In livestock farming, the copper sulphate for animal feed is an additive used for growth enhancement and for correction of copper deficiency in animals.
Copper compounds have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, and in the early 19th century, it was recognised as an essential nutrient for animals.
THE IMPORTANCE OF COPPER IN ANIMALS
Copper sulphate is important as a means of providing copper in a soluble form. Copper is an element found in the liver and muscle of animals and also, although in smaller quantities, in the skeleton, skin, wool and iris of the eye.
Copper is essential for the metabolism of iron. Iron in turn is necessary for the formation of haemoglobin. eIntervenes in the formation of elastin, a protein necessary as a component of the aorta and the rest of the cardiovascular system. In the formation of myelin, which is responsible for the integrity of the CNS (brain and spinal cord). In the production of collagen, an important protein in the development of bones, cartilage and tendons. The production of melanin, essential for the formation and pigmentation of hair and wool. These among other important functions.
Different sources through which copper can be obtained can be seen in the following table
SYMPTOMS OF COPPER DEFICIENCY
- Hair/wool bleaching
- Decreased defences
- Hair keratinisation
- Infertility, loss of oestrus, miscarriages.
- Declining growth
- Loss of appetite
- Spontaneous fractures.
SOURCES OF COPPER
Natural sources of copper include.
- The Straw
- The soil
- Cocoa, pulses, milk.
- Grains and their derivatives
- Pasture dry matter
COPPER SULPHATE DOSE IN ANIMALS
It is necessary not to exceed the amount according to the manufacturer's technical specification. A general idea of the maximum amounts of copper sulphate to be used in animal feed is as follows:
- Piglets up to 12 weeks: 170mg/Kg
- Other pigs: 25mg/kg
Before the onset of rumination
- Milk replacers: 15mg/Kg
- Other complete feedingstuffs: 15mg/kg
Other Cattle: 35mg/kg
Other species: 25mg/kg
Sheep: If the copper content of the feed exceeds 10mg/kg, the copper level of this feed may cause poisoning in some breeds of sheep.
In addition to animal feed, other uses of copper include:
Agricultural pesticides, fungicide, copper sulphate for swimming poolscopper pipes for water and gas, electric cables, telephone cables, coins, sculptures, bells, high resistance welding, brass, bronzes, jewellery, etc.