I was riding through Montana last week with a sales associate, and one of his comments regarding the year we have been having was, “What a great winter for feeding CRYSTALYX®!” I have heard this comment many times over the years when we have had a milder fall/winter. The thinking behind the statement is, that where we have had very little snow cover and warmer than usual temperatures this fall, your cattle have a great opportunity to put on extra weight, while grazing stockpiled forages, being supplemented only with CRYSTALYX®. If temperatures were colder the weight gain may not be as much. If there was consistent snow cover, it is more likely that you would need to begin feeding hay, and that would greatly increase your expenses for labor, fuel equipment and the hay itself. Cattle grazing pastures on CRYSTALYX® supplements this fall have been putting on weight with a minimal amount of investment on the part of their owners.
We have many customers who plan to supplement their herd throughout the winter with CRYSTALYX®. In the north, they generally start feeding CRYSTALYX® if not at weaning, soon after. This allows those herds to gain significant weight when maintenance and lactation energy requirements plummet after weaning. As stated above, warmer weather lowers maintenance energy requirements, and that extra energy will spill over into extra weight gain, as well. This added condition that you can put on your cows in the milder months of the fall can be looked upon as money saved in the bank, that can be spent later in the Winter if, or when the weather gets much colder. Depending upon the winter and your geographic location, those colder events may be minimal. And, once again, we hear the statement “What a great winter for feeding CRYSTALYX®!”
From a nutritional standpoint, every fall and winter can be a great winter for feeding CRYSTALYX®. There will be times when the temperatures and snow cover warrant feeding more forage to provide more energy to the cow in order to reach your desired body condition score by calving. Normal intakes of CRYSTALYX® beef protein products will supply the needed protein, trace minerals and vitamins for your beef herd. When feeding a CRYSTALYX® beef protein product in the third trimester of gestation, the addition of a CRYSTALYX® mineral formula like, Mineral-lyx™, Crystal-Phos® 8 or Breed-Up® MAX, will ensure adequate phosphorus in your herd’s diet.
We should all remember that the CRYSTALYX® feeding program, is not a rescue program. If you are looking to put one condition score or more on a cow in 2-3 weeks, you will need to feed a hand fed supplement at several pounds a day to push that much energy in to a cow. The CRYSTALYX® program is more of a marathon approach than a sprint. You can go a lot farther in a marathon than in a sprint, but you should probably start earlier.
CRYSTALYX® Brand Supplements are available to your herd 24/7, and are an excellent way to increase the utilization of your forage, with minimal input for time, labor, equipment and delivery cost. All costs considered, CRYSTALYX® will give you the lowest cost per hear per day, with optimal results in your herd.