Treatment of copper deficiency in Texel-crossbred sheep by the feeding of a concentrate formulated for dairy cows

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L. Noorman

A. F. G. Antonis

R. Jorritsma

J. T. Schonewille

Published Dec 30, 2020


Six Texel-crossbred sheep, from a flock with a history of a dull appearance and mild diarrhea, were presented to the faculty of veterinary medicine (University of Utrecht) . The clinical signs were found to be related to Copper (Cu) deficiency as indicated by low hepatic Cu values. It was decided to treat the animals by feeding them concentrates specifically formulated for dairy cows because such concentrates have a rather high Cu content compared to concentrates designed for sheep. Sheep Cu status was monitored by measuring liver Cu concentrations. Current results indicate the potential of feeding cow concentrate as a practical method to treat Cu deficiency in Texel-crossbred sheep. In contrast to hepatic Cu concentrations, serum Ceruloplasmin concentration (Cp) values did not respond to the treatment thereby indicating that serum Cp is inferior to evaluate Cu status in sheep compared to liver Cu measurements.

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