Twelve Romney wether lambs, average weight 28kg, were randomly divided into two groups, namely an untreated control and an Fe treated group. All animals were grazed together on a ryegrass/white clover pasture for 12 weeks. The Fe intake of the control animals was estimated to be 247 mg/day while that for the treated animals was 827 mg/day with the extra Fe (FeSO4.7H2O) given orally in a gelatin capsule. Increasing the Fe intake had no effect on DM intake or growth rates but significantly (P<0.05) increased the Fe content of the lungs, spleen and digestive tract. No other changes in Fe concentrations were found in the other soft tissues or bone. There was a marked decrease [50%] in the Cu content of the liver (a major storage organ for Cu) when the Fe treated lambs were compared with the control animals. The fact that a moderate increase in the intake of Fe can markedly reduce the Cu status of lambs may be a more important finding than has been previously realised.

N, Anderson

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 50, , 215-228, 1990
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