Why Do Cows Need Salt?

Cows need salt, also referred to as sodium chloride, because it helps perform several vital processes within the body including water regulation.

Most experienced cattle owners will advise giving your cow some salt blocks, but they may not explain why.

Cows, like all animals, need salt so their bodies can function properly. Salt, or sodium chloride, keeps a cow’s nervous system and muscles working efficiently.

Cows need at least 0.005 percent of their weight in salt each day. This means that a 600-pound cow should get at least .48 ounces of salt in their diet daily.

A severe lack of salt in a cow’s diet can result in weight loss, muscle weakness, nerve issues and delirium. Rarely, a severe lack of salt over an extended period or during bouts of heat stress can cause death in a cow.