Do you supplement your sheep and goats? Do they have access to the nutrients they need each day? As someone who is personally involved in the small-ruminant industry, I have a firsthand understanding of the lack of good-quality, palatable supplements formulated specifically for sheep or goats.
“Which protein product do I need?” This question comes up with some frequency when speaking with producers or dealers about the many CRYSTALYX® protein options available. Since we are entering the primary protein season of the year, I thought it would be wise to share a short refresher about the differences between livestock diet protein sources.
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.
Just over a year ago, CRYSTALYX® made some formulation and name changes with several products. Two of our small ruminant products, Sheep-lyx® and Goat-Lyx®, went through some of the largest upgrades and changes. These changes were for the good, enhancing an already good product line. CRYSTALYX® is promoted as a program based supplement, and we’ve learned over the years that the best fortified products perform the best in a wide array of nutritional programs. This is true for our small ruminant products as well.
The current cattle economics situation is making everyone evaluate their feeding programs and overall production cost. Markets have their cycles and it is hard to say how long this period of low prices will last, given how quickly markets have moved in the last 2-3 years. As you look at your feeding program, remember it is the cost per pound of product sold that is the true driver of profitability.
It’s hard to believe that we’re already in October. Three months remain in 2016 and three months remain before the VFD rule goes into effect. While this rule change does not affect any CRYSTALYX® products, we want to be sure that you are well versed in what will be affected and what you will need to do. Below are 5 more questions that have come from the field as the deadline draws near.
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.
Horse folks are often fond of the saying – No hoof- no horse. Well, horses aren’t the only animals in which we need to worry about hoof soundness. Hoof soundness in sheep is absolutely critical. Grazing sheep that are lame won’t venture out and forage well and thus may gain less weight or even lose weight. Breeding rams that are lame will not travel to seek out ewes in heat and may lose libido all together. Prolonged wet conditions make foot rot complaints common.