Rarely do I post on Sheepdog-L these days, but I couldn’t resist this morning when an individual wrote asking about feeding a product that contained copper to his sheep to which RS (a/k/a the most knowledgeable novice sheep herder, Border Collie trainer, etc. that ever existed) responded that no, added copper isn’t good.
The general consensus among those who have sheep or know sheep is that sheep do not need copper in their diets. That’s akin to the belief that dogs don’t need taurine in their diets, but recent research shows otherwise.
Before I purchased my sheep, I did research into natural sheep health and stumbled upon the Liberty Farm’s Blog and this post in particular. I bought Pat Coleby’s book, Healthy Sheep Naturally, read it and decided it made a lot of sense. I bought the materials for the homemade supplement she recommended in her book and offer it to my sheep. I replied to Ms. Novice’s post with a quotation from Ms. Coleby’s book citing how low resistance to parasites and other diseases was due to copper deficiency. Darned if I didn’t get the attention of several well-known sheep farmers warning me about sharing such potentially dangerous information. I suppose it’s much safer to medicate and worm than to try to supplement sheep with vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in their diet so that they are more resilient to parasites and other diseases and much better for me not to try to deal with close minded clams and keep my mouth shut about my new age beliefs.
Here is another post contained in a Blog written by a woman in Georgia discussing her sheep, the problems she had with parasites and how it is linked to the condition of the soil. It is unfortunate that more people are not paying attention to the condition of the earth. It is in a very sad, depleted state.
I’ve since received an e-mail from an individual stating that unless I’m having the livers of my slaughtered sheep analyzed for copper toxicity, then I’m likely slowly killing my sheep. Just like I’m slowly killing my dogs by not feeding them food “specially formulated” for them. I wonder if these individuals have the livers of their slaughtered sheep analyzed to see if they are feeding them properly. Likely not given that they are, like sheep, blindly following the leader.