My friends spring is coming! I could feel it this morning as I made my way out to the barn. The birds were singing and the air was warming up. Soon I will no longer be sitting still waiting for the cold days to pass. Life will begin again.
When I opened up the barn to let everyone out, I was hit with the reminder that the animals have also been preparing for spring. And sheesh was it strong! Garlic.
In just a few weeks the snow *hopefully* will start to melt, making a muddy yucky mess with lots of rain until finally green grass appears on the earth again. But during the wet season parasites will be at their strongest looking for a tasty goat or chicken to live in.
I’ve been putting out raw fresh garlic for my crew to feast upon at their own will. The goats will just gobble up whole cloves (well some of them. My little buckling is very much against raw garlic), but the chickens, try as they may, need a little help. I thinly slice up an entire bulb first thing every morning, so that they can get the pieces into their little beaks.
I’ve also been putting a clove or two in their water buckets for a couple days a week, then raw ACV for the remaining days.
For the first few days the garlic was gobbled up instantly by the chickens and the goats hardly got so much as a sniff. The hens would even go “bobbing for garlic” in the goat’s water bucket. But the madness has slowed down now, and everyone is sharing the garlic.
The Nitty Gritty
4 days week – 1 – 2 (depending on size) cloves of garlic in the water buckets.
3 days week – raw apple cider vinegar
*I only do the garlic in the water for one week. Then back to regular water with ACV in it once per week. I will continue to do the garlic water for one week a month until the wet season is over (around May or June here).
1 – 2 bulbs of garlic, skin and all, free choice per day. (Goats just eat an entire clove, but I thinly slice it up for the chickens. It saves them from throwing all the garlic around)
*For picky garlic eaters like my little buckling I hide the garlic in his grain ration. I feed him 2 cloves sliced, with a little bit of molasses to mask the flavor.
Why Use Garlic?
Garlic can be used to control parasites because it makes a hostile environment inside the goat or chicken’s body for the worms to live in. Biting parasites like mites and lice, as well as biting bugs like black flies and mosquitoes don’t like the taste of garlic in the blood stream. The smell that comes off of them also drives away external parasites. Thus it covers all the bases. It is also a good antibiotic. It does need sometime to build up in their system which is why I’ve started it even when we are still under 4 feet of snow.
Take your best shot parasites, I’ve got 4 stinky goats and 8 stinky chickens waiting for you!