White or Red Mineral Blocks?
   

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White or Red Mineral Blocks?

This is a discussion on White or Red Mineral Blocks? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Why is my horse licking stones
  • Is trace mineral salt for horses bad for people

 
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    02-22-2010, 09:12 PM
  #1
Started
White or Red Mineral Blocks?

This is a question that's been nagging at me for some time now. My horse gets a free choice white salt block 24/7. We also have about 20 head of cattle, who are given the red trace mineral blocks as often as one can be kept in front of them without them licking it into oblivion, but the trace block is still something like 98% salt. I have been told be people with decades more experience than me that offering a red trace block to horses will create kidney stones or something similar. I've heard tales from one person who actually experienced this problem, vet diagnosed stones and blamed the trace block. So, I'm a bit gun-shy about offering a trace block. I have my suspicions that the horse with the stones was also on a feed that contained trace minerals or was otherwise being over-dosed on the traces when he still licked the block for the salt. So, my question is... is it really a concern to limit a horse's access to a trace mineral block and only offer pure salt? Has anyone else heard of complications with horses that can be attributed to offering trace mineral blocks?
     
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    02-22-2010, 09:20 PM
  #2
Started
The latest craze at my barn is the Himalayan salt block. I have yet to go out and buy one but I give mine a mineral block. I've never had or seen a horse have problems due to them.

I guess people just always want something to blame a problem on..
     
    02-22-2010, 09:25 PM
  #3
Weanling
I don't know but a while ago Caleb found a mineral block in a bucket and ate literally ate (crunch-crunch-chew-swallow) half of it. He was pretty much choking on it, when I offered him water he drank the whole bucket. Needless to say, he's not allowed near salt blocks anymore.

My B.O. Uses huge blue blocks on the ground.
     
    02-22-2010, 09:30 PM
  #4
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by masatisan    
I don't know but a while ago Caleb found a mineral block in a bucket and ate literally ate (crunch-crunch-chew-swallow) half of it. He was pretty much choking on it, when I offered him water he drank the whole bucket. Needless to say, he's not allowed near salt blocks anymore.

My B.O. Uses huge blue blocks on the ground.
Probably because he wasn't use to it, and was missing something from his diet. My horses have always had one and at first they were like that but gradually they licked less and less.
     
    02-22-2010, 09:54 PM
  #5
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by White Foot    
Probably because he wasn't use to it, and was missing something from his diet. My horses have always had one and at first they were like that but gradually they licked less and less.
No, I don't think that's quite it. Caleb eats anything that's in a bucket, or tries to at least. I parked him beside a bucket full nasty ice with hay in it and he ate that too. He's also tried to eat milk cartons, cigarettes, bailing twine, rocks...anything that has even a slight appeal is food.
     
    02-22-2010, 10:04 PM
  #6
Yearling
My horse wont touch his block. It's been in his stall a month and I swear...not a single lick.
     
    02-22-2010, 10:11 PM
  #7
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilliaB    
My horse wont touch his block. It's been in his stall a month and I swear...not a single lick.
I'm a firm believer in the "Provide it and they will come" side of free choice minerals. If he knows what it is (and most will figure it out pretty fast) and doesn't need the minerals he won't lick. Seriously, though, I know people who would take the salt shaker off of their kitchen table and start lacing the next feeding with salt out of fear that the horse will dehydrate if he doesn't drink 20 gallons on 24 hours. Shoot, I know if something salty tastes good to me, so does my horse! Why force it on them when they have the option?

Thanks all for your responses! Keep 'em coming!
     
    02-22-2010, 10:33 PM
  #8
Green Broke
We bought my hrose a red mineral block because she refuses to eat her grain if we put the owdered mineral in it, so we thoguht we'd let her have a choice, they know when they need minerals and stuff.
I havent found any problems with red mineral block or even heard of anything wrong with them.
     
    02-23-2010, 12:38 AM
  #9
Green Broke
Ours get free choice red mineral lick, have since I was a baby, never had a single problem with it.

A horse will only lick what he needs off of it,but if he was snarfing it down, yes he should be limited with it, but it should not be taken away. One of our horses did that and so we took an old tire rim(I know ghetto right??lol) and placed a block on that and took a square of fencing mesh and put that over the block and wired it to the rim, that way he couldn't bite it and only lick it down so much, we also moved it right next to the trough so he could drink as much as he needed. At first he licked and drank a crap ton, but after about half a day and lots of pee he slowed down and only licked it every few days from then on...
     
    02-23-2010, 09:09 AM
  #10
Weanling
When I first gave my horse her salt block, she spent several hours just licking away at it. It was actually super adorable and very "awwwwwwww".

After that day, I never saw her touch it again.
     

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