Thursday, April 14, 2011
Well, according to that ticker up there at the top of the blog - IT'S HERE! Lambing season officially begins, and after watching that ticker move ever so slowly over the past month, it honestly feels as if there should be some kind of bells and whistles or maybe even fireworks! Barn and field checks are now more frequent, and the first things that are noticed are the bulging bellies and swelling udders. Yes, lambing time is here. Don't be too disappointed if the lambs do not begin hitting the ground immediately. Sometimes it takes our girls a few days to get into the swing of things.
Following our post mentioning the addition of raw apple cider vinegar to the watering trough, Dori had some questions which we will attempt to answer here. We usually add a 32 oz bottle to the 50 gallon watering trough which we fill to about the 3/4 mark or about an ounce or so to a 5 gallon bucket. We try to use unpasturized, unfiltered vinegar such as this, but sometimes have a hard time finding it. We use it to promote general health, to combat heat stress, and we also use it as a drench to combat diarreah. We rarely use it during the winter unless someone looks like they need a little 'pick-me-up'.
There are many different resources that promote the use of vinegar:
Laurie Ball-Gisch wrote an excellent article on heat stress for 'sheep!' magazine. She also shares her 'vinegar miracle' on her wonderful website, Lavender Fleece, and has a lot of information about her experiences with vinegar including a study done in New Zealand. Pectin and enzymes are among the things mentioned as the reason that raw ACV seems to help many different conditions.
More information can be found in "Natural Sheep Care" by Pat Coleby. I think it is also mentioned in "The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable" by Juliete de Bairacli Levi but I cannot put my hands on either of the two copies we have, at the moment.
(Please remember, that this something that works for us, but may not work in your particular situation.)