[Jacob-list] Urinary Calculi/wethering
Neal and Louise Grose
nlgrose at yadtel.net
Wed Apr 2 05:29:15 EDT 2008
Our vet happened to be at our farm yesterday and I did some double checking
on this. Ammonia chloride does work and is extremely effective because the
NH4 dissipates in the rumen leaving strongly negative chloride ion. However,
since it is very caustic, it probably should only be fed as a commercially
mixed feed (think "Science Diet" for sheep) or as a bolus from your vet.
This is similar to people that have kidney stones who drink lots and lots of
lemonade. Calcium is a positive ion and phosphorus is a negative ion. The
two together form a "salt".
The underlying problem is excessive CALCIUM in the diet. This can come as a
result from feeding cheap grain preparations in which lime is used as a
filler or from feeding too much legumes such as good quality alfalfa (which
is naturally high in calcium). Wethers just don't need all that much good
feed. The total ration for sheep should have a calcium to phosphorus ratio
of about 2:1. This means that if your primary feed is alfalfa, your mineral
supplement will need to be monocalcium-phosphate or dicalcalcium-phosphate,
not feed grade lime.
----- Original Message -----
From: "ARTHUR PARTRIDGE" <aztreaz at earthlink.net>
To: "jacob-list" <jacob-list at jacobsheep.com>
Cc: <nlgrose at yadtel.net>
Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 10:45 PM
Subject: Re: [Jacob-list] Urinary Calculi/wethering
> --Neal wrote:
>>Ammonia chloride has to be used very carefully, and is toxic and not
>>palatable. It would be used here to tie up the calcium into calcium
>>chloride. I do not understand why you would do this if the problem is too
>>much phosphorus in ratio to calcium.
> As I recall, the ammonia chloride in the rumen turns into acidic NH4+
> (ammonium ion) and the acidity helps prevent calculi (i.e. stones) from
> forming in the urethra of the wether/ram. You'd think that some vinegar
> added to the water would do the same thing. I don't know why one acidic
> treatment works and the other might not. I Googled and found lot of
> papers. Here are two of particular interest. The first one is a study on
> using ammonium chloride and the other is on the problem of urinary calculi
> (UC) in wethers/rams/goats, in general.
> I don't understand the chemistry behind the role that phosphorus plays in
> causing UC. I better read some of these papers too. I would use ammonium
> chloride only if I thought there might be a problem, like if a ram or
> wether accidently ate an entire 50 lb bag of grain or got into something
> else that had a high phosphorus content -- 50 lbs of bananas??
> Moscow, Idaho
> This takes awhile to download:l
> [PDF] U. S. Department of Agriculture and Texas A&M University, College
> in controlling urinary calculi. Experimental Procedure. Ammonium chloride
> While the ammonium ion may. be utilized as a source of nonprotein nitro-
> http://jas.fass.org/cgi/reprint/30/6/1002.pdf - similar pages
> Urinary Calculi in Wether Lambs/Kids - goat and boer
> Ammonium chloride should be added to the feed at the rate of 0.5-1.5% see
> Table 1).
> ... However, treatment of urinary calculi is a desperation effort. ...
> http://uvalde.tamu.edu/staff/Machen7.htm - 19k
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