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Newbie confused about copper

5858 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  1032swiss
We are new to sheep, and I am really confused about feeding sheep copper. I had read several places about copper toxicity in sheep, and that it should be kept out of sheep mineral licks. But now, in reading "Natural Sheep Care" by Pat Coleby, she mentions the importance of putting copper in a lick, and lists all of the benefits of making sure sheep are getting enough copper (resistance to worms, coccidia, etc.) Copper Sulphate is one of the four ingredients she gives in a lick recipe to be available to the sheep at all times. Can anyone enlighten me on this? We live in the Pacific NW, and maybe it is just something in my area?
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A LOT depends on where you live, and therefore what minerals/trace elements you have in your soil and water.
Don't forget what you feed in your equation. If you feed hay you purchase, you don't know it's level of copper unless you test it. If the fields have been fertilized with chicken or pig manure, then it likely has too much copper already. If you feed a sweet feed that has molasses, you are adding copper there, even if it is not listed on the label. So you really have to have the total picture, or you could go down the wrong path.
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