Reply To: Copper

  • theholisticgoat

    July 16, 2023 at 2:14 pm


    I spoke with Cherrie earlier today to clarify her experience with fatal copper toxicity and got permission to share her story:

    “When I was running goats at the Badger Army Ammunition Plant in Sauk County, WI about 10 years ago, I was trying the Pat Coleby mineral offerings (separate copper, dolomite, kelp, sulfur). I made the mistake of using open containers. We had a huge rain and the containers filled with water, so it basically made a very concentrated copper sulfate water. Apparently, there is not enough post-ingestive feedback that occurs quickly enough when an animal is drinking water to tell them that the other things in the water are worse for their body than walking 20 feet to the tank of water that had no unusual minerals in it. They drank, laid down in the brush near the water and died shortly afterwards of hemolytic anemia from copper toxicity. Many looked like it happened so fast that they died in their sleep, as they were in a normal sleeping position when I got there the next morning, but they were dead. No paddling marks were visible, no other signs of thrashing or prolonged death.

    You’re welcome to quote me, and this is one very important reason that trace minerals shouldn’t be available to livestock in bulk concentrated forms. Diluted with a carrier allows animals to consume what sticks to one tongue dip without getting too much. A small mistake with a concentrated trace mineral can mean death. I can’t remember exact numbers of dead but it was somewhere around 10, out of probably around 40 that I had in that paddock at the time.”

    This is one of many such examples I’ve seen over the years and part of why I am a. emphatically opposed to feeding undiluted copper sulfate and b. okay–with a bit of grumbling–about the dilution rates of FCE’s copper, because the stakes are high when we feed minerals that have the potential for fatal toxicity. You can read more of my own thoughts on Pat Coleby style minerals here: