I can’t believe it’s September already — where did the summer go? The mornings are noticeably cooler and the days are getting shorter. Thoughts of weaning spring-calving herds are likely present, and those of you with row-crops are undoubtedly looking forward to harvest. And, as usual, I would like to discuss the importance of supplementing your cow herd with CRYSTALYX® before, during and after weaning.
- Fetal programming knowledge tells us that we do not want to short cows on protein during early-to-mid gestation. The old rule of saving your best feed for the third trimester still rings true, but we cannot afford to ignore our cash cows for the first two-thirds of gestation either.
- If you think you are too busy with harvest to take the time to supplement your cows, you can easily put out CRYSTALYX barrels, which will provide convenient, readily-available supplemental nutrition for two to three weeks at a time, depending on the size of your herd. You can essentially “set it and forget it” over this period.
- Your calves will greatly benefit from being on a good trace mineral and vitamin program prior to weaning. Studies have shown that vaccines and shipping fever treatments are more effective if the calf has a good trace mineral status.
- One of the cheapest times to put weight on a spring-calving cow is during post-weaning in the fall. You can release more energy from lower-quality forages (increased weight gain and efficiency) with just a small amount of supplemental protein from a self-fed supplement.
- Harvest is not the only time-drain on a ranch in the fall. Weaning calves, moving cows between pastures and other activities, such as guiding hunters, can take up much of your day. Again, properly stocked CRYSTALYX barrels will provide supplemental nutrition for two to three weeks at a time.
- As water sources dry up in the fall, it will be increasingly challenging to get cows to utilize standing forage in the farthest reaches of a pasture. Use CRYSTALYX barrels to lure those cows back to underutilized pasture areas that may be far from tank water or riparian areas.
- Fall-calving cows usually need additional supplemental protein to breed back on time and improve milk production on the lower-quality forages that are typically available at this time of year.
- You will save on labor, expenses and equipment and lower your risk.
- You will see an increase in several areas, including weight gain, free time and the number of healthy calves at weaning.
- CRYSTALYX Brand Supplements are windproof, waterproof and waste-proof.
Self-fed supplements are an excellent way to maximize your returns from a supplement program that’s available 24/7 while minimizing your investment in time, labor and equipment. Contact your local CRYSTALYX dealer to get set up with the right supplement program for your herd today.