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Free-Ranging Your Family Flock

Click here to view as a pdf: Free-Ranging Your Family Flock

By Alex Austin, B.S.

Raising and keeping your own small flock of poultry has grown in popularity over the last few years. These small backyard flocks are often allowed out of the chicken run to free-range around the property. Free-ranging is believed to improve chicken welfare as it provides the opportunity to move freely outdoors, increases exposure to sunlight, and provides greater opportunities for natural behaviors. Although there are many benefits to free-ranging chickens, it is also important to be aware of some of the challenges faced when doing this.

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Livestock Nutrition Fundamentals That Can Have Big Returns

Click here to view as a pdf: Livestock Nutrition Fundamentals That Can Have Big Returns

By Dan Leiterman

In any life endeavor it is critically important to get the fundamentals done right, or else the whole project is at risk, no matter how much added effort and resources are applied. This is true in any business and is definitely the case in an agricultural business.

When it comes to livestock nutrition, meeting the basic nutritional needs of the animal at the right time of need is fundamental to the success of a livestock enterprise. This is true no matter what the species. In this article I will use dairy cows and calves as my example of concepts that would apply to all livestock.

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Water: The Forgotten Nutrient

Click here to view as PDF:    Water: The Forgotten Nutrient 

20210917_CCWEB_CassyBy Cassy Golburg, B.A. Livestock Specialist

Water is the most vital nutrient for livestock and crucial to many functions in the body. An animal’s body is made up of 50-80% water and it helps regulate temperature, spread nutrients throughout the body and eliminate waste. Several factors affect an animal’s water requirement including weather, age, production level and life stage. Despite the importance of water, water quality is often overlooked. Offering easy access to clean water is an important factor when considering the health and productivity of your animals. Just ask yourself…would you drink out of your animal’s water cup or water trough?

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Mineral Nutrition: Advancements Over Time

Click here to view as a pdf: Mineral Nutrition: Advancements Over Time

20220629_CCWEB_Dr-Darren-ZimmermanBy Darren Zimmerman, D.V.M.

The use of minerals in livestock feeds is constantly evolving. The English word mineral comes from the Latin word minerale, which means “to be mined from the earth”. The first livestock minerals were rocks mined from the earth, then ground up, processed, and fed to animals. These minerals are referred to as inorganic minerals and they are still used in livestock feed; however, they have limitations. Due to scientific advancements, many minerals are now available in multiple forms beyond mined rock. One of the most advanced types of livestock minerals, chelated minerals, have many benefits. As a farmer and producer, it sometimes can get overwhelming when looking for the right feed and mineral to choose for your livestock. This article will address many commonly asked questions regarding mineral sources and nutrition, as well as provide guidance when reading feed tags.

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The Science Behind Aloe’s Use In Livestock

Click here to view as a pdf: The Science Behind Aloe’s Use in Livestock

By Ryan Leiterman, D.V.M.

Director of Technical Services

With the passing of the Veterinary Feed Directive in 2015, which requires a veterinary prescription for most antibiotics to be added into feed, many livestock producers have become interested in non-prescription alternatives to help keep their animals healthy and productive. As a result, the use of herbal supplements and flavoring agents in livestock diets has gained in popularity. Aloe vera, an herbal agent with researched health benefits, can be fed to livestock as a feed flavoring agent in accordance with the American Association of Feed Control Officials standards and guidelines. Crystal Creek® has aloe vera products labeled for use in livestock feed in liquid, pelleted and meal forms.

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Ordering Spring Chicks

Order your Spring Chicks with Crystal Creek today!

Young chicks on their first adventure outdoors

We’re cooperating with 2 Wisconsin hatcheries that are providing our customers with healthy baby chicks:

Sunnyside Hatchery & Abendroth Hatchery

Find all available breeds and prices in our chick order form: Crystal Creek Chick Order Form 2023

We offer many different breeds of chicken. Layer breeds like White Leghorns and ISA Browns. Dual Purpose and Heritage breeds like Orpingtons, Barred Plymouth Rocks, Australops, and Speckled Sussex, to only name a few. The portfolio also includes layer breeds that have special feather colors, like Lavender Orpingtons or Sapphire Gems. Breeds like Easter Eggers, Americana, and Marans lay diversely colored eggs from dark chocolate-brown to blue and green. And lastly, the offering even includes some very rare breeds like Bielefelder, Cream Legbars, and Polish.

Check out the sheet linked above to get the full list!

French Wheaten Maran

Blue-laced Red Wyandotte

Lavender Orpington

Barred Plymouth Rock



How does the “Chick Order” Work?

We can take your order and place it with the hatchery as soon as you decide what kind of birds you want to have.

This way we can make sure your ideal delivery date can be achieved (or at least a day very close to your perfect date).

Both hatcheries have one dedicated hatch day per week. That means that Sunnyside chicks usually will be arriving on Tuesdays and Abendroth chicks come in on Thursdays. You can pick the week of hatching and delivery with your order.

On the delivery date, the one-day-old chicks will be shipped overnight and our staff will pick your precious cargo up from the post office right away when the post office opens its doors.

We will put the baby chicks in a pre-warmed incubator in our warehouse with fresh chick starter feed, water with Aloe Vera juice, and heat lamps. You then have the complete business day to pick your baby chicks up from our office.


Starting Your Chicks Off Right

Under the following link you will find our article on staPoultry Webinar Chick Selectionrting chicks right: click here


And here you’ll find the link to our Spring Chick Webinar recorded in 2022: Spring Chick Webinar Here 





The Right Supplies

Family Flock® Turkey Starter, Grower



Our Family Flock Chick Starter feed is the perfect complete feed for the first weeks of life of your chicks.









Crystal Creek’s Aloe Vera Juice is the perfect choice as an additive for baby chick’s drinking water. It will help with the stress of transportation, encourage the chicks to drink more, and help with the digestion of their first meal. Just one ounce per gallon of drinking water is enough. Drinking water with Aloe should be exchanged and freshly prepared daily.