Mineral Block ??

SageHill

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I always have a mineral block -Producer's Pride General Purpose Mineral Block from TSC labeled for cows, goats, and sheep. No cpooer in it.
My question is can the sheep OD on it?? I swear they like to pound it down like candy. I'm wondering if I should
rotate that with just a plain salt block.
 

purplequeenvt

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They shouldn’t be able to OD on a mineral block. Does it have molasses? If it does, that could be why they are bingeing.

I prefer loose minerals over mineral blocks. I get the mineral pre-mix from Premier1, but you can get sheep specific loose mineral from any feed store.
 

SageHill

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They shouldn’t be able to OD on a mineral block. Does it have molasses? If it does, that could be why they are bingeing.

I prefer loose minerals over mineral blocks. I get the mineral pre-mix from Premier1, but you can get sheep specific loose mineral from any feed store.
Ah - yes, there is cane molasses in it. Hmmmm. It IS candy. Geeze. :rolleyes: Around here that's the only thing I can find that sheep can have - other than of course the plain salt block.
 

SageHill

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Premier1 mineral mix

This is the stuff I get. You add 1 bag of the pre-mix into 50lbs of plain white salt. I also added the AD&E mix into this winter’s batch of salt.

Anything with molasses they will gobble right up.
So mix it up with 50# salt - now it's all loose - I let them have it free choice? Hang it in a feeder or bucket?? I've only ever used blocks when I had horses, so mixing loose stuff is new to me.
They should be getting free choice salt AND mineral.... the salt that is in some mineral blocks is not near enough for them and they will eat, chew, lick it faster to get more salt. Especially if it is molasses based.
So they were definitely having a candy party. Geeze. Glad to know that - and seriously I had no idea! Why can't there just be a plain old mineral block?!! That would be too easy I guess.
 

purplequeenvt

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So mix it up with 50# salt - now it's all loose - I let them have it free choice? Hang it in a feeder or bucket?? I've only ever used blocks when I had horses, so mixing loose stuff is new to me.

So they were definitely having a candy party. Geeze. Glad to know that - and seriously I had no idea! Why can't there just be a plain old mineral block?!! That would be too easy I guess.
I have dishes screwed to the wall in the barn. I occasionally have to scoop some poop pellets out of the dish, but I had to screw it down because my ewes will knock it off and spill the salt everywhere.

The issue with blocks (not so much the softer molasses blocks) is that the sheep can’t get enough just by licking and they end up biting the hard blocks which is not good for their teeth.
 

farmerjan

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Mineral does not taste good... that is why it is mixed in with a molasses base or like @purplequeenvt mixes it with salt and the salt is the incentive to consume it. There have been tons of studies done with cattle, on offering minerals separately... each one, in small compartments and the thoughts were that animals would consume what their bodies are craving... but more and more it is being shown that they will ignore them or consume them in such small quantities that they are not getting enough. Much is wasted.
Since most minerals in their "bare form" are bitter, the salt helps to get them to consume them in a good enough quantity to actually do some good.
Same for the molasses based tubs or blocks... they need something to get them to consume them... sweet or salty to temp them.

We use loose mineral and put it in the salt/mineral feeders... with a block of red salt which is trace mineral... but they get a very low trace out of it...Partly to stop the cows from getting stupid and knocking the mineral out of the feeders.... in the spring we will use the sulfur trace blocks....but they are hard to get. Helps some with flies.
Alot of mineral here now has garlic in it and it helps with fly repelling and probably doesn't hurt with worms... but the basis of it in mineral is for fly repelling as flies are supposed to not like to bite animals that have a "garlic taste"..... sure doesn't hurt...
 

SageHill

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I have dishes screwed to the wall in the barn. I occasionally have to scoop some poop pellets out of the dish, but I had to screw it down because my ewes will knock it off and spill the salt everywhere.

The issue with blocks (not so much the softer molasses blocks) is that the sheep can’t get enough just by licking and they end up biting the hard blocks which is not good for their teeth.
Hmmm I could probably lower one of the corner grain bins that are in the stalls that are horse height.
 

Baymule

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I use the Premier 1 mineral mix too. I don’t have a barn, just small shelters, nowhere to put out mineral where it would stay dry. So I put it out daily. I try to put out enough so there is a tiny bit left over. If too much is left over, I skip a day. If tub is licked clean, I give more. PIA, but that’s what it is for now.
 
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