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Interpreting The Value Of A Livestock Mineral

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Customer Favorite This article was originally published in the April 2012 Issue of the Crystal Creek® Newsletter

By Dan Leiterman

The goal of this article is to offer insight in determining the value of a livestock mineral. The value can be determined by combining the information supplied on the label and visual observation of the mineral itself, along with some basic ingredient knowledge. A critical analysis will consider ingredient quality, nutrient bioavailability and possible negative, unintended consequences associated with poor ingredient quality or inappropriate formulation techniques.

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Crystal Creek® Foundation Grain Mix: Innovative Nutrition For All Livestock

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By Alex Austin, B.S.

Crystal Creek® is excited to offer an innovative approach to providing quality nutrition to your livestock. Crystal Creek® Foundation Grain Mix is a new product offering high grade grains resulting in excellent performance nutrition. Pairing Crystal Creek® Foundation Grain Mix with the appropriate Crystal Creek® mineral will provide a superior quality complete feed.

 

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Ask the Vet/Ask the Nutritionist

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“There are times we need to drench our calves or adult cows but no one on the farm is comfortable performing this procedure.  Are there any tips that could help us?”

-Unsure in Iowa-

There are many reasons for having to administer a liquid by mouth into the rumen or abomasum of an animal. Supplying the correct quantity of colostrum to calves or giving an electrolyte solution for rehydration are a couple common examples. Making sure that drenching is being performed correctly on your farm is crucial, as incorrect drenching can cause aspiration of fluids into the lungs leading to pneumonia, choking and even death. Training livestock handlers on the procedure will help set up your operation for success. Drenching requires skill, knowledge, strength, patience and the right tools for the job.

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Improving Longevity In Your Dairy Herd

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By Teresa Marker, B.S.

Healthy cows tend to stay in the herd longer.  Currently, in the United States, the average productive lifetime for a dairy cow is 2.5 lactations. A cow does not mature until five years of age.  Many cows are involuntarily lost during the first two months of lactation. The majority of these animals are removed from the herd due to poor transitions, lameness, mastitis and reproductive issues. There are several ways to improve longevity of a dairy herd which will ultimately lead to improved milk production and profitability for the dairy farm. Strategies to improve longevity on the dairy farm include: cull based on parity, bring in less heifers every year, improve the transition into lactation, focus on colostrum management, feed quality forage, and provide proper nutrition for all groups.

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Straw The Counterproductive Ingredient In Dry Cow Rations

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By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

The Dry Cow Diet

The dry cow diet is arguably the most important ration on the dairy farm; setting the stage for a successful lactation. Cows that freshen with metabolic problems of ketosis, milk fever or a displaced abomasum cost time and money to treat; often preventing the cow from reaching her full potential for that lactation. The goal of the dry cow diet is to limit these metabolic issues and support optimal health and rumen function going into lactation. Dry cow diets should be balanced with the following guidelines in mind:

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Ask The Vet / Ask The Nutritionist

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“I would like to test some feed stuffs with Dairyland Labs.  Which test package do you recommend?”

-Wondering in Wisconsin-

Crystal Creek® recommends the Select Package. The Select Package (listed as N7 NIR Select on the Dairyland Labs Submission form) is recommended over the Basic Package because its analysis offers an evaluation of ash, TDN and NE values, where the Basic Package does not. Crystal Creek® considers these values essential for balancing a ration.

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Electrolyte Use

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By Kelly Hubert, B.S.

Electrolytes are an important tool to use when supporting scouring and dehydrated calves. Scours are the leading cause of death in young calves, primarily because scours cause calves to rapidly dehydrate. It is important to monitor calves daily and treat them quickly when needed.  A calf needs to receive 10% of its body weight in fluids each day for maintenance, while a growing calf will require even more1.

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Spring Pasture: A Great Asset

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By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

The spring flush of pasture is a great resource for producer profitability, animal health, and productivity. While pasture can provide a great deal of opportunity as an economical feed source, it is important to ensure the proper management of this resource. Waiting until the forage is adequately established before allowing grazing and keeping up with the fast growing flush, is critical to maintaining pasture health. Taking steps to prevent common pasture diseases like bloat and grass tetany will allow grazing animals to thrive on the new spring grass.

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Improving Reproduction In Your Dairy Herd

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By Kelly Hubert, B.S.

Reproduction plays a crucial role in the profitability and sustainability of a dairy farm. Finding ways to improve the reproduction of a herd can be challenging because there are many variables that can affect a cow’s ability to get pregnant. The waiting period before first service, ability to accurately detect heats, cow comfort, nutrition and the presence of mycotoxins in the feed are all factors that need to be evaluated when looking to improve the reproductive performance of your dairy herd.

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Forage Sampling

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By Alex Austin, B.S.

It is important to sample forages before adding them to a livestock diet. Sampling allows producers to have a balanced ration for their livestock and test for mycotoxins. It also gives farmers a snapshot into their agronomy, harvesting and storage practices. The results of a forage sample will only be as good as the technique and effort that went in to obtaining it.

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