by: Dr. G.F. Kennedy

SALT: Sometimes we over look one of the most important ingredients in the total ration and how we deliver it. For starters, blocks are worthless. It always should be provided in loose form and free choice. Salt should be offered free of manure contamination and moisture. Salt should be a basic ingredient in all rations and in grain rations should be added at 1%, 20 pounds per ton.

Salt is used as a key carrier to provide access to vitamins and trace elements including iodine and selenium. Mineral companies use it with flavoring agents to either control or influence consumption of minerals. The danger lies when the mineral contains phosphorus. Regardless of the ratio, it will increase the probability of urinary calculi in male animals. No animal consumes mineral based on need, but basically as the result of flavoring agents and salt content.

It may sound like a simple thing, but salt starved animals don’t do all that well.


About Ask-a-Vet Sheep

Veterinary services, procedures, biologicals, and drugs mentioned in this publication represent the personal opinions and clinical observations of the contributing author. They are in no way intended to be interpreted as recommendations without the consent of the producer’s own practicing Veterinarian. We strongly urge that producers establish a patient-client-veterinarian relationship that allows extra-label use when there are no drugs approved for treatment or if approved drugs are not effective. This procedure allows veterinarians to go beyond label directions when “prudent use” is necessary. The limited availability of drugs and biologics in this country is a major factor in restricting the growth of the sheep industry and allowing producers to compete in the world market place.
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