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I just burned two of my piles this weekend and once again the cows are "nosing" around and licking the ashes. Is it just my cows or is this common seems every time I burn there they are
 

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Mine like to grind themselves right into the ashes, they like the dust and it helps to keep the flies off them, so I don't see the harm.
Provided there isn't anything in the burn pile that shouldn't be there.
 

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Mine do that, too. They don't even wait for the ashes to get cool. I thought it was just because of something "new" being in the pasture. Last fall, we burned a pile of brush, & put an old propane tank on it to burn out the inside. The bull couldn't wait for it to get cool so he could roll it around over the pasture. It would be in a different part of the pasture every day. He finally took out 300 feet of electric fence with it, & lost his toy.
 

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The first time I introduced round bales to my pasture one cow got it rolling and everyone else joined in (about six of them ).
They rolled it full speed with them running and kicking along behind it until it crashed through two wire fences and landed in the entry chute to the sorting pen.
I never put a round bale in now without dropping the feeder over it right away !!!!
 

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Last week we finally burned our brush pile. Soon we noticed that our black angus cows were gray! :eek: We thought our cows were odd for rolling in the ashes..but guess not!
 

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You need to be careful that you don't have nails and other bits of metal left after burning.

I try not to let anything like that get into my burn pile, but I know it does. I use a big magnet on a string to pull through the ashes. It finds a lot of metal.

Eating this metal is what causes "hardware disease".

I use a magnet from an old speaker, but you can buy magnets on wheels from Agri-Supply for under $30.

I should get the one on wheels and walk my pasture with it, but there's so much else to do!

Genebo
Paradise Farm
 

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Yes on rolling in the ashes for fly control. As long as there are not nails, staples and such in the ashes, really no problem on their eating them as a mineral supplement.

Old story: A young pig was a 'poor doer' and came through the livestock auction on regular basis to where it even had a name. Auctioneer would say, "Well, I see Charlie is with us again". One farmer bought it and was sure it was dying of some type of wasting away disease. He give it to a neighbor who turned it into a field where a large pile of bush and stumps had been burned. Pig spend several days in the ashes and started doing well immediately. His wasting away was a mineral deficiency.

Ken Scharabok
 

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My silly beasts don't roll in the ashes, they just stick their noses into the hot ashes and lick it up. Nigel has even blistered his nose!!! I don't think they do it primarily for the minerals since they have a well licked mineral block. I think they like the hot sensation! Too weird for me to understand.
 

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Christiaan said:
My silly beasts don't roll in the ashes, they just stick their noses into the hot ashes and lick it up. Nigel has even blistered his nose!!! I don't think they do it primarily for the minerals since they have a well licked mineral block. I think they like the hot sensation! Too weird for me to understand.
Cows can't always get all the mineral they need from licking a block. It's best to leave free choice loose mineral out for them.
 

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I have an old iron caldron that I empty all my fire ashes into. Chooks, ducks, goats, lambs and calves all have a nibble at it as they are passing. Must be something they need in it.
 
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