If you own goats or are thinking about it, worming is a critical part of keeping your goats healthy and happy. Chemical wormers are one of the options for de-worming your goats, but I have found that I prefer the herbal method, where prevention and health are the objectives.
Benefits of Herbal Wormers
How do herbal wormers work and what are the benefits?
Specific herbs in herbal worming blends aid in boosting your goat’s immune system, which in turn help to fend off parasites.The herbs act as preventative medicine instead of reactive medicine. Keep your goat healthy and happy and they will be much less likely to become infested with worms.
If your goat already has worms, particular herbs act as expellers.The parasites do not like being near the herbs, so they leave the body via the goat’s droppings..
My favorite benefit of herbal wormers is that you do not have to stress out and/or pump your goat full of poison. A happy goat is a healthier goat.
I will assume if you are still reading you are considering the more natural approach to keeping your goat worm free. If you are fully on board, you will need to decide how you will procure your herbs. I have plenty of space to grow the herb blend, yet I have chosen to purchase my herbs on-line from a long-time goat owner and herb specialist (http://fiascofarm.com/herbs/wormer.htm). You may decide to grow them yourself, purchase them in bulk on-line, or order them ready to go as I did. If you are raring to grow, you will need the following ingredients to start your herbal blend: Black Walnut, Fennel, Garlic, Wormwood, Stevia, Hyssop, Thyme, Cucurbita Pepo, and Mugwort. Recipes will vary, but those are some of the basics to get you started.
Five Tricks to Mixing and Administering Herbal Goat Wormer
1) I use a glass-canning jar and a plastic syringe to administer the herbal wormer. Apply a small amount of olive oil to the tip of the syringe’s plunger so it does not stick while you are releasing the herbs into the goat’s mouth.
2) Use very warm water to mix with the herbs. Goats LOVE extra warm water.
3) I mix 1 tablespoon of herbs to 4 ounces of water (I also tried mixing the herb blend dry with their goat chow, but found that the herbs settled to the bottom as they rooted around in the chow. Liquid form ensures that they ingest all of the herbs). For my goats, if the mix is too strong, the goats turn their noses up to it and shy away from it the next time I attempt to administer it. They have excellent memories. This makes it important to get it right as soon as possible, but no pressure!
4) Add a teaspoon or so of honey to the liquid blend if your goats do not seem to like the herbs. I have had 100% administration success since adding honey to the mix.
5) Remember to keep your goat’s head looking straight up when feeding them the liquid herbs. This will ensure that the blend is heading to the proper stomach.
It makes me smile to think about how excited my goats are when they see that glass jar and syringe full of “herb tea” heading their way. I imagine that would not be the case with a syringe full of chemical de-wormer. So, fellow and prospective goat owners, cheers to happy and healthy goats!