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
All of you in the cold snap areas please remember to bundle yourselves well and stay safe. You will need extra calories to stay warm. Protect your skin! Please make sure your animals (even pigs) have extra grass hay accessible to help them create warmth and deep bedding.
Be sure they are in areas where the wind and weather can stay off of them and not blow in from the sides. Some overhead fresh air movement is good- I like mine at the eight foot level so it's not near me when standing or my stock.
Fragile, old, or very young animals may need to be in a heated area such as a milkroom, tackroom area, enclosed heatable stall or even a back porch or extra bathroom (40 degrees for a room is plenty warm as long as they have good food and bedding). Be extremely wary of heat lamps which are responsible for many barn fires. They can shatter if they fall, if an animal bumps into one, or if an animal shakes their head and spashes water droplets on it.
Offer warm water to drink if possible with black strap molasses (not feed store, but health food store) in it for more b vitamins. You can also put a large pinch of cayenne herb powder per large goat, a small pinch per small goat in their water to help them with endurance, more b's and help warm their core more and support their heart. Fragile animals can be carefully drenched with their cayenne if you mix it with one or two ounces of water.
BIG HUGS From All of us at Fir Meadow LLC
But even worse than that is to not be prepared for one! There are natural product orders we receive every week where it would have been more helpful for our customer to have had the products on hand before they needed it and often would have reduced stress and suffering if it were already on hand. Often it also would have saved a consultation fee. I'll list a few of those here for you. Remember that in acute situations it is best to herb hourly or every other hour at the longest interval during waking hours (but get at least 4 doses in before bedtime) and continue the following day if you didn't get a waking day of dosing in). These products are Master of Herbology formulated, high quality and can be used for any species or stage of pregnancy or lactation. No meat or milk withdrawals.
The first one that always comes to mind (and yours if you've read my book is CAYENNE! Not just any cayenne, but ideally 40,000 heat unit cayenne and medicinal quality. There is no medicinal benefit to go hotter, so to me it's not worth traumatizing my pet, livestock or family member with anything hotter. I use this to stimulate the heart to wake back up as well as for heart emergencies, for bleeding, for hemorrhaging, to get new baby animals to clear additional fluids from their sinus, bronchial, lungs, for shock, hypothermia and more. Just about every situation one could face will benefit from this very inexpensive but very important herb. We keep it in the kitchen, milk room, tack box, stock trailers, first aid kit and vehicles. It's available in extract and in herb powder form from us at Herb Mixes & Supplies. (Click on the blue link for this and the other herb mixes).
ColicNBloat™ herb mix is a very good friend if your beloved creature is facing either a bloat episode or colicking. You can diluted and use our Peppermint essential oil externally at the same time. Essential oils can be purchased here: Essential Oils .
ClostridEaze™ herb mix is very important to keep on hand if you have small ruminants and certainly can be kept on hand for other types of animals experiencing enterotoxemia or acidosis from getting into too much of a food they aren't used to such as a hay change that is much richer or a different type or a grain raid.
DBug™ salve is used for toxic or annoying bites and stings. If you get it on quickly it will give the body what it needs to pull a lot of toxins out fast. Salves are found here: Herbal Salves Skin Hair
DTox™ herb mix help support the body and gives it what it needs in the event of consuming a toxic plant material as long as you give it fast enough. It also helps support organs often damaged by these potential toxins.
DVenom™ extract is given in the case of bites or stings from a venomous creature. It helps the body to break down the amino acids comprising the poison and helps support body organs often put under additional stress from these types of incidents. Extracts & Infusions are found here: Tinctures & Extracts
Fresh Start™ herb mix besides giving kidney and liver support is is a must have support in the event of mold poisoning which can be found in hays or feeds that were improperly harvested or stored.
GI Soother ™ herb mix is useful in situations of diarrhea from bacterial cause in the GI tract. It also supports the body in coccidiosis and barberpole worm attacks. It is much better to be proactive than reactive so is a good product to feed regularly to young stock or older stock before a problem arises.
HerBamine™ extract is used in situations such as injuries where pain or inflammation may be a problem. It can also be used for routine herd maintenance such as castrating or disbudding (horn removal).
HerBiotic™ herb mix, salve, extract. These are used in situations that involve viral, bacterial, microbial, fungal or yeast opportunists to support your creature and enable them to deal with the problem better.
Ketomix™ herb mix is useful in situations of Ketosis or Pregnancy Toxemia. Vital support during these metabolic challenges along with nutrition to support the body systems under additional distress.
Wounderful!™ salve is a wonderful companion for burns of all types, superficial to deep injuries including flesh, tendons, hoof cracks, nerves and bones. It supplies the nutrition the body would like to have to get up and going on the healing process.
UdderBlast™ infusion is useful support when dealing with Mastitis. This is definately a product you will wish you had on hand ahead of a problem, instead of having to wait 2 to 3 days to receive it by mail. Often used together with HerBiotic™ herb mix.
BetterDaze™ herb mix and MMune™ Support herb mix can be used as additional nutritional support in any situations.
And last but never least- My book- The Accessible Pet, Equine and Livestock Herbal will walk you through most emergencies and how I would handle them if I were in the same situation with my animal(s). Since emergencies seem to often happen after hours, before hours or on weekends /holidays having this book on hand will save you a lot of time and consultation fees.
BE VERY BLESSED :)
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Per the FDA we must note that the words "diagnose, cure, prevent or treat" can't be used with herbs or natural products.
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!
I used to have that problem too. Cold feet during chores or running errands is just plain miserable and does make one have to work harder at not being grumpy or short with others. Here are some ways to work with cold feet whether it's just plain cold outside, you have to sit for long periods of time where it's cold or you have poor circulation from diabetes, injuries or other causes.
One of the things I encourage people to take is cayenne. Cayenne will stimulate circulation and help heat your body's core. We even use it in situations such as hypothermia! Make sure you take it with plenty of food or liquid in your stomach as cayenne sitting on your stomach's lining won't hurt you, but it certainly does burn. Sometimes I drink some in a tall glass of water, often I take it as a capsule. We have both powder and herb capsule forms at 40,000 heat units on our website. There is no medicinal benefit of going hotter, so I keep the minimum heat unit needed on hand.
Ginger. Ginger tea, ginger root and ginger capsules (capsules and powder are on our site) also stimulates circulation. Try not to take any after late afternoon. Since it encourages circulation to the extremities including the brain, it can also make you more alert than you want to be at bedtime.
Those with an inactive thyroid may also experience cold feet and may get chilled faster than other people around them. Some may have average body temperatures even a degree below 'normal'. Besides some of these other suggestions in this article you may want to consider getting Herbal Thyroid capsules on this site. If you are on medication for thyroid then you also will need to have your levels monitored by your doctor within a week of starting these so that your medications can be adjusted as your thyroid receives the support it's been needing. I also recommend Vitalerbs capsules or herb powder as I've found most people with underactive thryoids are also mineral deficient. All of these products are available on our site under the human supplements pages.
Hats. Yes, keeping your head & ears covered can actually help you keep more heat in your body since about 90% of your heat loss goes right off the top of your head. Your feet are more likely to be warmer if your head is staying covered. Our alpaca hats are so soft that one can even sleep in them if that increases your comfort at night.
Socks. Since no one is currently farming and harvesting polar bear hair, which is the warmest natural fiber known, we offer Alpaca fiber socks. Alpaca is the second warmest natural fiber and of course is farmable and sustainable. It is also stronger than wool, lighter weight than wool, very soft and considered hypoallergenic as there is no lanolin content to alpaca. We offer alpaca blend socks which allows them to be machine washable and have an even longer life. They can even be worn to bed to help keep feet warm at night. They make a WONDERFUL gift to yourself or someone you love for those that like practical yet thoughtful gifts. We have several choices of alpaca products on this website and can special order in other items such as sweaters at request.
Wishing you a warm & cozy fall and winter!