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ways to break up salt lick

 
Andrew Ray
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Location: Slovakia
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My reading in various places is that it is better to offer loose, broken salt than a licking block, for obvious efficiency reasons to the animal. Here, I buy 50lb "bricks" (appx 10"x10"x26") of salt as it mined from the ground. It is actually quite hard to break even into somewhat smaller pieces, usually making a mess as bits go flying in all directions.

I've solved recently the getting from one huge block to about 10-20 smaller bits by drilling a hole with a hammer drill and using two grams of blackpowder to fracture it. By exploding in a feed sack, the pieces are kept in one place, so I don't lose any salt. But I still have large hunks that I want into sort of rock-salt like granules. I guess I could just beat the feed sack with a hammer for awhile, but isn't there some more elegant way to do it?
 
P Thickens
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Location: Bay Area, California (z8)
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Crushing would seem to be in order -- could you throw something flat and sturdy over the bag of fractured stuff and drive a vehicle over it?
 
John Polk
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Or put a piece of threaded steel rod into a drill motor, attach a piece of chain to the other end with a pair of nuts and washers. Put your salt chunks into a 5 gallon bucket, insert the rod/chain, and run the drill motor. The flailing chain should break it up nicely.
 
Brice Moss
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I'm trying to imagine a situation that would make animals so mineral deficient that they needed their salt broken up and cant say as I quite believe the books when they say it needs to be busted up.
 
Dale Hodgins
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These animals are probably in a perpetual sweat wondering what else you plan to do with the gunpowder. That's probably how they lost their salt.

I think this sort of thing is what they had in mind when the term "driving a tack with a sledge hammer" was coined. Any creature so lazy that it can't lick should go extinct. Shhhh, I believe I hear banjo music.
 
kent smith
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Location: Pennsylvania
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I have wondered about just using bags of salt for a water softener.
kent
 
Andrew Ray
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kent smith wrote:I have wondered about just using bags of salt for a water softener.
kent


The problem is that, AFAIK, water softner salt is pure NaCl, whereas rock mineral salt (i.e. these 40lb bricks that come as mined from the ground) contain some other minerals, albeit perhaps not so many as sea salt...
 
Mike Dayton
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Location: sw pa zone 5
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I kind of agree with Dale here, I really don't see the need for all that work. The animals will lick as much salt as they need. But if you really do want rock salt size bits, why not just buy Rock Salt? That would seem to work for me. Am I missing something?
 
Andrew Ray
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It is true perhaps-- why am I crushing the salt for them?

I have read it should be done, but the books that say that are in the context of herds of cattle, not a cow, bull and some goats. Now it occurs to me that this is a good idea where 50+ cows need to share one mineral feeder-- each cow spends a lot less time (10-100x less I estimate) taking a few bites of granulated salt vs. licking it off, which is a major issue if half the cows are lined up waiting for their chance, but is not so relevant if two cows only have to share it!
 
Leon Elt
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Location: Central FL
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Andrew Ray wrote:It is true perhaps-- why am I crushing the salt for them?


Because that's the right thing to do for the goats (and sheep). Unlike cows they don't lick the blocks - they use their teeth, which can break or wear out prematurely. And a goat with bad teeth is a dead goat.

P.S. Almost spilled my coffee reading about your creative use of gunpowder
 
Jami McBride
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Ever thought of using Redmond's Animal Salt, or Kelp powder.
Only my cow has a salt lick
 
allen lumley
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- personally, and my 2 cents are not worth much, this whole thing is rife with opinions and damn few facts ! This is a good candidate for the 48 hour rule ! Big AL
 
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