October 3rd, 2013Herb Gardening for Your Pets, Poultry, and Livestock
Katherine Drovdahl MH CR CEIT DipHIR- Oregon
Did you know that you can plant an herb garden for your beloved furry and feathered friends? Did you know that many herbs are easy to cultivate in a garden bed or even containers on an apartment balcony? You may already be knowingly (or unknowingly!) growing several of them. If you have never gardened before or you are looking for a way to cut some (a lot!) of the work in gardening, consider Square Foot Gardening.
Growing your own herbs gives you some freedoms. It gives you the freedom to choose organic (non-toxic) methods of raising them. It gives you the freedom to have access to them whenever you need them. It also gives you the satisfaction and security of knowing that you can indeed raise, and keep on hand, some of the herbs you may want or need in the care of your creatures (or humans).
Now what might one grow? Garlic of course is one plant I highly recommend. I use it a lot in situations involving viral or bacterial origins. But, do you know how to use it safely and in correct doses and timing for your animal(s) of choice? A few other herbs that I like to keep handy in my gardens include cayenne, comfrey, thyme, rosemary, lavender, stinging nettle, wormwood, carrots, white onions, apples and of course many, many more. All of these are easy to use with your creatures and all of them are easy to grow. Even cayenne can grow in cooler climates with a few ‘microclimate’ gardening tricks.
I have used lavender leaves and stems numerous times, infused in olive oil and wiped onto infected areas copiously to watch infected areas cleanse and begin to repair themselves in as fast as a day in people, dogs, goats and horses.
I have an entire chapter in my 28 chapter book covering over 60 herbs that you can grow in your garden. I discuss what they are, why you may want to include them, information on harvesting some of them as well as helpful hints on growing. Another chapter covers dosing so you know how much your hen, rabbit, dog, cat, pig, horse, ox, goat, alpaca or other creature will need for their situation. The book also covers foundational information that teaches you why you are doing what you are doing and gives you confidence in whole herb and essential oil use in your creatures. All body systems and every stage of your creature’s lifecycle are covered in layman’s terms. “The Accessible Pet, Equine and Livestock Herbal” is available through Christopher Publications.
Katherine Drovdahl is a Master Herbalist graduate of The School of Natural Healing. She is also a Certified Reflexologist, a Diplomate of Holistic Iridology, Certified Equine Iridology Technician and is Internationally Certified in Aromatherapy. She is an author, writes articles, does wellness consultations for people, pets and livestock (www.firmeadowllc.com) and is a conference speaker. She and her beloved husband tend to their alternatively raised food and medicinal herb gardens, their fjord horses, dairy goats, poultry, alpacas and farm pets on their small Oregon farm.