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Staying On Track: Reviewing Proper Milking Procedure

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By Kelly Hubert, B.S.

There may be a time on every farm where the milking protocol is not implemented or followed properly. This could be the result of a person in a hurry to finish chores or a new employee still learning proper protocol. It is important to follow proper milking procedures which can lower somatic cell counts, increase milk production, help earn better premiums and increase overall profit.

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Give Your Beef Calves A Strong Start

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By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

The stress caused by weaning decreases a calf’s immune function and makes them more vulnerable to disease. For many years it has been common practice to give medicated feeds, pellets, or additives around the time of weaning to decrease the incidence of disease. Treating with these medicated feeds can be expensive, counterproductive to rumen function, and now requires a veterinary prescription due to the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). Crystal Creek® formulates products that have natural ingredients proven to support calves during the stress of weaning and do not require the need for a VFD. Crystal Pellets and Heifer Pride are two products that can help give your beef calves a strong start.

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Winter Udder Care

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By Alex Austin, B.S.

Udder care is important year-round, but the winter months can present their own specific set of challenges. Low temperatures and cold wind chills can be brutal on exposed skin. Preventative measures and proactive treatments can make all the difference in udder health.

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Ask The Vet / Ask The Nutritionist

We see sporadic outbreaks of ringworm in our livestock and can’t seem to get rid of it. What exactly causes ringworm and how can we prevent it?”  

-Puzzled in Pennsylvania

There are many producers across the nation who experience bouts of ringworm and struggle to get rid of it. Ringworm is caused by a contagious fungus called Trichophyton verrucosum. This fungus spreads easily throughout groups of livestock, especially those housed indoors. The spores multiply and spread rapidly, and can be picked up anywhere in the environment. Once an animal comes into contact with the spores, they irritate the skin and cause an infection.

Ringworm is classically observed as a variety of circular, grey-white scabs. It is most commonly seen on the facial area and around the eyes but can be found anywhere on the body1. Ringworm will typically resolve itself without treatment; however, this can take up to nine months2.

Many sources suggest different home remedies to cure ringworm but the surest way to address it is through prevention. Crystal Creek® recommends an examination of the nutritional support of the livestock and an inspection of their surrounding environment. A balanced nutrition program with sound trace minerals, including selenium, and Vitamins A, D, & E, aids in supporting the immune status of the animal. A strong immune system makes it more difficult for the fungal spores to infect the animal’s skin. Crystal Creek® offers an entire line of calf products formulated with high levels of bioavailable vitamins and minerals to support the immune system such as: Swift Start® Texturized Calf Feed, Swift Start® Calf Pellets, and Swift Start® Calf & Heifer Mineral. Many producers have observed ringworm all but leave their youngstock after switching to the Swift Start® program due to the improvement in vitamin and trace mineral quality.

In addition to sound nutrition, regular sun exposure will help reduce the incidence of ringworm. It is also a good idea to routinely clean any equipment used to handle animals. It is especially important to thoroughly clean grooming and show equipment, as items like brushes and halters can harbor spores over the winter and infect new animals the following spring. Remember that an animal does not need to have visible ringworm scabs to be carrying the infectious spores.

Lastly, ringworm, as with any disease, can be introduced to the herd from incoming animals. Isolating new animals for a set period of time will help to ensure that they are not carrying any transmissible diseases that may present with clinical signs after arrival. Focusing on these key preventative strategies will save much time and effort down the road with reduced ringworm outbreaks.

1  Purdue University Cooperative Extension Services
2  Langford Veterinary Services, University of Bristol

By Jessica Getschel, B.S.

Please submit your animal health or nutrition questions in writing to:

 

Crystal Creek®

Ask the Vet/Nutritionist

1600 Roundhouse Road

Spooner, WI 54801

OR

askthevet@crystalcreeknatural.com

Ask The Vet / Ask The Nutritionist

Click here to view as a pdf:  Ask The Vet Ask The Nutritionist

We provide our calves with a clean maternity pen to be born in, good quality colostrum at birth and a sound nutrition program as they grow but we still have outbreaks of scours.  We work hard to keep our calf pens clean and have developed a good vaccination program with our veterinarian. What are we missing?”

-Wondering from Minnesota

Congratulations on providing your calves with a healthy start to their lives. The three most common areas for exposure of newborn calves to harmful pathogens are 1) the maternity pen, 2) the calf hutch/housing and 3) feeding utensils, bottles and pails. Read More →

Give Your Dog An Advantage With Canine Health Forward

Click here to view as a pdf:  Give Your Dog An Advantage With Canine Health Forward

By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

In the dog food world today, consumers are bombarded with countless dog food formulas all claiming to be the best for their dog. Many of these formulas are based on creative marketing plans that are designed to appeal to the pet owner, but actual nutritional value for the dog is put on the back burner compared to other factors like cost, ingredient availability, and human emotion.

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Vitamins And Minerals Are Key For Optimum Livestock Performance

Click here to view as a pdf:  Vitamins And Minerals Are Key For Optimum Livestock Performance

By Jessica Getschel, B.S.

The conversations between producers and nutritionists regarding livestock mineral intake generally focus on two areas: 1) What mineral blend will most efficiently balance the dietary and performance needs of the animals and 2) How that mineral will be fed. When it comes to mineral delivery, special attention should be paid to how the mineral is physically consumed by the animal and, just as importantly, how the individual mineral components are utilized inside the body, i.e., the bioavailability of the mineral ingredients.

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