Supporting the growth potential of today’s cattle

Dec 7, 2017


ANNOUNCER:    Welcome to the latest “Block Talk” podcast, brought to you by CRYSTALYX Brand supplements. Cattle today are performing at levels much higher than twenty years ago. Tim Clark is a nutritionist for CRYSTALYX. He shares his thoughts on the affect that trend is having on productivity, some of the factors that help these animals reach full genetic potential and the impact trace mineral supplementation has on the antioxidant status of growing cattle.

TIM:                  Just a higher level of production as far as average daily gain we’re expecting both out of our nursing calves and cattle that we’re putting in the feedlot. When I first started doing nutrition work, it was pretty common to do two-and-a-half to three pounds of average-daily-gain targets…that’s almost doubling what we saw fifteen, twenty years ago with cattle performance. So, it’s like a lot of the trends we see in agriculture; just a consistent, steady increase in productivity.

Related article: Reducing oxidative stress for optimal performance

ANNOUNCER:    With that increase in productivity comes a need for higher energy and protein in the diet to support this performance level. Does that hold true for trace minerals?

TIM:                  That is an area that needs more investigation. Really, there’s not been a lot of research and time dedicated to trace mineral nutrition since the 60s and 70s. One would assume that is related to antioxidant stress here, and maintaining cell health…all of the mineral and vitamin standards are kinda set as a static number, and an animal needs ten milligrams of copper or nine milligrams of selenium and that’s kinda where it’s set.

ANNOUNCER:    While the antioxidant system is complex, it comes down to maintaining a chemical balance in the cell. What role do trace minerals play?

TIM:                  Trace minerals are key components of key enzymes that do a lot of chemistry work within the cells. Selenium’s utilized with glutophyum peroxidates. Copper, zinc and manganese are associated with…a lot of people think that antioxidant systems are only important when it comes to maintaining an immune system, but it’s pretty much active every day.”

ANNOUNCER:    Then there’s chronic oxidative stress – that can lead to a number of problems in fed cattle. What is it and what are some of the problems it can create?

TIM:                  It’s a catchall syndrome that the veterinary world comes up with to describe complex things going on. Chronic oxidative stress is, we just get beyond the tipping point. We’re creating more free radicals…chronic fatigue syndrome in cattle is associated with heavier weight finishing cattle that develop pneumonia and other health problems and some mortality late in the finishing process. So, it’s just chronic stress that builds up over time.

ANNOUNCER:    So, let’s talk about solutions. What advantages does CRYSTALYX Bioplex chelated trace minerals offer?

TIM:                  There’s a whole new segment of trace mineral research looking at how the chelated trace mineral’s are formed. The chelates are already bound to a protein or amino acids, so they’re much more readily absorbed…but that’s not the case with Bioplex’s. We can actually feed at a lower level and have more overall availability or absorption than what we do with straights.

ANNOUNCER:    CRYSTALYX has added the Blueprint® product line based on the total replacement of inorganic trace minerals with highly bioavailable (Bioplex®) organic trace minerals.

TIM:                  It’s the next generation of the CRYSTALYX line and the next generation of the thought process on mineral metabolism, where using less is actually going to give us more. Both more availability and in some of these studies like we’ve done and what I’m citing here in my blog, you can get the improved performance as well.

ANNOUNCER:    Is it important to maintain a balance between vitamins and trace minerals?

TIM:                  It’s interesting how the body systems are interconnected. The vitamins come into play as well…vitamin A, C and D. Currently we’re looking a situations where pricing has dramatically increased. That’s the place where we don’t want to cut the vitamins and rely just on the trace minerals…we can’t just feed more minerals and not maintain our vitamin levels. Some producers will be tempted to cut vitamin supplementation, but that will be a bad move from a performance and health standpoint.

ANNOUNCER:    That’s it for this Block Talk Podcast brought to you by CRYSTALYX Brand Supplements an easy way to provide self-fed protein, vitamins and trace minerals in a low moisture supplement formulated for all types of feeding situations from low quality forages to fly control and everything in between. Learn more about all that CRYSTALYX has to offer by going to It all adds up to Results by the Barrel.


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