Saturday, March 16, 2013

ASalted Herd

One of the most critical items for a herd is salt.  All animals need salt.  Rabbits, goats, sheep, horses, moose, deer, elephants, they all need salt.

In the summer I use loose mineral salt and in the winter I use mostly a red salt block and some loose mineral for this herd.  A red salt block contains salt and other minerals where as a white block is only regular salt with no other minerals

Winter is too damp here to use loose mineral, so mainly I stock up on salt blocks and use them in my vehicle as ballast to keep me stable on these wild rural roads.

I carried this 50 lb block over the snow piles, dropped it into the salt tub and then waited to see who would be my first customer.

A steer came and put his good hoof forward and took a few licks.

Then his friend came.

They started lick'n and chewing n the new block.

While they were busy I continued to fill up the water tub.

Had a rainbow of colors sipping and slugging.  Was surprised to see Panda the black heifer drinking with the big red Alpha cows.  I guess she is gaining in status with the herd.

I glanced back at the salt area to see Gwen waiting her turn for a lick.

 As I checked fences I again noticed the SAME heifer INSIDE the hay ring.


Ok Folks, you should have the NAME of this mischevious heifer engrained in your brain.

Whats her name ??

GLENNIE, heard my not-so-pleasant voice and got up.

I thought she was going to exit the hay rack on her own, but OH Noooooo, she just went back to chewing.

Shorty, the gentle black steer, on the right, didn't let her bad behavior affect his cud making.

To make it worse, the heifers mom, Gracie, is laying down to the left and seems to endorse these bad table manners.

I may have to re-subscribe to Cow Etiquette magazine....soon.

 Here is the question of the week:

What do you do with your bale plastic?

The town just north of us is recycling it now.  I am thrilled.   The farmer and I are rolling and piling ours near the barn door so it can be loaded on the truck and transported to the recycle center.  This really takes a big worry off our shoulders.  This bale plastic is made into plastic knives, forks, spoons, solo cups, Frisbees and all kinds of other materials. 

There should be an ag plastic recycle center in your state.  Greenhouse plastic, row covers, all kinds of plastic (all of it a different grade) is recyclable.  Some is clear, white, green or black.
Do not burn it. Do not bury it. Find an appropriate place to bring it.            

Got any good uses for bale plastic ? 
I may use some for weed control in my garden and some small row covers.  I just have to cut it off the bale a little differently so I have long strips of it.    If you have a farmer near you who uses plastic and you have a just might want to approach them for a few big sheets of it.   Recycle, Recycle!


  1. we always put salt blocks out for the deer when i was young.

  2. Oh I love the idea of the bale wrap in the garden great idea.
    We are going through a lot of mineral this year I think with the drought the cows seem to be lacking in something. They know the best. We use a red block and a blue block of salt and free choice loose mineral. Love to see the smart cow with the raised soft bed:) B

  3. fun read -- good for the garden indeed and covering up hay and even how about making a tent for the kids --sounds good to me!

  4. Why do you suppose Glennie insists on getting inside the hay ring? Do you think she is trying to send a message? Perhaps the hay is sweeter? LOL. I love the idea for the dual purpose of the salt block! Winter is not over for us here in Maine, ten inches of snow coming for Tuesday!

  5. It reminds me of a salt lick I kept in my guinea pig's cage! I didn't realize that all animals needed salt like that.

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    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

  6. I keep thinking that the bale plastic should be made of something that decomposes so that I can just compost it and not worry so much about the cattle trying to eat it! At the moment our just goes to landfill, which is not ideal.

  7. Oh goodness, Glennie cracks me up. I love the name Panda for the black and white one! Cute!

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  8. LOL - I enjoyed reading about your cows. I have one that enjoys being in the ring as well. Sheesh. Were they RAISED in a barn or what? Oh, wait...

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas