On the Blog

3 reasons why CRYSTALYX is the easy choice during the colder seasons

As the winter months are quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about your supplementation program to carry your livestock through the colder seasons. Here are 3 reasons why CRYSTALYX® should be used as your supplementation program this fall and through the winter months:

  1. Stored forages or dormant pastures need additional help.

    For many parts of the country, summer hay making was especially tough this year, due to wet conditions across several areas and very hot, dry conditions in many southern states. As a result, harvested forage quality may be more variable than ideal. Additionally, a wet summer may mean more forage is still available out in pastures as we move through fall, but as those grasses mature and reach dormancy, quality is rapidly declining, with grasses becoming more fibrous and difficult to digest. CRYSTALYX protein supplements work very well in both of these situations, whether you are feeding average to low-quality harvested forages or grazing dormant pastures.

    When forage quality is poor, the first limiting nutrient will be protein. The bacteria in the rumen require protein to supply the ammonia needed for microbial growth. If protein is deficient in a ruminant diet, microbial activity, microbial protein synthesis and rate of digestion is limited, which reduces feed and energy intake. This can have negative effects on overall productivity through the loss of body condition, poor milk production, or improper fetal development. By providing a high-quality protein supplement — whether it is from natural protein or non-protein nitrogen sources, such as urea — the delivery of protein is made more readily available, while also providing carbohydrates in the form of simple sugars, both of which drive rumen forage digestion. Healthy rumen bacteria are able to ferment this forage fiber into rumen volatile fatty acids (VFAs), the cow’s energy source. To put it simply, even a small amount of supplemental protein will increase digestibility and available energy, which improves efficiency and can help stretch your forage.

  2. Improve your grazing distribution.

    Managing the grazing pattern or grazing distribution of cattle can be easily accomplished by providing a CRYSTALYX supplement. During the fall and winter months, cattle on pasture may take the easy route and graze near water sources or lowland riparian areas, which may lead to overgrazing. By strategically placing barrels in areas you want the cattle to go — such as the highland and rougher terrain areas — or to lure them into grazing more underutilized areas, barrels can be placed in those locations.
    RELATED: Grazing management: Modifying cow movement
    Extensive research collecting data through a GPS system on cattle has shown that CRYSTALYX helps cows to better utilize existing forage through spending more time within a 600-yard radius of the supplement. Grass utilization is also improved when cattle graze to and from visits to the barrel. The palatability of the molasses block not only lures cattle to graze specific areas, but also entices consumption. Regardless of being offered a harvested forage or grazing in pastures, it has been noted that a greater percentage of cows will consume CRYSTALYX each day when compared to a conventional dry mineral, which can result in a better mineral status across the herd.

    Figure shows the percent of cows consuming supplement, in both grazing and harvested forage feeding scenarios, is greater for CRYSTALYX Brand Supplements (NP-27™ and Crystal-Phos®) compared to cows consuming conventional dry mineral (CDM)

  3. More than just a protein supplement.

    Can your supplement multi-task? CRYSTALYX protein supplements not only provide protein, but also those vitamins and minerals crucial to a productive cow’s diet which aren’t found in forages. As we move into the third trimester of gestation for spring-calving herds, research in the area of fetal programming reminds us of the importance of cow nutrition during this time of calf development during gestation. It’s what sets the stage for a calf’s life after birth.

    Supplementing cows with organic trace minerals during pregnancy has been shown to have a positive impact on calf health and growth performance. The Blueprint lineup of CRYSTALYX products contain Bioplex® 100% organic trace minerals and are available with additional protein options. The Breed-Up® line of products contain a partial replacement of inorganic trace minerals with Bioplex trace minerals, with a variety of options available as well.

    In addition to Bioplex trace minerals, CRYSTALYX Brand Supplements are full of advanced technology, which has been incorporated into many of our product lines. Whether it is Bio-Mos®, Integral® A+, or BOVATEC®, there are products available to meet your cattle’s needs around the clock, regardless of condition and which season we’re in.

CRYSTALYX Brand Supplements are designed to fit your lifestyle. For more information on products that will fit your needs this fall and winter, check out our website or visit with your local dealer.