I might have forgot to mention that a few weeks ago I sent a sample of our pasture grass to the lab at the University of Idaho.
And Monday I got the results back in the mail.
Here they are:
So, the first thing I had to do was put it in context.
I did a little math, consulted http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/ansci/sheep/as989-3.htm to get info on how much of each nutrient sheep actually require, and came up with this-
(when looking at the Mineral Supplement info you have to consider that the sheep are only eating a very small volume of that daily- I haven’t actually been able to figure out how much they are eating, because they waste a fair amount,, but it’s probably about an ounce or less a day.)
There are a couple of things that jump out at me.
1. We’ve got a lot of Molybdenum. I was expecting this to be the case, and the lab results confirm it.
2. We’ve got a lot of Iron and Manganese
Otherwise, we’re doing pretty good.
I do wish that the trace mineral panel they did had Selenium,, but that wasn’t on the menu. So, I’m going to assume that we’re deficient, just like everyone else in this region.
The Molybdenum is a problem because it interferes with the uptake of copper. And the Iron might be doing the same thing.
So, that could be causing the sheep to not get enough copper, even though it is present in the plant material they are eating.
I’m going to do some reading up on the various minerals and how they interact and affect metabolic processes – to see if I can get some clarity on how this whole thing comes together.
Wish me luck.
In other news, we’ve got new yarn (from last week’s impulse drum carding)
A doggie hat
And 1 and 1/3 mittens
Hopefully I will soon have 2 mittens.
And yes, I know they look a little long.
I plan on lightly felting them, and that should bring them back to the perfect proportions. 🙂
Have a great week!