Animals both Domestic and wild visit salt licks to consume clay as well as supplementing their diet with minerals and other trace elements. Some animals don’t require these minerals for nutrition but indeed to ward off effects of secondary compounds that are necessary for providing defense against herbivory. The contents of these salt licks include Magnesium (Mg), Phosphorous (P), Sodium (Na), Calcium (Ca), Potassium (K) and Sulphur (S). These mineral lick sites play an essential role in diversity and ecology of organisms who visit these sites as well as dietary benefits.
What are these Salt Licks?
Salt Licks which are also known as mineral licks are places where animals visit to lick essential nutrients like minerals and other trace elements which cannot be synthesized by their bodies from deposits of minerals and salts. These mineral licks occur naturally but can also be made by human being. Examples of human-made mineral licks are the salt lick blocks which farmers put them in pastures for the livestock to lick.
Importance of Mineral Licks
The mineral licks play a crucial role generally in the nutritional status and health of the animal. First, they provide essential nutrients which the animal body cannot synthesize. The licks also help in strengthening and growth bones and muscles of the animals. You can also use the licks to attract your livestock when you want to deworm them or have a health check up on them as the scent of sodium attracts them. The salt licks can also be used for hunting because as stated they draw animals.
How to build a Mineral Lick Block
If your animals have no access to mineral lick sites, then there are options to either buy or make one for yourself. This article describes in steps how you can make your Salt Lick block and benefit your animal.
There are some requirements you will need to have. They include a mixing bucket, a bone meal, rock salt, box, water, trash bag, mixing stick, mixing bucket and clay. Use the kind materials that you won’t mind getting messy. Point to note: Use the same stick, box and mixing bucket for a repeated measure.
After ensuring that you are fully equipped, follow the outlined steps.
Step 1: Mix together one part of clay, two pieces of rock salt and four parts of bone meal. Pound them and sift the clay.
Step 2: Add water to the mixture until it creates a thick paste
Step 3: Now line the cardboard box with a trash paper bag
Step 4: Take the mixture in the bucket and pour it to the lined box then let it rest for some hours until it hardens
Step 5: Remove the block from the table and peal the trash bag.
By so doing you will have your mineral lick block. Due to different altitudes and geographical locations, your paste may become runny when you add more water. When that happens to add rock salt, more clay and bone meal.