How to Naturally Deworm your Animals
by Jenny Brown
We do not use chemical wormers on our farm animals. You must practice prevention if you choose not to go the chemical route. Herbal dewormers do not build up resistance to parasites like deworming drugs do but they require more frequent dosages. Herbal worming formulas act differently than chemical wormers in that they do not go into the body and wipe out (kill) the living organisms. They instead help to expel the organisms from the body. The organism cannot survive without a host (a body, such as your animal) and dies outside the body. This way the animal is not ingesting harsh chemicals and is building natural immunity to it’s environment.
When given on a regular basis, the herbal wormer also helps to repel the worms. They do not like the herbs in the system and quickly leave! We worm all our animals, including livestock, poultry, and our dog and cat with an herbal dewormer and have never had a case of worms on our farm except once. We have two cats but only one that we have successfully gotten the dewormer down.
Sebastian, our couch potato kitty, becomes a possessed pussycat that will attack anyone in his path if we try to give him anything orally. We tried everything under the sun…tuna balls, stirred in cream, syringe, breaking open the highly addictive ‘Temptations’ cat treats and replacing the filling with herbs (my son’s creative idea), you name it, we likely tried it. He missed several deworming applications and low and behold, came down with worms. I had no choice but to give him an injection. What this showed me though is that the herbs were working! None of my other animals contracted worms.
It’s hard to believe our floppy feline, Sebastian could be anything but sweet…
Until you try to administer something orally.
I do not make my own dewormer formula; there is a great gal that makes her own custom herbal mixture (Molly’s Herbals) and I make it into ‘herbal balls’ for most of my animals (except chickens and the one cat who we CAN get it down his throat). With my chickens, I just sprinkle it over their feed once a week. I use about 1/4 cup per 25 birds. There is no set dosage amount for chickens so I just made a half-educated guess. It is better to err on the side of a little more herbs than less.
Molly’s herbal dewormer mixture is a two-part system. One formula contains wormwood, which is very effective for cleansing the body of parasites but if used excessively can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, and nervous system. It should not be used on a regular basis. Molly has created a second formula that the animals rotate with the wormwood formula. The dewormer is given weekly. Monday is my designated deworming day. The pictures below show how I make my herbal dosage balls. (Based on Molly’s recipe included with the formulas)
This is the week for Formula #1. This is administered only once every 6-8 weeks for three consecutive days. All the other weeks the animals get formula #2 one day a week.
I use 1/2 cup herbal formula with 1/4 cup whole grain flour (preferably oat). Molly recommends using 1/4 cup Slippery Elm rather than the flour.
It is an additional aid in flushing out the animal’s system but I just find that gets a bit to costly for me.
Mix ingredients together with a fork.
The last ingredient (which makes the herbal balls irresistible to goats) is 1/4 cup black-strap molasses.
Thoroughly mix into a heavy paste (now you can see why I said to stir with a fork earlier; the mixture is far too dense for a whisk.)
Then measure out a tablespoon at a time and roll into a ball between your palms. You might want to grease your hands a bit; this mixture sticks to your hands rather heavily.
Finished herbal balls. I roll them in flour and store them in a zip-lock type bag in the fridge.
Keep in mind that these balls are only 1/2 herbal formula so whatever dosage is required for your animals, be sure to double the dosage ball amount.
These balls work best with our livestock and our dog.
Molly’s dosage instructions per animal (and my herbal ball suggestions):
Goats – 1 tablespoon (2 balls)
Horses – 2-3 tablespoons (4-6 balls)
Cattle – 3-4 Tablespoons (6-8 balls)
Sheep – 2 teaspoons (approx. 1 & 1/2 balls)
Llamas – 2-3 teaspoons (1 1/2 – 2 balls)
Alpacas – 1-2 teaspoons (1- 1/2 balls)
Pigs – 2-3 teaspoons (1 & 1/2 – 2 balls)
Dogs – 1/2 -1 teaspoons – (1/2 – 1 ball…I give 2 balls to our big dog since we feed him a raw food diet)
Cats – 1/4 tsp. (mix with water and syringe or you could try mixing with tuna…good luck!)