Salt licks for animals – horses, cattle and livestock

Salt licks for horses, cattle and livestock – why use them?

Salt licks for horses, cattle and livestock. Did you know that horses and cattle can benefit from using Himalayan salt licks?  Salt licks are natural, chemical free, and suitable for farm animals, wild animals, or pets.  Whether it is for horses, cows, or sheep, salt licks are an easy way to add natural trace minerals into their diet.  And if you need salt licks for deer, or our slightly smaller household pets such as rabbits, gerbils, and hamsters, there are various sizes and shapes on the market. 

What is a salt lick?

Basically a salt lick is a block of salt which you generally hang by a rope so that the horse or cattle can easily access it.  They do also come in compressed salt blocks, round shapes suitable for hanging, large blocks for cattle or even small block form for deer and household pets.  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.

Salt licks contain a mixture of sodium, calcium, magnesium and other trace minerals which will help supplement 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.

Salt lick uses

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, offer fresh drinking water, and restrict access to the salt lick.. 


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.

More ideas

If you would like to learn more about salt, how to use it, and what types of products you can make with it then why not read pop over to our other categories.