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Britt 08-28-2012 01:11 PM

Magnesium salt block?
I bought feed at the local feed store the other day and they gave me the wrong feed, which I didn't realize until I had gotten home. (the people load the feed up and put in in your car or truck for you).

I had asked for All Stock pellets because they were out of alfalfa (which is what I usually buy) and I was given All Stock Sweet Feed instead, which tends to choke my boy Dakota (so I'm having to really watch him when he eats and make sure he doesn't gulp it down and choke). That's not a problem, I know how to handle choke if it happens.

However, I also asked for a mineral block, as I switch up and feed a white salt block and a mineral block alternatively.

When I got home, I found out the mix-up's (there was a new guy working the feed store and apparently he didn't know where everything was...). Instead of a mineral block, I had been given a Magnesium Salt Block, for cattle.

Since we have cattle, I went ahead and put it out, planning on going back my next paycheck and getting a mineral block... (I went back and there were still no mineral blocks, so I bought two white salt bricks)

However, my gelding Dakota completely took over the Mag. block. He had it completely eaten within three days. I watched. Every time he was near it, he was on it and would not let anything (horse or cow) near it. In the first day alone, he ate half of it.

So... um... it seems like he's suffered no bad effects from it... but is it ok that he had pretty much an entire Magnesium block to himself?

Cherie 08-28-2012 02:39 PM

Tell me what the percentages are of everything in it. Most Magnesium (Mg) blocks also have Calcium (Ca) and some Phosphorus (P) in them along with 25 - 30% salt.

Most horses eating predominantly grass hay and or grass pasture are deficient in Ca and Mg. Cattle and horses should both be supplemented both, especially when grass is very young or very lush.

If you have been using the dark red 'trace mineral' salt blocks, they are completely worthless. They only contain 'micro minerals'. That is why they are called trace minerals. The minerals usually deficient are 'macro minerals", Ca, P, Mg and Zinc (Z). These are what your new block has in it is probably just what they need. If the Mg is only 2 or 3%, it is great for horses and what we recommend if the Ca is also high (3 - 4 times more Ca than P) and if it has a high level of Vitamin A in it. Most good minerals have 100,000 units to 250,000 units of Vitamin A per pound which is also good.

You may have stumbles onto exactly what your horses need. A high Ca and Mg mineral will stop most tree eating and wood chewing, dirt licking and eating and mane and tail eating.

Britt 08-28-2012 04:01 PM

Calcium (Ca): Min, 7.5%
Calcium (Ca): Max, 9.0%
Phosphorus: Min, 0.5%
Salt (NaC1): Min, 12.0%
Salt (NaC1): Max, 14.0%
Magnesium (Mg): Min, 10.0%
Iodine (I): Min, 10 ppm
Copper (Cu): Min, 125 ppm
Manganese (Mn): Min, 350 ppm
Selenium (Se): Min, 20 ppm
Zinc (Zn): Min, 500 ppm
Vitamin A: Min, 40,000 IU/lb
Vitamin D3: Min, 4,000 IU/lb

I had to look it up online, as I'm at college... sorry it took so long, I had to wait until my class was over.

Britt 08-29-2012 10:24 AM

Bumping, can anyone tell me if this is ok or not? I'd never given my horses a magnesium cattle salf lick before now...

Cherie 08-29-2012 11:12 AM

One block is not going to hurt your horse. The 'High Mag' blocks are meant for cattle on wheat pasture or really lush grass. Cattle get what is called 'grass tetany' from these pastures. 2-3 % Mg is what horses really need.

I would also look for a block that is higher in Ca and Vitamin A than the one you bought. You are definitely much better off with a true 'mineral block' than a worthless 'trace mineral' salt block that is 95%+ salt. If your horse gobbled it, he needs the minerals.

We use a loose mineral that has
25% Salt
24% Ca
4% P
2% Mg
150,000 Units Vitamin A

We used to get in broodmares to breed or horses to train that literally ate 50# in a week and then just went to eating 2-4 oz. a day like our own horses do. Owner said some of these horses had been eating wood, killing trees and licking dirt before they were brought here. Our mineral costs $15.00 for a 50# sack -- a lot better than eating the fences down.

[If you are not feeding grass or grass hay, you do not need this much Ca]

6W Ranch 08-29-2012 12:10 PM

Lately, I've been using natural mineral/sea salt blocks. Redmond's makes one, and there are several others. The horses and cattle love it. It's too pricey to use all the way around the ranch on the rest of our cattle, but for saddle horses, that's what I'm using. Sea salt is so much better for them than processed salt blocks. Should be fine, but, if your horse consumed that much, he may be deficient in magnesium. A magnesium deficiency is considered predisposition to cushings. Look into it and see what's going on.

Cherie 08-29-2012 02:08 PM

It would be my guess that your horse was after the Calcium. Magnesium is necessary for good metabolism and particularly for the absorption of Ca & P. It also is considered the very best additive to help keep a horse calm and sensible as a deficiency can cause a horse to be a neurotic mess.

I have looked a Redmond salt, but it has very little Ca and Mg which are the two things horses are most often deficient in. It also had heavy metals and toxic elements in it so with that and the high cost (I think it was over $2.00 per pound), it did not look like a good alternative for us. We really need the Ca and Mg and the Vitamin A in a good livestock mineral.

6W Ranch 08-29-2012 02:53 PM

That's interesting about the metal content. Where did you find this? Heavy metals are a major problem. Bentonite clay absorbs heavy metals, but I definitely try to steer clear of anything w/heavy metals. Guess, I'll just stick to reg blocks. I wish they'd make them with sea salt.

Appylover6042 02-23-2013 09:52 PM

Hi Cherie. I stumbled across your post tonight and am interested to know if you have your mix custom made at your feed mill or if you buy it premixed (if premixed what brand and where)? I'm guessing you have it costumed mixed, but thought I better ask versus just assume :-)


Cherie 02-23-2013 11:47 PM

We have our grain custom mixed, but we buy a commercial loose mineral on 50# bags. If you live near where cattle are raised, you should be able to get a good mineral. If they make any good mineral labeled for horses, I am not aware of it.

Ours is called an 'Un-medicated Wheat Pasture Mineral'. It is strictly made for horses or cattle that are on grass hay or grass pasture.. It works really well for horses and cattle on lush spring pastures or winter wheat pasture.

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