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
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!
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Be ABUNDANTLY BLESSED :)
Whole herb products for your ENTIRE family!
About every two weeks I'll get an email asking me how to get herbs down my horse, livestock creature, poultry or pets. Here are some various, but not all ways, to get herbs into them. BTW- my book, "The Accessible Pet, Equine and Livestock Herbal" covers this topic and much more in it's over 500 pages written to help you in your quest to have healthier creatures. Click here to purchase a book from me.
For pets & livestock the simplest is to mix the herbs with some wet food for them to just eat. Some people mix with black strap molasses, mashed banana, raw applesauce (can add a dash of cinnamon), organic peanut butter, smoothie (NO GRAPES FOR DOGS), a bit of fish, vegetable broth, meat broth, olive oil, etc.
For pets and livestock that will not eat herbs that way then making herb balls (blog on how to make) and giving them like a pill will be your other option. Of course salves are infused herbs that are applied topically for tissue issues. Appropriate for issue herb powders can be poured onto wounds.
The easiest way to work with Poultry & Games & Ratites depends on your personality. Some people like to make an infusion (herb tea that is lidded and steeped for 15+ minutes) with LayNLayer tm (click here) or other products and add that to their drinking water. HerBiotic tm is often fed this way when bacterial or viral issues show up in the flock or in the geographical area (click here). The amount of herbs you use will be to estimate your total bird weight in that pen. For example a group of 10 chickens at 5 lbs per bird weight will give you a 50 lb animal for dosage. If you use this method BE SURE that your animals continue to drink well and that the water is changed out and the container cleaned every single day to avoid growing a harmful bacterial experiment. You can keep your fresh infusion for up to three days in the refrigerator.
The other way, which is what works best for me, is to mix a bit of a liquid (such as in the pet section) with some feed and serve that. This works real well for starting chicks and baby birds of all types with GI Soother tm (click here for GI Soother) and Better Daze tm (click here). This method also assures me that my birds will drink their water since I haven't tampered with it's taste.
Adding an infusion (herbal tea) to water is the easiest way to give herbs to Rabbits,Cavies,Specialty Birds,Reptiles, Fish & Bees. Just like in the bird's section one will take the total estimated weight of the creatures and use that amount of herb with some water to make an infusion (herbal tea). If you are putting the tea into a water bottle with a roller tip be sure to strain the herbs out well so it doesn't jam the bearing. If you are adding herbs for overall nutritional reasons or being proactive start getting your animals used to the tea by adding only a little bit into their water so that they continue to drink well. For animals that are sick or otherwise needing the herbs now you may need to use an eye dropper and feed them some tea, extract or tincture. Ill fish can be put into a smaller tank and the tea can be added to their water. Bees should have a small amount of tea added to their drinking water or an appropriate amount of essential oil (very low doses- start with one drop) put on cotton balls and put in the hive.
Livestock often will drink infusions in their water and this works well if you limit them in their tank to just a bit more than the amount of water they will drink in a day. Be sure to stir your infusion (tea) well into the water and that everyone continues to drink the herb water.
Because I like to KNOW that my livestock are getting the herbs I want them to get I tend to make dosage balls and serve them, or add herbs mixed with a liquid to their grain / sprouts or in a difficult case I will mix the herbs with just enough liquid for it to draw easily into a drenching syringe (buy here) and then carefully drench (administer liquids orally) them. I also will mix some herbs with kelp and leave the kelp in mineral feeders which works great for small livsetock. For my horses I prefer to add their herbs with kelp to a mash (bran or grains, black strap molasses and warm/hot water). My pregnant mares, goats and alpacas never receive mu-se or bo-se injections. I just keep them on our whole herb product Kop-Sel tm which I serve with their kelp. Buy Kop-Sel tm here. Often times I will have herbs mixed in kelp in the bottom of the feed dishes for my milkers. While they are on the milkstand they have the option of eating their herbed kelp after they finish their feed if they want any. Often they do.
Here's to abundant wellness for your home, farm & ranch!
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.
Here's a real easy nectar to make for your hardworking fliers that will give them minerals, vitamins and antioxidants!
See how pretty it looks. If I didn't tell you this wasn't made with red food coloring and nasty excitotoxin refined white sugar would you know?
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.