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Boluses of controlled release glass for supplementing ruminants with copper
  1. WM Allen,
  2. BF Sansom,
  3. PT Gleed,
  4. CB Mallinson and
  5. CF Drake


A controlled release glass was formulated into boluses weighing approximately 17 g or 75 g and administered to 19 lambs and 20 steers respectively. The animals were at pasture during the summer months. The lambs were slaughtered between 57 and 219 days after dosing when the mean concentration of copper in their livers had increased to 107.8 +/- 33.4 mg copper/kg fresh weight compared with 55.9 +/- 23.0 mg copper/kg fresh weight in undosed controls. The steers were slaughtered more than 140 days after dosing; the mean concentrations of copper in plasma had increased and the mean concentration of copper in liver was significantly greater than in undosed control steers (14.1 +/- 4.8 mg copper/kg fresh weight liver in dosed steers, 4.7 +/- 1.4 mg copper/kg in control steers) and was similar to the concentration in steers which had received 200 mg copper as copper calcium edetate (18.2 +/- 4.2 mg copper/kg fresh weight). In sheep the minimum rate of release of copper into the reticulorumen was 2.1 mg/day and in steers 11 mg/day.

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