The Importance of Salt to Livestock

The elements of common salt, sodium and chlorine, are essential for animal life.  Salt is a major component of fluid blood, which contains about 0.17% of both sodium and chlorine. 

Livestock have shown that they are fairly capable of regulating their own intake of salt if given a reliable source of it. Under range conditions about 20 pounds per head per year has been recommended, with most available during the active growing season to assist the animal with the faster metabolism of succulent feeds.

The mineral salts are as important in the nutrition of livestock as water or fodder. Salt has an essential role in growth, efficiency and procreation’s animal, the consumption of salt helps to prevent dehydration, digestion and assimilation of food.

Problems faced with livestock that have a salt deficit in their diet are:

  • Low weight
  • Low levels of production of meat and milk
  • Joint Problems
  • Animals weaker
  • Decreased fertility and heat / rut

Benefit of Salt in the livestock diet:
  • Improve animal nutrition
  • Increased productivity of meat and milk
  • Increased quality and appearance of the skin
  • Increased fertility levels
  • Improved animal reproduction

Practical ways to provide salt in the diet of livestock:
Pasture compound feed:

The first option is the addition of supplementation of minerals in agriculture nutrition through the complete portion with compound feed diary. In this case, cattle breeders have a food plant add these supplements especially calculated for each species. The pasture compound feed is a food made compound feed and composed of different raw materials or products and additives designed especially to livestock for oral feeding.

The compound feed is made with the purpose of being used as food only by having a composition that completely covers all the nutritional needs of each crop species. This strategy takes place in those productions in feedlot cattle or intensive, generally regime system.

Salt blocks
The simplest and more practical way to provide salt in the diet of animals is through the blocks of salt with natural minerals for animals under extensive grazing.