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Effective Communication Leads to Success in Family Businesses

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By Ryan Leiterman, D.V.M.

Many farms are family businesses. Husbands and wives often work side by side with their children and their spouses.  Running a business with family members can provide a very satisfying work environment with many benefits. Along with the benefits come added challenges of communicating the ideas and feelings of each family member in an open and respectful manner.

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Turning Hidden Challenges into Opportunity on a Dairy Farm

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By Teresa Marker, B.S.

As a nutritionist for Crystal Creek®, I get to work with many types of dairy production models (i.e. conventional, organic, grazing). In working with these different dairy production styles, I see that they all share some common challenges. The good news is that there is opportunity to address these challenges and subsequently improve both the health of the animals and the profitability of the farm. Many of these challenges are not obvious and may require some investigation to find out if they are affecting your farm. The biggest areas of opportunity I see on dairy farms include:

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Jack Frost Nipping At Your Beak

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By Julie Wadzinski, B.S.

When cold weather sets in, poultry need diet modifications, appropriate water access, and properly maintained litter to stay healthy, warm and productive. “Cold Stress” is a phrase not spoken enough in the poultry industry. For the backyard flocks, adding heat lamps as supplemental heat is often considered the end of the story. When it comes to managing cold stress in birds, there is more to consider. Cold impacts animals differently. For example, a cow’s rumen is a heating vat that assists in keeping her warm. Poultry do not have the same type of digestion as a cow and rely on increased calories from feed to keep warm.

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Ask the Vet / Ask the Nutritionist

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Every winter we have a number of animals who come in with chapped or cracked teats.  We would like to prevent this but we don’t know how?  Is there anything we can use to keep the cold weather from wrecking our cow’s teats?”

~ Chapped in Michigan ~


By Lorrie Meister, CVT

Winter poses many challenges for cattle and producers in general. Here at Crystal Creek® we have a number of products to help you prevent some of the most common problems seen with winter udder care.

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Cold Weather Care For Horses

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By Kaylee Viney, Livestock Specialist

When cold weather strikes what will your horse be telling you? Cold weather can be hard on horses and it is important that they are ready for the rigors of winter. Proper body condition and weight are crucial going into the cold weather season. The following article will provide cold weather feeding tips to maintaining your horse’s weight and overall health. Implementing these tips will allow more enjoyment for you and your horse during the snow covered season.

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The Importance of the Liver in Dairy Cows

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By Dr. John Popp, PhD.

As I was researching the topic of liver function in healthy dairy cattle, I realized that the great majority of information available dealt with the metabolic diseases of the liver. It was almost impossible to find information that just discussed the function of the liver and how to keep it healthy. The intention of this article is to focus on what makes a liver healthy, not on the doom and gloom of hepatic lipadosis, fatty liver or ketosis, which is what we hear about the most.

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