Do I Need to Feed Salt to My Cattle?

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Do I Need Feed Salt Cattleby Kevin Glaubius, Director of Nutrition and Technical Support

Our VitaFerm mineral labels often say in the feeding instructions to offer additional salt. Beef cattle do have a requirement for salt and in most of the formulations we strive to meet the basic need. However, not all of the products contain salt and with those products producers should always feed additional salt. Examples include our protein tubs and Concept Aid 0/S.

When feeding our core products that contain salt it is slightly more difficult to ask the question “Do I need to feed salt?” In some areas the products are consumed at recommended levels without supplementing additional salt. In other areas if mineral is the sole salt source cows will tend to over-consume the mineral just to get more salt.

So how do you know? If mineral consumption is low and your VitaFerm product contains salt then remove all other salt sources and mineral consumption should increase. On the other hand, if mineral consumption is high and no other salt is offered making salt available will generally reduce mineral consumption.

Another commonly asked question is, “Can I offer salt free choice or do I need to mix in the mineral?” Either will work but mixed in mineral is preferred so cattle consume both salt and mineral and not just one. Block salt is discouraged because it limits intake and may not meet the requirements.

Finally, salt intake is seasonal and varies throughout the year so management is the key to success in order to insure adequate mineral intake. For more information contact your Area Sales Manager or one of our nutritionists.

 

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