Cattle nuts fed to sheep

Further a field

Livestock Farmer
I ve some sheep on grass keep on a former dairy farm they ve just got rid of the cattle and have a ton of nuts left which the farmer says I can have for free ..sheep like them but will they do any harm fed in small amounts?


None at all in small quantities. The additional copper could be of benefit, and since they will be grazing grass (+ soil), the availability of the copper will be reduced anyway.

Folk tend to forget that swayback in lambs is caused mainly by copper deficiency, which is exacerbated where pregnant ewes get little concentrate feed.


Mixed Farmer
Would depend on breed of sheep for me. Would be happy enough with most, but something like Texel would make me more nervous as they are vulnerable to copper overdose.

Would depend even more for me on where the farm is, or rather, what levels of copper antagonists are in the soil. I have to feed copper to everything here, even pure Beltexes. Most folk locally use cattle buckets with copper in too, mostly with Texel x ewes.

@Further a field , it shouldn’t be an issue but, if you want to play it safe, as posted above, mix with some beet pulp or whole grain, if you want to dilute it a bit.
Or send it to me and I’ll make use of it for you.:)


These are figures from Neville Suttle, Moredun Res. Instiute.

Total copper mg/kg, absorption coefficient, Absorbable copper mg/kg

Summer pasture 6.5 0.025 0.16
Autumn pasture 8.5 0.012 0.10
Silage 8.2 0.049 0.40
Hay 5.5 0.073 0.40
Roots 2.5 0.068 0.17
Kale/rape 3.9 0.132 0.51
Cereals 4.3 0.091 0.39

Compare Autumn Pasture (0.10 mg/kg absorbale copper), with Hay 0.40 mg/kg) or Kale/rape 0.51 mg/kg.

Sheep on Autumn grazing will always be copper deficient, and that will be even worse where excess molybdenum or sulphur decrease the absorption coefficient even further.

But it is still dangerous to feed excess copper for extended periods to susceptible breeds.

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Five nature-recovery projects spanning 100,000ha launched

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Written by Michelle Martin from Agriland

Five nature-recovery projects spanning nearly 100,000ha across the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire, the Peak District, Norfolk and Somerset have been announced by the government and Natural England today (Thursday, May 26).

This is the equivalent in size to all 219 current National Reserves.

The aim of the projects is to deliver nature recovery at a landscape scale, helping to tackle biodiversity loss, climate change and improve public health and well-being.

All five projects will make a significant contribution towards the national delivery of the international commitment to protect at least 30% of land and...