What is Copasure?

Product Description:

Long lasting copper as copper oxide needles for ruminants

Copasure® provides copper for ruminants in the form of copper oxide needles.  The gelatin capsules are administered orally and immediately dissolve in the rumen to release hundreds of copper oxide particles.  For copper to be released in a bioavailable form the needles must become trapped in abomasal folds and dissolve in the acidic environment of the abomasum.

The rate of dissolution is highly dependent on abomasal pH with the rate of dissolution reducing as pH rises.  Heavy infestation of the abomasum by parasites has been shown to reduce acid secretion, resulting in raised abomasal pH and a subsequent reduction in copper release from copper oxide wire particles.

Conversely the presence of copper oxide wire needles in the abomasum has been shown to have an anthelmintic effect on Haemonchus contortus, reducing the numbers of (abomasal)  parasites present in treated animals.

Low copper and or high antagonists in the soil or diet like molybdenum can lead to:

  • Reduced fertility
  • Reduced growth rates in young animals
  • Reduced resistance to disease
  • Reduced milk production
  • Faded coat and spectacle eye
  • Depressed bull libido
  • Joint disorders
  • Reduced semen quality
  • Diarrhea
  • Bone deformities
  • Spontaneous fractures


Copper is probably the most economically important of the trace element deficiencies, particularly in cattle.  The bioavailability of copper to ruminant animals is greatly influenced by the molybdenum, sulphur and iron content of the diet which can be particularly high with the intake of soil when grazing crops such as kale.

In New Zealand, two copper deficiency syndromes are recognized:

  1. Primary Copper deficiency – due to an absolute deficiency of copper in the diet
  2. Induced (or secondary) Copper deficiency – due to interference with the absorption of dietary copper by high intakes of interfering elements, including:
  3. Iron
  4. Zinc
  5. Thiomolybdates - formed in a reaction between sulphur and molybdenum

The absorption of copper varies considerably.  It is estimated that the pre-ruminant calf absorbs approx. 90% of dietary copper whereas the weaned ruminant absorbs less than 6%.  High levels of dietary sulphur and molybdenum can reduce copper absorption to as little as 1% of dietary copper intake due to the formation of copper-thiomolybdate complexes in the rumen.  For copper to be bound by thiomolybdates it must be in an available form during its transit through the rumen.  Therefore, for animals managed under grazing conditions likely to contribute to high thiomolybdate formation, it is important to consider the form of supplemental copper to ensure efficacy of supplementation.


Upon entering the rumen, the gelatin capsule of the Copasure® dissolves and the copper oxide particles are released into the rumen.  In the rumen these particles are insoluble and the elemental copper is unavailable to react with molybdenum and sulphur.  Over the next few weeks these wire needles move slowly through the reticulum and omasum into the abomasum, where they are caught in the folds of the abomasum wall.  The acidic environment in the abomasum dissolves the copper oxide coating. The hydrochloric acid in the abomasum reacts with the copper oxide to form copper chloride which can be absorbed in the abomasum and proximal duodenum. Copper released from copper oxide wire particles is NOT exposed and bound to thiomolybdates in the digestive tract as the copper is not released in a soluble form until it is out of the rumen, increasing the amount of copper available for absorption.  This is one of the significant advantages of both copper oxide wire particles and copper injections – they are not bound in a reaction with sulphur and molybdenum within the rumen.

Benefits over other methods of administration:

  • No injections required therefore no risk of abscesses
  • Boluses are easy to administer with no pain or stress to the animal
  • Effective even at high levels of molybdenum intake
  • The dose rate cannot be controlled or guaranteed when using free access lick blocks or in feed minerals

Recommended dose rate of copper:

Supplementation of copper is highly variable and dependent on soil types and farm systems.  Consult with a veterinarian before administering Copasure®®.  It is advisable to set up a continuous monitoring of copper status by measuring liver copper levels before and during supplementation.

Available in various pack sizes: Pack size
Copasure® - Cattle or Deer 12.5g or 25g 50
Copasure® - Ewe 4g 100
Copasure® – Calf 4g 100
Copasure® – Lamb 2g 100


Directions for Use: Bolus size
Calves >10weeks of age <100kgs Lwt 2 x 4g
Cattle or deer 100 – 240kgs 12.5g
Cattle or deer >240kgs* 25g
Sheep – ewes >40gs 4g
Sheep – lambs 20 – 40kgs 2g

* For larger cattle (>500kgs lwt) consult veterinarian or nutritionist for correct dose rate