What Do You Think About This Lick Recipe?

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8 years 6 months ago #512726 by LongRidge
PC15, more or less correct. In salt blocks the salt is used as the diluent for the minerals, and cattle seldom eat more salt than they need, unless water is restricted in which case they can eat the salt thinking they will have a drink afterwards. If insufficient water is available they risk getting dehydrated.
But you will be using dolomite as the diluent, so you will also need salt to be available. You can buy salt in 25 kg bags from farm supply stores, which is coarser than table salt, but has no iodine in it.

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8 years 6 months ago #512752 by tonic
I'd suggest feeding them in individual feeders like the one here: [URL] www.fertilefields.co.nz/drupal/free_choice_minerals [/URL]

That way the animals an pick for themselves. Though I have always thought copper sulphate should be mixed with dolomite so....?

I agree that it shouldn't be fed with salt added. My animals did not show any interest in the mix when I offered it but always cleaned up the kelp.

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8 years 6 months ago #512763 by hilldweller

tonic;519785 wrote: I'd suggest feeding them in individual feeders like the one here: [URL] www.fertilefields.co.nz/drupal/free_choice_minerals [/URL]

That way the animals an pick for themselves.

But is there any evidence they can and will do so (other than trying things out of curiosity)? I had thought there wasn't other than for salt.

hilldweller

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8 years 6 months ago #512766 by permaculture15
Thanks for finding this website! This is the seller who is selling the Coleby mix that I found on TradeMe, but it looks like the website might be more informative.

I read that dolomite is like an antidote for copper poisoning.

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8 years 6 months ago #512789 by tonic

hilldweller;519797 wrote: But is there any evidence they can and will do so (other than trying things out of curiosity)? I had thought there wasn't other than for salt.


I am not sure of that, though I am pretty confident they won't eat it just for fun! I think our bodies are capable of indicating things to us if we are not completely out of balance and see no reason why animals with more of their instincts intact should be less able.

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8 years 6 months ago #512793 by LongRidge
It might work for you, but it certainly would not work for me. My body never gives me signals that I need vitamin C, nor where it comes from. As for thiamine, biotin, iron, potassium, naicin and all the other essential vitamins and minerals, I have never, never, never had cravings for these. I know that brassicas and parsnips are good for me .... in the right quantities ..... but it was difficult to persuade the children. And as for getting the wife to eat her afterbirth, I had to tie her down and force it in :-((. And I know all this from education, not from instinct. The only education animals have is from their mothers, but who taught their mothers and did they learn the correct things.
Thus I think you are optimistic to think that animals will only eat things that are good for them.

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8 years 6 months ago #512806 by tonic
I don't think anyone said animals will only eat things that are good for them, that is just silly. And I am not claiming they know everything that they need. However, I do know that when I am unwell, or out of sorts there are certain things that my body asks for, or goes YES to that at other times I find very unappealing.

I have no doubt that will our out of sync lifestyles humans are far less able to detect such things than animals are. How did they survive before we came along and made sure they had regular mineral supplements? I know that we need to provide such things now that they are confined and rely on us totally, but I think they must have a mechanism for some sort of ability to balance their diets or they would have died out long before we started caring for them.

Obviously that doesn't mean we give up our responsibility to be watchful and make sure they are not harming themselves though.

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8 years 6 months ago #512810 by muri
I have found that sheep that have been sick, especially if they have had barbers pole, will stand at the mineral lick and lick it most of the day, as tho they need to replenish whats been sucked out of them.
So they must have some innate way of craving something that is lacking in their diet or their body as part of their healing process

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8 years 6 months ago #512814 by tonic

muri;519848 wrote: I have found that sheep that have been sick, especially if they have had barbers pole, will stand at the mineral lick and lick it most of the day, as tho they need to replenish whats been sucked out of them.
So they must have some innate way of craving something that is lacking in their diet or their body as part of their healing process


That has just reminded me that when our oldies showed signs of BP this year I noticed that the mineral block was disappearing very fast, it had teeth marks on it!

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8 years 6 months ago #512817 by Ronney

tonic;519852 wrote: That has just reminded me that when our oldies showed signs of BP this year I noticed that the mineral block was disappearing very fast, it had teeth marks on it!


And this told you they had BP did it? I don't think so.

tonic;519844 wrote: I have no doubt that will our out of sync lifestyles humans are far less able to detect such things than animals are. How did they survive before we came along and made sure they had regular mineral supplements? I know that we need to provide such things now that they are confined and rely on us totally, but I think they must have a mechanism for some sort of ability to balance their diets or they would have died out long before we started caring for them.

Obviously that doesn't mean we give up our responsibility to be watchful and make sure they are not harming themselves though.


How did they survive before we came along? Very well for the most part. Those that had problems in their country of origin died, those that didn't were strong, healthy animals. It's called survival of the fittest. The Arapawa sheep are a good example of this in a modern form. To start with none of the animals we own in this country are native or indigenous. Secondly, NZ is a "new" country and is short on a lot of the minerals that are important for both stock and humans. The two things together create problems that are not going to be fixed by throwing ad lib minerals at them and hope the animal knows what it needs. Animals do NOT know what they need and will not actively seek it out. They only thing they will know is that they don't feel well.

Mineral licks do not have enough of any one mineral in them to balance out a deficiency - and with good reason. A cow with good copper levels using a lick with high copper levels will end up very ill and probably dead. Sheep definitely would.

If there are doubts as to your stock's health, it is far better to have bloods and possibly soil tests, done to ascertain whether there are any deficiencies and then discuss with your vet the best way to remedy the problem. In some cases annual or bi-annual injections may be the best way, in others the minerals added to fert. can solve the problem. If the stock is healthy then a mineral lick won't hurt them and help keep them "topped" up.

Permaculture, of just as much importance to you is salt if you are primarily kikuyu grass. This grass doesn't take up salt.

And I agree with LR. If I'm constantly tired I don't rush off to eat great amounts of liver and silver beet. I go to sleep which doesn't help the iron deficiency that I have. I need a doctor in the same way as my stock need a vet. It has nothing to do with my out-of-sync lifestyle.

Cheers,
Ronnie

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8 years 6 months ago #512825 by hilldweller

muri;519848 wrote: I have found that sheep that have been sick, especially if they have had barbers pole, will stand at the mineral lick and lick it most of the day, as tho they need to replenish whats been sucked out of them.
So they must have some innate way of craving something that is lacking in their diet or their body as part of their healing process

They do that with a straight salt block too.

hilldweller

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8 years 6 months ago #512828 by barnes
Pat Coleby is a controversial subject. Personally I have come to the conclusion that there is a lot of good in what she says, but not all of it is correct, and some is downright bizarre.

Her approach to animal's need for copper is exaggerated. I agree with her that most animals need more copper than they get. A lot more. Even my sheep, although remember sheep are touchy to copper and just because mine benefit from it doesn't mean yours need any!

However nothing needs quite the high levels that she recommends.

For the lick ... well. I do use that recipe. For my goats, I make it up and mix it 50/50 with loose cattle salt lick for those minerals like selenium that aren't covered in Coleby's lick. They love it, and are far healthier on that. Actually they prefer it straight without the cattle lick which they declare is full of sand (they're right) ... but I've convinced them to accept the mix.

The cows however will not touch anything with dolomite in it.

Sometimes the sheep are in the same paddock as the goats and they will fight over the lick and total it in no time. I was very alarmed the first time this happened as I make it quite rich in copper. Normally when my sheep need supplementation I prefer to drench with a small doseage so I know they are getting what they need safely. However the lick seems to do them no harm occasionally even at goat strength.

Coleby reckons the dolomite is the antidote to copper poisoning. This is true.
She reckons that makes the lick safe even if they pig out on it. As far as I can tell this seems to be true as well.
She alos reckons that it doe this without interfering with the assimilation of the copper. This is not strictly speaking true ... as soon as it is damp, the dolomite begins to neutralise the copper. This happens in the stomach too.

Some copper is absorbed before it is completely nuetralised. But in the case of my goats, they weren't getting enough copper still. So I use twice as much copper (remember I mix it with cattle mix too). They prefer the taste and now seem to be getting adequate copper.

The cows, as I said, don't like Coleby's mix. So instead (as they are lacking copper badly) I mix a little extra copper into their high-mag salt mix.

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8 years 6 months ago #512829 by tonic

Ronney;519855 wrote: And this told you they had BP did it? I don't think so.


No, that didn't tell me they had BP, where did I say that? The vet told me that it was BP. I was just commenting on an observation.

That is the 2nd time in this thread that someone has implied I said something that I didn't. Am I really so unclear in what I write? :confused:

(It's the end of term 3, my frustration levels are low and compassion fatigue has set in.... ;-) )

That is interesting barnes, my animals were quite reluctant to take the lick, though with them being hit with BP the past two years I may offer it again. If it does help them cope and I can reduce the amount of drenching they need then it would be good.

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8 years 6 months ago #512834 by LongRidge
Unfortunately, that is the problem with words. They can mean whatever the reader wants to think they mean, which is fine when it is just what the writer does mean, but if not then further discussion as it what was really meant is needed :-).
Ronney, you are right that the weak died, but I would seriously challenge that the remainder were big, strong and healthy. I think that if we took some modern day sheep back in time, although it might be easier to bring Biblical or Renaissance people forward in time, they would be amazed at the size and wool output and milk output of modern sheep, and cattle. I have books from before 1960 that consider sheep that are 120 pounds (lbs) to be big. Some of mine get up to 220 lbs. One of the "jokes" that I've heard from shearer and animal advisers is how the North Islanders in NZ consider a 50 kg breeding ewe as big, while South Islanders would be rather worried about a breeding ewe of that size being far too small :-)

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