I give herbs to my stock several ways. For my horses, I mix them with a mash. For my livestock guardian dogs and chickens we mix them with extra goat milk. And for my sometimes picky goats, I mix some of them in kelp (kop-sel), sometimes drench (usual method I use for HerBiotic -viral/bacterial stuff) with a liquid like raw goat milk or fresh carrot juice , or put in the kids milk lam-bar - often GI Soother, DWorm A and/or Better Daze. And sometimes I will mix a bit of olive oil with them and mix that with their grain. But for the milkers, bucks and weaned kids when it comes to DWorm A and sometimes other herbs or products (MMune, Better Daze, etc) I often pull out my apron and chef hat to make herb balls.
First you will want to collect a mixing bowl, mixing spoon, 1 cup and 1/2 cup measuring cups, a teaspoon, a knife, spatula, clean work surface, a labelled ziplock bag or storage container and about a tablespoon of olive oil in a small container. You will also want your herb mix and something to roll the balls into such as sprouted grain, herb powder, cinnamon or in my case I grabbed a handful of rolled oats.
To make 32 doses for a 100 to 200 lb animal (48 for a 75 to 100 lb animal) I take 1 cup of herb powder and mix in 1/2 cup of the molasses until well mixed. Then I drop my oats onto the work surface before placing my herbs onto that. I oil my hands a bit and pat down the mix before oiling my knife or spoon to cut it for approximate dose sizes. With 32 doses it's easy- just half it to 16 doses, half each section again for 8 doses per section, again for 4, 2 then a single dose. With 48 doses you can half it down to the three dose size then cut that last segment into thirds.
Then I oil my hands again and roll them into balls, then roll in the mix and put in my labelled container. I can now go out and feed them, put them with their grain at feed or milking time, or store them in the fridge for a week or freezer for up to a year. Some goats take time getting used to them, but many will take them after a couple of tries. If I go in my doe pen with them I get MOBBED!
Products mentioned can all be purchased under the herb mixes section of this website.
That is a question I get asked frequently and is a huge question as people are concerned about parasites becoming more and more resistant to the chem dewormers available. I'll share a story from CM in Texas for you. I'm going to x out superlatives that aren't neccessary to the story ;).
"First off, our vet is a "Good Ol' Boy" country vet, who raises meat goats, and if he didn't learn something in vet school at Texas A&M, it is NOT a valid treatment, medicine, etc. Herbal and natural remedies to him are all a bunch of xx. He's a great vet for surgeries, injuries, and things I can't do, but boy, do we clash on A LOT of things, LOL!
Well, when we first went to see him 2 yrs ago for a pregnancy test for two of our goats, we had only had our Nigerian Dwarf Goats about 6 months (they were also our first goats ever). At the end of the visit; he asked me which wormer I was using for our then four girls, and I told him, "I use an Herbal Wormer made by Fir Meadows".
He gave me a smirk and a laugh, then proceeded to give me an earful on how all those herbal wormers are xx that do not work; especially here in Texas with all the drug resistant parasites. After the rant; he asked me if I wanted Cydecton, or some other chemical wormer to take home. I politely told him I would stick to the herbal stuff for now. He said, "Cynthia; I know you're new to goats, but the first time we get a big rain around here; you're going to have goats dropping dead from parasites if you try to rely on your herbal hoo-doo, voo-doo xx".
He was getting a little xx, and making me actually worry that maybe out here there herbal stuff wouldn't be enough, so I said, "ok, well could you do a fecal on the two goats here today, just so I know what our parasite load is currently like?" He smiled and said "I think that's a great idea", and I know he was hoping the goats were loaded to prove herbal wormers were indeed xx.
So he took the samples, ran the tests, and when he came back in the exam room, his face was as red as a tomato. He said, "I can't believe I'm saying this, but keep using that herbal wormer....BOTH of your goats had a parasite count of ZERO, which in 25 years, I've never seen." It was priceless, and he has never brought up wormer to me again, LOL!!
Then, we have a doe who had twins in early May, twins were weaned mid-August, but since then, this doe has been losing weight like crazy. I kept upping her food, but she was not putting on weight. I was perplexed and starting to panic. On Wednesday I noticed she had lumps on both sides of her jaw, and I opened her mouth to find she was packing her cud inside her cheeks. Called our vet, who said it sounded like a tooth problem, and to bring her in Thursday, but he was going to be out of town so we would have to see a vet we had never seen at the clinic.
Took our goat "LB" to the clinic yesterday, and sure enough, she had a cracked tooth that was rotting, so the vet pulled it, and so far, so good. The new vet was a lady who's son used to raise dairy goats for
4-H, and since she was very familiar with goats, she said, "Do you mind if I run a fecal test? I just want to make sure everything is good since Lexi lost so much weight so fast." I said sure, I'd love to know what her fecal count is!
Vet ran the test, came out and said, "Um, what in the world are you worming with? Lexi's parasite count is ZERO! I ran the test three times, because I thought something was wrong. I've been a vet for 19 years, and a goat with a zero parasite count in Texas is just unheard of!!"
I told her I used Fir Meadow's Herbal Wormer, and her jaw dropped. She had to run take care of a dog with a rattlesnake bite, but as she was running down the hall, she yelled over her shoulder, "Cynthia! Please leave the name of the herbal wormer you use with the receptionist!!"
So now your wormer has completely shocked two of the vets at our clinic, LOL!!! :)"
The answer, according to this customer and her veterinarians is Yes. My note is that you need to make sure you are using the right products in the right doses for the right parasites and that you are using them frequently enough for the level of challenge on your property and level of wellness/infestation of your animals. Then yes! We have several Master of Herbology products for you to view on our website- DWorm A (stomach worms, tapeworms), GI Soother (coccidia and barberpole (Hc) , DWorm MLL (tincture - liver/lung/menengial), DWorm H (tincture- heartworm),and HerBiotic (normally for bacterial, viral, microbial, fungal, yeast but also helpful for giardia).
Lovely, just lovely" were my thoughts as a kid as I tediously scraped pale gold colored eggs from my pale gold colored pony's legs, flanks, withers and shoulder areas. Had I left them on my pony (Sunshine); she would have ingested them as she itched her legs. Now that we're back in bot country I'll be having to deal with them again. Here is a great alternative approach to dealing with these nutrient stealing, stomach tissue ulcerating parasites.
I like to have my equine companion at a hitching post or cross tie area while working on removing eggs. The reason is that any eggs attached to hairs that happen to get dropped to the ground is still an egg that could get ingested to restart the lifecycle. So I definately want my horse away from areas they may eat or graze. I take a quart of very warm just over 100 degrees water and add some lavender, oregano and clove essential oil (7 drops of each of oils that are our strength) we have those on our website if you don't have them. http://www.firmeadowllc.com/store/c3/Essential_Oils.html
Then I soak my cloth well in the very warm mix hold onto a leg or wherever the eggs are until eggs and/or larvae are coming off on the cloth and hatching. Once they get enough oil contact they will die. I then rerinse the cloth in the very warm water and repeat in a new location. This should be done every other day until you've done three sets as eggs may mature at different times for hatch depending on bot species. If you want to run a trial by doing your first soak without the oils to get an idea of how long it takes on your animal and water temperature for larvae to be moving onto the cloth you can. It can be as little as 25 or 30 seconds or as much as a couple minutes depending on water temperature (outdoor temperature affects how long your water stays warm enough) as well as cleanliness and thickness of hair.
You can mix 3 drops of each of those three oils into 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil and smooth that onto any remaining eggs for inbetween your soaks.
I also make sure my horses are current on parasite products. Of course here at Fir Meadow we use our herbal DWorm A. I just mix it in their mash and feed. EZ.
Herb Mix DWorm A 16 oz (all creatures) Click to buy it now if you like. Great for pregnant mares and foals too!
B Very Blessed!
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.