In the Field

"We had fewer calving and retained afterbirth problems."

For Chris Patchell, the payoff from using CRYSTALYX® is better calf health and faster growth.

The Tara, Ontario, cattle producer includes Mineral-lyx® with the calf creep feed program. From about 1 month of age to 4 to 6 months, the calves have access to Mineral-lyx®. She puts Mineral-lyx® back out for the calves at weaning to help offset weaning shock and help get them started on dry feed.

But in the spring of 1998, Patchell decided not to put the Mineral-lyx® out in an effort to cut costs. By the time the calves were 2-1/2 months old, Patchell realized she'd made a costly mistake. The calves were not as thrifty, and were developing ringworm and pneumonia. "We put the Mineral-lyx® out when the calves were 3 months old and we started to notice a difference in the calves after 2 weeks," she said. "A shine started coming to their hair and the calves were a lot more thrifty."

She also puts CRYSTALYX® out for the yearling heifers to help get them in top shape for breeding. She's noticed the heifers seem to show heat a little sooner. Even the older cows have received CRYSTALYX® on occasion. After one particularly hard winter when she had to begin feeding hay the end of September, the cows were over conditioned going into calving. Those cows that were put on CRYSTALYX® close to calving and the strategy seemed to pay off with fewer calving and retained afterbirth problems.

When Patchell says she thinks CRYSTALYX® is a "great product," she means it. Before using CRYSTALYX®, Patcherosa Herefords used a competing product without much success. When they began purchasing feed from Masterfeeds, they were skeptical about using CRYSTALYX®, but finally were convinced to give the product a trial. "We've been very pleased with the results," she says.