Country Store News

Visit this page frequently for updates about promotions and news at all of our Country Store locations.

De Pere
1221 Grant St.
150 East Main St.
305 N. 6th St.
511 S Calumet
Feed products also available at Agronomy Centers in
Chilton - W2468 County Road E
Malone - N8798 County Hwy W
Wrightstown - 359 County Hwy U

Does Your Dog Have Food Allergies?

Food allergies to humans are no mystery. Peanuts, fish, wheat, eggs, and many other foods are common allergy triggers. Their symptoms are unmistakable. One may develop a rash, their throat may swell, hives may develop, and many other symptoms may arise. We recognize food allergies in our own lives so easily, but what about in our pets? Did you know that your pet can have food allergies just like humans can? Dogs and cats are both susceptible to developing a food allergy at some point in their life. In fact, about 10% of dogs have food allergies. An even higher amount of dogs develop intolerances to certain foods, but more on that later.

Dogs can be allergic to a variety of things. They can be allergic to pollen in the environment, insect bites (specifically flea bites), and even their own food. Dealing with a pet food allergy is one of the most frustrating things a pet owner has to deal with. One can go through many different brands and types of food and still not find a food that works. Contrary to popular belief, corn or grain is more than likely not the cause of your pet’s food allergy. Instead, the problem typically lies with the protein source in the food. The most common sources are chicken, beef, turkey, and lamb.

Diagnosing allergies in dogs can be a little complex. It is fairly easy to tell when a type of allergic reaction is taking place, but determining an exact trigger can take some investigating. Dogs that are allergic to their food may display symptoms such as biting, licking, or scratching at their skin. They could have a poor hair coat, and may also experience recurring ear infections. A food intolerance is a little bit different, but presents a similar problem. An intolerance is similar to an allergy, but does not truly trigger an immune response like an allergy does. A food intolerance may display itself as vomiting, or diarrhea after consuming a type of food. Once symptoms have been detected, regardless of a suspected allergy or intolerance, a diagnosing process can begin. It is always advised to consult your veterinarian before making any major changes to your dog’s feeding program.

carsonThe most recommended solution is to first to completely change your dog’s food. If he is having an adverse response to a chicken based food, try beef or a fish based food. Remember to make gradual changes when trying a new food. Always be sure to mix new with old, and gradually keep adding more new until the old is gone. If you see a marked improvement, then you can begin to conclude that the allergen/intolerance stemmed from your original food. If there is not much difference, then you can try something else. It may take a little experimenting to find what works best. We are fortunate to have so many protein sources available to us in dog food. Don’t be afraid to try different sources such as rabbit or venison. Typically for dogs with true allergies and intolerances, a fish based dog food is a great option. It may be a little stinky, but it can do wonders for dogs. If your pet is still experiencing symptoms after trying different types of food, it is best to work with your veterinarian and perhaps see if performing an allergy test on your dog is possible.

Dog food allergies and intolerances are common. Just like people they can experience the same discomfort and unpleasantness that comes along with eating the wrong thing. You as the owner know your dog best. If you notice anything out of the ordinary that is concerning, contact your veterinarian first. When trying to decide on a new food to try, certainly consult your veterinarian, but also you can talk to a pet food specialist. Most pet stores will have trained staff to help point you in the right direction when it comes to choosing a new food for your pet. Remember that allergies and intolerances typically stem from protein sources, not grain. When trying to correct an allergy, look for a different protein source when choosing a new food. Be patient, and you will find the right solution.

Article provided by Carson Meyer, Feed Sales Intern for Purina Animal Nutrition





Reducing Stress During Beef Calf Weaning

How to Low-Stress Wean Your Beef Calves.

Weaning beef calves is such a stressful, and honestly quite noisy, time for both the cow and the calf. There are many ways to wean calves, but which options are best for reducing stress on the calves? Based on your operation’s capabilities and programs, here are four helpful tips for low-stress weaning.

1. Consider Fence-Line Weaning

weaning 1Upon weaning, place the cows in the pasture adjacent to the calves to that they can see, hear, and smell each other, but the calves cannot nurse. This may require some modifications to fences and pastures to ensure that the cows and calves remain separated. It may be beneficial to place a cull cow or yearling with the calves to keep them from pacing the fence lines as badly. After a few days, the cows and calves will gradually move farther from the fences and not be as concerned about being weaned.

2. Use Plastic or Metal Nose Tags

weaning 2The tag, or more accurately called a nose flap, prevents calves from nursing but allows them to graze, eat from a feeder, and drink water. This reduces stress by keeping the social interaction between the cows and the calves, but breaks the ability to nurse.

3. Introduce Creep Feed Before Weaning

weaning 3If you don’t typically creep feed through the summer, it might be beneficial to introduce the feed several weeks before weaning. A calf that can “belly up” to the feeder right after being separated from the cow will be less stressed, have a greater disease resistance, and have increased growth than one that is just learning what a feeder is.

4. Work Calves Before Weaning Time

weaning 4Although weaning is a stressful time for calves, running a calf through the chute to dehorn, castrate, vaccinate, deworm, etc. at the same time can be a train wreck. Consider doing these practices 3-4 weeks before weaning.

Minimizing stress will reduce any disease problems that occur at weaning, will reduce treatment costs, and enhance your calves performance post-weaning.

Source: Sarah Breuer, P.A.S.
        Lifestyle Feed Specialist
        Country Visions Cooperative

Dog Days of Summer - Keep Your Pets Cool

Some of the warmest days of summer are being forecasted for the coming week.  Here a few tips to help your pet keep their cool.

mishicot katiePreventing Heat Stroke:
- NEVER leave your dog alone in a car on a warm day- Keep fresh cool water available at all times
- Avoid vigorous excercise on warmer days
- If outside, make sure they have cover and shade

Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs:
- Vigorous panting
- Dark red gums
- Tacky or dry gums
- Collapse and loss of consciousness
- Dizziness
- Disorientation
- Increased rectal temperature
Any one of these symptoms is an emergency and requires immediate action.  Always have the number to your Vet and closest Emergency Vet Office saved in your phone or in a convenient location.

Looking for some DIY Summer Treats to keep your Dog Cool?  Try these...

Dog Popsicles
Freeze toys, treats and water in a plastic container over night.  Pop out the frozen block and give to your dog to enjoy.

Dog Ice Cream
You will need:
8 ounces of plain yogurt
1 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter (creamy)
1 ripe banana
Mix all the ingredients together in a blender  Pour mixture into small plastic containers and freeze overnight.
Pop out from container and let your dog indulge.

Dog Ice Cubes
You will need:
Chicken or Beef broth (low-sodium, fat-free, and no onion ingredients)
Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze overnight.

Have fun this summer and keep you and your pet COOL!
.....Katie, Mishicot Country Store



Country Stores Offer Soil Sample Testing for Home Gardens and Lawns

Tips for a Proper Soil Sample

The reliability of a soil test is only as good as the sample you submit. The small amount of soil in the sample container you send to the Agricultural Testing Lab, or your local lawn and garden center (Country Visions Co-op), must represent the entire area to be fertilized.
  -  Avoid unusual areas such as those where fertilizer or lime has spilled. soil sample 008  -  Take samples before lime, fertilizer, or manure are added. 
  -  Use only clean equipment for collecting soil samples.

Where to Sample

The area to be sampled should be as uniform as possible in terms of soil type, cropping and fertilizing history. For practical purposes it should be an area you expect to fertilize as a unit. This means you should have separate samples for areas that will be used to grow different types of seed and may have different fertility needs. If you have a problem on part of a lawn, garden, or plot area, you may wish to determine if soil fertility is the cause by taking one sample to represent the “good” and the other to represent the “poor” area.

Take a Good Sample

Collect a number of cores or slices by walking in a zig-zag pattern over the area. Mix cores thoroughly in a clean pail for a composite sample. The greater the number of collected cores mixed together, the better the sample will represent the average condition of the sampled area. Consider 4-6 cores as the minimum for home gardens, lawns, and deer plots up to 10,000 square feet in size. Larger areas should be represented by at least 6 to 10 samples.

Choose one of the following tools:
Soil Probe or Auger – A soil probe or auger is the best tool for sampling. Soil probes may be available for use from some Country Visions locations at minimal or no charge. An auger will be needed if the soil is very stony or gravelly. Simply push the probe (or push and turn the auger) into the soil to the desired depth, lift up to remove the core, and place it in the clean pail. Sampling depth should be 4 to 6 inches deep for lawns and turf or 6-10 inches for annually tilled crops such as deer plots.

A Garden Trowel or Shovel - A garden trowel or shovel may be used if a soil probe or auger is not available. Collect your sample by pushing the blade of a garden trowel, shovel, or spade into the soil to the desired depth. Cut out a triangular wedge of soil and set it aside (to be replaced after sampling). Now slide your blade into the soil again taking a thin (half inch) slice from one side of the hole. With a knife, trim the slice to about a 1-inch strip of soil down the center of the spade – top to bottom. Save this “core” as part of your composite sample. Mix the sample and fill the sample bag or container. Make sure that all the cores are thoroughly mixed together. Bring the samples in to be tested as soon as possible. DO NOT let them sit in a vehicle or other warm enclosed area for too long. This may damage the integrity of the sample.

Country Visions (De Pere) can have the results of your test within a day or two of it being dropped off.  The Mishicot and Reedsville Country Stores are now offering soil sampling, too.  Contact any of these stores for more information on soil testing.

Information provided by:
Michael Zittlow
Assistant Store Manager, De Pere

Helping You.... "How to help your pet shed some pounds"

Country Visions Country Stores have trained, knowledgeable staff members to help you with questions about your pets nutrition. 

The following was provided by April at Country Visions Kiel Country Store location...


1. CALCULATE THE CALORIES---Use this general guide for calculating per day calories needed for your pet. Take your pets weight and divide by 2.2 then multiply that by 30 and then add 70. (example: 26/2.2=11.81X30=354.30+70=424.30 In this example, approx. 424 calories per day.)

2. MEASURE MEALS---Use a measuring cup! After calculating the calories your pet needs, figure out how much to feed at each meal and MEASURE IT!

3. TREATING TASTEFULLY---Using low calorie and sugar free treats, or ones with specific health benefits are great ways to reward your pet. Be sure to figure those extra calories into the daily calorie intake, or all efforts will be lost.

4. FRUITS AND VEGGIES---Make a move away from highly processed treats and try offering green beans, broccoli, sliced apples, bananas, or ice cubes. These are nutritious healthy options for many dogs. A flake of salmon or tuna are great alternatives for cats.

5. EXERCISE ANYONE?---Did you know that 20-30 minutes of fast walking can boost immune function, heart health, and tame down some behavioral problems in dogs? Forwalking dog cats, try getting interactive self-motivated toys that keep your furry feline busy, so they are not creating havoc in your home while you are away at work.

6. SUPPLEMENTS---Almost every pet and person can benefit from a daily omega-3 fatty acid supplement. These fish oils are a potent anti-oxidant. L-carnitine also has shown to help aid in weight loss and promote lean muscle mass.

7. CARB TAKE OUT---Most of our pets don’t need a high carb diet, yet many pet foods contain 60% or more. Try feeding low or no-grain food with a protein source as the first ingredient. High protein/low carb diets are recommended for weight loss.


What is a Co-op?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines a cooperative as a user-owned, user-controlled business that distributes benefits on the basis of use. Member users, or patrons, own and democratically elect the board of directors, which provides oversight of the co-op. Net earnings are distributed on the basis of proportional use, or patronage, rather than on investment.

Cooperative associations have been organized throughout history to carry out many different activities, often in response to economic and social stress. Cooperative organizations in the United States first appeared in the late 1700's and today co-ops can be found in all sectors of the U.S. economy. Consumer, purchasing and farm supply cooperatives are all organized to provide the specialized goods or services that their member patrons want to buy.

By combining member demand, a co-op can provide better availability, selection, pricing, or delivery of products or services to individual consumers, businesses or farmers. Farm supply co-ops cost-effectively supply input, fuel and agronomy services to farm business owners.