While some areas of the country are still getting over the long-suffered winter weather conditions, other parts of the U.S. have warmed up to typical mid-spring temperatures. As I write this from my home in Virginia, we are expecting highs in the 80s for most of this week — which means that livestock here and in other parts of the South are already experiencing some form of heat stress.
Late winter/early spring is usually a time of muddy sloppy conditions, which can spell trouble for hooves. From cracked hooves to foot rot, poor hoof health takes a toll on your livestock, no matter what the species. Wet, sloppy conditions just exacerbate hoof problems, softening them up, making them more susceptible to injury and microbial entry. The best way to combat poor hoof health is to grow a strong, hard hoof in the first place.
Many of us have seen daily news and social media updates regarding the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. In particular, those of us in the ag community have an interest in both livestock and companion animals that have been impacted by the flooding. There has been daily coverage of livestock being moved out of flooded areas, desperate to find higher ground. For those who are familiar with Gulf Coast grazing lands and the endless acres of low-lying, boggy, marshy pastures, we understand the challenges associated with their efforts. The recovery ahead will take not only a few days or weeks, but many months and perhaps even more.
My weekly chat with my mom reminded me that it’s county fair time in the northern parts of the US. While we’re lucky to not have the oppressive heat and humidity that some of the southern states have, it can and does get hot and humid. I recall a few show days from my 4-H years that were extra hot and a break in the shade with a wet towel was in order. This week, I thought I would share some thoughts on keeping everyone safe while at the fair.
A horse is more than just another animal on the ranch or farm. It’s a best friend, a true companion, a teammate, or an integral part of your operation. It makes perfect sense that you want what’s best for your horse to keep them happy and healthy. Supplying all the nutrients they require can be tricky. However, providing the right supplement can take all the guesswork out.
With each new season there are things that we look forward to like green grass, warm days and watching the new calf crop develop. One thing we and our cattle do not look forward to is the suffering, annoyance and general loss of performance that excessive fly pressure can create. We have recently expanded our fly control options available in the CRYSTALYX® self-fed supplment line.
As winter approaches we need to start thinking about feeding hay. This year has been very hit-or-miss in terms of rainfall. Those who got it, got more than enough. And those who didn’t, well... The problem is that most of the available hay is going to come from those areas that received ample rainfall and faced less-than-ideal harvesting conditions. Under those circumstances, mold becomes an issue.
The CRYSTALYX® Earn to Learn™ program is back for another year and better than ever. This blog discussion is not about the performance of CRYSTALYX® on livestock, rather about today’s youth in agriculture; which is our future. The future of CRYSTALYX® is not only about cows but kids too.