The right nutrition for hoof health

Feb 8, 2018


ANNOUNCER:    Welcome to the latest “Block Talk ” podcast, brought to you by CRYSTALYX® Brand supplements. This time of year, with muddy, sloppy conditions, there can be trouble for livestock hooves. Poor hoof health can take a significant toll, no matter what the species. Jackie Nix is an Animal Nutritionist for CRYSTALYX. She says the best way to combat poor hoof health is to grow a strong, hard hoof. And good nutrition plays a major role.

JACKIE:              With the animals, I’m sure everybody’s heard, ‘you are what you eat,’ and this is especially true for hooves and it’s going to apply across species…in addition, I mentioned that there’s a fat later, and the fat layer is on the outside and it’s going to help keep the water out and protect that hoof.

ANNOUNCER:    How, specifically, does the diet impact hooves?

JACKIE:              Well, as I mentioned, we have protein and fats. So, right of the top, the amount of protein and the amount of fats in the diet, obviously, that affects. We don’t want to be deficient in either of those…once again, they both are involved in the enzyme and the antioxidant activity to protect that outer layer of the hoof.”

ANNOUNCER:    So what happens to hooves when these key nutrients, and there are a lot of them, what happens when they’re lacking in the diet?

JACKIE:              We can see slow hoof growth, soft hooves, cracks, abscesses, thin hoof wall; and then even as severe as laminitis and then foot rot or thrush.

ANNOUNCER:    What affect does that have on the animals themselves, then? When their hooves go bad, then nothing else goes well for them either.

JACKIE:              In the horse industry you have no hoof, no horse. But really, with any livestock, whether it’s cattle, goats, sheep, if the feet hurt, they’re not going to get up, they’re not going to go eat, they’re not going to breed. They’re not going to do any of the things that we have them around for. Just kind of think about yourself. When your feet hurt, you hurt. You’re just miserable. And our livestock are no different.

Related article: Feeding for hoof health

ANNOUNCER:    Sure. So the amounts of these nutrients needed, are they always going to be the same?

JACKIE:              Of course, it’s going to be different from specie to specie. But then also it’s going to vary during the times of the year. For instance, protein and fat, for animals that are in green-growing grass…

                          …our soils across the country typically are deficient to marginal in those. So, it’s a really good idea to supplement those nutrients year round, just to make sure they’re getting what they need when they need it.

ANNOUNCER:    Speaking of supplements, what products does CRYSTALYX have that will particularly help contribute to hoof health?

JACKIE:              With CRYSTALYX, you know, we have quite a few different products. Specifically the CRYSTALYX® Blueprint® line for cattle. One of the advantages of that line is that we offer 100-percent organic trace minerals….we’ve got a whole host of, from protein supplements to mineral only supplements. I’d encourage everybody to go out to the CRYSTALYX website to go check out all of the different options.”

ANNOUNCER:    And there’s always a CRYSTALYX nutritionist who can help you as well.

JACKIE:              If they go and email us on the website, or call us on our toll-free line, we can definitely get you in touch with one of our nutritionists.

ANNOUNCER:    And probably the best thing to kind of wrap this up is to remember that you’re going to need some patience if you are having some hoof problems in your animals. It’s going to take some time, right?

JACKIE:              That’s true. Because, it takes a hoof about a year to grow out. So if you’re experiencing problems like cracks or chips and dried out hooves, it’s not going to be overnight. So it’s going to take months to start to see the first improvement and to completely grow out a hoof and have transformation, it can take up to a year.

ANNOUNCER:    Anything else you want to add, Jackie?

JACKIE:              Go to the CRYSTALYX website and just see all of the exciting products that we have to offer.

ANNOUNCER:    And that website is 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. Again, to learn more about all CRYSTALYX products go to It all adds up to Results by the Barrel.


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