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Cattle rustling is on the rise: Make sure you aren’t helping them rob you!

With record cattle prices comes record temptation. It is no surprise that cattle theft is on the rise this year. Unfortunately, in many cases, by the time producers realize that cattle are gone, they have already been sold at auction. These losses can be devastating. So what can you do as a producer to theft-proof your livestock?

We need to rethink the idea of training cattle to come running up every time we drive a pickup into the pasture. When you feed off of the back of your truck, that’s exactly what you are doing. Unfortunately, the bad guys know this too and pull up, beep the horn and the cattle practically load themselves.

CRYSTALYX® self-fed supplements can help in this regard. The fact that cattle get 24/7 access to supplement means they won’t be hungry and running up to the truck like they will with daily or weekly feeding of supplements like cubes or pellets. Just keep the recommended number of barrels out at all times for continuous supplementation. We even have a program to help remind you of when to replace barrels. You can sign up for the CRYSTALYX® Supplement Scheduler at www.crystalyx.com . This convenient program allows you to enter specific information for each pasture. The program tracks consumption by pasture and will automatically send you email reminders when you need replace the supplement. Wa-La! No more hungry cattle running up to greet you!

Also, CRYSTALYX® has patented and proven ability to draw grazing cattle to stay near the CRYSTALYX® supplements. You can strategically place CRYSTALYX® supplementsin areas of the pasture that are out of sight from the road or farther away from the gate and any loading chutes.  Thieves are looking for an easy mark, so making your cattle less accessible will make them less attractive as targets.

Other steps you can take to protect yourself include padlocks on gates and proper identification on every animal, whether this includes branding, ear tattoos, ear tags or all of the above. Keep records on all animals and their various forms of identification. For small herds, you might even take the extra step of photographing each animal for later identification. Of course, frequently check cattle and try not to make your visits predictable. And finally, you need to make sure that your livestock are adequately insured. Talk with your insurance agent to make sure your policy covers replacement costs for the current value of your animals.

In summary, high cattle prices bring out the bad guys looking to make a quick buck off of your hard work. Make sure that you aren’t making it easy for them. CRYSTALYX® can not only help you provide the best nutrition for your cattle, but can also help you keep them safe from theft!