Just over a year ago, CRYSTALYX® made some formulation and name changes with several products. Two of our small ruminant products, Sheep-lyx® and Goat-Lyx®, went through some of the largest upgrades and changes. These changes were for the good, enhancing an already good product line. CRYSTALYX® is promoted as a program based supplement, and we’ve learned over the years that the best fortified products perform the best in a wide array of nutritional programs. This is true for our small ruminant products as well.
Sheep-lyx® for Better Sheep Programs
Enter 2016-2017. The enhancements that make Sheep-lyx® fit several programs was reviewed earlier in a previous blog by my colleague, Teri Walsh. We now classify Sheep-lyx® as a premium CRYSTALYX® product that can be fed as a sheep mineral & vitamin supplement, and as a protein supplement to enhance forage utilization. The trace mineral and vitamin levels were raised to meet 100% of NRC requirements and BioPlex® forms of zinc and manganese were added. Sel-Plex®, Alltech’s proprietary selenium yeast, was also included in the formulation. This form of selenium, like the BioPlex® products, has a higher bioavailability than inorganic forms of trace minerals more commonly used.
Finally, we added Bio-Mos® at a level to provide 1.5 grams in 4 ounces of Sheep-lyx® intake. Bio-Mos®, fed to improve gut health, is a very popular additive in diets of other livestock species and has shown benefits in sheep as well. Specifically, Bio-Mos® promotes colostrum quality, supports nutrient transfer during lactation and overall performance in sheep.
I spend most of my work time focused on CRYSTALYX® programs and economics for beef cattle; those products make up the clear majority of our sales. I do however hold a special likeness for the CRYSTALYX® sheep products as my family owns a small farm flock, develop and sell club lambs, and our kids are active in showing lambs in 4-H and FFA. We supplement with and recommend Sheep-lyx® during fall breeding, pre-lambing, lambing, and post lambing nutritional programs. In the fall, our ewes are managed much like range-sheep grazing stockpiled dormant pasture. Sheep-lyx® is the “go-to” protein supplement. Fall is also breeding time and Sheep-lyx® helps maintain energy status in the ewes. This supplement strategy extends into the lambing season, even when feeding better quality forages. Sheep-lyx® serves primarily as the delivery for minerals, vitamins and Bio-Mos® during this time frame. It also aides in supplementing the energy demand that ewes have in late gestation.
Overall the changes last season greatly improved Sheep-lyx® and it was already a good product. I’ve used it for years and last season we fed Bio-Mos® for the first time pre-and post-lambing. It was the best lambing season we’d ever had considering overall lamb health; vigorous lambs, and no death loss. This season so far, we are half-way through lambing and are seeing just as good, if not better results. The weather has been a bigger challenge this year but so far, we’ve had nothing but healthy, vigorous lambs.
Again CRYSTALYX® products fit programs and provide great value. The improvements to Sheep-lyx® made a good product even better, and did so by adding only a penny to the overall cost to feed Sheep-lyx®.
CRYSTALYX®, whether feed to beef & dairy cattle or small ruminants, is fed for a purpose, one that delivers a return on your investment vs just getting by. If you have sheep, use Sheep-lyx®. Learn more at www.crystalyx.com.
Bio-Mos®, BioPlex® and Sel-Plex® are registered trademarks of Alltech.