Feeding copper sulfate

Discussion in 'Feeding Horses' started by mylittlepony, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    if you look hard enough, you will find a vet to agree on what ever you like.
    if you look hard enough, you will find people to agree with you too
  2. Kintara

    Kintara Well-known Member

    Very true Smash!! No matter what you believe you can always find someone out there to agree with you! So I bet a could find articles on the net for and against Copper sulphate!! So just my opinion below!

    I've used it a bit, about once a month or two (or three... in other words not very often!) I put about a teaspoon in the bath-tub that is the horse water trough. Keeps out the algae if nothing else!! It's supposed to keep worms at bay, and if something is scratching their rump I put a teaspoon in and seems to stop the problem. I don't like to over use chemical wormers. The copper sulphate doesn't seem to kill the dung beetles, but the wormer sure does!

    Copper is supposed to be good for anything fungal related. So some sorts of greasy heel it will help with, ring worm etc.. It also seems to do a bit of good if a horse arrives with a dry horrid coat too.

    Horses seem to have a very high tolerance for copper sulphate (compared to us), but studies haven't been done on long term effects. I don't like to feed too much, I'm sure it wouldn't be good for the liver. But a little bit now and then seems to work well for me.

    Oh my horses happily eat it in a lick too, but there would only again be about half a teaspoon that lasts 4 horses a month. So not much. They don't get the lick that often either really.

    Topically it burns the flesh, so probably ok for getting rid of proud flesh but I wouldn't put it on anything else. So like all things probably does no harm in small quantities and maybe a bit of good. But don't go overboard.

  3. tanglefoot

    tanglefoot New Member

    I believe Pat Coleby comes from an area where the soil is deficient in copper and magnesium, so when she added these to local diets in the form of copper sulphate (bluestone) and mudgee dolomite, she had very good results, but not a recommended 'blanket' treatment Australia wide.
    If your horse is deficient in copper (quite a common deficiency) a better supplement would be in a chelated form more available to the horse. Not trying to advertise, but I use the chelated mineral-plus put out by TNN Industries.
  4. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    i think the best QUESTION to ask is
    "how do you KNOW your horse is copper deficient????"
    well i dont know too many people who are willing to pay for a blood test, so they guess.
    some people get there soil tested, and yet they hard feed.
    i wonder how many people grow all the products they feed their horse on their own land.
    *pick me, pick me* i can answer that LOL LOL NONE!!!!!!!!!!!!
    so unless you are willing to pay for soil tests of all the feed you bring onto your property to feed your pony, you will only be guessing.
    blood test your horse to find out if he truely is copper deficient.
    i will garrentee you, your blood test will come back with more other deficiencies than copper LOL LOL LOL
    if you have a horse that is off colour, get a blood test. it will help you stop all this guessing, and a lot of miss diagonisis for your poor horse.
    cheers and good luck.
  5. tanglefoot

    tanglefoot New Member

    That, also has its pitfalls, though I do believe we are getting away from the original topic.
    Bloodtests are like a snapshot of blood at a moment in time, where the minerals in blood have peaks and lows throughout the day and night, often spiking in mineral levels an hour after feeding. Also, the test may tell you the horse is deficient in something, but not why - it may be dietary, seasonal, hormonal, or because of an underlying health problem.
    I guess the major reason to veer away from copper sulphate is because of the way it reacts on raw flesh, and if your horse has even a tiny lesion or ulcer the copper will aggravate it enormously.
  6. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    yes that is true tanglefoot.
    but it is a starting point for owners who "guess" a lot
  7. Horsetalk

    Horsetalk Well-known Member

    Knowing is better than guessing. ;) :) Your horse has only on life, make it a long and healthy one. :))
  8. mylittlepony

    mylittlepony Well-known Member

    i never said anything about my horse being copper deficient. I do not guess about anything to do with my POOR horse, i simply asked if any stockies know much about feeding copper sulfate becoz i was told its good for greasy heel.
  9. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    sorry mylittlepony.
    i was questioning some of the above advice, so dont get too upset, your name was not mentioned LOL
    if copper sulphate (even the most minute amount) eats proud flesh, one would have to consider the long term problems of feeding even a pinch.
    just imagine what this would do to a horse with ulcers????? yep damn scary (how painful would it be to have something eat away the lining of your tum tum) to feed some thing like copper sulphate when you dont know if your horse has any other internal problems is damn dangerous.
  10. Talkingshell

    Talkingshell Well-known Member

    Ok, I am watching this thread with great interest!

    I am sure most of you are aware that some of the horse feed bags that has tag has all the nutritional info on it and some has Copper Sulfate in it! So I was just wondering why in feed as well??:confused:

    Would be interested to know why horse feed manufacturers do add that in their horse feed mixing process?
  11. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    shell, those manufactures that put copper sulphate into a bag, should only be for a young horse (yearling or younger) to help with the growth of EPIPHISEAL PLATE or EPIPHISIS.
    1 gram of copper will yeild 247.5 milligrams of copper
    one table spoon is approx 30 grams = 7425 milligrams of copper
    a young horse has the daily requirement of 0.2 milligram per hundred kilos of the horses body weight
    so you can see that it is a VERY VERY tiny amount that is needed.
    a pinch per feed is FAR too much
    a pinch once a month is more closer to what a YOUNG horse requires.
    i hope you lot are taking notes LOL
    as i will be requiring your essay on copper sulphate on my desk on MONDAY
    he he he
    pssst trojane, if you read this, your essay is due in by TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!
  12. Pockets

    Pockets Gold Member

    Interesting....having used it to burn off proud flesh-very successfully too-don't think I'll be adding it to my feeds!!
  13. Talkingshell

    Talkingshell Well-known Member

    Ahhh, now I know why.....as I did noticed that some feed bags that don't have copper sulphate in it was for working horses! So that makes sense in for young baby horses!

    Thanks for the info...smashie!**)
  14. Kintara

    Kintara Well-known Member

    The theory is that if your horse is susceptible to fungal infections, they often are also copper deficient. Mites fleas etc.. often sulphur deficient. Copper obviously isn't the only thing involved but for some horses it is something that cures them pretty quick.

    All horses are different, they have found that for horses with copper deficient symptoms (includes dry coats with the little curl on the end you see on some horses etc.), a little pinch now and then didn't help.

    Pat Coleby did some really interesting research on curing common diseases just with adding different minerals in overdose quantities. Proved very effective, more so than the common western medicine way of just treating symptoms. The minerals fixed the problem from the source.

    The problem really comes about when people do improve their animals with mineral use, but then think they have to keep feeding it. The overdose should only be for a short time, for a specific reason. So many cases where people have kept feeding seaweed etc.. ending up being the detriment of the horse as they didn't need it.

    The bought vit and min supplements are a lot safer as the levels are low and we can do good, but not too much harm!

  15. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    By Dr Peter Huntington
    Kentucky Equine Research, Inc.

    Calcium can be added from limestone and dicalcium phosphate can supply calcium and phosphorus, but trace minerals need to be supplied in a fortified feed or supplement. The current practice of adding copper sulphate is dangerous and likely to be ineffective as a means of getting copper into the horse. Copper sulphate can be irritant to the horse's mouth and the daily copper requirement will be fulfilled by less than a gram of copper sulphate. It is difficult to accurately feed that small a quantity, let alone know if the horse eats it. Often copper deficiencies are matched by zinc, manganese, iodine and selenium as well. Use copper sulphate in the water to control algae, but stick to the proven methods to supplement a deficient diet
  16. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    and this
    A vocal minority have advocated the use of high levels of copper sulphate supplementation for
    horses, up to a teaspoon a day, containing approximately 2.3g of copper. Such high levels of
    copper would be a lethal dose for cattle or sheep. Studies of ponies have shown that they can,
    in the short term, survive these high copper intakes. However, the livers of these ponies
    developed a blue sheen due to the large amount of copper accumulation. The long term effects
    that this stress to the liver could have on the ponies well-being was not evaluated.
    How much copper do horses need? Data supplied by the National Research Council and
    Kentucky Equine Research indicates that a 500 kg Thoroughbred in medium work requires 0.1
    to 0.2g of copper per day
    . This is equivalent to 0.25g – 0.5g of copper sulphate (no more than a
    tenth of a teaspoon
    ). However, this does not take into account the copper your horse may
    already be getting in its diet
    , which may already be excessive in some areas.
  17. HorseSlave

    HorseSlave Well-known Member

    With regard to the copper sulphate in water troughs, I occasionally put trough blocks in. Would a teaspoon full of copper sulphate do the same thing? And if so, how much of it do the horses ingest? Is a trough block too much?
  18. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    from what i can find out through "googling" LOL there is nothing harmful about those copper sulphate blocks that you put into water troughs.
    i do know they are not solid copper sulphate blocks but are a combination of "stuff", i have not found ANY information regarding putting straight copper sulphate into water troughs though.
    not much help i know, but i did try
  19. Elanda

    Elanda Gold Member

    I usually use the blocks in summer...to keep algae down. I break a little off at a time and use, about 5cm square keeps a bath of water clean for weeks.
    (I clean each week..2 at the most) and just keep the same bit of bluestone in there until it is gone.**)
  20. Trojane

    Trojane Well-known Member

    Smash said:
    OMG will [​IMG] buy more time? (you know I don't do timtams)

    But didn't you notice I've been sooo diplomatic and not bought into this thread? Was giving it a rest after the M,C&H wars (which am happy to revive if someone is sore for an argument) :D

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