Supplementing salt? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 06-17-2013, 10:54 AM
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I've been wondering if salt is a necessity. I've come across a few of those mineral deposits in nature where you can see the animals have been eating it and they didn't taste salty. Do you think it's the salt that the horse needs in those licks or is it the minerals that help em?

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post #12 of 21 Old 06-17-2013, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand Percherons View Post
Salt is one nutrient you must supplement because all horse feed products are naturally low in it. I would never waste my $$ on packaged horse electrolyte products. They are mostly salt, sugars and some minerals and vitamins. Offer free choice salt in a loose form to start. I put out plain white salt blocks as well but one 50# blocks will last 6 months while in the same 6 month period they will go through 200# of loose white salt. There is no way you can give your horse exactly what they need on a daily basis so let him regulate what he needs. Electrolytes are nothing more than minerals. You will satisfy those needs with a mineral/vitamin blend either in a granular form (AMD Grostrong, Hoffman's and Progressive Nutrition are all great products) or a ration balancer. The granular products are about 20% salt so you aren't wasting money on shipping inexpensive salt and a 2 oz dose is going to run less than $.20. A 50# bag of stock salt at the feed store runs about $7 and 50# of my locally milled vitamin/mineral blend runs $34. I offer both free choice and find they typically eat less than the recommended 4-6oz. They will go through a loading phase where if they are deficient they will eat as much as 2# over a few days than drop down to 2-6oz a day.

I fail to see how paying $2 a lb for a complete elctrolyte blend with salt and other minerals is a waste of money when grocery store salt is just salt and what 1.30 a lb ? Not to mention its those "other " minerals they also need.
Not to mention you can buy a 33 lb horse quality block that is crumbly and easy for horses (have to keep it out of rain) for the astronomical price of 35 cents a lb,, you really going to try to mix up your own special blend for 35 cents a lb ? That's not even penny wise, just plain old pound foolish.
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post #13 of 21 Old 06-17-2013, 12:28 PM
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You can ask for Stock Salt at your feed store and buy plain white salt by the 50 lb bag for around $5, depending on where you are. I give 1 oz/2X a day in the summer time, and 1 oz/day in winter. If you're feeding ponies, maybe check with someone else on how much they give, I'm feeding full sized horses. Depending on what you're feeding and where you are can determine if you need minerals. For that I'd ask the vet.
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post #14 of 21 Old 06-17-2013, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
You can ask for Stock Salt at your feed store and buy plain white salt by the 50 lb bag for around $5, depending on where you are. I give 1 oz/2X a day in the summer time, and 1 oz/day in winter. If you're feeding ponies, maybe check with someone else on how much they give, I'm feeding full sized horses. Depending on what you're feeding and where you are can determine if you need minerals. For that I'd ask the vet.

Or get your forage tested for minerals. The UK is very low in magnesium in many places, but clover fields can be very high in potassium during the growth season.
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post #15 of 21 Old 06-17-2013, 12:34 PM
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I prefer having loose salt available free choice for my horse, but unfortunately the stall cleaners seem to toss shavings around in the stall and it ends up a wet mix of salt and dirty bedding

My horse has a plain salt lick, but it really doesn't look like he ever touches it and it's been up for months.

Last summer I was adding a tablespoon of table salt per day, split between two feedings and my horse stopped eating his grain... I took it out and he started eating again, so it was clearly too much for him.

I've started adding in half a teaspoon per feed again this summer, and I don't think I'll go above that. The climate is pretty mild where I am, so he must be getting most of what he needs from his ration balancer.
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post #16 of 21 Old 06-17-2013, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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So some people have told me that we need to supplement both salt and electrolytes in order to keep them healthy? Is there any truth behind this?

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post #17 of 21 Old 06-17-2013, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ponyluver420 View Post
So some people have told me that we need to supplement both salt and electrolytes in order to keep them healthy? Is there any truth behind this?
Check with your vet. Mine has told me that he doesn't feel it's necessary unless the horse is in extremely hard work, like an endurance horse. He feels that it's too easy to get the balance of electrolytes off if you supplement when they don't need it.

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post #18 of 21 Old 06-17-2013, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
I fail to see how paying $2 a lb for a complete elctrolyte blend with salt and other minerals is a waste of money when grocery store salt is just salt and what 1.30 a lb ? Not to mention its those "other " minerals they also need.
Not to mention you can buy a 33 lb horse quality block that is crumbly and easy for horses (have to keep it out of rain) for the astronomical price of 35 cents a lb,, you really going to try to mix up your own special blend for 35 cents a lb ? That's not even penny wise, just plain old pound foolish.
It would be foolish to buy human grade salt to feed to livestock at a price of $1.30/# when you can buy livestock salt for $.14/#.

It's just as outrageous to pay for the salt that is added to popular electrolyte products.

Apple a Day is probably the most popular one out there. One ounce of product costs $0.316. At 68% salt, that salt portion costs $0.215. The stock salt would of only cost $0.006 for the same amount.

Apple Dex is $0.16 per ounce. At 73% sugar, the sugar portion which my horses don't need cost my an extra $0.117.

On the subject of SmartPaks, Smart Lytes is 50% salt. The salt portion costs $0.16 for only 1/2 ounce. 1/2 ounce of livestock salt costs me $0.004.

If you add in 1 ounce of a loose mineral, my costs will be only $0.04. So for less than $0.05 I can feed 2 oz of product (1 oz salt and 1 oz minerals) that is about 60% salt and 40% minerals (electrolytes) plus vitamins. My electrolyte values are going to be far superior to any mixed products out there.

For one horse, maybe it's not worth having multiple products to feed but if you extend it out for even 10 horses, you costs drop from $3.10/day to $.25/day feeding at a rate of 1 oz per horses. Over the course of the year that's a savings of $1,000. That's real money to me.
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post #19 of 21 Old 06-27-2013, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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That does make sense. Glad to know I'm not the only horseperson out there who will indeed add things up down to the once as posted above! Also, where do you guys purchase livestock salt?

"When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to catch you. - Jay Moriarty
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post #20 of 21 Old 06-27-2013, 12:10 PM
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Your feed store will sell 50# bags of loose salt. It will keep forever as one bag should last one horse about a year.
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