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Vitamins And Minerals Are Key For Optimum Livestock Performance

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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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Dairy Goats Benefit From High Quality Nutrition

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By Dan Leiterman

Goats are competent browsers, which leads to the misconception that goats can eat and thrive on almost anything. In reality, because goats have a shorter digestive system relative to their body size, food is not retained as long. This increases the need for both higher levels of nutrition and higher quality nutrients. This faster digestive pass through time, reduces nutrient absorption, but also allows goats the ability to increase their dry matter intake to offset the short access time to nutrition. The range of dry matter intake for goats is 3 to 5 % of their body weight which is typically higher than other ruminants.1

A goat’s diet may consist of a wide variety of feedstuffs. Goats can browse on shrubs, graze on pasture and can accommodate supplemental grain feeding when necessary to meet nutritional requirements during times of higher production or winter months.

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Understanding Biofilms In Agriculture

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By Jessica Dercks, B.S.

In agriculture today, sanitation technique and protocol implementation have become more important than ever before. An increased awareness of health benefits gained from a clean environment has stimulated a higher standard of cleaning expectations. Many producers not only strive to remove organic matter from surfaces, but also microbial buildup; more accurately, biofilms.

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Gearing Up For Lambing And Kidding Seasons

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By Jessica Dercks, B.S.

Jessi_2016_PREVIEWPreparing for healthy kids and lambs starts long before kidding and lambing seasons begin. It is vital for gestating animals to have a well balanced ration that provides the appropriate minerals and vitamins not only for their own health, but for their developing young as well. Because sheep and goats have different nutrient requirements, Crystal Creek® offers both a Goat and a Sheep Mineral. Both formulas are packed with readily bioavailable vitamins and minerals specifically balanced for each species. The purchase of either mineral comes with custom ration balancing services that ensure quality, cost effective diets.

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Maintaining Your Pasture To Maximize Feed Quality

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By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

Pasture is a high quality, cost-effective feed that many producers rely heavily on during the summer months. Because pasture is such a crucial feed, it is important to manage it during vulnerable times to make the most efficient use of it when it is growing. Implementation of fall and spring pasture management practices can make a noticeable difference in pasture quality and in your pocketbook during the grazing season.

In the fall, it is hard to resist the temptation to use as much pasture as possible; grazing right down to the last inch of pasture to avoid feeding stored forages and go into winter with nice “clean” looking pastures. While this practice may save you forage in the fall, it will greatly reduce your pasture’s yield the following grazing season. It is important to know that plants store much of their energy reserve for the upcoming winter in the bottom three inches of the plant. Grazing too close to the ground in the fall greatly reduces the energy reserves of the plant needed for spring regrowth. The additional pasture growth in the following grazing season will more than make up for any hay fed to allow the pasture to stay at 3 inches.

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Ask The Vet / Ask The Nutritionist

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How do you determine the right time to harvest corn silage and how long should I wait before feeding this year’s silage?”

The proper timing of harvesting corn silage is of the utmost importance. If corn silage is harvested when it is too wet, it can grow mold and/or clostridia and there is a greater chance that butyric acid will form leading to dry matter loss, poor feed quality and decreased feed intake. Harvesting corn silage when it is too dry will cause poor packing in the storage structure, poor fermentation and possible heating in the bunk. All of these factors can lead to an increased dry matter loss during fermentation, spoilage and poor bunk life. Dry corn silage is also less digestible. Harvesting corn silage at just the right time will produce high quality silage which will result in optimum animal performance. Factors to consider when harvesting corn silage include:

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Successfully Managing Internal Parasites In Sheep

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By Contributing Editor
Julie Wadzinski, B.S.

Internal parasite resistance is becoming a serious concern across sheep flocks worldwide.  Recent research has focused on different methods to minimize the genetic adaptation of internal parasites to survive deworming treatments (anthelmintic resistance). It is important to take a multi-faceted approach to create an Integrated Parasite Management (IPM) plan. One component to consider when creating an IPM is parasite refugia.  Parasite refugia is a population of parasites that have survived despite being exposed to unfavorable conditions. An effective parasite managment plan includes pasture management, proper anthelmintic selection, selectively treating animals, careful breeding/culling considerations, quarantining new animals and investigating treatment failure.

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Managing Mycotoxins In Feedstuffs: Mycotoxin Binder Strategies

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2013Dan  By Dan Leiterman

Mycotoxins are highly poisonous compounds produced by molds that can grow on livestock feeds both in the field and in storage.  Mycotoxins can seriously reduce production in livestock and can negatively affect the health of both livestock and humans alike. Stressful growing and harvesting conditions, such as drought or very wet weather, are conducive to higher mold growth resulting in more mycotoxins in the feed. Mycotoxins are common in livestock feedstuffs and it has been estimated that over one third of the global grain supply has mycotoxin contamination. Poor storage conditions, post-storage mishandling of feedstuffs and poor bunk management may encourage further mold growth once the crop is out of the field.

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Evaluating Dry Matter Intake From Pastures

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By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

Many producers we work with at Crystal Creek® utilize pasture as a valuable feedstuff in their ration during the grazing season. Pasture is a cost effective feed that provides great nutrition, supports rumen microbes, promotes animal health, and improves the profitability of many operations when utilized properly. While pasture as a feed can be very beneficial, it has one downfall.  It is difficult to measure the dry matter intake (DMI) of your animals when they are on pasture. Dry matter intake is a crucial piece of information for nutritionists when balancing a ration.  A balanced ration is essential for optimal production, reproduction, animal health and ultimately profitability.

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Ask the Vet / Ask the Nutritionist

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

Lorrie

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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