Many dairy farmers across the country have begun giving their livestock Himalayan Rock Salt and are lauding the benefits, but what are the benefits and what is Rock Salt?
Himalayan rock salt, mined in the Himalayas, is a great way of boosting your animal’s efficiency. The benefits of rock salt were first noticed when sick elephants were seen traveling miles to find it.
It is particularly important for cattle, as it provides them with a range of vital minerals, with results showing it greatly improves the overall health of cattle. The salt encourages saliva flow, which then helps increase the ph of your animal’s rumen. Sodium, of course, is an essential element in the diet in most animals, including cattle.
There are many benefits, the first of which is increased milk yields. This is why dairy farmers are increasingly using the supplement, with trials showing it can increase yields by almost 13%!
Another benefit is that it helps animals get more out of their feed. That is when given Rock Salt, they are better able to digest the feed and make the most of its nutritional value. In dairy cows, the salt actually helps balance the sodium-potassium ration in their diets.
There are also many health benefits connected with giving your cattle Rock Salt. Rock salts contain over 80 different trace elements, with many minerals of benefit to the bovine breed and their heatlh.
Rock salts help reduce Cud Ball, reduce the risk of Frothy Bloat, harden up the hooves of your animal, Helpx improve blood formation - which helps improve fertility, and it also helps stop cattle from drinking their own urine.
Problems without Salt:
Should your animal have a sodium restriction in its diet for a long period, it could cause serious damage.
A prolonged restricted period can cause permanent central nervous system damage, can result in lower daily weight gain and usually results in a poorer feed conversion rate. It also brings your animal down to a lower quality grade.
Sodium is vital for cattle, to prevent severe performance issues. An animal’s fertility, milk production, and growth are all affected should it become deficient. Cattle have a potassium-rich diet, as they consume a high quantity of forage. This affects sodium levels in stock and their ability to absorb magnesium. Grass fertilized with nitrogen and potassium may also result in your animal developing a deficiency.
Cattle only require approximately 10kgs a year of salt in their diets, with prices varying from €0.45 - €0.60 per animal each month. As the mineral comes in the form of a rock, all that is required is to let your cattle lick the rock a few times. It can also be bought, quite conveniently, in the shape of a salt-soaked silage pit cover. , This means farmers can have better control of rations.
Rock Salt is not expensive, and could ultimately make farmers more money. Increased daily weight gains, milk yields and better overall health of stock is only a good thing for farmers.
Dairy farmers have begun to use it to great effect, now it’s over to the beef industry!
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