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!


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