On the Blog

Fat Levels in CRYSTALYX®

Beginning this week in August, you will notice that we have changed the formulation of the “HE” CRYSTALYX® products. These were some of the oldest CRYSTALYX® products in existence.  The “HE” in their name used to stand for “High Energy”.  I say “used to”, because since I got involved with formulating the CRYSTALYX® products over 19 years ago, I also got involved with the marketing of them.  I noticed that most every promotional flier we had on CRYSTALYX® products at the time, usually listed “high energy” as the first bullet point.  Having access to the energy values of the various formulas, I could quickly see that the energy contained in ¾ pound of CRYSTALYX® was approximately the same as ¾ pound of corn.  Now I agree that corn is relatively high in energy compared to straw, but I would struggle to promote CRYSTALYX® as high in energy, given that you could get the same amount of energy in ¾ pound of corn for much less money.  We began having the “High Energy” bullet points removed from our advertising materials, and I slept better at night.

Read More

Urinary Stones in Goats

Urinary stones can be a problem in male goats. This is because the urethra, the tube that empties the bladder, is shaped like an S in males (See Figure 1) and stones can easily get stuck in these S bends and cause blockage. Does get urinary stones too, but blockages rarely occur.  It is important to note that presence of urinary stones is a “herd problem” when all are fed the same diet. As such you should strive to take a holistic approach in prevention and treatment.

Read More

Common Sense Tips For Stretching Your Feed Dollars

We are still a long way off from knowing the final effects of the most widespread drought in the United States in more than 50 years. Given current market volatility and fears of feed shortages, it only makes sense to do everything in your power to make the most of available feedstuffs. Below are a list of tips that can help you make the most efficient use of available feed.

Read More

Water Quality Falls During Drought

When in a drought situation, thoughts turn immediately to pastures. However water quality can drop off just as quickly during extended periods of hot, dry weather. Water is often the forgotten nutrient. We take it for granted that if there’s water available in the pen or pasture, that the livestock are set.

Read More

Don’t Throw Away Hay to Improper Storage!

Hay is going to be more valuable than ever this year in light of the drought. For this reason, it is critical to maximize usable hay. Round bales are a popular means to harvest hay in many parts of the country. Proper round bale storage can make or break you. If your current storage method is allowing several inches of bale to rot, you might be surprised at how much hay is being wasted. The outer 4 to 6 inches, where most losses occur, make up a large percentage of the bale as shown in Table 1.

Read More

What is an Organic Trace Mineral?

Nutritionists, along with producers, are always on the lookout for the next big thing to really improve livestock performance. In the case of nutritionists, we’re looking for products that pack a bigger nutritional punch per pound. Organic trace minerals are one of those advances that do bring a little more to the table. But what is an organic trace mineral?

Read More

Why is Vitamin D added to Mineral Mixes and Feeds

Vitamin D is often known as the “sunshine vitamin” because it is synthesized in response to exposure to sunlight. There are two major natural sources of vitamin D, cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) and ergocalciferol (vitamin D2). Vitamin D3 is synthesized in the skin of many herbivores and omnivores upon exposure to UV light from sunlight.  Vitamin D2 is not found in green forages, but is formed when the dying leaves are exposed to sunlight. Thus, sun cured hay is a good dietary source of vitamin D2. Livestock utilize vitamin D3 much more efficiently than vitamin D2.

Read More

After a Drought: Parasites Abound!

Congratulations! You made it through one of the worst droughts on record. Now that the rains have come and the grass is green again, your worries are over, right? Wrong! Now your livestock are picking up all of the parasites that lay dormant all of those months of drought. Are you ready?

Read More

Keep your Ewes and Does in Shape for Lambing and Kidding

Winter isn’t just for calving. Sheep and goat producers are gearing up for lambing/kidding season, too.

The last month of gestation is a key time in gestational development. Fetuses are rapidly growing and the body is mobilizing nutrients for milk production. Space in the rumen becomes a limiting factor. The rapidly growing lambs or kids push the uterus into the space normally occupied by the rumen, leaving less and less space for feed. Consequently, the dam may not have enough room in the rumen to get all her energy needs fulfilled (especially on an all-forage diet).

Read More

Supplement Cost and Supplement Value: There’s a Difference

While it’s true that Agriculture is enjoying some record or near record dollar receipts for commodity goods, input costs are rising and thus need to be managed. Everything costs more these days.  From fuel to food, no one can escape all the rising costs.In this economy, we should all be challenged to find what the best buy is for the dollar and match purchases to our needs, goals and objectives.

Read More