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Delivering more protein while keeping control: CrystalBlox is the best of both

During the summer months, one of my favorite treats is ice cream. A small soft-serve cone is perfect because the serving size is controlled. However, I cannot keep a container of ice cream in the freezer, since there is no controlling the serving size — I always eat “just a little more” until, suddenly, the whole container is gone. 

When supplementing cattle, there are situations when supplementing cattle when we would like to have just a little more nutrient delivery than what we typically provide in a CRYSTALYX® low moisture block (LMB) protein supplement. The intake of most CRYSTALYX protein supplements will average 0.75 pounds per head per day. There are situations, though, when forage quality or animal condition may be such that a slightly higher intake is desired to deliver more protein, and those situations include mature stockpiled forage, grazing corn stalks, cows that are a little thin, and younger cattle on a forage-based program. Other block types, such as poured and compressed blocks, can have higher intakes, of 2 to 3 pounds per day; however, that intake level may be higher than necessary and will increase the total feed cost. As such, we are left wishing we could have just a little bit more while still wanting to maintain some control over intakes. This sounds very similar to my ice cream problem: give me more, but keep my intake and costs under control. 

CrystalBlox™ supplements are the solution to the problem outlined above. This patented technology is the first new block type brought to the market in many years. CrystalBlox is a new patented block type that combine the palatable, predictable intake of CRYSTALYX LMB with the cost-effectiveness of a compressed block. The unique design of the block delivers more intake of crude protein thanks to the block’s cost-effective compressed portion. The star-shaped portion of CRYSTALYX LMB provides intake control along with the ability to get cattle started on the block due to the palatability of CRYSTALYX.

RELATED: CrystalBlox is made for protein season

Enhancing rumen function for improved forage digestibility

The crude protein, carbohydrates, minerals and additives delivered via CrystalBlox enhance rumen fiber digestion, allowing the cattle to better utilize the forage and, in turn, to get more total energy from it as well. Many mature forages, especially fescue and crop residues, will be both low-protein and high in fiber. CrystalBlox offers a formula option that contains Fibrozyme®, as well as a formula option that contains FEB-200 and AO, all of which work to improve rumen function.

The best of both block types

The palatability of the molasses in the CRYSTALYX portion helps ensure the animal’s acceptance of the compressed portion while providing intake control. The compressed portion also provides an economical nutrient source and allows for formulation flexibility. 

Controlled intake and flexibility

While the normal consumption range is 0.75 to 1.50 pounds per head per day, with typical intakes of 1 to 1.25 pounds, this new block form allows for greater flexibility of intake levels due to variations in forage quality and/or availability, pasture size and animal type or condition. This flexibility is achieved by altering the number of cattle per container. The feeding directions are to provide one container for 10 to 40 animals, and infield experience says that it is wise to start at one container for 30 cows and subsequently monitor consumption. If an increased intake is desired, add another container; if decreased intake is desired, remove a container. Below is an example of how changing the container-to-cow ratio can lead to the desired consumption of 1.50 pounds per head per day.

Product offering and fortification

CrystalBlox is another tool for protein delivery to your cattle. CrystalBlox is offered in a 20% all-natural crude protein formula and a 30% crude protein formula with 15% coming from non-protein nitrogen sources. These base products include a standard mineral package, with a portion of the trace minerals coming from Alltech’s Bioplex® organic trace minerals.

Blueprint options

Blueprint is a premium advanced trace mineral fortification in which the inorganic trace minerals have been removed, meaning that 100% of the trace minerals included are Bioplex organic trace minerals. Blueprint is a total replacement technology that supports enhanced beef cow-calf gut health and fertility. CrystalBlox offers four different Blueprint formulas: CrystalBlox Blueprint 20 AN, CrystalBlox Blueprint 30-15, CrystalBlox Blueprint 20 AN with Fibrozyme and, for fescue forages, CrystalBlox Blueprint 30-15 with FEB-200 and AO.

There are times when elevated protein intakes are needed, and CrystalBlox can provide that increased delivery thanks to the consistent and predictable control of CRYSTALYX.  We get the best of both block types with CrystalBlox: the higher nutrient delivery of the compressed form and the palatability and intake control of a low-moisture block. Enter your zip code on the CRYSTALYX dealer locator to locate your nearest dealer.