The way we feed our cattle today certainly has evolved since the 1950s as livestock producers and nutritionists have almost gotten it down to a science … or better yet a blueprint.
“The Blueprint philosophy behind it is to take a look at chelated trace minerals as the sole contribution of trace minerals in the supplement,” said Dr. Dan Dhuyvetter, Director of Research and Development for Ridley Block Operations. “We no longer look at trying to include inorganic trace minerals, where we may intentionally try to over formulate because some producers might have certain antagonisms they deal with in the environment.”
We had the opportunity to visit with Dhuyvetter recently at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Convention and Trade Show, where he filled us in on the new line of Crystalyx brand supplements. Crystalyx recently teamed up with Alltech, the supplier of Bioplex organic trace minerals, to formulate the new products launched last fall.
Bioplex organic trace minerals offer higher bioavailability than inorganic minerals, which give producers the ability to supplement at a lower inclusion rate than inorganic sources, while still optimizing animal performance.
“We have really narrowed in because the Bioplex trace minerals are fairly inert to having those antagonisms interfere with their absorption and being tied up in the digestive tract,” Dhuyvetter said. “From our perspective, it is a new technology where we are really focusing in on what truly the animal needs and formulate those supplements to include that and not look at any excess of inorganic trace minerals.”
In addition to replacing inorganic minerals in the diet, the supplement also contains Sel-Plex, a selenium yeast, which Dhuyvetter said is something most competing products do not offer.
While the Blueprint program is built to promote maximal on-farm performance and profitability, it also influences genetic potential, feed quality, reproductive function, immune defense, gut health, microbiomics, and nutrient form and function.
And with the Veterinary Feed Directive in place, many cow/calf producers are looking to sharpen up their nutrition and management programs with programs like Blueprint.
Dhuyvetter said the company has seen an increase in Crystalyx customers asking for additives such as Bio-Mos or Actigen to maintain gut health and help eliminate the opportunity for pathogens to colonize in the gut.
“It’s raised considerable awareness in terms that they shore up their management practices to make sure they can limit the actual need or requirement for antibiotics,” Dhuyvetter said.
For more information about the Blueprint product line, visit the Crystalyx site.