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CRYSTALYX after calving: Breed-Up products continued use

Nutritionist and feed professionals like to talk a lot about pre-calving nutrition, and stress the fact that a cow’s nutrient requirements climb in the last trimester of pregnancy.  This is true and good body condition matters at this time in the reproductive cycle.  Still, we may get a little too caught up in this message and overlook the period between calving and breeding; the post-partum interval.  In the past several years, we’ve seen a great deal of success in using the CRYSTALYX® Breed-Up® products starting 1-2 months prior to calving.  Calves hit the ground healthier and more vigorously, cows clean well and all is good for cow calf, and cowboy’s alike.

Meeting pre calving nutritional requirements is critical but, in fact, the highest energy and protein demand for a cow are 1-2 months after calving.  The cow needs to recover from parturition, is lactating heavily, and the estrus cycle needs to return to normal soon enough to maintain a narrow calving window.  Customers often ask me, “What CRYSTALYX® product do I use closer to grass turnout or prior to and during the breeding season?”  This is probably the most important time for the Breed-Up® products continued use.  Often times, producers feed much higher quality forages during and after calving or are on green grass (or will be soon).  It is still important to ensure energy, vitamin, and mineral needs are met, even with these higher quality forages.  CRYSTALYX® Breed-Up® products have good options for these programs as shown in the table below.

Green grass in the spring can pose the threat of grass tetany, a magnesium deficiency. Often we see producers sacrifice portions of a mineral program (trace minerals and vitamins) in order to feed a high magnesium supplement that’s just lower cost.  This may help with the magnesium issue but is a step backwards if we forget about the trace mineral and vitamin needs.  Using CRYSTALYX® to provide the magnesium is an effective method.  It’s palatable and an easy fit if CRYSTALYX® has been used up until this point already.  If the Breed-Up® products such as Breed-Up® 20 and 28 have been fed up until grass turnout, it makes sense to continue on the same level of nutrition, albeit now one with higher magnesium. The Breed-Up® Line has a product that is called Breed-Up® 17 Mag containing 4% magnesium. This product when consumed at ½ to ¾ of a pound supplies similar amounts of supplemental magnesium as a 12% magnesium mineral fed at 3-4 ounces.

If and when Grass Tetany is not a risk, an easy continuation of the Breed-Up® Program is the Breed-Up® Max product.  Another option while grazing, is to provide fly control with either Rabon® Oral Larvacide.  In this case, CRYSTALYX® products such as ROLYX® Pro-Mag can be offered and all CRYSTALYX® fly control products do provide organic trace minerals.


In summary, be sure to take good care of the cows and calves after calving.  CRYSTALYX® Breed-Up® programs are very successful in providing supplemental protein, energy, vitamins and minerals and all provide Zinpro Availa®4  which are organic trace minerals of copper, zinc, cobalt and manganese.  Again the CRYSTALYX® Breed-Up® programs are for pre and post calving alike.

 Rabon® is a registered trademark of Bayer Animal Health

Availa®4 is a registered trademark of Zinpro Corporation