Benefits of a Salt Lick on Your Farm

The farming industry in New Zealand is world-leading. For our farmers, it is so integral to treat our animals right and ensure that livestock is getting the best nutrients. At Ag-Imports, we provide salt licks for New Zealand farms. Our products are a natural and easy way to balance the diets of your livestock.

While our biggest market is for cattle farms, due to the scale of New Zealand’s dairy industry, farmers can use our salt lick blocks for sheep, horses, and goats as well.

The right dietary supplements for sheep are necessary for helping them digest grass properly, have more energy, and better quality of life. No matter the season, whether you are lambing or shearing, making sure your sheep are happy and healthy is vital. 

We provide salt licks with different compounds to address every sheep health need. They help stimulate your sheep’s appetite and digest nutrients. You will know what your sheep needs by assessing the behaviour and general wellness of your flock.

Salt Lick

Choosing the right salt lick blocks for sheep

The kind of block you choose will depend on the age of your animals and the season. It also depends on what they are already eating, whether it be grass, hay or grains. Further, what do you, as the sheep farmer, need from them? Is it weight gain, better fertility, or wool production? 

All sheep require a certain amount of minerals to ensure a prosperous life. Poor health in your sheep results in less quality of life for them and financial strain for you. Young lambs and pregnant or lactating ewes are especially vulnerable to the health risks of mineral deficiency. 

Mineral deficiency in sheep can lead to poor health and even death. New Zealand pastures provide many of the necessary minerals. In the event of a dry season or flood, however, the grazing of sheep can be compromised and will take away this vital part of their diets.

Read on to find out more about the most important minerals for sheep.

Calcium

Calcium is a critical part of a sheep’s diet, especially during late gestation. Signs your sheep might be ingesting an unbalanced amount of calcium are kidney stones, an inability to stand, and brittle bones.

Our Calcifort sheep mineral block balances the right amount of calcium for your sheep. It is molasses-based, which makes it tastier for sheep and gives them more energy. Calcium makes happy and strong sheep.

Phosphorus

An essential part of what gives sheep energy, phosphorus is also a key ingredient in their reproductive cycle. After calcium, phosphorus is the second most crucial mineral for keeping their bones strong.

Your sheep might be low in phosphorus if you have noticed low birthing rates, sheep failing to cycle or conceive, increased abortions, or lamb mortality. Your sheep might have brittle bones and excessive lameness. Another sign of phosphorus deficiency is sheep chewing on sticks or rocks, signalling a depraved appetite and risking botulism.

Luckily, sheep love phosphorus! Giving them a salt lick high in phosphorus, such as Fortamin, installed in a readily accessible place will improve growth and fertility rates.

Protein

Sheep with a sufficient protein intake will have better growth rates. Inversely, not enough protein will result in weight loss. Protein is essential for livestock, breeding ewes, and young lambs. It also plays a vital role in wool production.

Magnesium

Magnesium is typically not palatable for sheep, but it is excellent for disease prevention. Mixing it with molasses in a mineral block is a great way to ensure your sheep get the immune support they need.

Copper

Copper is good for sheep fertility, growth, and pigmentation.

Cobalt

Cobalt assists sheep’s bodies in the making of haemoglobin. This assists with the transfer of oxygen around the body.

Iodine

Iodine assists with sheep’s strength and energy metabolism.

Selenium

Appropriate levels of selenium can prevent muscular degeneration in lambs.

Zinc

Zinc encourages good eating habits, quality growth, and strong hooves.

Salt Lick Blocks For Sheep

The history of salt licks

Salt licks are an effective way of giving sheep the nutrients they need. It is so great because humans didn’t think of it – the sheep did! 

Wild animals and herbivores worldwide have nourished themselves with natural salt and mineral licks for thousands of years. It’s not just for cows and sheep – many herbivores use mineral deposits in their diets, including deer, goats, moose, squirrels, elephants, and giraffes! 

Hunter-gatherers, prehistoric and present, use mineral sites to locate and hunt livestock. Artificial salt licks are used in the wild as well to support wildlife.

Because of the long history of sheep using these mineral resources to nourish themselves well before humans came along, it is natural for them to gravitate towards artificial salt licks on the farm. This is a slow-deposit way for sheep to steadily remain healthy and well.

Salt licks today

At Ag-Imports, we provide cost-effective solutions for the wool and lamb industries. Our products are easy to install and require very little maintenance. 

Unwell sheep, low fertility and lactation rates, high mortality, more injuries and more lameness are real problems that farmers need to look out for. Any of these issues can arise if your sheep are not properly looked after. They will slow productivity and create many expenses for you.

There are so many benefits to keeping your sheep fit and well-nourished. Keeping your sheep healthy is a way to follow better ethical practices for your farm. You will see the benefits of better growth and fertility. These will increase productivity on your farm and give you more profit.

If you have any questions about our products, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our staff. Here at AG-Imports, we strive to promote the welfare of the animals that constitute the backbone of New Zealand’s economy. We want to demonstrate leadership when it comes to treating our animals ethically and producing quality wool and meat.