Salt licks for horses, cattle and livestock – why use them?
f you are a farmer or livestock owner, you know how important it is to provide your animals with the proper nutrition and care. One often overlooked aspect of animal health is the use of salt licks. Salt licks are blocks of salt that are specifically designed for animals to lick and consume. Though it may seem like a small detail, the benefits of using salt licks for your farm animals are numerous. Not only do they provide essential minerals that are often lacking in a typical livestock diet, but they also promote hydration and assist with digestion. Additionally, salt licks can help reduce stress and boredom in animals, leading to happier and healthier livestock overall. So if you want to ensure that your animals are receiving the best possible care, consider incorporating salt licks into their daily routine.
What is a salt lick?
Basically a salt lick is a block of salt which you hang by a rope so that the horse or cattle can easily access it. The salt lick is made from slabs of Himalayan salt. They contain 84 natural trace minerals which is the source of the salt. They do also come in compressed salt blocks, round shapes, and large blocks for cattle. You can also purchase mounted holders which you drop the block into allowing the animals, such as deer, to access them easily.
Are salt licks all the same?
There are actually a few different salt licks to choose from with each offering something slightly different. The main ones to choose from are Himalayan, red or white.
If your animal has never had a salt lick before then consider using a white lick to start them off as it contains sodium chloride.
A red lick contains minerals such as copper, cobalt, iron, iodine and manganese. If your animal is already on a balanced diet they may not require these additional minerals, so check before you offer them a red lick.
Himalayan salt licks are made from salt blocks from the Himalayan salt ranges in the Punjab region of Pakistan. They contain 84 trace minerals including high levels of calcium. Again check what your animals are getting in their current diet before introducing additional salts to them.
Why do animals need salt licks?
Animals, like humans, have a craving for salt, and whilst they will normally find some within the other foods that they eat it may be necessary to supplement salt in their diet.
Containing a mixture of sodium, calcium, magnesium and other trace minerals salt licks are ideal as a salt supplement for your animal’s diet. Salt licks are a source of natural pure salt which will help maintain bones, muscles, and both nervous and circulatory systems.
Why use a Salt lick
Salt licks contain trace minerals including calcium which is required for the development of strong bones within both the skeleton of the animal and also their teeth.
There are many other important minerals within the salt licks including magnesium, selenium, sodium, chlorine, and phosphorus. These minerals are important in helping promote the healthy development of the animals.
Think of them as nature’s natural health supplement for animals and cattle.
Some animals are better than others at regulating their salt intake. While some only consume what they need, others will over-indulge. Remember that a high level of salt intake can make animals thirsty. So it is important that you provide large volumes of fresh drinking water.
If you feel your animals are overusing the salt lick then monitor them carefully. Remember to offer fresh drinking water. And you can always restrict access to the salt lick if necessary.
So now you know that Himalayan salt licks are beneficial for both horses and cattle. They are natural, chemical free, and help promote good health.
Do you still want to learn more? Then why not head over to our other sections to find out more about salt, its uses, other salt products, and some quick and easy recipes?