It's a hot one out there today!
Be sure your animals have access to plenty of fresh cool water during the heat. If you have a chest freezer you can freeze gallon liter jugs of water and then place the frozen jug into their water container, then pull after it's melted, dry and refreeze. Be sure to rinse the container a bit before putting in the water so that you don't release microplastics into their water. If you have a shade source or can plant a tree to become one for long term planning it also helps your water stay cooler and your ice last longer. Some of them like our alpacas and guardian dogs have enjoyed lying down in kiddie pools or splash. We've also had a mare that liked to splash.
If livestock or poultry start mouth breeding they are TOO HOT. There have been a few times at shows where I have literally led my goats out one at a time and hosed them off. One fair it was 114 degrees in the barn and I had to hose each goat over their body twice and me a few times because walking moves muscle which generates heat.
Feeding kids or lambs with a lamb bar/ baby bucket? Give them an extra bucket at least 2 hours after or before their last / next milk feeding with cold filtered water to help them bring their core temperatures down quicker.
Avoid working your animals on hot days and during the hot times during the day. You and they will enjoy your time together much better if you can do it at dawn or dusk.
Some other things you can do is to give NONlactating animals peppermint tea in their drinking water, or Animals at least one years old you can dilute 1 - 3 drops -depending on size of animal- peppermint essential oil - again non lactating and not for feline use, in a spray bottle and spritz it on them (avoid eyes and body openings) or mix with 1 tsp of peppermint eo and put on them. If they are lactating substitute with Eucaplyptus globulus essential oil. I like animals to be at least 4 months old when I use that, but in an emergency will use it on younger creatures but cut the amount of essential oil to 1/4. Not for feline use as most essential oils will destroy their liver often in hours to days. We have essential oils at https://www.firmeadowllc.com/essential-oils-new.html
Shaving/clipping hair on animal bellies with a size ten blade on the clippers also helps them to shed more heat and is nice to do for animals living in hot climates or for unusually hot days. If your animal is fine haired you can still use a ten blade but go with the hair so that more hair is left on the animal. You don't want to shave them to bald skin as the hair is there to protect them. You can also use a 4 or 5 blade if you have that and go against the hair.
If you would like to top of their electrolytes I'm a big fan of coconut water for that. One can also use the fancier (More expensive) cactus waters and home juiced grapefruit juice works well too. IF your animal is on medications skip using grapefruit as it may make the medications ineffective. I use 1/4 cup for 150 lbs of animal or human that is otherwise healthy. More if they are having a heat episode (and cool quickly starting at their feet with cold water or ice water) and working up the legs to the body while keeping them in the shade or making shade over them (such as holding a tarp over them). When helping animals be sure you watch the humans too- a red face or worse purple indicates a very overheated person which is EXTREMELY dangerous for your BRAIN and of course body- cool them NOW. Don't wait that long. Stay on water and electrolytes well before then and out of the sun.
Misters placed in the air helps reduce air temperature feel by about 5 degrees Fahrenheit and using inexpensive box fans in barns also helps reduce heat issues. Be sure than any electrical chords are unable to be reached by animals and watch for tripping hazards when stretching cords across aisleways. Access to shade goes without saying.
Stressed animals from the heat? Take a look at our MMUNE(tm) Herb Mix to help their immune systems deal with the stress: https://www.firmeadowllc.com/store/p874/Herb_Mix_MMune_%28tm%29__immune_system_support__8_oz.html
Getting ready to breed? LOVE using BetterDaze(tm) herb mix to keep bodies topped off with this amazing nutritional supplement : https://www.firmeadowllc.com/store/p418/Herb_Mix_BetterDaze%E2%84%A2__8_oz.html
BEES are getting to be boogers this time of year. At our family camp two kids got nailed just two hours apart by wasps. And one was a neck sting that started swelling because neck and head stings react faster due to blood supply. In those situations I use cayenne internally for any potential shocky types of issues and plantain or plantain salve (available on my other website- discountdrchristopher.com) It was amazing how fast both stings quit hurting the kids and how fast the swelling started receding- making it impossible to see where they were stung a few hours later. GREAT to keep on hand for pets, people and your barnyard.
Stay safe on those hot days!
Blessings All! K
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!
See our website at www.firmeadowllc.com for high quality thoughtfully blended products for your creature with love and a Master's degree in herbalism behind every bag!
Most emergency sites give you plenty of data for your human family which should be headed. But very few cover additional information for those with farm stock. As we are preparing for the severe wind and rain leftovers of a typhoon riding the jet stream to us from Asia; many additional preparations have had to be addressed. I'll share some of those with you here. By the way- a good link for the human side of things is :
For the last three days we have been rechecking fencelines, weighing down metal roofing and siding products, filling every stock tank we own to capacity which gives us enough water for about a week for our stock, raising the stall levels on our new barn to decrease the chance of water getting into the stalls, retarping and tying our temporary shelters as not all of our stock is in the barn, moving some small stock (our bucks and bucklings) into our stock trailers which will protect them from any branches (we are not expecting lightning, in which case the trailers wouldn't be a safe choice). We're also stocked up with cured wood at the house for our woodstove for cooking and warmth and our generator is ready to go including extra fuel for it for use in the house or with our milking equipment if needed.
We've also had to add additional t posts to temporary shelter sides and put additional ties in them to hold them strongly to the ground. The barn yard has been picked up from anything loose that could fly around including plastics left over from barn construction to prevent any animal from getting into contact with them and consuming them.
We are also in the process of retopping a few trees that are weak and a hazard of coming down onto farm buildings. Those happen to be some shallow rooted pine trees that were topped by a previous owner probably ten or more years ago. Our longterm plan for those is to remove them after we have other trees (deep rooted fir and cedar which can handle winds much better) as well as planting them several trees thick instead of the single tree line that takes the full brunt of weather from the north. Then those pretopped weakened pines will come down. We also have other tree lines planned to help cut wind action on our farm. Your county conservation district is a great resource for inexpensive trees. Fall is the time to get on the email or other contact lists as many have plant sales in the winter where one can buy bundles of 15 to 25 of trees and shrubs native to your area. This is where most of my western red cedar and douglas fir will come from, as well as wild crabapples, service berry, oso berry, etc.
Though I'm not expecting us to be without power for more than a day here, it is possible. We live at the 'end of the world' in the country (look up Sequim, WA for fun if you like), if bridges are damaged along an approximately two hour driving route or mudslides block roads along Hood Canal and some of the Pacific coast roads are damaged then we can get landlocked in. So besides making sure we have extra grain and hay on hand, water becomes very important. How much water do you need:
Though emergency sites want you to plan for three days, if you are rural you should plan for longer. At least a week for your human and critter supplies. This is for MODERATE weather. For weather warmer than seventy degrees additional water will be needed. Mini stock such as cattle etc can be figured as a percent of standard sized stock. Ie: if your mini beef cow weights 40% of it's standard component than multiply 40% by the daily water requirment for the standard animal to get their requirement.
Dogs and cat's: Plan for 1/2 quart (1 pound) of water PER TEN POUNDS of animal PER DAY. So a 60 pound dog is going to need 3 quarts of water. If it's a working dog, such as a guardian dog, then a 100 pound dog (some guardians are larger) is going to need about 25% more water so plan for 12.5 pounds of water, which is just over 1 1/2 gallons per day. So 1 pound of water per ten pounds, but a working dog should have at least 1.25 lbs per ten pounds of dog.
Horses/Mules: Plan for 5 to ten gallons per day depending on the size of your animal. Note that Warmbloods & large draft may need even more.
Donkey's: Six gallons per day.
Dairy Cows: Thirty to fifty gallons per day.
Beef Cows: Five to seven gallons per day.
Camelids: Two to five gallons per day (the upper end is for 70 degrees and warmer weather).
Sheep/Meat Goats: One to two gallons per day.
Dairy Goats/Dairy Sheep: One to two gallons PLUS what they are milking. If a goat is milking 12# per day (1 1/2 gallons) then she will need 2 +1.5 gallons = 3.5 gallons per day per milker. It's always better to save more water than you find you will need!
Pigs: One to two gallons per day. Remember that lactating sow will need more for her milk production!
Ratites: Three to Five gallons per bird per day.
Poultry: A laying hen will need one pound (1/2 quart or one pint) per day. Your ducks will also need water for a couple of hours every day to be able to work their oil glands to stay waterproof.
Because we have a clean metal roof on our barn (no bird poop on it) we are also able to rainbarrel from our gutters into our tanks if we need to. Ideally you want the first rains of the year to have already hit to clean dust and other foreign material off of your roof as well as to clean the air of any contaminants before you rainbarrel. A great device for this that you can install into your existing metal down spouts is called a downspout diverter. If you hook it up to a livestock tank float valve then it will shut off whenver your tank is full and redivert the water back through your downspout to the ground / drywell.
First Aid kit. Things I absolutely keep on hand are:
materials for splinting (paint stir sticks for small legs, house wood trim for larger legs).
cayenne tincture for shock, hypothermia or bleeding
cayenne powder to pour onto wounds or give internally for bleeding, shock.
HerBamine extract for pain/inflammation
Wounderful! salve for injuries or burns of any kind
GI Soother in case your animals get dirty or polluted water into their mouths.
HerBiotic salve for skin bacterial, fungal, yeast issues.
HerBiotic Herb mix for bacterial, fungal, viral, microbial (ie Giardia) issues.
Lung Support Tincture- for additional lung support from a weather event.
DWorm A- parasites often bloom after a water event (excessive rain or flooding)
And if you already don't have The Accessible Pet, Equine and Livestock Herbal- over 500 pages of herb and essential oil use it is excellent to have on hand- even if you would rather use a Vet or a medical clinic you may not have access to those during or after a weather event. This book may have to be relied on and yes- it can be used for humans!
Essential oils: Lemon, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree .
All of these can be purchased at www.firmeadowllc.com .
Some emergencies (wildfire, hurricanes, etc) may require you to evacuate your premises. Have an evacuation plan in place AHEAD of needing to utilize it. When we lived in wildfire prone areas we had a group of friends that we could call on to help evacuate livestock to our fairgrounds (or other predetermined safe palce) if needed, and they could call on us. We also had a priority list of what would go first and what would go into what trailer and what rig would be haul which trailer. Please note that you can't wait until the final evacuation notice to do this. AT that point it's time to get out immediately and they won't let non residents into the area to help. So once you get put on notice that there is the possibility of evacuating stock needs to be moved to wait it out. Much better to be safe than sorry.
I hope that none of you ever have to use this information, but reality says that many live in areas prone to events. Thankfully for us this is a rare happening- once every 1 to 2 decades of this magnitude. We wish all of you safety, warmth and wellness for you and your creatures!