Natural Remedies for Farm Animals… (and Farmers) – #1

an Ounce of Prevention is worth a Pound of Cure  – Benjamin Franklin


Nothing beats prevention (dry bedding, ventilation, a balanced routine, high quality feed, etc.) but sometimes our best efforts are not enough. We are human after all!

Below are several natural remedies that really work for our home and farm – I hope you’ll be able to find ways to incorporate them into your farm and home as well.

Natural Remedies that Work!

slippery elm

Uses: Suitable for humans and all types of animals. The Inner bark of slippery elm coats, soothes and stimulates mucous membranes. This allows for better absorption of fluids, reducing dehydration. Slippery elm also reduces pain in the intestinal tract.

Dosage: 1-3 capsules or 1 tsp. to 1 Tbsp. Start with the lowest dose. Increase if needed. Depending on how watery of diarrhea, can give a higher dose or use in more frequent intervals.

  • For Animals: A small amount usually works within a few hours, and a repeat dose can be given. I tend to start with the equivalent of one or two capsules for most small animals. I haven’t used it on large animals yet.
  • For humans: One or two capsules is sufficient for almost all situations. If I’m still feeling off, I’d rather repeat a small dose a few hours later rather than take one high dose.
  • Note: Too high of a dose will slow digestion significantly, making for an uncomfortable tummy as it passes through. Try to use the smallest dose possible that gives suitable relief.

Administration: Always take with lots of fluids! Recommended fluids: 8 ounces per capsule.

  • For humans: Take capsule one hour away from food or medication. I usually take it when I wake up in the morning or after I’m done eating in the evening. If using the loose powder, I put a teaspoon’s worth under my tongue, then drink some water and swish it in my mouth, then swallow and finish drinking the water.
  • For animals: Place capsule in the mouth of the calf, lamb, etc. and then immediately drink/feed a feeding of milk or warm water of at least 8 ounces (if giving less fluids to a small animal, use a half dose of slippery elm). Can also be fed to young animals diluted in a mid-day bottle of warm milk or water.
  • For animals not on a bottle or bucket, a tea can be made and squirted in the back of their mouth slowly as they swallow. Tea recipe: Combine 1 cup hot water with 1 Tbsp. shredded bark (not powder, but rather the bark shavings). Steep 10-15 minutes, strain. Give 15 cc to adult animals/humans or 5-6 cc to small animals/humans (under 50#).

Frequency: Once or twice a day. Mild cases may resolve with as few as one or two days of use. Slippery elm can be used for up to several days for severe cases, but should not be used long term.

Other info: Slippery elm can slow the absorption of drugs, so take slippery elm on its own, one hour or more away from meals or medicines.

Case Study:

In my second year as a shepherd, a one month old ram lamb came down with a quick case of scours. I freaked out (lambs die easily, everyone says!) and called a fiber friend (a friend from my fiber guild). She suggested slippery elm. Ahah, I had some of that (my massage therapist recommended it to me and it nearly saved my own life from severe intestinal issues). I gave the lamb ONE dose and within 24 hours the lamb was back to normal stool!

I’ve told a lot of people about slippery elm and several people have reported back to me that they really appreciate knowing about it, as it’s helped their symptoms. One person got sick during travel, but had slippery elm and was back to normal within 12 hours. Slippery Elm is handy to keep around for a multitude of uses.


Up next … Probiotics


Please comment here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s