The best conception rate on our heifers that we've ever had.
Bud Maynard, Longview, Alberta, Canada
With 1,800 commercial cows and another 100 purebred Red Angus cows, Bud Maynard, manager of the OH Ranch, Longview, Alberta, knows that open cows and heifers cost him money. That's why a two percent improvement in the conception rate on his heifers has made Bud a true believer in CRYSTAL-PHOS™ mineral supplement.
CRYSTAL-PHOS™ is the newest addition to the family of CRYSTALYX®
Brand Supplements, the original low-moisture, block supplement which is fed free-choice from a steel half-barrel. Bud has consistently fed his cow herd CRYSTALYX®
HE-20%™ for the past eight years with excellent results.
"We're big believers in CRYSTALYX®
," he says. "We use 20% for everything - the calves, the cows, the replacement heifers and the bulls. We've used it for years."
Bud agreed to evaluate new CRYSTAL-PHOS™ mineral supplement on 225 yearling heifers from mid-April through mid-June last year, prior to breeding. He estimates the heifers consumed approximately a half pound of supplement per-head, per-day, but as more green grass became available, daily consumption decreased slightly.
The one thing Bud noticed in his evaluation was an improved conception rate. "The best conception rate on our heifers that we've ever had," he said. "In fact, we usually run around 10% open, and last year we were down to 8% - we had a 92% conception rate on these yearling heifers. And they were pretty young heifers. We breed most of them at just a shade over a year old, on the average between 12 and 14 months old," Maynard explains.
Did he notice anything else about his heifers on the CRYSTAL-PHOS™ trial?
"They sure were looking good in the spring and they were cycling really well when we turned the bulls out," he answers.
In comparing CRYSTAL-PHOS®
Maynard says he used to feed dry loose minerals, but he had no way of controlling consumption like he can with the block mineral supplement.
After feeding CRYSTALYX®
supplement for eight years, Bud Maynard has come to depend on it for several important reasons. "We find it is the easiest product for us to get into our big pastures. We use it as a range management tool to get cattle into areas where they normally wouldn't go," he says.
It's also been a success in wintering his cow herd. "They come through the winter with really good hair coats. They look good - they're healthy. We've had no problem with White Muscle or downer calves. The calves are born strong. Just the CRYSTALYX®
- that's all they get other than winter grass," says Bud.
In summarizing his evaluation of new CRYSTAL-PHOS™ mineral supplement, Bud Maynard indicates he plans to feed it again this spring. "We're going to put our replacements on it because we were pretty happy with it. You know, if we can pick up an additional 2 or 3 percent conception on our heifers, to me that's worth a lot - every one we get bred is a real plus for us."