If you’re a romantic type like me, you love to envision beautiful rustic barns and pastures full of baby animals. Which is totally a part of the homesteading package deal, and it’s one of the reasons why I love homesteading so much!
But, just as true as romantic scenery, are the poopy chicken coops, flies, spiders, garden pests, and occasionally the sick or injured animal. And if you got into homesteading because you wanted to steer clear of pesticides, antibiotics, and toxic chemicals…how are you supposed to deal with all the unsightly aspects of homesteading?
Sure, commercial farming has made huge ‘strides’ in using man-made products to deal with everything I listed above. The problem is, it’s all too often toxic for the animals, which in turn is toxic for us, it depletes the nutrients from our food, and it’s simply down right inhumane in many cases. I don’t want to be a part of that.
Instead, we use natural alternatives, and most often that includes essential oils. I want to say, I do feel there is a time and a place for modern medical intervention, but if we can use a natural alternative, we do. Essential oils are safer, less costly, and often more effective then their man-made counterparts.
So for all you naturally-minded homesteaders out there, I’ve compiled a list of some common ways we use essential oils around our homestead. It’s definitely possible to avoid commercial products.
Here’s how we do it:
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar + 1 cup water + 20 drops of TerraSheild mixed in a 16 oz spray bottle. Spray as needed to deter flies in the barn yard.
Spider Repellent / Garden Pest Control
- 1 gallon of water + 20 drops Peppermint + 10 drops Lemongrass. Mix in a sprayer and spray outside around windows and doors, and anywhere else it’s needed. This can also be used to deter pests in the garden.
- 3 cups Apple Cider Vinegar + 2 Cups Water + 15 drops Melaleuca (aka: tea tree oil)
Calming Livestock during Travel
- Put 2-3 drops of Lavender on a hand towel or sachet and keep it near the cage you’re transporting your animal in.
Ear Mites (in rabbits)
- Mix 2 Tb of Apple Cider Vinegar with 1 drop of Melaleuca, and use a cotton swap to wipe the insides of the rabbit’s ears. Do this 2-3 times a day until it clears up. *I’ve had tremendous success with this!*
Livestock Wound Treatment
- The soothing balm I use for my family, we can also use on our animals. **Note: if you want to use this on cats, you need to leave out the Melaleuca as it may be toxic for cats.**
I hope this is encouraging to all you homesteaders looking for viable natural alternatives to help deal with the less-then-romantic side of homesteading – so you can spend your time enjoying all those rustic barns and baby animals!
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