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Is there a valid reason for feeding salt to cattle or is it just way to get them to eat minerals?
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(User Above)":1rmezewj said:
: Is there a valid reason for feeding salt to cattle or is it just way to get them to eat minerals? <p>Yes! Cattle need salt just like we need salt! Now cattle maybe smarter than we are because they will only eat so much salt free choice. Because of this we're able to limit expensive feeds and or minerals by placing salt in the mix! If salt was not in the mix the animals could eat too much from both a health standard or cost! <p>
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While all animals require sodium and chlorine in their diets, cattle do not have a requirement for salt per se. These minerals can be obtained from other sources and in many cases much of this requirment can be obtained through the forages they consume. Salt in minerals and/or in protein mixes can be used for two purposes: 1) to stimulate intake - cattle can overeat on salt just like we can. The can also become acclimated to higher levels as well. 2) As an intake limiter. A rule of thumb states that a mature cow will eat about 1 lb. per head per day. This is highly variable and not a consistent way to manage intake.<p>Dr. Steve Blezinger<p>
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(User Above)":222rw6fk said:
: While all animals require sodium and chlorine in their diets, cattle do not have a requirement for salt per se. These minerals can be obtained from other sources and in many cases much of this requirment can be obtained through the forages they consume. Salt in minerals and/or in protein mixes can be used for two purposes: 1) to stimulate intake - cattle can overeat on salt just like we can. The can also become acclimated to higher levels as well. 2) As an intake limiter. A rule of thumb states that a mature cow will eat about 1 lb. per head per day. This is highly variable and not a consistent way to manage intake.<p>: Dr. Steve Blezinger<p><br>I found it very interesting to learn that cattle does not have a requirement for salt "per se". It is curious, then, that when it is not fed salt for a while, it becomes very avid for it, and eats all sorts of things that might have traces of it, like bones. Could you please explain me why?<br>
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(User Above)":orj064k5 said:
: : While all animals require sodium and chlorine in their diets, cattle do not have a requirement for salt per se. These minerals can be obtained from other sources and in many cases much of this requirment can be obtained through the forages they consume. Salt in minerals and/or in protein mixes can be used for two purposes: 1) to stimulate intake - cattle can overeat on salt just like we can. The can also become acclimated to higher levels as well. 2) As an intake limiter. A rule of thumb states that a mature cow will eat about 1 lb. per head per day. This is highly variable and not a consistent way to manage intake.<p>: : Dr. Steve Blezinger<p>: <br>: I found it very interesting to learn that cattle does not have a requirement for salt "per se". It is curious, then, that when it is not fed salt for a while, it becomes very avid for it, and eats all sorts of things that might have traces of it, like bones. Could you please explain me why?<p>When we see cattle consuming odd items such as bones, bark from trees and posts, eating dirt, etc. this is not indicative of a salt requirement. It is, however a symptom of a phosphorus deficiency. More than likely when salt is withheld from cattle for a period of time, other minerals are being withheld as well. Other symptoms you will notice at this point in time is poor reproductive performance, poor growth, etc. A "deficiency" in salt or more specifically in sodium and/or chlorine (you seldom if ever see this) would be related to water balance (dehydration) and nerve transmission in the animal. SInce so many of our plants and soils contain adequate levels of sodium you seldom see a deficiency in sodium, especially in beef cows.<p>Thanks, <p>Steve<p>
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(User Above)":whqjsg63 said:
: : : While all animals require sodium and chlorine in their diets, cattle do not have a requirement for salt per se. These minerals can be obtained from other sources and in many cases much of this requirment can be obtained through the forages they consume. Salt in minerals and/or in protein mixes can be used for two purposes: 1) to stimulate intake - cattle can overeat on salt just like we can. The can also become acclimated to higher levels as well. 2) As an intake limiter. A rule of thumb states that a mature cow will eat about 1 lb. per head per day. This is highly variable and not a consistent way to manage intake.<p>: : : Dr. Steve Blezinger<p>: : <br>: : I found it very interesting to learn that cattle does not have a requirement for salt "per se". It is curious, then, that when it is not fed salt for a while, it becomes very avid for it, and eats all sorts of things that might have traces of it, like bones. Could you please explain me why?<p>: When we see cattle consuming odd items such as bones, bark from trees and posts, eating dirt, etc. this is not indicative of a salt requirement. It is, however a symptom of a phosphorus deficiency. More than likely when salt is withheld from cattle for a period of time, other minerals are being withheld as well. Other symptoms you will notice at this point in time is poor reproductive performance, poor growth, etc. A "deficiency" in salt or more specifically in sodium and/or chlorine (you seldom if ever see this) would be related to water balance (dehydration) and nerve transmission in the animal. SInce so many of our plants and soils contain adequate levels of sodium you seldom see a deficiency in sodium, especially in beef cows.<p>: Thanks, <p>: Steve<p>Thanks, Steve, for your explanation. Our soil is indeed very poor and deficient in most macro and micro nutrients, specially phosphorus.<p>A common practice here during the drought season is to feed urea with sugar cane or corn, using salt as an intake limiter. I have never been very convinced of the rightnes of this practice, and now I know for sure it should not be used.<br>Thanks again and best regards.<br>Bolivar<p>
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(User Above)":233pwy2c said:
: : Is there a valid reason for feeding salt to cattle or is it just way to get them to eat minerals? <p>: Yes! Cattle need salt just like we need salt! Now cattle maybe smarter than we are because they will only eat so much salt free choice. Because of this we're able to limit expensive feeds and or minerals by placing salt in the mix! If salt was not in the mix the animals could eat too much from both a health standard or cost! <p>Does'nt the salt also have something to do with the amount of water cattle drink and also they piss more.
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