The numbers of Irish sheep producers using Crystalyx High Energy Feed Buckets continues to increase at an exponential rate during the entire winter and spring period.

This trend reflects the growing recognition by farmers that these unique feed blocks will act to maintain body condition on ewes in the run-up to lambing.

Luke Morgan, from Caltech Crystalyx, takes up the story.

‘Crucial role’

“The core challenge facing ewes under current circumstances is that of maximising fresh grass, hay and silage intakes,” he explained.

“This is the key to allowing them secure the forage dry matter levels they need to meet their own nutritional needs and those of the lambs they are carrying.

“And it is in this context that the Crystalyx Extra High Energy feed blocks for sheep can play a crucial role.

“They represent a highly palatable and concentrated form of energy, high quality protein, minerals, trace elements and vitamins, acting to improve the efficiency of the rumen.

“At the very heart of this process is the stimulus given to the microbe populations in the rumen. In turn this speeds up the digestion process, thereby allowing ewes to increase their daily consumption levels of fresh grass. And this, of course, determines overall dry matter intakes.”

Luke explained that ewes must be kept in top condition in the run-up to lambing.

“Loss of condition while pregnant will jeopardise placental development and reduce body reserves available for milk production,” he said.

“Trials conducted at Newcastle University found that ewes with access to Crystalyx Extra High Energy maintained better condition than ewes on grass alone, and their lambs subsequently had a 5% higher growth rate.

“Offering the High Energy tubs to ewes now will also have a very beneficial impact on the quality of the ewes’ milk post lambing. This reflects the quality of the protein contained within the feed blocks.”

All year round

Luke continued: “Crystalyx Extra High Energy is a feed block that can be used all year round to provide supplementation for ewes, rams and lambs.

“High in protein, energy and with a full complement of minerals, trace elements and vitamins, Extra High Energy and forage can be all that’s required to operate a highly effective and profitable sheep rearing system.

“A daily Extra High Energy Feeding rate of 40-60g head will ensure that pre lambing ewes receive the level of nutrition they need, provided that adequate levels of forage are also made available.

Moreover, the product has been proven on Irish sheep farms over many years.

The Caltech Crystalyx representative went on to confirm that Irish lamb prices have reached record levels, adding: “And there is every prospect of this trend being maintained throughout 2021.

“As a result, every lamb born and subsequently weaned successfully, will add significantly to the bottom line of every Irish sheep enterprise this year.”

Luke concluded:

“Crystalyx Extra High Energy feed blocks are eligible for the Sheep Welfare Scheme. So they represent a win:win option from every perspective.”

Further information

For more information on Crystalyx Extra High Energy feed blocks, just click here