Should I Provide Salt?

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by crayon, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. crayon

    crayon Senior Member

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    So I started providing Crayon with a big 50lb red salt/mineral block again. She went through the first one in about a month, then a 5lb Himalayan rock salt in less than a week, and another 50lb block in about a month and a half. When she has free choice salt she drinks 40-50 gallons of water a day and of course kees a lot. I've been buying so much extra bedding, but of course I'm more concerned about what's best for heeled than what's convenient for me. I asked the vet about it. He even did a blood test last year to make sure nothing was wrong. He said it just goes right through some horses... So she just ran out of salt and I'm wondering, would you keep providing free choice? I have been taught to always provide free choice salt, but horses generally get enough salt from concentrated feeds or in grass, etc?
     
  2. BluemoonOKy

    BluemoonOKy Senior Member

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    Most horses are salt deficient. What is the full picture of her diet? Is she on pasture, hay ? Hard feed and how much by weight and what brand ? Any mineral supplements ?
     
  3. crayon

    crayon Senior Member

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    She's on hay with an hour or so of pasture per day right now due to the fence being down. And maybe a quart of Rider/day (not even sure what brand that is... I just give her a but because she's used to getting something in her bucket). Normally free choice red salt/mineral block... I will probably end up getting another one today. Just surprised at how much of the blocks she's actually eating, and the extra water she drinks.
     
  4. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    A salt block really is needed, yes.

    Wuss Horse has several salt blocks to choose from. I seriously doubt that's necessary, lol.
     
  5. jojozwiebel

    jojozwiebel Full Member

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    She could be bored and lick the salt block just to lick it. Then she drinks and pees and the cycle begins. Is she in a stall when not turned out?
     
  6. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    When it's hot and they sweat a lot, they tend to eat more salt. Peeing and drinking a lot is good for them, helps to keep kidneys functioning well. More serious issues come from not drinking enough, so, I always provide a salt/mineral block.
     
  7. emali06

    emali06 Senior Member

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    I would give her measured salt and minerals in her feed. She may just be an addict.
     
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  8. ChestersMomma

    ChestersMomma Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    In our herd, only one has a salt/mineral block in her stall and it's been in there for a year. They all have free access to water with the exception of dead of winter night when buckets may freeze at night. Never had an issue without a salt block. I'm almost curious if any of them would try it out if we left it in the pasture.
     
  9. crayon

    crayon Senior Member

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    Her stall is open to a large turnout with grass 24/7. It's just that the pasture with the downed fence has the best grass. I do think she eats more salt than she probably needs. I say eats because she takes bites out of it. I keep thinking it will stop being something new to get and she'll start taking less. I'm glad she's drinking enough water to compensate but just wow I didn't expect her to go through the salt so darn fast. The other horse I had for awhile just licked at hers a bit and it lasted a year or so in Hawaiian weather. Guess Crayon is just different lol. She's never had an issue in the past without one either which is why I wondered how necessary it really is. It's not a common practice at boarding facilities around here to provide salt either. But I guess I'd rather give the option if I can.
     
  10. rhinebeck

    rhinebeck Senior Member

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    I have always offered both plain salt and red block, I have recently started offering loose salt mix due to the goats. She may just like it, my mini goes to town on the blocks and the big horse generally ignores them.
     

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