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Healing Wounds on the Farm(without a vet)

Farm animals can do some strange things.  I've often wondered if they ever think about the consequences of their actions. If I were a bettin' woman, I'd bet no.

I have to remind myself that they are animals.  God love 'em.  They sure can get themselves in a bind.

And I want to be ready.

I'm not the type of person to have the perfect first aid kit and a ton of injury-readiness stuff.  I see pictures on Pinterest from people who have it all together when it comes to injuries, birthing kits, etc.  Of course I save the pictures to my Pinterest board because one day...

Veterinarians can be hard to come by.  Especially during off hours.  That's usually when you need them, can I get an amen?  Vet bills can be expensive.  Can I get another amen?  But did you know that you can do alot of what a vet can do when it comes to wounds?  Although veterinarians do have a place in our world because there are just some instances we are helpless(I hate that feeling), we can deal with many wounds ourselves. 

One of our Haflingers decided to rip her face open.  Who knows how she did this but I found her with a flap hanging and everything exposed.  This picture was taken two days after it happened so, imagine a flap hanging and a wider, messier wound.  Healing had already begun(thanks to my concoction) and the flap had reattached itself just after two days.

June 12th

I just knew she needed stitches but it happened on a Saturday evening(of course) and there were no vets available.  We cleaned out the wound, applied an essential oil mixture and covered her with gauze and made a halter out of ducktape to hold it in place.  Redneckish?  Of course, but it worked.

A vet did come Monday afternoon.  By that time, the wound would not close and she couldn't apply stitches.  The picture above was taken during the vet's visit.  She cleaned it out a bit more and told us that we did an awesome job prior to, yet there wasn't a whole lot she could do.  We were to continue to keep it moist and clean and to stimulate the wound by spraying it with a hose everyday.  She also gave us some antibiotics just in case.

Hmmmm, I more than likely could've found that advice on the internet.  Although she was a great, down-to-earth vet with practical advice, I felt like I was wasting my money, especially since it was too late to give our horse stitches.  I was concerned because the vet wasn't sure if my kids could show her in 4-H the next month and I just knew she would have a big ole' ugly scar without getting those stitches.

She did give us sulfadiazine(can be purchased online) and is used for burns.  We used this on top of the homemade essential oil spray.  Here's the wound spray recipe:

Melaleucal(tea tree oil) to prevent infection
Frankincense to encourage cell and tissue regeneration and fast healing
Lavender for disinfecting and soothing
Myrrh to accelerate healing and prevent scarring

I used 20 drops of each oil and put in a pint size spray bottle along with 20 drops of fractionated coconut oil(you could also use olive oil or grapeseed oil) and top it off with water.

We sprayed this on the wound after we cleaned it out twice a day then applied the sulfidiazine and covered the wound with homemade cloth diapers(these had never been used as it was a failed attempt at cloth diapering years ago).  My failure ended up being useful because we could wash them everyday and reapply.  We continued to use duck tape as a make shift halter to hold the covering in place.  Below is a picture taken only four days after the last picture.

June 16th

Look at the difference in such a short time!  Notice the skin drying a bit on the edges.  We had to scrub that gently off and continue to keep it moist to promote even healing.

 June 22nd

Six days later, I sent this picture to the vet and she was amazed.  It was healing better than we both thought.
July 25th

This picture was taken at fair in July.  You can see the scar line on her jaw, but you really have to look closely.  Most people don't even notice it unless I point it out.  Pretty amazing!

So the moral of the story is, you can help heal larger wounds without stitches or vet help. Please use your own judgement on this though. Some wounds are really too big and serious and need veterinarian attention.

To recap what we did:

1. Cleaned wound out thoroughly twice a day with a hose(this stimulates the healing process and keeps it from drying out).
2. Sprayed the essential oil blend on twice a day.
3. Applied sulfidiazine twice a day.
4. Covered with a cloth diaper or anything large enough and used duck tape as a make shift halter to keep it in place.
5.  If the edges started looking raggedy and drying out, I gently used a scrub brush to scrub this off and hosed her down again. We only had to do this once.

I love that I have what I need more times than not to help my farm critters in crisis.  Not only does it save money, but I am using a natural method of healing and I can feel good about that.

  Get started with doTERRA HERE and choose the wholesale membership option, fill out the information and choose which kit you'd like.  Some are 20% off this month!  Still not sure how this all works?  Go HERE

When You're About to Blow a Gasket on the Homestead

If you haven't been there, you aren't human. It happens at least once a month on any normal homestead. If you're lucky, maybe it will skip a month. If you're not so lucky, it might happen every week. But, it happens. And I'm here to tell you how to survive and thrive on the homestead even when things are being thrown at you like an automatic airsoft pellet gun. I use that term because my son purchased one of those bad boys and when they have an airsoft game going on outside, I make sure I stay inside. I see those who are getting hit with this machine gun and they just can't get away, until they find cover that is. It makes for a lopsided game in favor of my son's team.

Life on the homestead can feel like that. Sometimes I just want to throw the towel in and say, "YOU WIN! There's no way I can compete with you anymore! I can't get away from you and your little schemes you keep throwing my way!" There are days when I open the door from our old farmhouse and peek outside, wandering what's going to hit me between the eyes this time.

Homesteading life is not fair. Deaths happen, equipment breaks down, fences are almost always needing some work, animals act like brats, animals act like brats, animals act like brats. Uh-hum.

I told my son the other day that there are times I get so mad at the animals causing mayhem that I just want to shoot them. And then the next day(ok maybe a week or two) I just love them so much. That whole concept where they say that animals will lower your blood pressure is not true. When they act like loons I think my blood pressure could go through the roof. Yet, when they are all cute and acting normal, it could quite possibly go down a good bit. But, doesn't that just balance the high and the low out?

When we are on a drive and see a goat sticking it's head through the fence, pushing and pushing just to get that blade of grass, we rejoice. Sad, I know, but we rejoice in knowing our animals aren't the only ones who wreak havoc on the fence. When we see a horse reaching over barbed-wire, pushing the fence down to eat grass on the other side, we laugh. Sad, yes, but at least our horses aren't the only ones who can bear the pain of an electric shock or barbed wire and ruin a fence just to get a few pieces of grass on the other side.

We went on a little vacation a month ago. We don't do that very often. In fact it's been a few years. When you have animals, even when there's someone there watching them for you, it causes a little nervous sensation in the pit of your stomach when you pull out of the driveway for a few days. And, yes it's usually for good reason. Anyway, we had been on the road for a few hours and got a call. The goats got out. Even with electric wire on top of field fence they managed to find a way, while we were gone for a whopping three hours.

The very first day we were at the cabin in the mountains, we got a call. Part of the loft caved in. Thankfully no one was hurt. But why? I'm mean really, why? Can't we just get a little break for crying out loud?

But you know what we did? I'm not going to lie and tell you we smiled and sang The Sound of Music theme song while holding hands running through the mountains. We were bummed and worried about it for a bit, offered some temporary solutions until we got home, and then we let it go. What would worrying about it hundreds of miles away do for those situations? Absolutely nothing. We swallowed a little harder for a few moments, but we didn't let it ruin our vacation.

We had a blast.

Worrying robs us of joy. The older I get, the more important this verse becomes. We've all heard it many times, but do we take it to heart?

'Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.'

I can testify that if we really make our requests known to God with a thankful heart and put aside the worrying, then somehow He does what He has promised and gives us peace.  Pretty awesome.  God is my anti-blow-a-gasket remedy.  He's my nerve pill, He's my sleeping pill, He's my all.  Get it?

Every morning I go to my kitchen sink and fill my coffee pot up with water.  We have a window there that looks out to the east.  I see my big garden, the barn and trees in the backdrop.  And if I'm not too hurried to look, I see some of the most amazing sunrises.  There's a catch to these sunrises though.  You have to look up at that moment or you will miss them.  They don't last.

When I'm not in a rush, I catch these wondrous gifts from God and it fills me with a sense of awe.  I know He is present.  But there are those days, you know those days, when I have my head down just wanting to hurry up and get that water in the pot so I can have my coffee, FAST!  And I miss it.

Blessings are alot like majestic sunrises.  If you aren't looking, you will miss it.  They don't last forever.  We get so busy trying to make this homesteading life work and it can suck the life right out of you at times.  And in the process we have missed so many opportunities to see those blessings.  Keep looking up.  Keep your eyes open.  You will find one, I promise.

Sometimes we can't outright see blessings.  They might not be so obvious as a sunrise set before us.  When I am about to blow a gasket or am just so done with all of the negatives, I have to seek out the good.  It might be hard to find but it's there.  Ask my family and you will hear them tell you that when bad things happen, I always find a way to say, "Well, at least....." and I fill in the blanks.

At least the goats didn't eat the neighbor's plants, at least that injury was able to heal on its own, at least the hay loft crash didn't injure an animal, at least I got some exercise chasing the dang horse back in the pasture, at least we have each other, at least we have milk to drink(this is a constant reminder when the goats keep getting out), and the 'at leasts'  keep going on and on and on.

So find your blessings, your 'at leasts' on the homestead.  They bring everything into perspective and it keeps us from blowing that gasket.  Sometimes we even laugh about it when we do find our blessing in the midst of all of the chaos.  It changes our thought pattern, makes us thankful

Fellow homesteaders, we are in this together.  We might feel alone at times and wonder about that big house for sale in the neighborhood down the road, but reality is we love this life.  Let's stop stewing about it and move on.

Have you found your blessings?

Needing some encouragement on the homestead?  Get my ebook for just $3.99 or free with unlimited Kindle!

My Immune Boosting Routine

Flu season is creeping up fast and I have to tell ya, I can sometimes be a little paranoid when it comes to getting sick.  Once it hits one of my kids, it's quarantine time.  I break out the little portable tv, grab some movies and one of my older kids will hook it up(I unashamedly don't know how) and put it in the quarantine room along with the sicko.  I'll check in on them, maybe slide a plate or two of food under the door...you know, what normal compassionate mothers do.

I then wash my hands like I'm about to perform a surgery.  Oh, and if I have an itch on my face, I panic.  Even if my hands just got washed, I wonder if I touched something contaminated in the past 10 seconds.  So, after scratching my face, I wash the area I scratched.

I won't even begin to tell you what I do if my kid vomits...

I've often wondered where I could get an old chem gear suit like the ones I used to wear while practicing for a chemical or biological attack when I was in the Air Force.  Might come in handy.

Anyway, we mothers really don't get sick days. So call me paranoid, but there's a reason for my paranoia. I don't have time to get sick!  Can I type that in all caps or would that be rude?  Can I get an amen or something?  Help ease my conscience for not being that parent who stays by their sick child's bedside with a cool washcloth on their forehead and kisses their cheek.

Believe it or not, I do have some compassion for my kiddos.  I do feel bad, really.  And I do my best to sympathize without getting vomit or snot on me.  One way that I show them compassion is by boosting their immune system.  Once flu season is here, I make sure they tell me if they feel like they are getting sick, or if they were around someone who was sick.

At that point, it's time to break the reinforcements.

Elderberry Syrup

Elderberries contain vitamins A, B and lots of C.  They also contain flavonoids which are powerful antioxidants and protect cells against damage.

I make my own elderberry syrup and instead of buying those little bitty bottles of the stuff and paying a pretty penny for it, I make pints of it for cheap cheap cheap!  We take this often especially during basketball season with the kids.  It works!  The key is taking it before you get sick and keep at it for awhile.  Because my kids love this stuff, I do remind them that they only need one or two spoonfuls, two to three times a day.

My son even suggested I make elderberry wine.  Should I be worried about that request?  Anyway...

Essential Oils

I use a combination of oils to help boost our immune system.

Protective Blend - This blend is made up of orange, clove bud, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus radiata and rosemary.  Studies have shown that the oils in this blend have the ability to kill harmful bacteria, mold and viruses.  Just what I need!

Melaleuca -  The common name for this essential oil is tea tree oil.  It is known for its antibacterial, antifungal, anti-infection, antiviral and anti-parasitic properties.  That's alot of 'antis' and I didn't even mention them all!

Lemon -  This oil is also known for a few anti-something-or-others.  It is antiseptic, antifungal,  an antioxidant and antiviral to name a few.

I use a blend of all three.  When we have been exposed to sickness, I grab these babies out and this is what I put in an empty veggie capsule:

3 drops protective blend
3 drops melaleuca
3 drops lemon

Take every 3-4 hours until you think you are out of the woods of being exposed.  If you don't feel comfortable taking this internally, you can apply to the bottoms of your feet and halve the drops for each oil.  This is what I do with my younger children.

Now, if we get that feeling, you know the one, where you just know you are getting sick and your body is trying to fight off something, then it's time to break out the big boy...oregano.  This powerhouse oil is antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and an immune stimulant.

I add 2 drops of oregano to the above concoction when I need reinforcements.  It is important to know that oregano is a hot oil and it is not recommended to take internally for more than 10 days.

Now remember, it is so important to use only therapeutic grade essentials oils from a brand you trust.  I use doTERRA essential oils because I know they are pure and I know where they come from, how they are harvested and how they are tested.  If you are ready to take charge of your health, you can order HERE(you don't have to sell to order!).  Questions on how to order? Go here first to find out about your options!

Top Ten Essential Oils for Livestock

I am amazed at the many uses of essential oils.  And when I found out that I can use them on my farm animals too?  Holy cow!  That was a revolution for me!  And it's not rocket science either.  As you read this list, you will realize that many of the issues we have as humans are treated the same way with livestock.

Dr. Roark is a veterinarian who uses essential oils and I have learned a good bit from her. If you are interested in learning more about animals and essential oils, she has a facebook page you can follow here.

Dr. Roark's top 10 essential oils for Ruminants and Pseudoruminants (cattle, sheep, 
goats, llamas, alpacas, etc.):

1. Protective Blend, OnGuard: immune support, mastitis, coccidiosis, caseous lymphadenitis, abscesses, bacterial or viral infections, hoof conditions, general herd health 

2. Digestive Blend, DigestZen: bloat, scours, diarrhea, constipation, internal parasites, milk production, general gastrointestinal wellness

3. Frankincense: inflammation, cuts, scrapes, tumors, cystic ovaries, pain management, eye conditions, lymphoma

4. Oregano: abscesses, bacterial or viral infections, scrapie, vesicular lesions, 

cryptosporidia, fungal infections, herd outbreaks

Ready to take control of your health and your livestock's?  Find out more HERE!

5. Grounding Blend, Balance: stress, fear, showing, anxiety, broken bones, joint pain, tendon and ligament issues, spine alignment, overall wellbeing

6. Lemongrass: dehorning, lameness, scours, mastitis, tendon and ligament regeneration, arthritis, fungal infections, bladder infections, edema and fluid retention, parasites

7. Breathe: allergies, sinus infections, pneumonia, upper respiratory infections, cough

8. TerraShield: lice, mange, flies, ticks, bots, mosquitoes

9. Serenity: allergies, burns, inflammation, cuts, stress, birthing, anxiety, depression

10. Melaleuca (tea tree): ringworm, lacerations, scrapes, dermatitis, bacterial and fungal infections

  Find out how you can get one of the most trusted brands HERE!

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