Herbal remedies have been healing and soothing for centuries. One herbal concoction, a calming product from Bach Flower Essences, is Rescue Remedy. Alice Stebbins, who lives on five acres in Duval, Wash., carries Rescue Remedy, both drops and spray, in her purse.
Before Stebbins hauled her nervous mare to Idaho for breeding, she added drops of Rescue Remedy to the mare’s drinking water. “I put about six drops in a water bucket,” she says. This easy application limits stress for both owner and horse.
Her Satin rabbits shed and groom continually; hairballs can have dire consequences since rabbits can’t regurgitate. Oatmeal is a fiber that keeps the digestive system moving, cutting down on the possibility of hair collecting and forming a blockage. Stebbins also suggests a dose when a horse is injured. A few sprays of Rescue Remedy into its mouth will quiet the animal so it can be helped. She says that because a horse can pick up on its owner’s anxiety, “I often recommend that both of them take it.”
Stebbins’s horses aren’t the only animals that benefit from a dose of her favorite tonic. When her dogs have gotten hurt, she’s given them Rescue Remedy, too. She also takes it herself … “It’s great stuff.”
Kristen Molencamp of Plato, Minn., keeps tea tree oil around as a topical treatment for her horses. “I really like tea tree oil for minor cuts and things,” she says.
Tea tree oil is an extract from the leaves of the Australian Tea Tree, Melaueca alternifolia. The oil is an anti-yeast, antifungal and antibacterial substance that also comes as a cream. It’s available in health-food outlets, pharmacies and some larger stores such as Wal-Mart.
Kitchen pantries store food for the table and often, remedies for the barn. Nicole Raines, of Sidney, Neb., raises goats, chickens and rabbits on her six-acre farm. She keeps a rabbit remedy in her pantry—Old Fashioned Quaker Oats. “We give them oatmeal on occasion to keep them from getting hairballs,” she says.
Raines gives each rabbit a handful of uncooked oatmeal after they’ve given birth and in the spring when they start shedding heavily. It’s easy, she says. “They like it.”
Kathy Arnold of Whistler’s Glen Alpacas in Hudson, Ohio, also keeps a favorite remedy in her kitchen. “One of the things I always have in my refrigerator is live-culture yogurt.”
On her 11-acre farm, Arnold breeds and keeps anywhere from 50 to 65 alpacas.
“If I see somebody isn’t feeling quite well or if their stool starts to look like it’s not quite the consistency it should be, one of the first things I’ll give them is yogurt.” The yogurt adds good, live bacteria back into their digestive system. Arnold explains, “The health of the rumen is extremely important.”