I once wrote a blog asking if your supplement could multi-task. While the intent of this blog is similar, it will specifically focus on the summer ahead.
For many cattle producers, summer coincides with the breeding season. CRYSTALYX offers more than 15 different mineral products that (with the exception of CRYSTALYX Mineral-lyx®) all contain organic trace minerals, which have been shown to increase conception rates in beef cattle. While it may sound tempting to stop your mineral program when the breeding season is complete, I wouldn’t recommend it. We have learned a great deal about fetal programming over the last 15 years, and we now know that providing subpar nutrition to the fetus during the first trimester can have long-lasting, detrimental effects. As such, it’s important to keep a mineral out for the entire summer, until you need supplemental protein in the fall.
Added benefits of summer mineral supplementation
Summer is also fly control season, and the majority of our CRYSTALYX fly control products (with the exception of CRYSTALYX Mineral-lyx® with Clarifly®) also contain organic trace minerals. These products allow you to accomplish two things at once: you can control flies while also supplementing your herd with a premium mineral package. If you choose one of our CRYSTALYX Blueprint® fly control products, you will be supplementing your herd with 100-percent-organic trace minerals. Unlike the typical inorganic trace mineral program, the Blueprint program has been proven in three separate trials to increase weaning weights by an average of 24 pounds.
Self-fed supplements provide the added benefits of reduced labor, time and equipment costs — but why not take it a step further? The need to go back into the field to pick up empty barrels or tubs can be completely eliminated by feeding the CRYSTALYX BioBarrel® with WeatherAll® protection. Our patented addition of a food-grade edible wax to the exterior of the BioBarrel has greatly increased its resistance to moisture, thus improving its “weatherability.”
Another task that CRYSTALYX can help with in the summer is the planned distribution of cattle grazing, without the need for fences or herding. Take a look at the feeding directions on most CRYSTALYX labels and you will see the following: “Place containers in areas that achieve desired supplement intake. Once acceptable intake levels have been achieved, the containers may be moved to underutilized pasture areas to improve grazing distribution and forage utilization.” While you will want to start younger cattle on CRYSTALYX near water, the next time you set out your CRYSTALYX barrels, strategically place them in the pasture where grass utilization is lower than desired. Doing this has the added benefit of reducing grazing pressure on riparian areas. If you graze public lands — such as U.S. Forest Service leases, National Grasslands or BLM pastures —this feature may serve to increase the number of days you are allowed to graze a particular pasture.
My second idea, which may be a break from tradition, has to do with face flies. Did you know that CRYSTALYX offers three fly control options? These include IGR/Altosid®, Rabon® Oral Larvicide (ROLYX®) — and we just recently added a number of ClariFly® options as well. While all of these products control the horn fly, Clarifly and Rabon can also help with the management of face flies. Face flies are the main culprit in spreading bacterial organisms like Moraxella bovis, the primary cause of pinkeye in cattle. Clarifly and Rabon are labeled to control horn flies, face flies, house flies and stable flies in the manure of treated animals.
Multitasking at its finest
By choosing CRYSTALYX Blueprint 6% Phos with Clarifly in the WeatherAll BioBarrel as your summer mineral program, you will be accomplishing five tasks at once:
- Implementing a summer mineral program that only utilizes organic trace minerals
- Controlling horn flies
- Reducing labor, time and equipment costs
- Managing cattle grazing distribution with strategic placement
- Controlling face flies
As the summer progresses, continue to use fly control measures until the first killing frost. By that time, you may also need a protein supplement — and, fortunately, our Clarifly, IGR and ROLYX supplements are all available in a protein version as well.
When it comes to multitasking, no other supplement comes close to accomplishing what CRYSTALYX can do for you!