If you ask beef cattle producer and feedlot operator Byron Dehaai about CRYSTALYX® he will tell you it works. Dehaai has been using CRYSTALYX® products with his beef cows for several years but recently tried, as part of a CRYSTALYX® research and development project, an application with Holstein steers being finished on self-fed (whole shell corn and balancer pellet) diets.
Feeding Holsteins is not new to Dehaai; he and his family have been doing it for more than three years. They had always started cattle on CRYSTALYX® Brigade® for about 30-45 days. "This helps get cattle started eating and helps reduce stress and sickness," says Byron.
Using a CRYSTALYX® barrel such as Meta-Bolyx™ beyond the receiving phase was a new approach however.
A group of 228 head weighing just over 300 pounds was split in half to evaluate using CRYSTALYX® all the way through finishing. The end results were cattle that gained better, ate better, and were more efficient. Death loss and sickness was also improved.
Byron described the advantages by saying, "Cattle were just more content when we fed the barrels, feed intake was more consistent, and cattle would go back on feed faster and more consistently after being affected by hot and cold weather changes. Manure in the corral looked better (more firm) with the CRYSTALYX® cattle than the controls, and we saw fewer high-sided cattle (occurrence of bloat) and cattle with acidosis."
All of these advantages led to better performing cattle, which meant more dollars. Halfway through the evaluation, Dehaai received another group of Holstein calves and started them on the CRYSTALYX® program. "We were weighing our test groups at implant time and saw anywhere from 20-40 pounds heavier cattle with the CRYSTALYX® steers. I knew we were doing something that helped. The real payoff is in healthier cattle that eat better; if you have this, better performance should occur. We saw that here and cattle on the Meta-Bolyx™ test product finished about two weeks sooner."