It’s true; the vast majority of CRYSTALYX® fed is used for the purpose of supplementing cattle, and beef cattle at that. However, CRYSTALYX® has had products labeled for all classes of equines for a long time having good results with satisfied horse owners using products such as Stable-lyx®. Within the CRYSTALYX® product line, there are actually four products that are labeled for equines; I’ll write here most about Stable-lyx® .
Stable-lyx® Where Why and How
CRYSTALYX® Stable-lyx® is designed as a forage supplement for horses with its main purpose serving as a vitamin and mineral supplement. It contains the B vitamin biotin and organic trace minerals which promote healthy hooves plus important minerals and vitamins important for health, hair coat etc.
Stable-lyx® also helps horses consuming low quality forages, such as late season or dormant pastures. The main benefit again is due to vitamin/mineral supplementation and improvement in the energy status of the horse. While Stable-lyx® does provide some protein (12%), the effect of protein supplementation with horses is not the same as it is with ruminants. Still, Stable-lyx® will work very well as the sole supplement on pasture with horses at maintenance and under minimal stress. A great number of horses in the U.S. and Canada fall into this category and are ideal candidates for Stable-lyx®.
Many horse owners using Stable-lyx® like what it does for their animals. They cite better hoof and hair coat conditions, improved body condition, ease of supplementation and having a self-fed block supplement that is in a container with some portability. Stable-lyx® is offered in a variety of containers including from the 250 pound steel, 125 pound steel, 200 pound plastic and the very popular 60 pound plastic tub with a lid.
CRYSTALYX® can always boast intake consistency and predictability. With the equine animal, intake of any self-fed supplement is a bit more variable or less predictable due to how horses consume them. Unlike cattle, equine have a full set of teeth, top and bottom. This allows them to occasionally bite or more aggressively scrape the surface of the supplement in addition to licking. Management is key and the horse’s environment, familiarity and acclimation are important as well.
Horses that are naïve to Stable-lyx® may be slow or fast learners, and those that are fast to accept it often do so with “gusto.” The typical intake range on the Stable-lyx® product is from 0.25 - 3 lbs., with 1 lb. being ideal. Generally younger horses consume around the 1 lb daily intake rate where mature horses or those that are in more confined feeding conditions may consume at higher rates.
Practical experience has taught us that Stable-lyx® is best offered in pasture situations. In more confined situations it can be used successfully with close attention to intake and perhaps limited or intermittent access to the supplement until horses are fully acclimated. The feeding directions for horses are different than for cattle as well. We recommend one container for every 3-20 horses. The wide range covers a lot of situations, knowing that most horse owners don’t have the same animal numbers as a cattle operation.
Several years ago our formulations team incorporated 13% salt in Stable-lyx®. The result was more consistent intake, better results for the animals and happier customers. Our growth in sales of Stable-lyx® have trended upward ever since.
Other CRYSTALYX® Products Also Contain Horse Labels.
Additional products for equine include the fly control products with Rabon® Oral Larvicide, Rolyx® Pro Mag and Rolyx® Max and a multi-species product, Sweet-14™. These products have been popular among horse owners for supplementation where more than one species graze together as well as aiding house fly control when using the Rolyx products. With these “non-salt” containing products, additional management may be needed to best promote proper intake.
One very common question we receive in regards to CRYSTALYX® and feeding horses has nothing to do with Stable-lyx® or other products labeled for equines. The question is usually if CRYSTALYX® product that’s labeled only for beef cattle only can be used for horses. While there is nothing in these products that would be fatal if a horse should consume them, our standard answer to this question is “No.” We understand that it’s common for horses to be exposed to situations on the farm/ranch where they have access to a beef only labeled CRYSTALYX® product. We cannot however, recommend or advocate such practice in order to ensure proper nutrition for both cattle and horses. Always follow label guidelines with any supplement and if the above scenario applies to you, make adjustments to not allow equines access to a beef only labeled product or consider using the multi-species product Sweet 14™.
Overall the use of CRYSTALYX® with horses has gained in popularity. CRYSTALYX® products labeled for horses are a great way to supplement grazing horses with plenty of forage, or to compliment many other horse nutrition programs. Getting off on the right foot is key and monitoring intake is important not only for equine products but for all self-fed supplements for cattle as well.