How much salt is too much?

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Col Reb

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2014
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North Mississippi
The pasture isn't putting up like it normally does due to unusually cooler temperatures for north MS in May. Called my local bulk feed guy to order some range meal type feed to put in my bulk feeder to free range feed all the cows to give them a little boost until pastures put out. Feed guy said to cut my salt back to 10% & add extra corn to the distillers grain. He says over 15% is too much salt for them now. I'm concerned about them sitting at the feeder & getting bloat. Thoughts/suggestions?
salt toxicity: lethal one time dose in mature cattle 3-5 lbs.
Cattle will eliminate excess salt as long as adequate clean water supply is available.
Cattle will drink an extra 5-6 gallons a day to eliminate excess salt.

salt toxicity occurs:
1. when cattle have been deprived of salt for a long time and suddenly it's readily available.
2. if they are forced to eat excessive salt with inadequate water supply available.
3. when cattle are forced to drink water containing high concentrations of salt.

900-1500 lb cows fed salt-limiting supplements can handle 1-1.5 lbs of salt per day.
As long as they have access to an adequate supply of clean water.
Last edited:
Eleven years ago I stopped feeding range meal/salt limiting feeds. Cows stayed in good shape and got fatter when it started raining in December 2011. Just my observation.

Put out loose salt and mineral. Green grass and good hay will take care of the rest.

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