Low level lead poisoning?

egbert

Member
I graze a few fields which were used for clay pigeon shooting in decades past.
A quick bit of fag packet maths suggests maybe 2-3 tonnes of lead must've been sprinkled over them.

Occasionally, we have a very poor lot of lambs -if summer grazed- or high losses with ewe hoggs overwintered.
This year, the couples went on with tonnes of grass and were never hungry.
The ewes are fine, but the surviving lambs are a load of rubbish.

We've a couple of other lots with poor lambs, but this group are the worst by some margin.

Anyone come across low levels of lead poisoning? Symptoms?

It occurs to me that if you can have a 'bad year' for cobalt or copper take up, then maybe you can have the opposite for lead....which would still be bad, if you follow me.
 

Agrivator

Member
I seem to remember that where soils have a high lead or other heavy-metal content, plants growing on it have the ability to regulate uptake.

If they didn't, thousands of horses grazing the long acre would suffer from lead poisoning, and Appleby would be a law-abiding town all year round - (at least when petrol had lead added to prevent knocking)

And vegetables grown alongside the East-Lancs road would have poisoned most Lancastrians, which, come to think of it, wouldn't really matter.
 

egbert

Member
Could just be the different lands low in it and your overthinking it’s lead :ROFLMAO:
low in what? multi-vits?

I'm casting about trying to find answers.
Another group that's had issues we were blaming on louping ill, but a bloodtest says not. Those ewes are often close to the edge, and first to show a poor year.

Something else that's occurring to me is whether these 2 groups were drained of summat last jan/feb, in that rain.
The former were back locked up on the only bit of inbye I could spare them - they're the drafts I kept for crossing.
They'd picked every blade by mid Jan, and were somehow persisting on a mouthful of cake and a bale every 5-6 days twixt 69 of them
Somehow all survived, but clearly they'd been right at the edge.
They lambed late -due to infertile BFL- but were in good fettle, had bags of milk and good lambs when they finally dropped in May.

Put away to this suspect grass, the lambs grew for a month or two, then went to ratsh1t.
 

egbert

Member
Thanks
There's some beddy bye reading!
Straight away it does contain this...
'Plants growing on contaminated soil can take up and accumulate contaminants, and plants are a route for ingestion of contaminants by ruminants. It has been suggested that the metal content in plants can vary between seasons'
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
a seriously large clay pigeon site, near us, was having 'legal' problems, with it's organic neighbor, they were also looking at ways, to 'recover' the lead, they were talking in 10's of tons. Everything gone quiet, so, presume the neighbor was 'sorted', and the lead recovery failed, because, if they had been successful, they would be 'crowing' about it !
 

Whitepeak

Member
Livestock Farmer
We are in a high lead area, having many old lead mines and spoil heaps across our land. Most forage samples come back with lead off the chart, and scare most feed reps!
However we don't get that many problems, I think the stock must get accustomed to it. If we do get a problem it is chronic symptoms, not acute symptoms. Symptoms are usually a dull, lethargic animal that is blind. Never seen symptoms in sheep but get an odd calf every few years.
 

egbert

Member
Scroll down to the section entitle "Conclusion" if you don't want to read the lot! Interesting stuff.

I did that, after being bogged down in pages of stuff I hardly grasped,
(including the highly suspicious statement 'The EU (and Norway) does not have any restrictions for copper in animal fodder'. I do so like going through scientific papers with my laymans hat on...cos I'm pretty sure that's 100% wrong. there would be very tight guidance on copper levels in sheep feed)

Anyway, it appears there is a chance that there's lead take-up in plant matter or ingested soil.
I note that the ground, which I've had the (insecure tenure) use of for some decades, usually has an unbelievable mole population. this year it appears there's scant few...I'm going to go back and look again.

Get the soil tested for heavy metals. Lancrop and Scientec both do it from memory.

I might have been dreaming it but increased mineral intakes might alleviate the lead as it won't be absorbed as readily?
I might do bloods on the sheep, but the soil is a foregone conclusion....i know it had tonnes of lead sprinkled on it. i even 'trapped' for em as a lad, for some cash.
 
I did that, after being bogged down in pages of stuff I hardly grasped,
(including the highly suspicious statement 'The EU (and Norway) does not have any restrictions for copper in animal fodder'. I do so like going through scientific papers with my laymans hat on...cos I'm pretty sure that's 100% wrong. there would be very tight guidance on copper levels in sheep feed)

Anyway, it appears there is a chance that there's lead take-up in plant matter or ingested soil.
I note that the ground, which I've had the (insecure tenure) use of for some decades, usually has an unbelievable mole population. this year it appears there's scant few...I'm going to go back and look again.


I might do bloods on the sheep, but the soil is a foregone conclusion....i know it had tonnes of lead sprinkled on it. i even 'trapped' for em as a lad, for some cash.

The cost of a soil test will not be daft, I would be wanting to know actual levels if it was me, if the field(s) in question are that loaded then you need to know about it and it may well mean leaving the place well alone in future. Bloods or even tissue biopsies on the sheep might be worth investigating. It could also be another contaminant other than lead itself. A heavy metals screen would be useful, you often get unexpected levels of all kinds of stuff in peculiar places. The dredgings from rivers and streams can contain surprising amounts of stuff.
 

An Gof

Member
Location
Cornwall
We are in a high lead area, having many old lead mines and spoil heaps across our land. Most forage samples come back with lead off the chart, and scare most feed reps!
However we don't get that many problems, I think the stock must get accustomed to it. If we do get a problem it is chronic symptoms, not acute symptoms. Symptoms are usually a dull, lethargic animal that is blind. Never seen symptoms in sheep but get an odd calf every few years.

In parts of this area it’s not lead that’s a potential problem it’s Arsenic.
 

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