Friday, June 22, 2012

Udderly Natural Care

There are a lot of options on the market when it comes to udder care for livestock. Many even claim to be "natural". For my goats, I wanted the most basic thing I could find that would actually work. Thankfully, I didn't have to look far.



For months, I've been using a couple of recipes I found on a really great blog, Freedom Acres Farm. And thankfully, I can report that we've not had one bit of problem with any udders around here! I really do think the wisdom of using the natural ingredients, along with thoroughly milking the goats out each time, has allowed our goats to be mastitis free. And Lord willing, they're remain that way!

The second recipe incorporates essential oils. After attending the Vintage Remedies on-line conference this month, I learned just how powerful these oils really are! I knew they had a few properties that were good for us, but I just didn't realize their full potential! Since then, I've decided to take the Family Herbalist course and learn even more (I like to know the why and how of things, I guess)!

Prior to milking, I wipe down the udder and teats with a baby wipe. I know that isn't particularly natural, is it? It's driving me nuts... using paper towels and/or baby wipes. None of it really has made me say "Ureka! That's it!". So I've succumbed to convenience until I find the right solution. (I think I better just get over it.)

Next, I milk and then follow with these much more natural solutions...

Udderly Natural Teat Spray

15-20 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE)
12 oz. water

Add water to a spray bottle and then add GSE. Shake gently before each use.

Notes: At Freedom Acre Farms, they use this recipe for cows and do it as a dip by putting it in a small dixie cup (4 oz. water with 5-7 drops GSE). For my very small goats (and only two at that), I felt I was wasting too much, so I purchased this excellent spray bottle from Hoegger Goat Supply that sprays upward rather than straight out. I just hold it under the udder along with the wipe I used prior to milking so as to catch the drips, and I spray.




Udderly Natural Daily Teat Balm

1 cup coconut oil
30 drops peppermint essential oil
30 drops tea tree essential oil

Incorporate essential oils into the coconut oil and place in a small mason jar (shallow with wide mouth is best). Apply after teat spray daily or as needed to prevent chaffing.

Note: I use this almost daily during the dry winter months, but if it isn't necessary, I won't use it. I also cut this recipe in half because it goes a long way and I'd rather make a fresh batch periodically.




For those concerned... I've never noticed that either of these formulas (or the cheap baby wipes) cause the milk to have an off taste. It makes me feel good knowing what's in it... every single ingredient.

I encourage you to visit Freedom Acre Farms and read more about their natural udder care for livestock, including a natural wipe prior to milking. These two recipes have certainly worked well... I'm sure their natural wipes do, too!

Thank you Freedom Acre Farm!

I'd love to hear about your natural udder care solutions!





34 comments:

  1. I always use GSE/water mixture for my teat spray. I use to use a vodka/water mix that works too! I will have to try this udder balm :) I bought a stack of colored wash cloths, so I know they're the goats wipes! They work great, and I just throw them in the wash daily.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I stumbled across this DIY for baby wipes.

    http://theehingers.blogspot.com/2010/10/homemade-baby-wipes.html

    Is it natural??
    Baby oil is mineral oil
    Baby shampoo - Aveeno makes a supposedly more natural product

    Hope this helps a bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know if the baby oil would be considered natural, but just the tip on cutting the paper towels in half and how she did it was EXCELLENT! Thanks for sending that link!

      Delete
    2. What would you use instead of baby oil?? I've always thought that was so gentle. Maybe I've been mistaken?

      Delete
    3. Little Bird, from what I've been able to find out, baby oil is just mineral oil with fragrance added. Mineral oil is a petroleum bi-product (actually distilled from petroleum). Also, it's interesting to note that mineral oil is a bit ambiguous and can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

      Since I'm cleaning an area in close contact with my food source, I'd say... not safe. Just my humble opinion.

      If anyone has better information on this, please chime in! We're here to learn from each other!

      Delete
  3. I have no idea if this would work for your goats, but I make my own wipe solution and use cloth wipes. You can find the recipe here http://www.townsend-house.com/2012/02/cloth-wipes-and-wipe-solution-recipe.html And you could just use old rags and wash them separately :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heather, Seems like those ingredients would do a good job and I have all of them on hand! I'll give this a try using the system A Little Bird linked to at http://theehingers.blogspot.com/2010/10/homemade-baby-wipes.html.
      Thanks for the link!

      Delete
  4. What a great post! I absolutely LOVE your blog and find it so inspiring. My husband and I are (trying) to buy our first home and have so many dreams of slowly becoming more and more self-sufficient.

    I've ALWAYS preferred herbal/homeopathic remedies, but often feel like some of the info I find online is incomplete or contradictory. I'm currently pregnant and teach natural childbirth education. When you mentioned the "Family Herbalist" course I instantly was interested and found they have a course for birth professionals! I can't wait to add it to my continuing education!

    Loving your blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you sign up, I'd be grateful if you use the link in this post or the Vintage Remedies link on my sidebar since I'm an affiliate. And if you blog, you could become an affiliate, too!!

      Delete
  5. This is my two cents...Kirkland (Costco) paper towel sheets are much bigger than baby wipes and cheaper too! They hold up well in water.

    You should consider whatever you use as a SINGLE USE wipe. Do not use the wipe you used initially again after milking (or any other time)

    It sounds like you are not using any disinfectant before milking, but consider what they have been lying on/in. You need to disinfect the udder BEFORE milking so that the bacteria isn't in your milk. (GSE is great for that!)

    LOVE your recipe for the udder balm. I'm sure it smells tons better than Bag Balm or the like!A drop or two of lavender EO would be good to add too for it's anti-everything properties. I hope this encourages you. :-) Happy milking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you're absolutely right on the cost and size being larger. Check out this neat way A Little Bird linked to for making them "dispense" - although I wouldn't use the baby oil recipe. http://theehingers.blogspot.com/2010/10/homemade-baby-wipes.html

      Thanks for the tips, too. I know you've had some experience with this and I really appreciate your advice!

      Delete
  6. Thanks for sharing about this. I was surprised when we got goats a year ago that many use a 'bleach dip'. We found this recipe
    http://www.onthegreenfarms.com/natural-animal-care/how-to-make-a-natural-disinfectant-teat-spray-for-your-milking-goats/
    on Green Acres farm. It has worked great!
    I will check out your links, too. We are down to only milking one goat presently, and I have never noticed an 'off' taste with the essential oils.
    We've also had good success with Molly's Herbals (Mo's milk) for milking does along with the Diamond V Yeast Culture. Without breeding last fall our doe is STILL milking 3/4 of a gallon each morning :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loe Molly's herbals and we use the Mo Milk, too. I have heard about the Diamond V Yeast Culture, but haven't tried it yet. I need to see if they have it locally...

      Delete
  7. Thanks for the information. I found a recipe for goat wipes.... don't know where but it uses paper towels rolls cut in half esiential oils, dawn dishwashing liquid, baby oil.... i really like it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hmmm, my first comment seems to have disappeared, or otherwise not shown up... :-/ Trying this again, thanks for the great tips and ideas!! :) I currently have seven goats and one cow (working up to 3-5 cows and 15-20 goats), and am also an herbalist. I always enjoy finding new ways to keeping the milking stuff natural. The usual bleach/iodine dilution has been to hard on my girls, so I may try the GSE mix.

    ReplyDelete
  9. We use a clean rag (that's washed and recycled) to wash before hand in hot water with a drop of liquid dish soap and also a drop of Thieves essential oil: http://www.youngliving.com/thieves-essential-oil/Thieves-Oil. As an aside, sometimes irritations in the udder are due to laying on urine-soaked bedding. Simply freshening the stall daily goes a long way.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your recipe say Grape Seed Extract, but your picture has Grape Fruit Seed Extract. They are different, is the picture the correct one?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good catch! Thanks for pointing it out... It's GrapeFRUIT seed extract. Sorry I wrote it up wrong.

      Delete
  11. Thank you so much for visiting and linking to my blog! We have been on a crusade to be chemical free, plastic free, and paper free - we are so close to succeeding :-)

    A small update on my post that you linked to: we have since dropped the paper towels and I have cut up t-shirts, scrap flannel, and even some fleece into nice sized squares. We use one (or sometimes several) to clean her up depending on how dirty she is. We NEVER dip a used wipe into the clean dish soap water that containes GSE. Then once a week I wash them up in our washtub. So I wash the family wipes after one load and the cow wipes after another load of people clothes.

    So glad you could glean something useful from my blog. I've had both writers block AND total overwhelming homestead work lately and haven't been posting as I'd like. So many self sufficient things going on at our homestead but no time to blog about them LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad to spread the word about your blog and great idea! And I totally get the "no time to blog" thing! But just think of all the ideas you'll have gleaned from your hard work when winter comes and things slow down a bit. You'll have tons to blog about!

      Delete
    2. Help! I use your recipes for balm and fly repellent...but your blog is down. Can I get them here?

      Delete
  12. This is fantastic! Thank you for posting about this as I've been doing research about this topic lately. :) Love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi and was wondering what you folks think about drinking raw milk! Richard

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Richard,
      So glad you asked! I love this topic and I've written several posts which you can find here: http://homesteadrevival.blogspot.com/search/label/Raw%20Milk

      Just a few posts with my humble opinion :-)

      Delete
  14. I think that's really awesome that there are natural care products for animals, just like for humans!!! I'm glad your goats respond well to the spray that you made for them :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather ;)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've been using Vetericyn teet spray. I was so pleased to find your recipe, I'd prefer organic and I'm betting it won't be $30 per bottle. I use baby wipes with a spritz of VTS to clean before and then when I'm done milking and stripping I give a final strip and hold the end of the teet and spritz again with VTS. No germs will get in my girls teets! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I just started making my own udder balm using sweet almond oil infused with lemon balm, mallow and elder flowers. After three days I strain the herbs out and warm the oil and add beeswax and Vit. E oil(preservative) to make a salve. Pour into a small mason jar until set. I just started following your blog and love it.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I really like microfiber towels for wiping, they seem to be the least abrasive. There is also a lot of recent data saying that vitamin D is really effective in the treatment and prevention of mastitis

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great ideas! And come over to my site and enter my 1 year blogversary giveaway! :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. this is great! Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I hate to be the party pooper here, but grape fruit seed extract is actually not all that natural or safe. The reason for it's antibacterial properties is the manufacturing process it has to go through in order to get the "extract" - it is not like an essential oil. The by product of this process is Benzethonium chloride, which is quite toxic.

    More info here;
    http://www.terressentials.com/exposure.html
    http://www.terressentials.com/benzethoniumgse.html

    However, something that truly is natural and effective against broad spectrum microbes is the four thieves essential oil blend. It has actually been tested and proven effective;

    http://www.secretofthieves.com/bacteria.cfm

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I hope this is helpful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :-( I think you're right that it may be an issue unless one is REALLY sure of the source. I also read here : http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400888/Is-Grapefruit-Seed-Extract-Any-Good.html

      HOWEVER... Mountain Rose Herbs has a grapefruit seed extract that has tested benzethonium chloride free: http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/grapefr.php

      I'll use there grapefruit seed extract in the future or I'll try the four thieves essential oil blend that you mentioned... I'm very interested in the use of essential oils and am excited about trying more. Thanks for helping out, Rachel!!

      Delete
  21. what do you guys think of putting the GSE drops into vinegar rather than water? would that increase the disinfecting properties AND would it be safe and good for my Annabelle? thanks in advance for any responses. I am trying to go all natural with her!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting Homestead Revival™! Please feel free to contribute to the conversation by leaving your comments. "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear." Eph. 4:29

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails