Archive for the ‘News & Updates’ Category

2024 Spring Chick Schedule

Sunday, February 18th, 2024

Baby Chick - see the 2024 spring chick scheduleSpring chicks arrive at Bear Creek Country Store in Leonard, Texas. Below is our 2024 spring chick schedule. As you know, schedules can change, so make sure you give us a call to confirm your arrival before heading over.

Before bringing your chicks home, make sure you have the necessary supplies to raise a healthy flock.  We recommend a brooder box, heat lamp, chick starter feed, and waterer. These items can all be found at our store.

Once you bring your chicks home, it’s important to provide them with proper care. This includes keeping their brooder clean and dry, providing them with fresh food and water daily, and monitoring their health closely. As they grow, it’s important to gradually introduce them to outdoor living conditions and eventually move them into a coop.

At Bear Creek Store, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality poultry and livestock feed. Our feeds are specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of your animals. We carry brands such as Purina, Nutrena, and Lone Star. These feeds are made with fresh, natural ingredients to promote optimal growth and health for your flock.

In addition to feed, we also offer a variety of supplements and treats for your chickens. These include grit for digestion, oyster shells for calcium intake, and mealworms as a protein-packed treat. Our knowledgeable staff can help you choose the right supplements for your specific flock’s needs.

Here is the 2024 spring chick schedule.

Expected Deliver DateChick Breed
February 23, 2024Crested Chick (25)
Partridge Wyandotte (25)
Rhode Island Reds (50)
Salmon Faverolle (50)
Barred Rocks (25)
Easter Egger (50)
Buff Orpington (25)
Silkie Bantam (50)
Cochin Bantam (25)
Old English Bantam (25)
Frizzle Cochin Bantam (25)
Gold Star (25)
Red Star (25)
Brown Star (25)
Black Star (25)
March 1, 2024Buff Wyandotte (25)
Columbian Wyandotte (25)
Gold Wyandotte (50)
Lavender Orpington (25)
Silver Wyandotte (50)
Cuckoo Marans (25)
Assorted Ducks (25)
March 15, 2024Barnevelder (25)
Welsummer (25) Welbar (25)
Cream Brabanter (25)
Rhode Island Red (50)
Salmon Faverolle (50)
Easter Egger (50)
Blue Olive Egger (25)
Olive Egger (25)
Dark Brahma (25)
Light Brahma (25)
Buff Brahma (25)
March 20, 2024Barred Rock (25)
Buff Orpington (50)
Delaware (25)
Silver Wyandotte (25)
Brown Star (25)
Black Star (25)
March 29, 2024Silkie Bantam (25)
Cornish Bantam (25)
D’uncle Bantam (25)
Speckled Sussex (50)
April 5, 2024Rhode Island Red (50)
Easter Egger (50)
Speckled Sussex (50)

Planning Spring Pasture Management

Sunday, February 18th, 2024

Spring Pasture ManagementThe arrival of spring presents a prime opportunity for farmers and livestock owners to improve the health of their pastures through proper pasture management. Not only does this help to regenerate growth, but it also ensures that the animals are well-fed and healthy. There are a few steps you can take to improve your pasture management including planning rotations, avoiding overgrazing, and looking out for poisonous plants.

Plan Your Rotation
Rotational grazing is one of the most effective ways to maintain healthy pastures. This practice involves splitting a pasture into smaller paddocks and allowing the animals to graze on each paddock for a set period of time before moving onto the next. Giving the grass time to recover before it’s grazed again is crucial for its health. In addition, rotational grazing provides an opportunity for livestock to graze on nutrient-rich grass as it regenerates. This practice encourages animal movement and even distribution of fertilizer, ultimately resulting in a better-quality pasture.

Avoid Overgrazing
It’s important to resist the temptation to leave all the animals in one area for an extended period. This can lead to overgrazing, a process where livestock consume too much grass, and it is unable to recover. This can harm the overall health of your pasture and reduce its productivity. Overgrazing can increase the presence of weeds, soil compaction, and decreased water infiltration. The best way to prevent overgrazing is to manage your grazing schedule correctly. It’s important not to leave your livestock in any one area for too long.

Beware of Poisonous Plants
It’s essential to be aware of the different poisonous plants that can be present in your pastures. These plants can adversely affect the health of your livestock if ingested, and some can even be fatal. Such plants include poison ivy and poison oak. Be sure to remove these plants from your pastures, and observe closely whether they are growing back. Consider fencing off any areas in which these plants are known to grow, or uprooting and replanting any areas where they may be present.

Spring pasture management is crucial when it comes to keeping pastures healthy and robust. Proper rotational grazing, grazing management, and attention to poisonous plants will ensure your pasture remains healthy, providing sufficient and nutritious feed for your livestock. Whether it’s your private collection of animals, or livestock that provides for your livelihood, it’s important to prioritize their health and well-being by maintaining healthy pastures. Take these three factors into account to ensure the health and longevity of your pasture and in turn your livestock.

Guide to Growing Onion Sets

Saturday, February 10th, 2024

growing onion setsAre you a gardener who wants to add more variety to your vegetable garden? If so, you might want to consider growing onion sets. Onion sets are small onions that are grown from seeds and then transplanted into your garden. They’re a great option for gardeners who want to get a head start on their onion crop without waiting for a full year. In this guide, we’ll talk about the benefits of planting onion sets and how to grow them successfully.

Let’s go over some of the benefits of using onion sets. One of the biggest advantages is time. By planting onion sets in the fall, you’ll be able to harvest your crop in the spring or early summer, rather than waiting an entire year for onions to mature. Onion sets are also easier to plant than onion seeds, as they don’t require a lot of time or effort to get started. Additionally, onion sets are less prone to disease and pests.

So how do you grow onion sets? The first step is to choose a location that gets plenty of sunlight and has well-draining soil. Onions prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH of around 6.0 to 6.8. You can test your soil’s pH using a kit from your local garden center. We have pH kits to choose from in the garden department of our store that are perfect for the job. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, prepare the soil by tilling it and adding compost or other organic matter.

When planting your onion sets, make sure to space them about 4-6 inches apart and plant them at a depth of about 1 inch. Push each set into the soil until the tip is barely visible. Onions don’t need a lot of water, but make sure to keep them well-watered during dry spells. You can also mulch around your onions to help retain moisture and suppress weeds.

As your onions grow, be sure to keep an eye out for pests and diseases. Common onion pests include onion maggots, thrips, and onion flies, while common onion diseases include downy mildew, onion smut, and white rot. If you notice any issues, remove affected plants and treat the surrounding soil with an organic fungicide or insecticide.

Finally, you can harvest your onion sets. Onions are ready to harvest when the tops dry out and start to fall over. At this point, stop watering your onions and let them cure in the garden for a week or two. Once the outer skin is papery and the tops are dry and brittle, you can harvest your onions. Hang them in a cool, dry place for a few weeks to allow them to fully cure before storing them in a cool, dry spot.

Growing onion sets is a great way to add a quick and easy crop to your vegetable garden. With the right growing conditions and care, you can enjoy fresh, homegrown onions in just a few months. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to a bumper onion crop in no time!

Planting Seed Potatoes

Sunday, February 4th, 2024

planting seed potatoesPotatoes are a staple in many households across the world. They are versatile, tasty, and easy to cook. However, not many people know about seed potatoes and how they can significantly affect the quality and quantity of your potato crop. We’ve put together some information about seed potatoes and tips for planting, so you can reap the benefits of seed potatoes too.

What are seed potatoes?
Seed potatoes are potatoes that have been carefully selected, stored, and saved from the previous year’s potato crop. These potatoes are precisely picked based on their size, shape, and quality and are free from any diseases or pests. Seed potatoes ensure that only the best potatoes get planted the following year, resulting in a higher yield and crop quality.

Why are seed potatoes important?
Seed potatoes are critical for any gardener who wants to produce a healthy and fruitful potato crop the following year. Using seed potatoes from a previous crop means that gardeners are not only using potatoes that have been carefully selected and verified but are also avoiding any possible disease or pest infestation.

How to choose the right seed potatoes?
Choosing the right seed potato is essential for producing a healthy potato crop. Gardeners should select potatoes that are firm, free from blemishes, and have a good shape. The chosen potatoes should be stored in a cool, dry place before planting. Before planting, gardeners should also inspect the potatoes to ensure that they are disease-free.

How to plant seed potatoes?
Gardeners should plant their seed potatoes in the spring, 2-4 weeks before the last frost date. The selected potatoes should be cut into small pieces, each containing at least 2-3 eyes. Patios should be planted in the ground with the eyes facing upwards, ensuring that they are covered with soil. As the potatoes grow, gardeners should continue to cover the plants with soil to promote growth.

When to harvest seed potatoes?
Seed potatoes should be harvested in the summer or fall when the plants start to die back. The potatoes will be ready for harvest when the leaves turn brown and start to wilt. Gardeners should carefully dig the potatoes out of the ground to avoid damaging them.

Seed potatoes are a great option for gardeners who want to get a head start on their potato crop. They help produce a healthy, high-yield potato crop. Keep our tips in mind when choosing and planting seed potatoes in your garden for a successful yield. Remember, a healthy and fruitful potato crop results from using healthy seed potatoes!

 

Preparing Your Livestock for Winter Feeding

Wednesday, January 10th, 2024

Cattle eating hayWith colder weather on the horizon, many farmers and ranchers are preparing for the winter months. One of the most important things to consider when getting your animals ready for winter is their feed. During this time, hay becomes the most common type of feed for livestock. However, it is essential to ensure that you have enough hay to get your animals through the season. In addition, it is necessary to think about supplementing your hay with other feeds such as grain or grass to keep your animals healthy. We have some essential tips for feeding and nutrition that will help you prepare your livestock for winter.

1) Plan for Adequate Hay Supply

Before winter arrives, farmers and ranchers need to ensure that they have enough hay to meet the demands of their livestock. One of the key challenges in preparing for the winter months is predicting the amount of hay that will be required. To estimate your hay needs, you must consider the number of animals in your herd, their weight, and the duration of the winter months. To increase the amount of hay available, you may want to consider buying hay from other farmers. Purchasing a large quantity of hay can also help cut the cost per bale.

2) Supplement with Other Nutritious Feed

Unfortunately, hay alone may not be enough to provide your animals with the nutrition they need. During winter, your livestock needs an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals. Therefore, it is crucial to supplement their diets with other nutritious feeds. Grain is an excellent source of protein and helps to maintain body heat. However, you must be cautious when feeding grain to avoid overfeeding, which can cause digestive problems. Grass can provide your livestock with essential micronutrients. This means that you should graze your animals throughout the fall season before snow accumulates on the ground.

3) Provide Adequate Water

Water is critical to the health and survival of your livestock, particularly during the winter season. Since animals rely on hay to maintain their body heat, they consume less water, which can lead to dehydration. Therefore, it is essential to provide your animals with fresh, clean water at all times. Water sources should be checked daily to ensure that it is available and unfrozen. You can also consider installing heaters or de-icers for your water sources to keep them from freezing.

4) Monitor Your Livestock

During the winter months, it is essential to keep a close eye on your animals. Checking that they are eating adequately, drinking enough water, and staying warm is crucial. Moreover, monitoring your livestock helps to detect any signs of disease or illness that require vet attention.

5) Prepare Your Barns

As the cold weather sets in, you may want to prepare your barns for your animals’ comfort and safety. Ensure your barns have proper insulation, ventilation, and clean straw or bedding to keep livestock dry and warm. Ensure that all doors and windows are properly secured to keep the cold outside.

Preparing for winter and ensuring that your livestock’s feed and nutritional needs are met may seem overwhelming. However, with the right planning and preparation, farmers and ranchers can help their animals survive the harsh winter months. By incorporating these tips, you can increase your animals’ health and well-being throughout the winter season.

RSVP: Cattle Meeting

Sunday, December 31st, 2023

BCCS Cattle Mineral Meeting February 22, 2024

 

Hey there, cowboys and cowgirls! 🤠 Are you ready for an evening of education and excitement? 🐄 Because we sure are! 🎉

We’re thrilled to announce that Bear Creek Country Store will be hosting a Purina Cattle Mineral Meeting on February 22, 2023. 📅 And let us tell you, it’s going to be one for the books! 📚 We’ve got an all-star lineup of speakers, including the one and only Dr. Doug Hawkins from Purina Animal Nutrition and the Randy Knight at Central Life Sciences. 💪

These experts will be sharing their knowledge and expertise on all things cattle minerals and liquid feed. 🐮 Trust us, you won’t want to miss out on this night of valuable insights. 💡 Plus, we’ll have some tasty snacks and drinks to keep you fueled as you learn. 🍔🍺

But here’s the catch, folks. 🚨 Space is limited, so you’ll want to RSVP and secure your spot ASAP. ⏰ This is an event you won’t want to miss, so don’t delay! 🙌 We can’t wait to see you at Benediction on the Square, 105 W Fannin Street, Leonard, TX at 6:00 PM.  🤩 Yeehaw! 🐎 #BearCreekCattleMineralMeeting #PurinaPacked #LiquidFeedLessons #CowboyUp

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    RSVP: Spring Flock Talk

    Sunday, December 31st, 2023

    Looking to add some feathered friends to your backyard? Look no further than our spring Flock Talk event at Bear Creek Country Store in Leonard on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, at 6:00 PM! Our selection of chicks is sure to make your heart flutter. From the fluffy and cuddly to the colorful and unique, we’ve got it all.

    But it’s not just about the chicks – we’ll also have experts on hand to teach you everything you need to know about raising happy and healthy chickens. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time chicken parent, there’s always something new to learn.

    And let’s talk deals – our Chick Box Bundles are the perfect way to kickstart your flock. With everything you need to get started, these bundles are a steal. Plus, with our special event pricing, you won’t want to miss out.

    So mark your calendars and join us for a day of feather-filled fun. Bring your friends, bring your family, and let’s cluck it up at Bear Creek Country Store! 🐓✨ #FlockTalk #ChickSeason #BearCreekCountryStore #LeonardTX #ChickBoxBundles #FeatheredFriends #ChickEnthusiasts #BackyardChickens #ChickensOfInstagram

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      Holiday Hours

      Sunday, December 17th, 2023

      Holiday Hours for Bear Creek Country Store in Leonard and Bells, TexasAs we head into the holiday season, here is a reminder of Bear Creek Country Store’s holiday hours!

      Both our Bells and Leonard Store locations are closed on Monday, December 25, 2023, and Monday, January 1, 2024.

      Best Wishes for a wonderful holiday season!

      Holiday Safety Tips for Pets

      Sunday, December 17th, 2023

      cat with Christmas ornamentsThe holiday season is just around the corner and many pet parents want to include the family pet in their holiday celebrations. As you get ready for all the festivities, it’s important to keep your pet’s exercise and eating schedule routine. Also, it’s important to steer pets clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants, and dangerous decorations. Our holiday safety tips for pets will get you and your pet ready for the holidays.

      Holiday Plants and Decorations:

      Christmas Trees – Be sure to secure and anchor your tree so it can’t tip over and fall. It’s also important to keep the tree water away from your pets because the fertilizers and bacteria in the water can cause major stomach upset and possibly diarrhea.

      Mistletoe & Holly – Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.

      Tinsel – Kittens love to play with tinsel because it’s sparkly and floaty. However, this so-called toy can be easily swallowed which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery.

      Candles – Don’t leave lighted candles unattended because pets can easily burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to put out candles when you leave the room.

      Wires, Batteries, and Glass Ornaments – Please keep wires, batteries, and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws’ reach. There are many dangers that can befall your pet while these holiday decorations are out for them to get into. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth and digestive tract.

      Holiday Foods to Avoid

      Sweet Treats – As you know chocolate is a big no-no for dogs. Please make sure all holiday treats that have chocolate or xylitol are kept away from your furry friend. Secure leftovers and garbage cans.

      Leftovers – Do not feed your pets leftovers from your holiday meals. Obviously, they have pet food to satisfy their appetites. Olsen’s has lots of pet treats for your family pets.

      Alcoholic Beverages – Christmas and especially New Years most likely will have beverages with alcohol that can be lethal to pets. Make sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.

      Fireworks – Just like fireworks during the Fourth of July celebrations, New Year’s is a time when noisy poppers, blowers, and loud noises are common while counting down to the new year. However, these noisy festivities can terrify your pets and possibly cause damage to their ears. Be sure to secure them in a safe, escape-proof area as midnight approaches.

      These holiday safety tips for pets will help you enjoy the holidays. Visit your local Bear Creek Country Store to treat your pets this holiday season.

      Supplementing Your Livestock’s Diet

      Saturday, December 9th, 2023

      cattle in snowDecember marks the beginning of winter, which also means that it’s the perfect time to start thinking about supplementing your livestock’s diet. As temperatures drop, animals can struggle to maintain their weight, and their bodies require more energy to keep warm. This time of year, it’s crucial to make sure your animals are getting enough food and nutrients to stay healthy. That’s why December may be a good time to start supplementing their diets. What types of supplements should you consider and how can you ensure your animals are getting the proper nutrition they need?

      The Importance of Winter Supplementation

      As the temperature drops, animals require more energy to regulate their body temperature, which means they need more food to maintain their body weight. But during the winter months, it can be challenging for animals to find enough food to meet their daily requirements. That’s why it’s essential to start supplementing their diet with hay or other forage that will provide them with plenty of nutrients. Winter supplementation will not only ensure your animals maintain their weight, but it will also help prevent them from getting sick or developing health issues.

      The Types of Supplements to Consider

      When it comes to choosing supplements for your livestock, there are plenty of options. However, not all supplements are created equal, and choosing the right one will depend on your animal’s nutritional needs. Some supplements you should consider include protein, minerals, and vitamins. Protein supplements are an excellent option for animals that require more energy to stay warm during the winter months, while mineral supplements help prevent mineral deficiencies. Vitamins are also essential, especially if your animal’s diet is lacking fresh fruit and vegetables.

      Ensure Your Animals Are Getting the Proper Nutrition They Need

      Supplementing your livestock’s diet is one way to ensure they’re getting the proper nutrition they need, but it’s also important to keep an eye on their water intake. During the winter months, water sources can freeze over, making it challenging for animals to access a clean water supply. If your animal’s water source freezes over, make sure to provide them with an alternative source of water to prevent dehydration. Also, it’s crucial to monitor their weight and overall health to make sure your supplementing program is working.

      Other Factors to Consider in Winter Livestock Care

      Although supplementing your livestock’s diet is essential during the winter months, it’s not the only factor to consider in winter livestock care. Other things you should consider include their shelter, bedding, and exposure to cold temperatures. Providing adequate shelter and bedding will help keep your animals warm and prevent them from getting sick. You should also limit their exposure to cold temperatures by making sure they have access to a warm, dry place to rest.

      December is an excellent time to start thinking about supplementing your livestock’s diet. By supplementing their diet with hay or other forage and providing them with the proper supplements, you can ensure they’re getting the nutrition they need to stay healthy. Remember to keep an eye on their water intake, monitor their weight and health, and provide them with adequate shelter and bedding to keep them warm. By taking these steps, you’ll help your livestock thrive during the winter months.