Farming with out drugs and pesticides is possible!
From 1996 until 2007, I experimented wish would be the best way to combat and control Parasites on Farm Life stock. The best result I achieved with a combination of dry bedding, good air ventilation and Spray lime and flock management! I worked closely with The University of Guelph
In Canada who ran tests over a 3-year period to determine what does and what does not work since some parasites such as tape Worms and coccidiosis have developed resistance to drugs on some Farms.
Over the 3 year period minimal to no parasites where fund in the Sheep flock of the Paschen Farm! Wish did puzzle the lab at one point in 2006, a year in wish most Farmers did have a great struggle with parasites due to a very warm and humid summer. However, none could be found in our life stock even though we did not medicate them nor did we do any thing different from other Years. Never the less what we did worked, even in the worth of condition and that by it self proved to me that chemicals and drugs are not the anther to our problems in Agriculture as well as the environment! No Organic Farming is the right way to go, as long as one does understand the biology behind it as well as the natural cycles involved. It is not enough to want to be Organic, one has to know the Chemistry and Biology behind it and work with Nature not against it. I often see Farmer with a organic field and they are wondering why it is doing so poor, yet they do not follow the needed 7 year rotation and cut corners here and there not giving back as much as they take from the top soil. Same goes for the life stock and every other living organism there is on the Farm and in nature it self. The key word being balance and the ever-renewing life circle.
As far as the Parasites are concerned, they to need balance and a medium to strive in, such as moisture, heat, nutrients and stress in the Flock as well as mall nutrition and bad management all will cause an explosion of parasites regardless of the drugs used!
Yet if the Flock management is good, the Flock happy and contend, the bedding dry, the air fresh, and the Water of high quality then the parasites have next to no chance, same goes for Human by the way! A noisy Barn at any time is due to bad management and causes stress on the life stock as well as the operator, weakening the immune system and giving Parasites a chance to multiply and get out of control. This same sort of noise stress cause the Human immune system to weaken due to stress factors hindering sleep and relaxation needed to function and feel well! One way to counter this is by adapting an iron rutin. Never letting the Animal feel hungry, providing them with a ration that is well balanced and giving them plenty of room to move as well as near continuee access to the pasture except over night maybe due to predators and to much dew, during that particular time of the day.
Now a good pasture rotation is vital to keep parasite counts down. Best would be, in addition to the weekly rotation, to alternate using the fields in such a way that every other year they may be used only for Hay and hay-lage not as pasture. For that of course one has to adapted the size of the Flock to the size of the Farm, wish should be a must for Organic Farming anyhow! For 100 Sheep, one does need almost 40 hectare of workable land.
Another factor that we have strayed away from in Modern Agriculture is the Mixed Farming Practice. This is essential in the over all balance of the Natural cycle and it is a great tool to combat parasites as well! Now in many countries the combination of Dairy animals and Poultry and or Ducks, Guess is forbidden due to fear of e-coly contamination!
In well-managed Milk Parlour such risk are next to none and no different than in any other dairy operation!
Ducks and guess are a great tool to keep fly population down with out pesticides and at the same time to control parasites and other problems such as infections.
Chicken and some birds keep the life stook clean of external parasites and dirt, Sheep as well as Cows are happy to let them do their work, so do Horses to my surprise!
As long as they are all used to each other and can room around freely the system works perfectly! Cats and Dogs do have their place as well and help keeping the life stock healthy and well off. Now do not get a Doberman as a Farm Dog, which would be fatal. However, a Border Coly or French-Pureness would be ideal for a Farm Operation.
The Dogs and Cats keep Rodens under control and predators away from the Life Stock. In all my consulting work to other Farms I keep on preaching the basics, regardless of whether the Farm may be Organic, some what Organic or not at all.
The Basics apply to every Farm as well as Human Households for that matter!
Namely being clean good Water, Clean fresh Air, Dry Housing, well balanced Feed and lots of room to move. Those five are fundamental for a healthy Flock or Herd of Animals and the same applies to Human as well.
Every time when I am called on by a Farmer to assist him or solve a problem with him or her and as I enter the Barn there is a lot of noise, I already know that there are several problems at hand that need to be addressed. The worst is when entering a Barn and the Air is being so bad that once eyes start to tear up meaning too much ammonia, often the case in Barns with slated concrete floors and liquid Manure. Straw and Wood Shavings are by far better for the Animals comfort and well-being as well as to improve the Air quality of the Life Stock in the Barn. Now this is more work in deed and demands a different set up as with Concrete slats. However, it does improve Animal Health and productivity as well as lowering mortality in the Barn. Some times less is better. Meaning that fewer Animals per scare Meter of space do produce more then more would in the same or similar Space. The PH of the water does play an important role in animal’s well being and parasite control. We fund over the past 12 Years that a PH of 5.5 to 6.5 is giving the best results in parasite control as well as dairy production and Milk quality. The higher the PH above 7.5 the more Parasites are fund and the easier it seems for them to establish them self, especially in Young Animals such as Lambs, Calf, and Piglets or Weaners!
This works especially well to counter Coccidiosis and Bacterial infection where many use Antibiotics for in high dosses! The other thing to watch out for is water temperature. Rather important in a Dairy operation, however also for Young Life stock. If the Water temperature is kept at 16 to 22 degree Celsius at all times especially over the winter month it does help a higher water intake by the Animals and there for improves their health status and Milk Production, Especially in Dairy Animals.
Ironically the same principals do apply to Humans and if applied improves Health, well being as well as social behaviour in People as it does in Farm Animals!
The Organic Board is now taking a look at this since this farm does produce 10% of all the beans produced in Japan!
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huntsville, Alabama, United States