Conception rates boosted with Crystalyx
Dairy replacement heifer conception rates improved when stock were given access to Crystalyx Forage Plus dehydrated molasses blocks, an AgResearch trial has shown.
The Crystalyx licks marketed in New Zealand by Summit Quinphos were the subject of a five-month breeding trial, which concluded earlier this year.
A herd of rising two-year-old dairy cross-bred heifers were provided with Crystalyx Forage Plus licks eight weeks prior to the introduction of bulls. At the end of the trial, 100 percent of the heifers were in calf compared to 95 percent of the control herd. This was a statistically significant difference on the total 319 animals in the trial. Higher pregnancy rates have also been demonstrated with overseas trials using Crystalyx.
The New Zealand trial showed that in addition to higher conception rates the Crystalyx-supplemented stock also had significantly higher selenium and magnesium levels when tested compared to their non-supplemented counterparts, even though all mobs were initially injected with selenium and B12 after initial blood analysis. Importantly the supplement only increased blood Se to within desired levels.
Crystalyx works by feeding the microbes in the animal’s rumen, stimulating intake and digestibility. This means cows process whatever they are eating more efficiently. At the same time they are absorbing essential nutrients including selenium, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, calcium, phosphate, magnesium and vitamins.
Summit Quinphos Animal Nutrition Manager Jackie Aveling said New Zealand-run trials were important to demonstrate the advantages of using the licks.
“The research will give farmers confidence that this product provides them with a proven way to improve the overall health and fertility of their replacement heifers,” she said.
“We have a great belief in Crystalyx and we’re delighted to have its benefits validated with robust and independent science.”
Mrs Aveling said replacement heifers are often not the chief focus of the farmer, but they are key to future productivity of the farm.
29 April 2011