First off, I have no animals and know very little about their care. My wife is taking classes in naturopathic medicine (for people) and we look into a lot of different things. There's an approach to the body that we think has got something going for it. In short, a Dr. Max Gerson (1881-1959) made a theory that most diseases were caused by an overly busy immune system. He thought that consuming and coming into contact with unnatural and chemical products would make the immune system not function. He healed degenerative diseases (and people still do today) by juicing a ton of organic veggies every meal for extended amounts of time. We've also read and listened to medical doctors (not lefty theorists) talk about chronic stress and how it relates to disease.
For 10,000 years people have done agriculture that has changed our diet from greens and veggies to a more grain based diet. I would assume animal feed has been changed for the same agricultural purpose. It's just easier on the farmers. One big field of hay enough for all year. Next year, do the same thing.
Question is, obviously the animals eat grass, and it's good to plant good grasses etc. Are other things considered for animal feed? Are the seasons considered for animal feed? How can I keep my animals experiencing healthy doses of short term stress?
I want to get into having chickens and sheep some day, and I don't really like the idea of having to know all the diseases they can get and all of their solutions. I want the animals have the same healthy habits that a wild sheep would have (or that a well informed permie would have)
Perhaps we should let the animals eat some of our cabbage, apples, lettuce, etc. so they aren't forced to eat what we think is best, easiest, or cheapest like we've done to ourselves for 10,000 years.
Keeping animals penned up all the time and force feeding them something that they don't really like is definitely not ideal for their health. I would direct you to Paul's article on raising chickens and my bit on the same.
These principles can be applied to a variety of different animals. Giving them access to a wide selection of different fresh foods and being out doors in a space where they are free to roam without standing in their own poop is key to having healthy animals. This way they are able to choose for themselves what they feel like eating at any one particular time.
awesome. i'll read up some more. it's good to see bugs being part of the chickens' diet as well as other green edibles. e
part of the "gerson therapy" and a part of sergei boutenko's (raw family) approach to health is to get nutrients into the body in large doses. so much that it puts the immune system into awesome mode. just drinking wild edibles/kale/spinach/apple/blueberry smoothies has made tumors shrink, cure heart arithmea, and reverse type 1 diabetes. gerson therapy has completely wiped out people's cancer.
has anyone ever responded to an animal's disease by creating some kind of immune boosting concoction?
I don't have goats -- YET -- but as stated above, the same general theories work for all animals. I have rabbits, chickens, and ducks currently. Yes, I do --currently-- feed commercial feed but the goal is to get off those outsourced feeds and get them on diets that are more natural for them and cheaper for me. This isn't always as easy a process. Rabbits, for example, are very sensitive to dietary changes. One must make a gradual change even if only changing brands of pellets. Also, determining what is: safe, what they like, what will give them the right balance of nutrients -- and then getting the systems in place to provide that on one's property can take time but it is worth it!
Step 1: what were they designed to eat. Look at how their wild counterparts eat/ate.
Step 2: figure out a system to replicate that style of eating.
Ruminants were not designed to eat grains as a main portion of their diet. They eat forage. In that system, they do eat some seed/grains but not much and only seasonally.
One factor to consider also: one of the reasons farmers switched to grain-based diets was for "optimizing production" be that more milk per cow or more meat per rabbit. Going natural can mean giving up some of those production numbers. That may or may not matter to you but you do need to be aware of it as a factor.
http://notquitethereyethomestead.blogspot.com/ --On the highway going from here to there the question is oft asked "are we there yet". The oft given answer is "not quite yet". So it goes with life and with my little piece of it. This is my story. I get to tell it my way. I hope you enjoy it.
Hau, Johnmark. It is very preferable for animals to have enough space for them to wander about and eat what they want to eat. Goats like to browse and will munch happily on a wide variety of shrubs, trees, bushes, canes, and in the fall they absolutely love to chow on fallen leaves. They do not want to eat from the ground at any other time. I have seen goats spill hay to the ground, and walk away from it, never to return except to walk over it. They love blackberry vines and most of what we two legs want to grow for our own food, the goats want to eat too. They love cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, and on and on. Chickens will eat a huge variety as well if they are allowed to roam free to pick and choose what they eat.
We free range our poultry, the goats get moved from place to place, staying in one large area no more than a week before they are allowed to move for fresh pickings. I am hoping to get even more land, by purchase or lease, so I can have a few more fenced in areas for them.
The pigs get to move, coming into an area just vacated by the goats. The only areas animals are kept out of are the orchards which also have the vegetable gardens, This one fenced in area is also occupied by our dogs, who love to chase the other animals, which we don't allow to happen.
I have noticed that all our free ranging critters don't need a lot of husbandry care and very rarely get sick. This is because we give them a wide range of foods and let them pick and choose their own diet.
We don't have just grass in any pasture, there are also legumes, native grasses, some vegetables such as squash plants, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lots clovers. with this variety, everyone seems to be happy and healthy.
we must remember humans are animals. homeopathy, acupuncture herbs and even therapeutic massage and chiropractic, to name a few modalities, work wonderfully on animals and definitely what applies to humans applies to other animals. its great your wife is studying real medicine that focuses on healing instead of disease. a few classes can help, but it takes years of practice and intensive training to become proficient.
modern society has been detrimental to not only the health of humans, but their animals and the whole world. getting back to the way things used to be done like thru natural modalities and think about the health and well being(not just physical either) instead of profit separates cafo's from your local humane farmer.
you dont have to focus on disease to have healthy animals. in fact, what you focus on you get more of. if your animals and yourself are happy and fulfilled, you will be healthy. if you are not an animal person, start out really slow, maybe see about visiting someone who has a farm, volunteering to help out so you can see if this is something you would want to do. there is no time off when you have a farm. the trade off is, its so nice to be out and connecting to nature, you dont miss going to the mall or watching movies at the cinema. you truly have to be a master of so many things in order to take care of your animals yourself. the less experience you have, the more you will have to rely on professional help, and that costs a lot of money.
your wife will be able to apply what she knows to your future flock. we use the same homeopathic remedies for everyone. during the spring, for example, we had cold symptoms and a few days later i noticed two of our chickens started to cough. i treated them with the same homeopathics we took and within a day they were better. i dont like allopathic medicine or drugs. why would you want you to worry about dosing chickens with drugs when you can just put some homeopathics in their water and get better results by boosting their immune systems and helping them treat their own symptoms with out nasty side effects.
you are what you eat.and food is medicine. are two very important things to live by. it requires responsibility for your own well being in order to stay healthy. most humans rely on allopathic medicine because they do not want to be responsible for anything.
pasture is what animals need and they thrive, but we have to supplement this in winter time, and also provide pregnant and nursing animals with extra nutrition in the form of vitamins/minerals hay and some grain.
different species depend on what specifically they will need. your animals shouldnt feel stressed if they feel safe and you spend time with them. animals and nature in general, is way more intelligent than humans and we have alot to learn from them if we are ever going to evolve as a species.
its nice to see so many of the comments show the care they put into taking care of their animals, and in turn, themselves.
cheaper is never cheaper in the long run. animals will tell you what they need if you pay attention. i also dont think having a farm is about making a profit, its being a conscious part of life and you can not put a price on that. i also believe giving back is important, and there are alot of ways to do that. the good feeling you get when you do so is also vital to vibrant health.
you might be interested in dr mercola and all his information on his website on how to live more healthy and what this exponential growth of unnatural and chemical products is doing to us and our world.
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