and white broad breasted turkeys, as well as heritage breeds like Narragansett and Bourbon Reds. You can find our full schedule of turkeys on our website at www.snohomishcoop.com.

4/9/2021: Rain Gear

You can find sturdy, reliable rain gear at the Snohomish and Monroe Co-Op year-round. High-quality Viking jackets and pants will help keep you warm and dry when you’re working outside in the Pacific Northwest’s rainy season, which lasts, as we all know, all year long. We carry jackets and pants that are waterproof, machine washable, and windproof. Jackets have convenient features such as safety reflective piping on the front and back, mesh-lined shells and vents for comfort and breathability, and multiple zip-up pockets.

We also carry oil resistant jackets and pants for your dirtier jobs. Viking’s premium PVC jackets and pants offer excellent splash protection against acids, animal fats, chemicals, and motor oils. They are fully waterproof, and windproof, made with welded and stitched seams for durability. With multiple cooling vents, and a cotton corduroy collar, Viking’s Journeyman oil resistant jackets are comfortable and durable.

If you need Hi-Viz gear, the Snohomish and Monroe Co-Ops are your place to shop. We have professional grade gear to keep you safe while working out on the road. From insulated bomber style jackets, to Viking’s Professional Grade Journeyman jackets and bibs, we have Hi-Viz gear suitable for all seasons. Windproof, waterproof, and highly durable, Viking’s Journeyman jackets are made from heavy-duty polyester with PU backing material giving superior abrasion, puncture, rip and snag resistance. When worn as a set, the Hi-Viz Viking Journeyman jackets and bibs are class 3 safety compliant.

Order gear for your entire work crew. We can customize your order, and have your company’s logo printed on the gear. Requests quotes for your crew and logo customization on our website: www.snohomishcoop.com.

4/16/2021: Ghost Automatic Gate/Coop Door openers

Explore our new line of Ghost Controls Automatic Gate Openers. These state-of-the-art automatic gate openers will save you time and effort. From automatic chicken coop door openers, to single or double arm gate openers, the Snohomish and Monroe Co-Op has all the pieces you need to get your system set up.

Ghost Controls have a Lifetime Warranty on motor and gearbox assembly. Their gate operators have a patented design, and the highest quality hardware inside for optimal performance for many years.

With built-in patent pending SafeForce technology, the amount of force exerted by the opener system is automatically limited. This feature prevents entrapment injuries to people and animals, as well as allowing for a simpler and more reliable installation.

Ghost Controls offers secure technology for remote transmitters, keypads and vehicle sensors activating gate sensors. Their system has over 4 million possible combinations of codes to keep your system safe and secure from hackers.

Their standard remote transmitter has a superior transmitter range of up to 1,000 feet, and can operate up to two different Ghost Control gates.

Ghost Control automatic gate opening systems are battery operated using a 12-volt deep cycle marine/auto battery, or using their battery box kit. The system is also solar optimized where electricity is not an option for recharging your battery.

Find everything you need to get your Ghost Control automatic gate openers working for you. From batteries and solar panels, to mounting pedestals and additional hardware needed to customize your gate installation, the Snohomish and Monroe Co-Ops are your go-to places for solutions.

4/23/2021: Choosing the Right Roll of Fencing

Let the Snohomish and Monroe Co-Op help you with all of your fencing needs. We have a wide variety of wood posts, galvanized fence panels, and rolls of fencing to suit all of your projects.

Rolls of fencing:

  • Welded Wire: An economical solution to many fencing needs, welded wire is durable, and easy to install. It comes in a variety of mesh sizes to accommodate different uses from keeping in dogs and livestock, to keeping rabbits out of your garden.

  • Poultry Netting: These rolls come in a variety of sizes and lengths, They are available with a 1” mesh or a 2” mesh. They are an inexpensive solution to keep chickens out of gardens, or to even use as a trellis for plants. Use chicken wire to line welded wire to keep smaller animals where they belong.

  • Hardware Cloth: Stronger than chicken-wire, hardware cloth is welded wire in a tight square-shaped mesh. Use hardware cloth to exclude rodents from just about everywhere. More expensive than chicken-wire, it is well worth the investment. Extend the fence underground to prevent critters from burrowing underneath fence lines.

  • Field Fence: With graduated mesh (larger openings up top, smaller openings lower down) and coming in rolls of 330’, this fencing is a great solution for larger properties keeping in a larger livestock like cattle, and hogs. It has a heavier gauge wire than welded wire, and crimped joints providing extra strength.

  • No-Climb Horse Fence: This is the best rolled fence option for keeping horses, sheep, and goats. The 2” x 4” woven mesh prevents hooves from getting caught, and prevents animals from climbing up the fence. The woven joints of this fence make it a very flexible, which his good for uneven terrain or rolling hills that need to be fenced.

4/30/2021: Why haven’t you tried Chaffhaye yet?

Available in 50 lb bales, as well as small, 20 ounce bags, Chaffhaye is a premium Non-GMO Alfalfa that provides the key characteristics of alfalfa, while also offering a guaranteed level of nutrition, and natural probiotics.

  • Produced in small batches, Chaffhaye undergoes a natural fermentation that transforms the raw alfalfa into a super digestible forage, enriching it with yeast, enzymes and beneficial microflora that aid digestion as well as absorption of its nutrients by the animal.

  • It is ideal for ensuring maximum health and well-being of all classes of horse, deer, goat, llama, chickens, poultry, camelid, household pets, and other exotic animals.

  • The Chaffhaye company is family owned, and uses state of the art facility in Dell City, Texas. Their alfalfa is proudly grown on Non-GMO verified fields.

  • Chaffhaye is soft, easy to chew, and free of dust and mold.

  • Enhanced Digestibility: The fermentation process promotes fiber-digesting bacteria, which resemble those found in the early digestion process in the rumen. Chaffhaye maintains proper gut pH and, because of its natural fermentation, allows the animal to better extract energy and nutrition from forage.

  • Consistent Nutrition: Chaffhaye guarantees quality nutrition of unopened bags for 16 months from the date of manufacture.

  • Dust Free (Naturally Moist Feed): Chaffhaye minimizes respiratory ailments in animals sensitive to dust or airborne mold spores.

  • No Barn Required: Chaffhaye is compressed inside a weather-proof bag that allows for easy storage inside or out.

  • Zero Waste: Moist & palatable, animals normally eat 100% of Chaffhaye with no stems left behind.

Good for chicks and poultry: The Chaffhaye process utilizes a cool lacto-fermentation to breakdown the phytic acid, and protective enzymes, essentially “unlocking” the nutrition in the forage. Early access to semi-moist diets for day-old chicks stimulates gastrointestinal (GI) development and prevents dehydration.

Good for horses: A “biological response” refers to how well an animal’s digestive system utilizes feed. Studies involving horses have shown a significantly higher biological response to fermented products like Chaffhaye. Fermentation allows more nutrients from forage to be absorbed.

Good for Cattle and Goats: Because of the “pre-digestion” properties of fermentation, nutrients are more easily available for absorption. This promotes increased lactation, healthy digestive tracts, and superior skin and coats.

March SNOCO Minute

Here at the Snohomish and Monroe Co-Op, we are excited to get our 2021 chick season underway. This year, between both stores, we’ve ordered more than twenty thousand birds. From chicks, to ducklings, to turkey poults, guinea keets, and game birds, we have the most diverse selection of live baby birds in Snohomish County. Visit us for chick days at the Co-op from March 19th to March 21st and save 15% on your chick supplies, some exclusions apply. We’ll be receiving our biggest shipment of chicks and ducklings for the year. Be sure to visit our website to schedule an appointment for access to our chick room. You can find the full line-up on our website at www.snohomishcoop.com.

Here at the Snohomish and Monroe Co-Op, we refill dozens of propane tanks every day. Our trained crew is available to safely fill barbecue tanks, RV tanks, forklift tanks, and more. Before bringing your propane tank in to be refilled, check its manufacturing date to make sure it’s not due for recertification. Washington State requires all propane tanks to be recertified twelve years after manufacturing, and every five years after that. You can locate the date of manufacturing on the collar of you tank. Double check recertification dates that are stamped into the metal, or displayed as a sticker on your tank to make sure it’s within that five year life span. If you’re unsure about checking the dates on your propane tank, visit us at the Snohomish and Monroe Co-Op. We will help keep you safe, and well supplied with propane.

Ducklings arrive March 19th at the Monroe Co-Op, and March 26th at the Snohomish Co-Op. You can explore our full schedule for ducklings at our 2021 chick schedule link on our website, www.snohomishcoop.com. Ducks are a fun and productive addition to your backyard flock or homestead. They patrol yards and gardens, devouring countless slugs and snails. Duck eggs will add incredible richness to your baked goods. Plus, people allergic to chicken eggs often find duck eggs a delicious substitute. From expert foraging ducks like Runners, to larger Pekins, to dual purpose Silver Applyard ducks, we order thirteen different types of ducks for the season. Count on the Snohomish and Monroe Co-Op for everything you need for your flock of ducks.

Visit the Snohomish and Monroe Co-Op to browse our full line of G&B organic fertilizers. We have formulas to suit all of your gardening needs. With beneficial microbes, G&B organic fertilizers go the extra distance to support the health of your plants. Mycorrhizae (pronounced mai – kuh – rai – zee) are also included in each formula. Mycorrhizae are a beneficial fungus living in and around a plant’s root system. The beneficial fungus supports plants by making nutrients more available, and by making water available in times of water stress. In exchange, mycorrhizae receive sugars manufactured by plants through photosynthesis, forming a true symbiotic relationship. Let our friendly team at the Snohomish and Monroe Co-Op help you find the ideal fertilizer formula from G&B organics, and feel confident that your plants will receive the best nutrients available.

Starting Seeds Indoors:

 

An average sized tomato seed weighs approximately 3 milligrams. How extraordinary it is to behold that tiny thing become a 4 foot tall bush, hanging with several pounds of bright red fruit. Seeds carry within them the full potential of the entire plant and its harvest. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to get seeds started, but they do best under certain conditions.

Germination refers to the growth of a plant within a seed. Seeds require a growing medium (peat containers, or potting soil), heat, and moisture to germinate. The back of a seed packet contains lots of useful information to help you create the optimal conditions for germination. Seed packets will tell you the proper seed depth, the ideal soil temperature, how many days until germination, light requirements of the plant, and space requirements.

Gardeners can get a head start on the growing season by starting seeds indoors. This way, plants can begin their growth cycle while soil temperatures outside are still too cold for germination. When starting seeds indoors, choose a potting soil, or a seed starting medium such as the ones included in our Greenhouse Garden Starter Kit. Make sure the peat pellets or potting soil is evenly moist all the way through, but not overly saturated. If you can squeeze water from a handful of soil, it’s too wet and can grow mold or fungus which can kill your plant.

Use your fingers to gently compress the soil or growing medium. This gentle soil compaction will help prevent the seed from falling too deep into the medium. Place the seed on the soil, and cover loosely to the recommended depth. Use plastic wrap or the greenhouse plastic cover to keep your soil moist. This will help prevent overwatering, which can cool soil temperatures, preventing proper germination conditions.

Place your planted seeds in a bright window or under florescent lights. Use a soil thermometer to determine that your soil is warm enough for germination. If your soil is too cool, you can use a heat mat to place under your planted seeds. Your seedlings will emerge several days later, bringing with them the signs of spring, new growth, and harvest.

2/4/2020:

Research your chicken types now to plan and get ready for chick season.

What type of bird will work best?

  • Egg Layer: Most of the chicks ordered for our stores are reliable layers of eggs, and are well adapted to the Pacific Northwest climate. Sex Link chickens are a dependable type to make sure you only bring home pullets (young female chickens), without the risk of a rooster. A sex-link chicken is a hybrid cross of two breeds, which will produce male and female chicks that look different at hatching. Sex-Link choices include: Gold, Black, and Red sex links, Amber-links, ISA Browns, and Novogens.

  • Dual Purpose: These chickens tend to be heavier in size to produce a fair amount of meat, but still lay a reliabe amount of eggs. Classic examples of these are Rhode Island Reds, Buckeyes, Australorps, Wyandottes, Orpingtons, Sussex, Plymouth Rocks, Brahmas, Delawares, Naked-Neck Turkens.

  • Bantam: For those with smaller properties and less available space for chickens, bantams are a great solution. While standard sized chickens need about 4 square feet per bird in a coop, bantams only need about 2 square feet per bird. They lay smaller eggs, but they’re just as delicious and nutritious as the big ones. They will need a bit more protection from predators because of their smaller size. Great choices are Bantam Brahmas, Sebrights, Dutch, and Bantam Ameraucanas (these will lay different colored eggs like blue, green, and pink).

  • Flighty, Free Range Birds: While flighty chickens may not be as kid friendly as other heavier breeds, they do well in free range conditions where avoiding predators is necessary. They can not sustain flight, but they are light enough to be able to flutter a good distance (up to 6-8 feet) to avoid predation. They also tend toward the most productive laying breeds available. Flighty, high egg production breeds include Leghorns (silver, white, blue brown), Minorcas, Blue Andalusians, and Cream Legbars (these ones lay blue eggs).

  • Meat Birds: There are specific types of chickens that are bred primarily for meat purposes. These chickens tend to be a heavier bird, that reach their mature weight sooner than other breeds. Cornish Cross chickens are the fastest maturing bird, reaching a butchering weight at 6-8 weeks. Heritage types of meat birds include Freedom Rangers, Red Broilers, and Black Broilers, reaching mature weight at around 12 weeks.

  • Fancy Show Breeds: There are some beautiful chickens out there with fantastic plumage and colors. These chickens are fun to show at fair, but require a bit more protection from predators: fancy head-feathers do cut off peripheral vision. Types to consider for beauty are Polish (they come in silver laced, gold laced, buff, and white crested black, blue and splash), Mottled Houdan, and Sultans. Fancy Bantam choices include Silkies, Frizzles, and Japanese.

2/11/2020

It’s Lambing and Kidding Season: time to start sleeping in the barn.

  • As Lambing and Kidding Season approaches, make sure you have your supply kit clean, organized, and ready for emergency use. Having the following items on hand, and quickly available will help you be prepared for assisting your animals when they need it most:

              Item                                                  Brand

  • A Good Vet Relationship                    N/A

  • Lots of Clean Towels                           N/A

  • Shoulder Gloves                                   Agri Pro/Poly Pro

  • Sterile Lubricating Jelly                       Durvet All Purpose, 1 GAL.

  • Priority Care 5 oz

  • Chlorhexidine Solution (antimicrobial)      Durvet

  • Iodine                                                      Betadine Surgical Scrub: 16 oz, 32 oz

                                                                  Triodine: 16 oz, 32 oz

                                                                  Durvet Controlled Iodine Spray 16 oz

  • Extra Lead Rope and Halter               Weaver

  • Colostrum Replacer                             Manna Pro, 1 lb

  • Milk Replacer                                        Land O’ Lakes Ultra Fresh Does Match, 8 lb

                                                                  Land O’ Lakes Ultra Fresh Lamb Milk, 8 lb

                                                                  Land O’Lakes ProNurse Multi-Species, 8lb                                                                 

  • OB Chain                                           Agri Pro

  • OB Chain Handle                                  Agri Pro

  • Pritchard Nipples                                  Agri Pro: 2 nipples per pack

  • Exam Gloves                                          Duraskin Nitrile, Powder Free in S, M, L

  • Ewespoon Prolapse Retainer            Agri Pro

  • Lamb Feeding Kit                                  Agri Pro

  • Having a good relationship with a vet is a necessity. A vet that has seen your herd prior to emergencies will make your life easier when you need help in the middle of the night to assist your best ewe or doe.

  • Provide the best quality, leafiest hay for ewes and does after they lamb or kid. A second cut alfalfa will help provide the extra energy and protein to help with milk production. The higher quality hay will also help their reproductive tract recover, and will help their immune system to fight any infections.

  • Having milk replacer, and colostrum replacer on hand will help save babies should their mothers fail to milk properly.

  • To prevent scours, it is important that newborn kids and lambs are bottle fed properly. A nursing kid or lamb stretches her neck out to get milk from her mother. Due to the stretching process, the milk goes past a slit in the esophagus, bypassing the first two stomachs, and ending up in the omasum. Here it is mixed with digestive fluids and is passed on to the fourth stomach, or abomasum. An overly hungry, pan-fed kid or lamb must bend down to drink, rather than stretch upward. Some of the milk slops through the slit in the food tube and falls into the first stomach, the rumen, where it doesn’t belong. There is nothing else in this compartment, since milk is the only feed consumed. There is no bulk from hay, therefor gas forms, and scours are likely to result.

2/18/2020

Get your chick supplies before you bring home your chicks:

  • Chicks that arrive in the store are just hatched, and are only 3 or 4 days old when they land on Friday mornings. They spend a few hours in the store getting warmed up, drinking water, and getting a few bites of their first food. While we tend to worry a lot about them getting enough food and water, freshly hatched chicks are most susceptible to a chill. If a chick gets too cold, sometimes they cannot recover. This is why it’s so important to get your brooder set up and warmed up before you bring your chicks home.

Items you’ll need for chicks:

  • Brooder: Metal tanks work best (like the ones in the store’s chickroom) because there is less fire hazard from the heat lamp constantly shining on the tank. Make sure it’s secure from predators: household puppies are the biggest culprits of chick disasters.

  • Heat Lamp: Make sure the base is ceramic. Heat-bulbs can melt plastic parts.

  • Heat Bulb: All chicks need heat: they are most comfortable living in a temperature of about 90 degrees for their first week of life.

  • Feeders: Make sure there’s room for all of your chicks to have access to the feeder. About two chicks per feeder hole is a good rule to follow.

  • Waterers: If the water is too deep some chicks can drown, especially bantams and game birds. We carry foam inserts for waterers to keep give chicks a boost if they get into the waterers.

  • Bedding: Pelleted bedding works the best for chicks. It’s absorbent of spilled water, and easy to clean. Straw should not be used: it is difficult for chicks to navigate over large strands, it doesn’t absorb moister very well, and mold grows in it easily. Shavings work, but spilled water tends to pool under shavings, making it more difficult to clean.

  • Feed: Most feeds have switched over to a starter/grower formula. This is the feed to provide for the first several months of the chick’s life. Grower formulas have higher protein content to support rapid growth, and does not have the calcium supplement of a layer ration. Feed a grower ration until the chicken starts laying eggs. Never feed a layer ration to growing chicks: the extra calcium can cause kidney damage.

  • Grit: Birds don’t have teeth. They require grit (small pieces of limestone) to grind up feed, and other fibrous plant material. It’s best to have grit available throughout your chicken’s life. Grit is available in different sizes to suit growing birds.

  • Electrolytes/Probiotic: It is difficult for birds, especially chicks, to absorb all of the trace nutrients they require from feed alone. Chicks are especially vulnerable, because they start out with a blank gut. We recommend mixing powdered electrolytes and probiotics into the chick’s water for at least their first few weeks of life. It’s also nice to have on hand to help the natura immune system of an injured bird recover, or for a boost during hot summer days when it’s easy to get dehydrated.

  • Grubs/Mealworms: Grubs are locally source dried larvae that birds can’t get enough of. They’re a great protein supplement for chicks, and for molting birds. Don’t overfeed to chicks, use them as a treat or candy. You can whistle, or give a call when you bring the dried bugs to your little flock, this way they’ll associate your sound with the reward of a special treat. It’s a great way to hand-train birds also: patiently offer grubs out of your hand. This way reaching down to chicks is a happy moment, rather than a scary one.

  • Chaffhaye: Chaffhaye is fermented, chopped alfalfa with molasses. It’s very delicious, and nutritious for birds. The fermentation provides probiotics to support a chick’s natural immune system. The alfalfa provides fiber to help with the digestive tract. Chicks who eat chaffhaye from day 1 are less likely to develop “pasty butt”, which occurs when their poop is too soft to fall off and can cake over their vent. In extreme cases, the vent can become blocked to the point that it causes internal damage.

2/25/2020​

Time to Test and Treat Your Soil

Pastures:

  • Those keeping sheep cattle, especially milk producing animals, need to keep tabs on their pasture’s magnesium content, especially during cool weather growth.

  • Magnesium levels are lower in grasses during cool weather growth. The plant’s high moisture content causes low uptake of nutrients.

  • Sheep and Cattle need a continuous supply of magnesium supplement, because their systems don’t have access to magnesium stored in their bones.

  • Providing a supplement of Magnesium Sulfate or Magnesium Oxide can help your animals stay healthy while you make sure their pasture is providing adequate nutrition.

  • Test your pasture’s soil to determine which nutrients are depleted. This way you can make informed decisions when it comes to soil amendments.

  • The Co-Op has soil testing kits for sale at both locations.

  • For a proper sample:

  • Dig a hole 6 inches deep

  • Collect soil uniformly think from top to bottom along the edge of the hole

  • Collet samples from several locations around your pasture

  • Mix samples in a clean bucket

  • Spread the mixed samples on clean baking pan for a day to air dry

  • Discard stones, sticks, insects, and other debris

  • Once dry, follow the instructions on the sample kits to test your soil

 

Gardens:​

  • In the Maritime Pacific Northwest, we get a lot of rain. For this reason, our soils are almost always depleted of trace minerals, especially calcium

  • For starting a new garden area that have never been amended or fertilized, assume the area is needs additional calcium and magnesium:

  • Spread 3 parts Agricultural Lime to 1 part Magnesium Sulfate at a rate of 50 pounds per 1000 square feet

  • Be careful not to over-lime. Soils completely saturated with calcium and magnesium are unable to hold other nutrients.

  • Throughout the growing treat your garden soils every three months or so, during vigorous plant growth, with an appropriate fertilizer mix.

  • If you use the following recipe, you will continue to replace much needed nutrients, and you shouldn’t have to worry about the nutritional quality of your soil:

  • 4 parts cottonseed meal or soybean meal

  • ½ part lime and magnesium sulfate mixture (the one used to initially treat the area

  • ½ part phosphate rock or bone meal

  • ½ part kelp meal

Can't find what you are looking for? Email our team: info@snohomishcoop.com 

We'll help you find what you need.

168 Lincoln Ave.

Snohomish, WA 98290

Tel: 360-568-2104

 

Store Hours:

Mon-Fri: 7 am - 6 pm

Sat: 8 am - 6 pm

Sun: 9 am - 5 pm

Monroe

18422 Cascade View Dr.

Monroe, WA 98272

Tel: 360-794-4663

Store Hours:

Mon-Fri: 8 am - 6 pm

Sat: 8 am - 6 pm

Sun: 9 am - 5 pm

Snohomish