Wild birds are so fun to watch. We have several species that visit our feeders and we love to identify and watch them. But what about those in our barn or with our chickens? Now that's another story! Birds of course can leave waste in feeders and spread diseases to poultry as they hop around going after stray feed. Birds can as hop on coccidia and then hop in your animal feeders and place their coccidia, e coli , etcetera onto their eating areas. So it's better if they do not mix with your animal feeding areas.
There are a few things one can do to minimize or avoid these things. First is if you like to feed birds as we do, is to keep their feeding stations far from poultry and livestock feeding areas. Another thing is to only feed your poultry and stock what they can consume at that feeding and to feed it in containers that avoid waste. Feeders that can be picked up and moved after feeding should be removed and put in a feed room or other place not accessible to them. Also, most birds will enter your barns or sheds from higher. Closing off gaps between eves and other openings with one inch poultry wire or woven hardware cloth so that fresh air movement is still allowed over head but birds aren't allowed to land and hop in will reduce the amount of birds entering your barn areas. Even old screening can often be obtained for free and be upcycled this way. Keeping barn doors closed when possible also helps. Also keeping a barn cat (keep it healthy & chlamydia free!) in the barn can also reduce wild bird populations. I personally don't do this because of problems with cats using hay for their bathroom. For poultry's safety from wild birds (as well as weasels!) it is best to use a one inch poultry netting for their pens, housing, chicken tractor and supplemental feeding areas. Two inch netting, while cheaper, allows birds and small predators in. It also deteriorates faster allowing foxes and raccoons a greater likelihood of getting to your birds.
Another way to combat this is to be sure your animals and poultry are the healthiest they can possibly be! We achieve this by supplementing poultry with LayNLayer herb mix or BetterDaze herb mix as well as decrease their parasite challenges with DWormA and GI Soother for coccidial challenges and MMune herb mix for any that need that additional support for their immune systems such as weak, old, recovering or senior creatures. For livestock we offer the same products (of course they don't need the LayNLayer!).
BLESSINGS TO ALL OF YOU- YOU, YOUR HUMAN FAMILY AND YOUR CREATURE FAMILY :D
"But I don't have coyotes" your mind is telling you. The truth is you probably do. They cruise through rural, suburban and even sometimes city areas of 49 of our states and all of Canada. February & March they tend to be the most aggressive as they enter breeding season along with reduced rodent availability. Male coyotes can become extremely aggressive due to increased testosterone levels and increases in fighting with other males. After that hunting increases to feed their quickly growing pups. Fall of course encourages them to hunt extra to try to put on extra weight for winter and winter of course faces it's own challenges. We have seen coyotes all hours of the daytime and of course hear them out at night (we have at least three distinct packs in our neighborhood). They've been sighted off in the distance, in neighbor's yards and even just a step outside of our livestock containing fencing! Fencing without a guardian in it of course can be dug under, squeezed through or under or sometimes jumped over from a log or pile of manure or other item that a careless stock owner leaves too close to the fence. Coyotes only require a few inches to squeeze under or through something. Check your fencing regularly to avoid this.
As livestock and pet owners there are many concerns with coyotes. One is the spread of parvo through their feces. Another is the well known fact that they delight in hunting dogs and cats as a part of their menu, even snatching them off of porches. Even your guardian dogs aren't 100% safe from them. This is why. Several years ago we watched the audacity of one coyote in the afternoon run back and forth along the fenceline with our guardian dogs going bananas just on the other side. What was that trouble maker up to? He knew he couldn't get in and with dogs right there he wouldn't try. What he was doing and what they try to do is to get a dog or two to come after them. Suicidal? No. Hunting? Yes! If they can coerce your guardian or other dog to dig out, squeeze out or go over for a chase they will lead your dog right into an ambush by the pack. End of dog. One guardian or two guardians have no way to take on a pack of coyotes in a planned ambush.
Coyotes are ruthless in their hunting. When going after livestock (or deer, elk, etc) their main strategy is do distract and attack from the front to keep their prey's attention while one or more go for the hamstring or scrotum at the rear. As soon as they bring their animal down they don't finish the kill. They just start eating. Sick and evil, but true. They also are very well known for pulling baby livestock away during birthing- even before the baby is completely out of the birth canal! Always keep your mares, jennies, cattle and small livestock if possible in a coyote proof pen close in when birthing, and / or keep guardians with them. They generally target pets and small livestock (including your immature large livestock), but if they are real hungry they will also target large stock. I also had a horse about twenty years ago that sustained an injury to his face from hitting the fence while running coyotes off.
Ways to avoid coyotes on your place is by keeping good strong fencing on borders where possible along with a guardian or guardians on the inside. Guardian dogs, llamas, occasionally an alpaca male, and donkeys are all commonly used for livestock guardians. There are pros and cons to each form so you'll need to decide which is right for you. Electric fencing can be used but it a maintenance issue if placed on the outside of the fence due to grass and brush growth. Solar powered electric web fencing is very expensive but works well for those that need to get a fence up quick in a new location. It's most commonly used for small livestock and poultry.
Coyotes are very difficult to shoot. My husband has been able to drop one in all of our years together. But certainly if you have safety training and it's legal for you to shoot where you are, this is another method to try to narrow down the ranks. If you are having to shoot onto a neighbor's property to get them be sure you have their permission. Don't count on being able to get very many this way though unless you live in an area where you can set up with a light, calls etc in areas where it's legal to hunt them that way.
Remember that while coyotes are wiley, your number one most likely predator damage is going to be from DOGS- from your neighborhood, your own, or strays wandering through. We get clients from all three scenarios. Please have a plan to keep them out of your stock.
May you never ever ever have a problem from these beautiful but rotten thieves. We are here to help you with herbal aftercare should you have an animal or animals that ever experience predator damage. See our great products at www.firmeadowllc.com . Look for Better Daze, Cayenne extract or herb powder, Wounderful! Salve and ReBuilld herb mix to radically support the healing process. Blessings ALL OF YOU!!!
I get this question frequently!!! I base my answers on the following list to sort through the hype, the big money and the fancy marketing to decide whether an herb merits medicinal use at commonly accepted doseages for herbs. Note that they must pass EVERY test.
1) Does it meet Hippocrates 'Do no harm"?
2) Does it work WITH the body to move it towards wellness (Vitalist)?
3) It must not be habit forming nor have that potential.
4) Is must not be poisonous.
5) It must not be toxic (cause side effects).
Here at Fir Meadow LLC we can guide you through the ins and outs of confusing questions and wellness protocols with alternative health for you and your creatures. Why? Because our Master of Herbology has the educational foundation to base our guidance on! You can select from a wide array of products and consultation services on our website. Blessings ALL :)
White Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) , Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber) at Fir Meadow. Photo by Katherine Drovdahl.
We like to say that livestock and humans should eat plants and plants should eat rocks and dirt. Why is this SO CRITICALLY important???!!! When we keep things in that order bodies do well. You see when a plant converts sunlight through photosynthesis it combines nutrients it uptakes from soil (broken down rocks & organic matter) with a carbon atom. It is that carbon atom attached to that nutrient that makes it bioavailable. That nutrient becomes fully utilizable by the body. It's able to uptake it into cells, use it fully for it's intended purpose and it is fully able to eliminate any excess that it doesn't want to utilize. This allows the ability to fully nourish the body and to not store toxic or structurally damaging excesses of copper, selenium, copper, fat soluble vitamins, etc. Some of these excesses can and do build up to cause liver toxicity (which can lead to death), stones such as urinary calculi, kidney stones, enteroliths, gall stones (which form in the liver and are there as well), bone spurs, hardening of the pituitary gland or brain tissue, etc.
So how on earth do we and our beloved critters end up eating rocks? Here are a few considerations.
Our wells and city waters are not soft water- they contain rock mineral particulate. When we lived in southern Oregon I could actually SEE the particulate from our high calcium well whenever water was brewed for tea. It also accumulated at the mouths of faucets etc. There were no dandelions or alfalfa plants growing in our well to contribute to this. The soils in that area contain high amounts of calcium.
Store bought food and feeds that have minerals added or are 'fortified' have rock or synthetic sources added. Read your label- if it doesn't say the magnesium is because whole alfalfa, stinging nettle or another plant is in the product then it's not from a plant! It's from a rock or a formulated fake from a laboratory. Why do companies do this? Because it's much less expensive to mine and purchase rock nutrients than it is to use whole plants that contain the nutrients. I can purchase a whole ten yard dump truck load of several tons of rocks or sand for the same price that some of the herbs that I work with cost me by the pound! Most calcium put into food and feeds in the US is mined limestone from the midwest. Chemical or synthetic derived nutrients are cheap too and are derived from oil. Kodak is or used to be one of the largest suppliers of nutrients for the food industry. Scary or interesting. I'm not sure which it is!
We provide wonderful high quality WHOLE HERB nutrition for you, your human and pet family, just as God intended!
Get those now at www.firmeadowllc.com (www.firmeadowllc.com)
Be ABUNDANTLY BLESSED :)
Whole herb products for your ENTIRE family!
Katherine MH, CR, CA, CEIT, DipHIr, QTP has extensive alternative training in Vitalistic (cause oriented) wellness,including a Master's Degree in Herbology and has a heart to share with you so that you, your family and your creatures may achieve abundant wellness.