Sheepshape

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Bay....that was a wonderful pile of 'scrapings' you had....big veg and lovely flowers guaranteed. Squashes, alliums (leeks and onions), potatoes and the like grow huge in my garden, all down to sheep 'output'.

It irritates me when they take copper out of sheep mineral mixes.
Some copper is necessary for sheep, but too much over a prolonged period can lead to liver failure/haemolysis and sudden death. Some sheep are more sensitive to too much copper (e.g Texels and Suffolks) whilst others are less sensitive (e.g Scottish Blackface). Addition of large amounts of pig or poultry manure, feeding distiller's grain(copper stills), cattle minerals etc can cause toxicity pretty rapidly particularly in growing lambs in areas where water/land copper levels are quite high. Low copper levels in shop-bought fields makes sense.
I recently gave them 16% layer pellets and the chickens didn't want it! LOL
That must have been odd feed.....my chickens seem to eat just about anything. The sheep will eat layers pellets/crumbs and love poultry corn. They also wolf down the oatmeal porridge which I make for the chickens in the winter. My chickens are first into the feeding troughs when I'm giving the sheep concentrates near to lambing and some of the sheep head-butt them quite hard. Doesn't seem to deter them, though. Animals love junk food as much as their human owners.

Ah, the joys of animal ownership.
 

Beekissed

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Some copper is necessary for sheep, but too much over a prolonged period can lead to liver failure/haemolysis and sudden death. Some sheep are more sensitive to too much copper (e.g Texels and Suffolks) whilst others are less sensitive (e.g Scottish Blackface). Addition of large amounts of pig or poultry manure, feeding distiller's grain(copper stills), cattle minerals etc can cause toxicity pretty rapidly particularly in growing lambs in areas where water/land copper levels are quite high. Low copper levels in shop-bought fields makes sense.
Yep....this I know. But I'm not finding low copper mineral mixes for sheep in the stores....I'm finding NO copper mixes. I've noticed that the minerals sold for sheep have none, zip, nada. Turns black sheep brown in a short amount of time, which is just a weather gauge for the flock as to how copper deficient they are.

I get around that by feeding kelp meal and salt as my mineral mix, but it's real pricey to feed compared to feed store minerals.
 

Sheepshape

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But I'm not finding low copper mineral mixes for sheep in the stores....I'm finding NO copper mixes.
Over in my part of the world, copper is present in small amount in most ewe feeds. Are the feed producers omitting it on the assumption that there's enough occurring naturally? It's not that copper is an expensive additive.
Copper is needed by all animals in varying amounts for blood, hair, bone etc, it's just that sheep aren't good at excreting excess.
Copper deficiency in sheep can lead to sway back in lambs and 'steel wool' fleece/depigmentation etc etc in adults., so getting the balance right is important.
I go for ewe feeds with low or absent copper as our 'tap water' is sourced either from a bore hole or spring (we switch between the two) and a bathful of the stuff is slightly blue in colour (all alkathene piping) due to natural copper. We have had the water analysed and it is deemed to be perfectly safe to drink....though I cannot remember how much copper in ppm there was in it. The animals are supplied with the same water.. Nobody in the vicinity has developed copper poisoning to the best of my knowledge. That may be because some of the local farmers appear to drink only beer........ I'm not aware that their stock have been affected, either. However, we all tend to avoid feeds with much copper.

Like all of these things...you can have too much of a good thing.
 

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Over in my part of the world, copper is present in small amount in most ewe feeds. Are the feed producers omitting it on the assumption that there's enough occurring naturally?
I don't know about copper in sheep feed, as I don't feed any. I'm just discussing sheep loose minerals.
 

Baymule

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I bought Pat Coleby's books Natural Goat Care and Natural Sheep Care. In it she said to keep dolomite lime out for goats and sheep while pregnant and lactating. She said it also has the benefit of canceling out the overload of copper. I am paraphrasing here, don't remember her exact words.

I feed a Purina Sheep Mineral, keep Dolomite lime out for the sheep and also I keep Azomite out for them, it is mineral from an ancient lava flow from Utah. They eat it all. I observed my first lambs eating dirt from a fresh gopher mound, so I offered them Azomite and they ate it like me eating chocolate. I had got the Azomite for the garden, so I was glad I had it around.
 

Baymule

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We worked yesterday and finished cleaning up the sheep barn. We took 10 mule loads out total piled high. There is one section of the garden that didn’t get any, so I’ll clean out chicken coops and spread that section with it.

Today we let the ewes and lambs out in the yard to graze while we raked leaves. We put 10 mule loads in the barn, in some places it is 3’ deep. It won’t take them long to stomp them down. We quit at 1:00 for lunch. BJ is asleep in his recliner now. LOL

365A5E38-A71B-4632-A64C-DA375FC6E0A0.jpeg
 

Beekissed

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Wowza!!! And this is only the middle of winter! Imagine how much litter you'll have by spring? I bet the sheep will LOVE the leaves. Mine do....first they sort through to see if any tastes good, then they lounge on them.

Should be able to plant dimes and grow dollars in that garden this year. :highfive: He deserves a nap after that!
 

Baymule

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We just raked around the yard. We got a lot of trees here. We look at it as the sheep will make the compost for our garden. If they stomp this down pretty soon, we'll load up some more.
 

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We just raked around the yard. We got a lot of trees here. We look at it as the sheep will make the compost for our garden. If they stomp this down pretty soon, we'll load up some more.
That's how I see it too....why waste the leaves when we can recycle them through a paddock, barn or coop and make them useful to us in other ways? It's sort of like wasting food by throwing it away when folks throw leaves away or don't utilize them as well as they could. That's free bedding right there.
 
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