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Grazing plants for deworming livestock

 
Amedean Messan
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Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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Again, I would like to gather some wisdom if you can share any experience or research on grazing plants for livestock deworming.  My intent is to profile a variety of species so that I may produce a diversified grazing platform.  Ideally the species should be acclimated to woodland zone 7 types and survive clay soils. 

So far I have found research from A&M University at http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1318/ANR-1318.pdf for sericea lespedeza which has researched data proving successful deworming potential for goats.  It would be nice to have a diverse profile of plants so that my livestock can engage in chemical warfare in their gastrointestinal systems.

Please post any helpful suggestions or species common name.  If you have a reference to any preferred cultivar for substrains it would be appreciated.  Videos and suppliers are another plus.  I will update my list below for convenience, thanks!


Plant List (updated)

  • [li]Chinese Bush Clover (Sericea Lespedeza)[/li]
    [li]Grasslands Puna (Cichorium Intybus)[/li]
    [li]Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)[/li]
    [li]Wormwood (Artemesia absinthe)[/li]
  •  
    John Polk
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    There is an organic worming medication for sale (they have different mixes for horse, poultry, bovine, etc)
    http://www.verm-xusa.com/index.php
    They are all expensive (like $70/pint!), but I have heard great reviews by many users I know.

    If you scroll about half way down the page, they list the ingredients (almost all of them can be grown at home)!  While the 'exact formula' is unknown, having all/most available for grazing it should suffice to accomplish the deed!
     
    Jeff Mathias
    Posts: 125
    Location: Westport, CA Zone 8-9; Off grid on 20 acres of redwood forest and floodplain with a seasonal creek.
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    Hi Amedean,

    I know Sepp suggests planting lots of non-edibles (for humans), weeds and poisonous plants. The greater the diversity the better. This will allow all animals to find what they need when they need it. If you are using a paddock system watch what they eat first when sent into a new area if you suspect or know they are having a problem to give you an idea of plants to further propagate around. The basic idea is that they will medicate themselves with the proper plants and proper portions.

    Two things to consider here though:
    1. He uses very old stock, in my opinion considerably older than what we know as heritage species, more wild stock than domesticated stock.
    2. There always needs to be enough good regular food around with this system. All animals will eat just about everything even poisonous stuff if it is all that they have to eat.

    Good Luck,

    Jeff

     
    Amedean Messan
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    Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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    Thanks John:

    I am not looking for an organic dewormer, more a self sustaining ecosystem that will greatly inhibit parasites.  In the film "Permaculture Soils" there is a wonderful home made dewormer recipe that will save you a lot of money compared to the product you recommend.  I hope my information will be of interest to you.

    Thanks Jeff:

    I am very aware of Sepp's recommendations which is why I am trying to identify these species.  I however am trying to lean on plants with proven application for deworming and not any collaboration of random poisonous plants.  As far as the heritage breeds, I am pretty set on the "Mini Jersey" because of its food conversion efficiency, easy workability and temperament, and of course its products.  I was directed to a highly recommended breeder at http://www.southsidestables.com/index.htm .
     
    Saskia Symens
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    Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) is a strong anti-parasitic plant. Was used in the Middle Ages for this. Dried bunches also keep fleas and other insects away. Not sure if animals will eat it voluntarily though, and it can be poisonous in high doses.
     
    John Polk
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    I was not trying to promote the product.  Merely pointing to the fact that on their web site, they list the plants they use in making the product.  Just scroll half way down the page, and each plant is described (along with a picture of it).  Quite handy if you wish to grow your own ingredients for natural browse.
     
    Amedean Messan
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    I just had a second look at your link, I don't know why I missed the plants, lol!  Thanks, I willl look it up further.
     
    John Polk
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    Another useful plant is Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort), a hardy perennialChickens love to eat it, and it repels their lice.  I would guess it repels other species of lice as well.
     
    Amedean Messan
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    Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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    Yeah, did some research on mugwort and it is well established for gastrointestinal medicine.  I will add this to my list, thanks!  I also found a good link to some other plants for deworming at http://www.sheep101.info/201/parasite.html .
     
    Sergio Santoro
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    This thread is EXACTLY about where I'm at with my researches and interests. Thank you all so much.

    Problem as usual, I live in Costa Rica, and need to figure out my own tropical equivalent for everything, because if they wanted me to pay 18 dollars in importation taxes for a bag of powdered licorice root, I don't want to think of the rest...
     
    Paul Cereghino
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    Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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    Also Wormwood (Artemesia absinthe) - in addition to causing paranoia and mania in humans it has a long history as dewormer.  I have had seedlings from parent plants, but tends to be shortlived in my wet dry winters... Always gets aphids early on fertile sites providing fodder for ladybug and lacewing larvae.  Probably good from broadcast seed on dry sites.

    See also:
    The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable
    by Ju De Bairacli Levy
    http://www.powells.com/biblio/18-9780571161164-0

    Here's Rusty's above referenced list with some commentary...

    GARLIC ( Allium Sativum) - elephant garlic naturalizes nicely, as does egyptian walking onions.. They are nice in that they can be established by fall planted bulbs through mulch without irrigation.  On guy I met puts crushed garlic in chicken water -- haven't tried it myself.

    QUASSIA (Simaroubaceae) - know nothing
     
    CAYENNE (Capsium Minimum) - hard to grow as a perennial
     
    SLIPPERY ELM (Ulmus Fulva) - know nothing
     
    CINNAMON (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum) - tropics only? 

    THYME (Thymus Vulgaris) - find a dry site if you are in a wet climate, for it to naturalize, as it will be overwhelmed by more vigorous plants, but it can survive hot and low nutrient conditions which might even increase oil production.  Easy to grow from cuttings.
     
    PEPPERMINT (Mentha Piperita) - I propagate this by scattering roots anywhere and dumping some wood chips on top.  You could likely do without the wood chips.  Particularly competitive in light shade, when it can really dominate the grasses.  Very aggressive.

     
    Amedean Messan
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    Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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    I am happy that we have helped you SergioSantoro!

    Thanks Paul for more suggestions.  For me, wormwood is about my best bet for my area from your list.  I will have to see how it will grow in my clay soils though.  Thyme is not hardy for grazing so it cant fill my application requirements.  I plan on producing a rotation grazing with cattle followed by goats and pigs followed by chickens.  I will have to see how well the pigs and goats work together though.

    There was concern about toxicity of mormwood but I found a positive thread on gardenforums which an experienced user posted:

    If wormwood is dangerous, then I am dead. I grew up in a country where everyone uses it for stomach upsets. As a matter of fact, the vermouth taste in the Italian Vermouth Wine is wormwood, and you drink a bit of it when your stomach is upset. About 35 years ago, I found out by fluke that wormwood tea or the herb chewed is a great first aid for respiratory problems, and I have been using it daily since then without any problems. The bitter taste also takes away the craving for chocolate.
    What is dangerous is the absinth which is made from wormwood. It is a wormwood-flavored liqueur with almost twice the potency of alcohol of any other liqueur. It may well be the alcohol which does damage, not the wormwood, or maybe it depends on the variety of wormwood used. I am only guessing here. Absinthe was banned in some European countries for years, but it is again available in those countries, including in Britain.

    All wormwoods are artimisias like the herbs which the aboriginal people call "sage" which is used for smudging and which has the same healing properties as wormwood.

    I doubt, though, that you will be able to get your dog to drink anything as bitter as wormwood. I don't know about tapeworm, but any other kind of worm and pest such as fleas can be gotten rid of by adding nutritional yeast to the diet of humans or of pets. If a person is allergic to yeast, then use B vitamins instead. I have never heard of a pet being allergic to yeast. A yeast allergy is caused by a history of overeating on bread and it is quite common among North Americans.
     
    Saskia Symens
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    Have a look in the plants for a future database, using the keyword "anthelmintic"
    It gives a 7 page list of plants with anti worm action
    Takes a bit of research but there should be something for most climates!

    http://www.pfaf.org/user/plantsearch.aspx#USE
     
    Fred Morgan
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    One other thing to consider is rotation with another animal. For example, sheep and cattle are a good mix because the parasites of sheep don't bother the cattle. So you run sheep for a bit, then cattle (use multiple lots) and don't bring the sheep back for 45 days. This will result in much less parasites.

    One other thing I read regarding sheep is garlic. I haven't tried it yet.
     
                          
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    I am a firm believer in moving livestock regularly, and giving the land long rest periods. This is a good land management practice but also helps with parasite pressure. Often it is only a few animals in a herd that have persistent parasite problems, but they soon spread the problem. Ideally, good herd management will remove these problem animals and reduce the parasite load. Think about it in terms of natural selection....the animals with higher parasite loads would be more likely to die and certainly less likely to reproduce.

    Stock selection is critical as well. Not all animals will work in a low input grass system. Ideally only purchase animals from people who are running a similar system to your own. If you purchase stock from someone who worms his herd every 3 months, they will have little to no natural parasite resistance left because they have become dependent upon the treatments. They may use a mineral (lick tub, salt block, or loose mineral) that has anti-parasitic medication as well.

    The guy I work for has not wormed his cattle in 9 years...because he rotates frequently and he has removed problem animals. I would imagine that access to a wide variety of native pastures has also provided access to natural worming plants as well. However, we have not planted anything with the intent of using it as a wormer.

    If you are wanting to plant a permanent pasture, pigs can be a problem. They tend to root quite a bit and tear up the grass pretty bad, that's why we don't run hogs on our pastures anymore. It just depends on your management system. They can be of great benefit in overgrown scrub and brush.
     
    Amedean Messan
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    Thanks so much Saskia for the priceless link!
     
    John Polk
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    As extensive as that pfaf link is, it is not complete.  Here's a few more: (from Wikipedia)

    Examples of naturally occurring anthelmintics include:

        * Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum & Nicotiana rustica)
        * Moringa oleifera (Moringaceae)
        * Neem (Azadirachta indica)
        * Black walnut (Juglans nigra)
        * wormwood (Artemisia absynthium)
        * clove (Syzygium aromaticum)
        * Hagenia (Hagenia abyssinica)
        * Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
        * Pineapple (Ananas comosus)
        * kalonji (Nigella sativa) seeds
        * male fern (Dryopteris filix-mas)
        * Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)
        * Honey mixed with water and vinegar was also used as a vermifuge.
        * Plumeria (P. acutifolia or P. rubra) in Brazilian folk medicine.
        * Peganum harmala
        * Banisteriopsis caapi
        * genistein (from soy and other legumes)
     
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