I'believe in molasses blocks made with crushed salt, with some form of protein i.e. crushed lupins or similar, together with a general mineral mixture these are a tremendous help in producing good healthy animals. I made them originally in a plastic bucket, for 3 reasons, firstly they were easier to set, secondly they were kept clean and were convenient for the farmer and thirdly it forced the animal to lick rather than to bite great chunks off the block. If we provide this sort of thing in the paddock or dairy, it makes them available for the animals to help themselves at any time. If they are not being touched it means that your animals are not short or lacking in nutrients. If they are chewing through them very quickly, it tells you something, doesn't it?
Lick blocks are easy to make, on the farm, but some forward planning is needed to accumulate the necessary ingredients and an established routine is necessary to avoid mistakes in mixing. Setting is easy particularly in hot weather.
Loose licks particularly in organic farming are now proving very popular, ingredients can be place out into separate tins or bins and animals are able to help themselves adlib, typical ingredients include dolomite, seaweed meal, copper sulphate and sulphur, others include zinc and garlic. Many farmers prefer this method, as you are able to monitor things more closely, you must however provide some form of protection, so that the material doesn’t blow away in the wind!
For convenience and due to popular demand over the years, I have made up an all in one mixture, many farmers prefer this, as it seems to save time and effort...
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