June 19, 2019 2 min read

Copper is one of the ‘Trace’ minerals required in Equine Nutrition. Even though it is only needed in tiny amounts, it is extremely important for good health and is utilised in 100’s of enzyme systems throughout the horse’s body!

From energy production, the immune system, digestive function, coat health and colour to connective tissue strength… Copper deficiency can have major negative health impacts on the horse.

And did you know, Copper is one of the most commonly deficient minerals!

Not only is it often lacking in pasture and hay but its bio-availability is fragile as high levels of other minerals, such as iron, compete for absorption.

Low Copper levels have been associated with:

  • Debilitating hoof problems such as thin soles, thrush, cracks, abscesses, soft and weak hoof walls
  • Copper is needed for the formation of strong reinforcing cross-links in the structure of connective tissue like tendons and ligaments, bone and arterial walls.
  • The copper-dependent enzyme Tyrosinase is responsible for the pigment melanin and can appear as coat fading and bleaching when deficient.
  • Essential for the healthy function of the nervous system
  • Copper forms the active centre of superoxide dismutase; a key antioxidant.
  • Copper maintains the structural integrity of skin, mucous membranes and lymph nodes
  • Copper deficiency is a more likely cause of Anemia in horses than that of iron deficiency as its essential for the production and absorption of iron in the body

Missy’s Bucket minerals contain 400mg of copper per standard 500kg horse dose, this is much higher than other commercially available supplements and is one of the keys to its success.

The importance of the trace mineral ratios in Missy’s Bucket mean that both the levels of Zinc and Copper are quite high, this helps to balance out the often very high levels of Iron in the average horse’s diet.

Trace mineral ratios in Missy’s Bucket have been balanced according to the average horse pasture and hay diet and aim for the following ratios:

4 : 1 : 3 : 3 - iron : copper : zinc : manganese

This means that even though your horses’ diet may be unavoidably high in Iron, the ratios will still be working ok for the Copper (and Zinc) absorption to be adequate.

Missy’s Bucket uses Poly Copper as it tends to be more bioavailable than Copper Sulphate with less potential interference from environmental contaminants.

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