Benefits of Salt for Cattle
One of the most important nutrients that cattle need is salt. It plays an important role in all aspects of animal health and well-being. It aids in proper nerve and muscle function, blood flow, body pH regulation, water retention, sweating and more.
Cattle can go without salt for a couple of days, but frequent salt deficiency is bad news for cattle. It can lead to minor diseases and more serious problems.
The amount of salt that cows need is dependent on a number of factors. Diet, age, stage of production and genetics are all a part of the equation.
Feeding a high-forage diet, particularly one with a high concentration of concentrates will increase cattle’s salt requirements. In addition, cattle that drink slightly salty water may need more than average amounts of salt.
A good way to make sure your cattle get adequate salt is by mixing it into their feed or providing free-choice salt options in your pastures or pens. The salt sources should be placed near your cows’ water supply so that they have easy access to it.
Choosing the Best Salt for Your Cattle
When deciding on the right type of salt for your cattle, you should consider the type of minerals it contains. Some trace minerals will inhibit the absorption of salt while others will encourage it to be absorbed by your livestock.
For example, potassium can inhibit the absorption of salt and magnesium can promote it. When using trace mineral salt, be sure to balance it with other minerals that your cattle need for optimal performance.