breed of sheep tolerant of high copper?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by inc, Dec 25, 2004.

  1. inc

    inc Well-Known Member

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    is there such a sheep? such a sheep could be ranged with goats without worry of the copper in the supplements...seems like its something that probably should have been bred for....
    of course the goats could be fed separately extra copper, but it seems like sucha waste to have to buy separate feeds for both goat and sheep.
     
  2. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    Anything a goat can eat a sheep can eat. Goats can't have high copper either. When I buy feed I usually buy anything that says its for goats. At least thats what I've been told.
     

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Sheep can not have added copper in their feed. So goat feed may not be safe for sheep. I have never heard of a sheep that could tolerate copper added feed, they all will for a while as the copper builds up in their livers, but if they are stressed the copper is released into the blood stream in toxic doses, killing the animal. There may be a breed that can tolerate high copper, there are certainly some areas where sheep need added copper as it is lacking in the grasses. You'd need to consulte your vet if you are in one of these very rare areas.
     
  4. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    As a goat raiser first & foremost, goats need copper. They can tolerate & need more than a sheep does. I would not feed anything labeled for sheep to goats because there just isn't enough copper in it for the goats. Anything labeled just for goats should not be given to sheep because the copper content would be too high for the sheep. While goats can eat sheep minerals OK, they will not get enough copper from them & that can cuase problems. They really need to be fed seperately or the goats would need to be given extra copper somehow.
     
  5. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    For over fourty years our sheep have been on soil that is ultra high in copper. I've wondered if they have developed, or bred, a tolerance for copper. I think perhaps this is so because this fall they got into the swine feed, which is high in copper, and show no ill effects. But, I don't push it and avoid feed them that if I can help it.

    -Walter
    in Vermont
     
  6. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    What kind of #s are we talking about? The feed that I am feeding now was recommended by a sheep farmer who has been feeding it for years. He has the most awesome sheep I have ever seen. It is an all purpose pellet for cows, pigs, and goats. The copper is min 5 ppm and max 15 ppm. I really hope that this is ok. I can get it at a great price and the sheep are gaining weight very nicely on it.
     
  7. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    We have Cheviot and Montedale.

    -Walter
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    5-15ppm isn't much and if they're for slaughter all the safer. Some soils can be high in copper but it has to be soluable for plants to take it up. You can get liver biopsies done to see if your sheep are truely toleratign copper well or loaded with the stuff. There's supposed to be a way to "replace" accumulated copper with......... chilated zinc???? My memory isn't great at the best of times, its even worse with a head cold!