Salt is an essential nutritional supplement for animals, and cows are not exceptional. Salt plays a key role in the development of cows.
However, many new cattle owners may not have substantial knowledge of the livestock sector and do not know precisely “why do cows need salt?”.
This article will provide a deep understanding of the fundamental requirements of salt for cows. So, farmers will pay more careful attention to supplying salt to their herds. Let’s start!
Why Do Cows Need Salt?
The reason is that salt is the main supplement to maintain a cow’s general function properly. More specifically, salt is an essential part of a cow’s nervous system and muscles. Without being supplied salt in their diets, their bodies can not perform efficiently.
Plus, salt makes a significant contribution to regulating water within the body. Cows need salt for healthy growth and weight gain. When cows have high potassium levels, the supplement of salt is very crucial. It helps to prevent your cattle from illness.
Salt consists of sodium and chloride which helps the process of calcium absorption. Therefore, salt does not help out the cow’s overall functions, it also helps with milk production.
Cows tend to seek out salt in the pasture, and it depends on where your ranch is located. But the herd can find sodium from natural sources such as tree bark, dirt, and even urine. Consequently, the amount of salt they get is not enough, causing weight loss and decreased production.
You had better monitor the amount of salt that cows intake daily. Otherwise, lack of salt in cow’s diets causes severe problems such as muscle weakness, weight loss, pregnancy loss, nerve issues, and milk productivity.
Check more: How Is Milk Made In Cows?
How Much Salt Do Cows Need?
The level of salt that cows need to consume depends on their age and stage of production. The general rule of thumb shows that cows need from 0.005% to 0.010% of their weight in salt every day.
Take an example, a 1000lbs cow needs to consume at least 0.05 and most 0.1 pounds of salt in their diet.
It’s worth noting that the type of feed that cows eat should reflect the amount of salt they consume. For a daily diet with a high forage, cows tend to eat more salt and vice versa with a high-concentrate one.
Types Of Salt For Cows
Salt for feeding cows comes in two forms: loose and block.
- Loose minerals’ downline is that cows tend to eat more when salt is in this form. It is because cows do not have to lick as hard as a block. However, when you choose to go with the loose salt, you can pour it over the ration. In this way, you can easily control the amount of salt existing in their diets.
- A salt block is also known as a salt lick. It is specially designed for livestock. They are hard-dissolved and could last longer than loose salt because most salt blocks are able to sustain rain and rough weather. Cows naturally crave minerals so licking blocks are a practical solution.
Whatever kinds of salt form you are about to use, it is best to put them close to a water source. Because cows can get water immediately in case of an increase in salt content, they are assured not to be salt toxic.
After discussing “Why do cows need salt?” you finally get the answer to this question. Turns out other supplements, you have to notice that salt is vital for maintaining cows’ wellness and healthy development.