Mineral Deficiencies

Mineral deficiencies can be an opening for parasites and pests. You can have your soil tested and have custom minerals blended for your stock.

“Getting a good balance to your minerals (is a preventative). Most minerals contain iron which most livestock get in excess already. Excessive iron causes metabolic problems as well as secondary copper and zinc deficiency. Many livestock are deficient in copper. Copper is a necessary nutrient for the immune system, and a huge factor with intestinal worms. It will also make for more healthy skin, coat and feet, easier birthings, less mastitis, straighter legs, stronger tendons/ligaments, less milk fever.. the list goes on.” (Random Post)


Keep your grass taller than 6″ so grazing cows don’t eat parasites. You can take a few bulbs (not cloves, bulbs) and chop up and mix some molasses with it and feed a couple times a day for a few days for cattle.

Black Walnut leaves and nut shucks are said to be a de-wormer, but will or can kill horses.

“In the book The Healthy House Cow, cow-guru Marja says cows can be wormed for intestinal parasites using two full bulbs of garlic, once per month (per cow, I take it). House Cow is wormed with Garlic

“Garlic is a common plant de-wormer (someone adds that it takes experience to use effectively). It must be used, however, as prevention (prophylaxis) rather than as treatment or with other products. In fact, garlic does not prevent the production of eggs but prevents the eggs of certain parasites from developing into larvae. …

“Wormwood … Wild Ginger … Goosefoot … Conifers … Crucifers … Cucurbits … Fern … Lupine … Nuts … Umbelliferae … Pyrethrum … Tobacco … Tansy … Other plants … Surfactants … Copper Sulfate. THE CONTROL OF INTERNAL PARASITES IN RUMINANTS

Diatomaceous Earth (feed grade) – 120 g – 250 g per day (depending on size and feed intake) are recommended over a period of two months. Mix diatomite with wet forage to prevent that the animals inhale the powder.

Drenching Recipes (Drenching is a means of delivering a liquid product in the cow’s stomach.)

From the Hackets bio dynamic farm near Coffs Harbour (Australia?):

Get 25 ltrs of apple cider vinegar
add 3 kg garlic,
two fresh handfuls of any or all: wormwood, tansy, rosemary,chamomile, rue , calendula, comfery.
Pour boiling water over and leave to infuse for a few hours.
Add to vinegar and 500 g of pumpkin seeds.
Leave for a week or two before using.
Drench at around 200-250 mls per cow


Garlic: For one cow, 250 g of garlic are minced and mixed into 4 litres of water. 2 litres are drenched twice a day.

Mustard seeds or seed oil: 100-150 g mustard seeds are given to a cow daily for one week. This treatment is repeated regularly.

Wild Ginger: 50 g of the aerial parts of snake root roots are minced and given to cattle.

Albizia anthemintica (Mwowa or Kyalundathi-Kamba): For one cow, soak 500 g of chopped bark in 3 l of water overnight, sieve and drench.


Lugol’s iodine is good in a back rubber (and in water or feed I think). I’ve also seen apple cider vinegar recommended at the ratio of 1 oz to 1 gal’ of water. They don’t care for it, but they don’t have a choice

Gineas will keep flies down. They will avoid hawks and can train free-range chickens as well.


Grazing (Height and Time):

“About 80% of parasites live in the first five centimetres of vegetation. Parasite infection and multiplication are prevented by letting animals graze only 10 cm from the ground … . For new pastures (that have rested for “a number of years”), however, New Zealander Vaughan Jones18, an expert on intensive grazing, recommends having animals graze very close to the ground, so that the sun can dry the pats quickly and thus diminish the chances of survival of parasites brought in with the animals. …

The drier the grass, the more parasites will stay at the base of the plants. It is estimated that in wet grass, larvae can be found over 30 cm away from the pats, whereas they venture only a few centimetres away when the grass is dry. The risk of infection is greatly lowered by waiting until the dew has lifted or until the grass has dried after rain before putting animals out to pasture. …

“Producers who have more than one animal species (e.g. cattle and sheep) can alternate grazing of different animal species which, although not foolproof, can help to break the parasite cycles. Several parasite species cannot infect two different animal species.

“Resting the land … consists in preventing the animals from grazing in the same field or paddock. Since freezing temperatures or droughts eliminate some infectious larvae, cold or dry periods can be relied upon to reduce or extend rest periods. A three-year rest period (short rotation) is required for a complete cleaning. THE CONTROL OF INTERNAL PARASITES IN RUMINANTS

Worming – When:

“All deworming treatments involving natural products should ideally be preceded and followed by a fasting period, except in the case of nursed young animals. Animals should not be fed for a period of 12 to 48 hours before the treatment and another 6-hour period afterwards. A laxative diet or purge should then follow. Castor oil is appropriate for non-ruminants, and a saline diuretic or sodium sulphate and magnesium for ruminants. … Putting animals out to pasture in the spring has a laxative effect on them. It seems appropriate therefore to treat the animals at that time. …

“Perform a first treatment three weeks after the animals have been put out to pasture (in the spring) and a second treatment three weeks later. The first treatment serves to prevent infection by infectious larvae (L3 stage) – before the new adults formed inside the animals have begun to lay eggs profusely and contaminate the pastures. When the second treatment is given, typically in early July, a large portion of the infectious larvae in the pastures will have died as a result of the hot dry conditions. THE CONTROL OF INTERNAL PARASITES IN RUMINANTS

Not vetted:

“The seminar I attended last year told of an experiment that was conducted using extreme pasture rotation. They had 12 paddocks and rotated the cattle every three days. They kept the stocking rate low enough to keep the grass over 6″ tall. The cattle revisited each paddock every 36 days. The worms’ life cycle is shorter than that, so the worm load on the paddocks was kept low.” (But there is apparently also a longer life-cycle. See Calves, below.)

Learn about intestinal parasite’s lifecycles and learn about mineral balance and nutrition. While pasture rotation can keep your pasture taller, exposing your animals to less worms because they aren’t eating close to the ground, it takes a while for the worm to actually die out, longer than a month. They need a good freeze or to be very dry for a while.

However you can clean up some of those parasties with other livestock. Horses cattle and goats all get different worms for the most part. They become dead end hosts for eachothers’ worms. A crop rotation that has one species following another would do a lot to keep worm burdens down.


“It’s important to put calves on ground that hasn’t had cattle on it for at least six months. Rotating them through pastures so they aren’t overexposed to larvae, keeps infestation to a minimum. Having pasture heights in the 6-10 inch range, removing them when grass is no shorter than 2 inches and not forcing the calves to graze close to manure piles will also prevent infestation. A better way of grazing these pastures, and one that will also allow more utilization of forage is to have the young calves graze through, followed by older cows whose immune systems are fully developed. Calves will be more selective than older cows, grazing the most nutritious and most palatable forage. Older cows will still get excellent nutrition but will eat more of the available forage.” …

“Most (herbal de-wormers) have wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) as the main ingredient, which should be used with caution, if at all, on pregnant animals. … (And) Garlic has known antibacterial effects, which may be the effect responsible for its success as a deworming product. Bacterial enteritis often accompanies parasitic disease.” …

“Do not overlook the genetics of the bulls. If one calf crop has more problems with worms, consider the possibility it is due to the bull used that year. Producers who add parasite susceptibility to their list of culling factors find that in 2-3 years they have greatly decreased the incidence of parasite problems in their herds or flocks.” Integrated Parasite Management for Organic Dairy Cattle


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