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!
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.