With calf prices at record highs, maximizing calf survival and thriftiness is more important now than ever before. Calf scours cause more financial loss to cattle producers than any other health issue. Losses are not only reflected in lost calves and treatment costs, but also in reduced performance in surviving calves.
We often get questions from producers about how they can get the most from their investment in nutritional supplements. CRYSTALYX® Brand Supplements have a number of products with different applications across your herd that target specific production challenges. CRYSTALYX® technologies that have been research tested, come with the brand and are key in providing cost savings or improved returns. I have listed below 10 specific opportunities where CRYSTALYX® can help you with managing your herd this spring.
American agriculture is a world leader because of the innovation and hard work of the American Farmer and Rancher. Adopting new technologies has been at the center of this success. Often the innovation is the result of a need to improve animal performance, health and well being or improved utilization of a limited resource. If the estimates of 9 billion people in the world by 2050 are correct, the primary limiting resources will be land and water. Maintaining the choice to use the tools and technology available is being debated and we are at risk of not having many of these tools. Changes occurring in our industry can be seen as an obstacle or opportunity to better communicate why and how we manage livestock. The Food Safety Modernization Act and the move to veterinary oversight using the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) for medicated feeds are great opportunities to build trust and accountability with the food consumer.
In January, I talked about the importance of zinc and vaccine effectiveness (read it here). Today, I’d like to continue the immune function discussion, but focusing on copper.
Copper has several important functions in the body ranging from metabolism, to enzyme function, to reproductive performance. Most notably, copper is a key component to proper antioxidant enzyme function (passive immunity, happens in the background) as well as antibody production and phagocyte activity (both are active immunity, happens in response to a pathogen). Cattle with a low to deficient copper status respond poorly to vaccines and disease challenges. This is because copper deficient cattle have decreased immune system protector cells, decreased antibody response to pathogens, and increased susceptibility to infection, including parasites.