Supermarket Salt Lick?
July 23, 2008 4:24 PM   Subscribe

Are salt licks sold in supermarkets?

I have a childhood memory of being in Buttrey's supermarket in Missoula, Montana in the late 1960's and seeing salt licks or "salt blocks" for sale. Though I've traveled throughout the US and Canada, I don't ever recall seeing a salt lick for sale in a supermarket ever again. As I've gotten older, I've began to wonder if this was a false memory.

I understand that small, rural grocery stores might carry such things, but I'm wondering specifically about urban supermarkets.

I think salt blocks are also used for water conditioning, so perhaps that's what I saw, and not a salt lick for livestock.

BTW, the same store had a tube tester...
posted by Tube to Shopping (14 answers total)
Unless the store is also selling goods for livestock, I'd guess not. Anything that sells deer fencing probably sells salt licks.
posted by amanda at 4:29 PM on July 23, 2008

They have salt blocks at the King Soopers I sometimes shop at in Denver.

I have no idea if they are for licking, but they are big blocks of salt in both white and a taupe color.
posted by Sheppagus at 4:30 PM on July 23, 2008

In highschool worked as a stock clerk at a supermarket in a suburb of Chicago which sold salt blocks (although I believe they were for water conditioners, but I can't recall exactly, this would have been about 8 years ago. I haven't paid much attention since then, but I imagine they're still around.
posted by borkencode at 4:35 PM on July 23, 2008

They were for water softeners -- I suspect this or this is what you recall.

Supermarkets tend to have bags of salt pellets for water softeners these days instead of the big blocks of the 70s. Hardware stores may carry the big blocks. I imagine this does vary regionally depending on how hard the water is.
posted by eschatfische at 4:41 PM on July 23, 2008

They are commonly sold in NW suburban Chicago and SE Wisconsin in my experience. The kind for animals are sold all over Wisconsin; I'm pretty sure it's some kind of state law.
posted by desjardins at 5:33 PM on July 23, 2008

We had them in the rural Chicago western burbs. At the "Eagle" and the Piggly Wiggly.

Advice: if you're going to use a salt lick for your tequila party, be sure it's the one without "minerals" in it. Just sayin...
posted by answergrape at 5:54 PM on July 23, 2008

yep, they used to sell the 5# bricks and 50# blocks in the local independent (IGA) in Ohio where I grew up.

white = softener salt or "plain", that plus hunters put the 50# white blocks out to attract deer in gun season.
brown = minerals added for horses
yellow = sulfur added for goats/sheep/cattle (old-school mastitis preventative iirc)

we used to buy assloads of the 5# brown blocks at the IGA cos they were cheaper than going to the Landmark (feed/seed/supply). We'd bust them into chunks and toss them in the horse feed tubs to keep them from wolfing their food and colicking.
posted by lonefrontranger at 6:32 PM on July 23, 2008

"Salt licks" were sold in supermarkets in South Carolina at least up until the mid-80s when I was a kid. They were sold for deer hunters...

Haven't seen one at least since then though... check a feed store.
posted by wfrgms at 6:37 PM on July 23, 2008

I definitely recall seeing salt licks for sale in grocery stores in the smaller towns of upstate/central New York when I was growing up (1980s).
posted by stefnet at 7:15 PM on July 23, 2008

Born in 1976 and I remember salt licks in the supermarkets of southcentral wisconsin.
posted by stet at 8:11 PM on July 23, 2008

I totally remember salt licks; they were sold in the grocery stores in Madison, WI. So, even the People's Republic of Madison had a need for them. I assumed it was for deer hunting.
posted by spinifex23 at 9:24 PM on July 23, 2008

Salt licks were sold in the Cleveland area in the past, but I suspect their disappearance from store shelves in linked to recent (in the last twenty years) efforts to discourage deer from hanging around the 'burbs.
posted by vkxmai at 5:10 AM on July 24, 2008

I have never seen salt licks at the grocery store, but the HEB grocery store here in Austin, TX sells deer corn for suburbanites who like to feed deer. I was very surprised to see that they have also started to stock Pig Likkor.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:36 AM on July 24, 2008

Thank you for the input. My childhood memory was probably correct.
posted by Tube at 6:00 PM on July 24, 2008

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