by Courtney Ingham
Working for Joette has been such a blessing to my homestead here in Western New York. With kidding season under my belt for the year, a great moment of pause sweeps over our still wintery acreage, and I am thrilled to take this moment to share our philosophy on natural animal husbandry, along with some important homeopathic antidotes from Joette that have helped us resolve issues in our animals time and again.
We’ve long had an ear to natural wellness and living a nourished life here on our farm. But there was a time when finding the knowledge to address diseases and acute conditions was not at my fingertips, and we would succumb to the occasional expensive vet call. When I started working for Joette, I immediately began filing away protocols for helping my animals and family through rough patches.
Now, we nearly exclusively treat our animals with homeopathy, with the occasional use of some essential oils and a few choice herbs. I’m excited to share this information because I find homesteaders so open to homeopathy. It offers a level of self-sustainability that we resonate with, while ensuring health without the often detrimental side-effects. Homeopathy enables the immune system to function appropriately, while the overuse of chemical wormers and antibiotics causes resistant bacteria and parasites that are troublesome to resolve easily–and nothing that we want to be bothered with. We also choose homeopathy because we appreciate that the remedies offer a sustainable medicine which does not expire.
Essential oils certainly have their place on our farm, mostly for cleaning and occasional topical use. I’ve found homeopathy to be so curative that honestly, my little remedies scattered around the house and barn render other drugs unnecessary. What else do I appreciate about homeopathy? I like that we are usually never bothered by the ailment again. Even herbs can have side effects and often have to be used long-term to get results. There are also many herbs that I would never give to a pregnant doe or young kid. Homeopathy is gentle yet effective. It can be used on pregnant animals and kids without pause, and there is no need to discard milk when using them; another huge benefit.
Applying homeopathic remedies to animals is quite easy, as I’ve learned from Joette. Most protocols used to treat human conditions are interchangeable with animals. When treating our goats acutely, we usually administer remedies orally. Another way we offer remedies is in the goats’ drinking water.
If you are a homesteader, listen up: here is Part One of Homeopathy on the Homestead. We’ll cover parasites, eye and skin issues and anxiety issues here, and in Part Two, we’ll discuss joint and tendon problems, how to address Fowl Cholera, treating pneumonia and using homeopathy to address boils and abscesses in animals.
Common Farm Animal Issues and Their Homeopathic Solutions:
We regularly examine the mouth and gums of our goats and compare them with the FEMACHA chart, and we also conduct fecal exams when necessary so we can stay ahead of the parasites. We do use an herbal wormer which I make myself, but I have found that the easiest and most effective solution for a worm load is Cina. Joette recommended that I use Cina 3x. I had a goat with an overwhelming Coccidia load when she was first purchased. Once I employed Cina however, I was quickly met with a goat who was better able to put on weight and in better general condition. We saw an improvement in her milk output immediately. We also offer diatomaceous earth to our ruminant friends, free choice, as it is high in minerals and also helps eliminate certain parasites.
Pink eye is common in farm animals. For several weeks I was using eyebright in tea form, an herb well known to help fight conjunctivitis, to no avail. When I wasn’t seeing the results I was looking for, I asked Joette for a remedy. She immediately came back with the recommendation that I try Euphrasia officinalis 30C, due to the clear and watery nature of the infection. Euphrasia is actually the homeopathic counterpart of Eyebright, potentized in the homeopathic method, making it more powerful yet gentle. Joette also suggested that I use Hepar sulph 30 every three hours until improvement while dropping a diluted (1:25) Euphrasia tincture directly into the eye. Within three days, a resistant case of pink eye was history.
There are so many skin issues that affect farm animals. Following are just a few of the more common ones for starters.
Poison Ivy and Poison Oak:
Poison Ivy and Poison Oak can affect farm animals in similar ways that it can humans. The most common remedy needed for this is Anacardium orientale 30c. You would want to begin with this remedy and only move on to another option if no improvement is evident after several doses. If you find you have an animal particularly sensitive to Poison Ivy that seems to acquire the rash when they are anywhere near the plant, it may be of benefit to use the remedy Rhus toxicodendron 30C prophylactically, one day per week for one month to minimize the intensity of the exposure.
An animal suffering from Eczema is offering important information about their gut health. Skin problems are a sign that the body is driving something away from the vital organs out through the skin. Interfering with that process can often drive the issue back inside, leading to more serious problems in the future, or at the very least, a relapse in symptoms. Instead, look to Petroleum 200c used once every three days, especially when the issue is present during the winter months.
Fleas can be a pesky nuisance and some animals are more prone to them than others. We’ve successfully treated our goats by giving them a shave, applying an essential oil blend of cedarwood, lavender, and lemon while administering Staphysagria, 30, twice a day.
If, like us, you have an animal afraid of thunderstorms or shy and overwhelmed by people, you may want to consider one of my all-time favorite remedies for animals: Ignatia. Giving my nervy goat Ignatia 200 twice a day for a few weeks completely changed her disposition as a shy and anxious animal, to a calmer, more trusting one. It can rain and thunderstorm all day and we don’t hear a peep out of her anymore. Nor does she shy away from the kids when snack time comes around.
I hope I have convinced you that homeopathy has an important place on the homestead. Stay tuned for Part Two of Homeopathic Animal Husbandry on the Homestead.
Yes, we know that homeopathy is effective, safe and gentle. But many of you tell me it is too difficult to learn and be effective in treating your family’s simple emergencies.
Problem solved: Watch this short video I’ve produce, because what I am about to show you is like nothing I have ever talked about, offered, or shared with you before.