I'm trying something new with my lambos. I'm mixing garlic powder in with their pellets to keep internal parasites at bay. This is something that every sheep and goat farmer must work to manage in this part of the world.
Most of my experience has been with conventional deworming medicines, but they can be pretty harsh and there is the potential for the parasites to become resistant to them. My friend Joyce from Acorn Hill Farm introduced me to the idea of using an herbal regimen with her goats. She's had great results and seeing her farm in action made using less worming medication seem like a viable option.
My goal is to have a system where for the most part the parasites are controlled with garlic, diatomaceous earth and rotational grazing. I move my lambs and cows every other day so that they are always staying ahead of the parasite eggs that might be hatching in the manure they left behind. I'm basing my garlickin' regimen on what they do at SkyLines Farm. I do have a bottle of worming medicine in my vet cabinet, just in case.
Pigs Are Good at Leftovers
Four Legs Farm is lucky to have Community Compost Company as our neighbors. Twice a week they drop off a 48 gallon bin of slightly damaged produce as treats for the piggles.
Their favorites are cabbage, kale, apples, peppers and carrots. They don't like sweet potatoes that are too big to take a bite out of, citrus or celery. But those are fun to play with anyway. Sometimes they get fancy things like papayas! I'm happy for them to have this much diversity in their diets.
I still feed them non-GMO grain from Stone House Farm in Livingston, NY. I need to make sure their calorie intake is consistent and that they're getting enough protein. Nobody ever got fat and happy on cabbage and apples alone.
This past Wednesday, the lambs and cows went out on pasture! While I knew this was going to be an exciting moment, I didn't realize how exciting.
The majority of my lambs' diet is grass, with only a little bit of grain to supplement them. When they are on pasture eating grasses and forbes growing out of the ground, this is the magic part. This is where the lambs (and cows) become part of the ecosystem.
The sunshine, rain and soil that helps the plants grow becomes food for the lambs and cows. The lambs and cows are ruminants and ferment plant material into protein in their bodies. They're making muscle and fat out of sunshine. Their poop helps the grass grow. It's amazing!
After such a cold winter it was easy to almost forget that the best part is getting to have animals out on pasture. I moved them to their next area this morning and they were all galloping!
Leanna at Four Legs Farm