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Judson GJ, Babidge PJ.
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OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of intramuscular injection of copper heptonate (CuHep) and an oral dose of copper oxide wire particles (COWP) in preventing Cu inadequacy in adult and young sheep on pasture of high Mo content. DESIGN: Field experiments with flocks of mature Merino wethers and crossbred weaners. PROCEDURE: Adult wethers were given 25 or 37.5 mg Cu as CuHep, 2.5 g COWP or no Cu treatment. The weaners were given 12.5 or 25 mg Cu as CuHep, 1.25 g COWP or no Cu treatment. At intervals over the next 12 (adults) or 8 (weaners) months the sheep were weighed and samples of blood and liver were collected for trace element assay. Wool samples collected from the adults at the end of the experiment were assessed for physical characteristics. RESULTS: The higher dosage of CuHep raised liver Cu above control group values for at least 9 months in adults and 3 months in weaners. The lower dosage of CuHep was similarly effective for 3 months in adults but was without effect in weaners. In adults the response to COWP matched that to the higher dosage of CuHep; in weaners it was greater, lasting at least 5 months. No changes indicative of Cu deficiency, apart from a depressed body weight in adults, were seen. CONCLUSIONS: In sheep on pasture of high Mo content a single intramuscular injection of CuHep providing 37.5 mg Cu to adults or 25 mg Cu to weaners will raise liver Cu reserves for at least 9 and 3 months respectively and may be an acceptable alternative to COWP for preventing seasonal Cu deficiency in sheep in southern Australia.

PMID: 12465816 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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