Are your black sheep black?

Do your black sheep look black all year?

  • Yes

    Votes: 4 80.0%
  • No

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Some do, some don't.

    Votes: 1 20.0%

  • Total voters
    5

Beekissed

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I have never given any of the sheep copper boluses but have no problem making sure their mineral has it. they are strong and healthy, last year I had 2 sets of trips and 2 sets of twins out of my 4 girls.
See....now that's amazing! Just think of the productivity some may be missing out on due to marginal copper and/or selenium deficiencies. Most, though, I think it's across the board copper fear for shepherds, with many giving dire warnings of death of whole flocks if a person wants to include copper in their nutritional plan.

I am on a FB group(new experience for me, as usually FB is something I avoid) for Katahdin breeders and I'm dismayed at the number of problems these people have in their flocks....and this is a breed that is usually considered an easy care kind of livestock. Birth deformities, weak lambs, lambing difficulties, having to supplement heavily to keep good conditioning~when my experience has been that Kats seem to stay fat on air and browse....overly fat, in some cases~and any number of nutritional/digestive issues.

I'm wondering how much that little bit of copper and other nutrients that are more easily metabolized when copper is present is making a difference in what is otherwise a naturally hardy, parasite resistant and feed thrifty breed.

This article/study was interesting: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00288233.1969.10421177
 

goatgurl

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thanks for the article, interesting. the Dale Bumpers Small Animal research center is not far from me. they do a lot of different studies and have a fairly large katahdin herd. check out their web site to look at a lot of their info. I am blessed to have 60 acres that my animals free range on and they decide what they need to eat and when to eat it. to me its important for them to eat and live as naturally as possible for their species.
 

Baymule

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secuono

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I used to buy an all purpose pellet at Tractor Supply. It had no copper in it. My black sheep were brown. I have fed Martindale Feed 14% all purpose pellet to my horses for many years and they stay healthy. I got to looking at that for the sheep, compared it to the goat and sheep feed, and the copper was right in there compared to the goat and sheep feed. So now my sheep get the same feed that the horses do. The brown hair has shed out and I have black sheep. They are so pretty. Miranda does have a mohawk of dreadlocks on her back that are brown, but the new hair coming is black.

Very good discussion!

Is that small amount what's key?

All the feeds I'm finding are 25-35ppm copper. Rabbit feed has none. Horse has 50ppm!
Looking over all of the horse feeds now.

Stupid question time...
Would mixing a 50# 30ppm bag with 100# zero copper bags dilute it down or is that not how it works?

Found this in another store, closest there is. How much of it do you feed? I've never followed the directions on plain sheep feeds, I just give about 2 cups per head in shared feeders & they eat what they can between them arguing, lol.
20200201_122915.jpg
 
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secuono

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In a FB group I'm in, this was mentioned when a stripped fleece was shared-
Screenshot_20200201-163414_Facebook.jpg


I had my water tested a couple months ago & I'm thinking
Iron at 2.022. Safe/max level at 0.3.
Aluminum at 2.0. Safe/max level at 2.0.
Zink was low at 0.04. Are the metal Tarter troughs made of zink? How much of that leeches? Hmm.
 

Baymule

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I don't know about mixing the two feeds. With so much copper in the one feed, a sheep might get too much of it.

Changing feed is the only thing I have done different. It is actually listed on the company website as a cattle feed, but all purpose. When we raise feeder pigs, I give it to them too. It doesn't have lysine in it, so I give the pigs boiled eggs.

The Martindale all purpose feed has copper, no less than 5 ppm and no more than 15 ppm.
 
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