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Author Topic: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay  (Read 8266 times)

Brucklay

  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Perthshire
    • Brucklay Pygmy Goats
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Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2012, 02:51:07 pm »
That's really rotten - so sorry  :bouquet:
Pygmy Goats, Shetland Sheep, Zip & Indie the Border Collies, BeeBee the cat and a wreak of a building to renovate!!
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Burrwoodfm

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2012, 06:31:32 pm »
Thanks everyone.  Have just been to pick up some Tub-Ron to help purge any copper digested by the ewe's.  Am scared stiff it is going to happen again.

Bramblecot

  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2012, 07:11:00 pm »
Sorry about your wether - we always seem to lose the ones we love the most :'( .  But he was very lucky to find you and have some kindness in his life  :bouquet:

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2012, 08:20:41 pm »
Hi Burwoodfm, so sorry for your loss, we lost our NR some weeks ago to a rhodedendron plant, which I catalogued on here.  It was extremely upsetting as you say - they are so unusually friendly.  We too are extremely careful about the copper thing - it's that some feeds can have a background copper level even if they have no copper added to the food.  The background level has to be below 10% per kg.  We use either straight sugar beet pellets or Harbro do a premium ewe nut which is also tolerated.  They are fragile creatures though and I've read (as I think you have) that stress can release higher copper levels.


If you don't mind, could you tell me how you first found her and what were her symptoms - sorry, not something you want to do right now I'm sure, but it's useful for us to know so if it happens to us we can deal with it quickly.  Don't want to have to cope with another nr loss if avoidable.


Don't cut yourself up about it if possible (I know I did)  :bouquet: [size=78%] [/size]
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
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Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2012, 08:44:30 pm »
(((( :bouquet: ))))) lost two rams last year I know how it feels, very sorry
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Burrwoodfm

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2012, 10:28:59 pm »
I don't mind you asking at all - all information is helpful, and if it can help someone else, then that would be wonderful.  I will however say that my vet said that even if we had realised that it was copper poisoning in the earliest stages, it normally is a death sentence, and there is not a lot they could do for the North Ronaldsay's in particular.   Woolie, our wether was firstly off his food slightly.  Then we found him in one of the stables just lying down upright, and not willing to get up at all.  He kept looking at us very sadly.  It was so unusual for him as he was always up and around us.  I got him to his feet, but he didn't want to move.  He looked noticeably bloated, and he was tender to his tummy.  That was the first day.  The second day he was looking about the same, still moving around though in drifts and drabs.  The third morning we went out at 6 to feed him and he was lying flat out i nthe field, with his eyes flickering up and down.  His breathing was noticeably laboured.  We picked him up and brought him into a stable, but I think he was fitting.  His head was strained backwards, and his feet constantly kicking and eyes flicking.  Within an hour and a half he was dead. Once the copper is released, it causes liver and kidney failure, and then the build up of toxins eventually cause damage to the brain I believe. 
I am not sure there was anything we could have done.  However, I have discovered something I referred to earlier called Tub-Ron.  If you don't know what it is, it is well worth looking into.  It is a Tubby made by Denis Brinicombe.  It is specially formulated for North Ronaldsay's, as a mineral lick, and it basically contains nutritional antagonists and specific powerful herb extracts which help lock up copper in the gut and cleanse the liver from toxins and mineral build up.  I had never heard of it before yesterday - I wish I had! Our Ewe's absolutely love it.  We are going to leave it out for them to lick at will, along with feeding sugar beet and flaked peas.  I believe it has a lot of seaweed in it too, which obviously is the Ronnie's natural diet. 
I am still beating myself up over Woolie.  I just keep thinking it was something I did, or didn't do, or should have known about.  The trouble is, the Ronnie's are just such as special breed, and are so hard to get info on. 

moprabbit

  • Joined Oct 2011
  • North Notts
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2012, 09:38:37 am »
So sorry to hear about Woolie - I just love my sheep to bits and so know exactly how you will be feeling. I'm sure it was nothing you did or could have know about so just try to think of the good times you had with him. He was a lucky sheep to have been cared for by you.
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Pasture Farm

  • Joined Aug 2011
  • East Lincolnshire
  • Trusty Traca
    • Pasture Poultry
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Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2012, 10:37:52 am »
Sad times  :bouquet:
 
As others have said some sheep need copper especially during pregnancy a few years ago we took the decision to change our flock to Lleyn and use the Hampshire as a terminal sire, we also kept a super Lleyn tup for pures. After our first year of lambing it was obvious after a couple of months that something was wrong the cross lambs wher not doing to well and the pure bred lleyns even worse they would just not grow. Eventually we found it was copper deficiency and know treat all Ewes with a mineral drench containing copper and the difference in lambs is amazing, although this year i had to assist with nearly every birth because of the large heads that comes from the hampshire tup.

clydesdaleclopper

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2012, 12:53:02 pm »
Pat Coleby gives a treatment for copper poisoning that consists of dolomite and sodium ascorbate (vitamin C) powder orally, and vitamin B15 injections. Apparently it is quite successful.
Our holding has Anglo Nubian and British Toggenburg goats, Gotland sheep, Franconian Geese, Blue Swedish ducks, a whole load of mongrel hens and two semi-feral children.

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2012, 12:53:13 pm »
Thank you Burwoodfm for telling us what happened, it is helpful.   :-\


I do know about Tubby - we bought our first ewes from the Sec of the NR Soc, and she kindly gave me lots of leaflets about NRs which covers just about everything you would want to know, including the Tubby product and they are all really helpful.  Unfortunately it was one of the two ewes she sold us which was killed by the rhode plant.  NRs do seem to eat lots of browsing vegetation - much more so than our other rare breeds.  Not everyone knows this as people just keep them in simple fenced off flat fields, whereas our holding is full of rocks and waterfalls and unfortunately a hidden rhode.  We also keep goats, and the NRs i think are more goat like in their eating habits than the others - I believe Bagot goats eat everything too as opposed to other goats which are often fussy eaters (contrary to reputation).


We all learn from our experiences though and those of others thanks to this website.  We have since bought another 4 NRs and all seem healthy and happy, although once you have had such an experience, it is a constant reminder in the back of your head.  You shouldn't let it put you off keeping others I think, they are unusually friendly.  Good luck Burwoodfm.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

Burrwoodfm

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2012, 02:25:32 pm »
Yes, like you I have found that they don't really touch the grass.  We keep ours on a mixture of pasture and our old marl pit, which is scattered with gorse, trees, brambles.  It is very wild and that is where the Ronnie's spend nearly all their time, coming back with goodness knows what stuck in their fleeces!  The trouble is, with that sort of habitat you can't see what is growing underneath all the undergrowth!!

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2012, 06:47:16 pm »
Yup, we had to go around with a stick under the gorse and broom and in fact ended up pulling out every plant we weren't sure of which took ages and a lot of labour.  And yes, they do become a bit velcro like until they're sheared - ours looked like frizzy haired hippis with little yellow gorse flowers attached everywhere.  :eyelashes:
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

Burrwoodfm

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2012, 07:29:57 pm »
Yes, the gorse and bramble always make stroking them a little interesting! :)


Mallows Flock

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Shepton mallet
    • Somerset Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
Re: Copper Poisoning North Ronaldsay
« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2012, 08:44:59 pm »
Cripes... I just cried like a baby at these postings :o( I really feel for you having lost your wether. My sheep are like my grandkids (I am only 37 but have to wait a LOOOONG time for my son to give me any! LOL). I get really mad when I hear farmers in our local agri store asking for calf milk powder to feed their lambs. It's way too low in fat and protein and has quite a lot of copper.....then they moan their cades have died and start ranting about how much they hate orphan lambs (Not as much as the lambs hate you guys, I bet)! Not all farmers do this/feel like this - just a minority I am sure but I hate to think animals suffer just to get a little more profit in a persons purse.
Right - rant over - I am off of my soapbox now  :P
From 3 to 30 and still flocking up!

 

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