We've seen an improvement in the number of fertilized eggs, or viable embryos after using Brigade®.

Brian Fox, Fort Morgan, CO

Brian Fox is the Cattle Manager for Blind Badger Ranch, near Fort Morgan, Colorado. The Blind Badger Operation consists of a Purebred Maine Anjou Operation and is involved in an intensive Embryo Transfer Program. Fox first implemented the use of Brigade®, packaged in the CRYSTALYX® BioBarrel® container, on the ranch upon recommendation by representatives from Hubbard Feeds.

The ranch was looking for ways to improve their embryo transfer program by gaining a higher percentage of fertilized eggs from donor flush cows. Some cows in the program were yielding a relatively high number of embryos per flush; however, quality was lower than expected with more eggs being unfertilized, yielding fewer viable embryos.

CRYSTALYX® Brigade® was first used in the spring and early summer of 2008. After two flush periods, and now going into a third, the ranch noted some welcome changes.

"We've seen an improvement in the number of fertilized eggs, or viable embryos after using Brigade®," says Brian. "Some donor cows were flushed twice in a 45-day period and actually yielded better on the second flush after being on the Brigade® supplement."

All cows in the Embryo Transfer Program were supplemented with Brigade® through the entire summer.

"We didn't flush any cows during the heat of the summer but kept the cows on Brigade® through that period. We feel it's best to keep donor cows as stress-free as possible, and Brigade® has helped us with this."

Producers across the U.S. have used CRYSTALYX® Brigade® in a variety of production systems. Mostly Brigade® is used with animals to help nutrition and management programs during times of stress: intensive breeding, weaning, receiving, etc.

The Blind Badger Ranch has also incorporated Brigade® into their weaning program and in their breeding program with replacement heifers. Fox shares that it was a good tool for show calf heifers at weaning.

"The calves went right to the Brigade®; it gave calves something else to do other than bawl and be stressed."

The value of Brigade® is more than nutrition; it helps with animal behavior to reduce stress.

"We didn't use this product for only nutrient delivery," says Fox; "It does help with meeting animal requirements, but it also helps calm the cattle and reduce stress."