Salt licks

Farmers place blocks of salt for livestock to lick. The block contains several of the animals’ mineral needs including sodium chloride (NaCl) which we humans use as table salt.

Animals know when they need salt. It’s different for each species. For example goats need plenty of salt because they’re descended from a mountain and maritime species. When I kept goats and made paneer, the whey tasted salty.

I’ve heard farmers say that the salt lick gets ignored for months at a time. But when the grass isn’t meeting all their needs, and when their pregnancy and lactation change their needs, the animals lick.


About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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2 Responses to Salt licks

  1. Have you ever come across the North Ronaldsay sheep? They have adjusted to eating seaweed.
    Not often eaten now, but they taste a bit salty.

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