Using common kitchen products for the barn yard residents can not only save you money, it can also work better than the retail product you paid a lot more to obtain. Let’s face it, we can spend a lot of money on retail products aimed at barnyard animal care. Some of these are dollars well spent. There are also many common kitchen products for the barn and coop that can do the job well. And many times using kitchen products for the barn is a more natural and healing path than the retail product.
Olive oil is a kitchen staple. Most of us are using it in some way or another for cooking. I also keep a bottle in my feed shed for first aid.
Chickens can benefit from it if they have an impacted crop. Using a small syringe, carefully open the chicken’s beak, or if you are lucky, she will open it for you. Slowly push the syringe so the oil drips into the mouth. Don’t squirt forcefully because you could force some into her lungs by accident. Massage the crop after the hen swallows the oil. This will help break up the clump so the crop can pass the material through to the gizzard.
Another use for olive oil happens at the other end of the chicken. Occasionally a hen will strain to pass an egg. It might be an extra large egg or she could be older and not as elastic as she once was. Coating the vent with a thin smear of olive oil can assist her in passing the egg.
Olive oil is a good way to add calories in an animal that has been undernourished. Do not over do this! Fats should still be the smaller nutritional component of the diet. We used to add a tablespoon to the older pony’s food to help with their coat.
For the livestock guardian dog, adding olive oil to the food will aid digestion, add antioxidants, improve taste, and add energy.
Epsom salt is a good source of magnesium. Soaking in a bath of warm epsom salt and water, relaxes muscles in an egg bound hen. It is also good for soaking bruised legs or hooves in livestock, horses and pets. Chickens with bumblefoot abscesses can have a soak in epsom salt and water too.
Bleeding can be Stopped with Kitchen Products for the Barn
Blood Stop Products
Not many events are quite as scary as blood rushing from an animal’s wound. First you have an injured animal that may not want to be caught for treatment. Then you have the whole, possibly life threatening, blood loss to deal with. All the while trying to hold a towel or bandages on the wound, trying to not get bit or kicked. Be prepared for this. Animals hurt themselves, each other, and sometimes they hurt you. It’s a part of barn life that shouldn’t happen often, but when it does, you will want to be prepared. Keeping some or all of the following products in a air tight bin in the barn storage room might save a life one day. All of these can act as a blood stopping treatment. Once the blood flow is staunched, you can treat and bandage the wound.
Vinegar- it works but it might sting a little
Tea bags – moistened
Yarrow herb crushed or chopped fine and placed on the wound will stop blood flow.
Kitchen Products for the Barn Use in Bloating and more
All ruminants are capable of bloating. Horses and dogs can suffer from bloat too. It’s a painful condition, sometimes caused by intestinal twisting but often caused by food intake, changes in diet, heat, or stress.
Mix baking soda with water. Add a table spoon of vegetable oil. Syringe into the mouth.
Infections /Wounds/ Internal Parasites
Oregano and other herbs offer natural pest repelling and natural antibiotic action. Many have shown some natural worm inhibitor properties. Herbs can be fed fresh, or dried. Add to food, sprinkle on the ground, in nest boxes, or mix into homemade treats.
Garlic adds many health benefits to your livestock and poultry. Garlic aids the gut in staying healthy and repelling parasites. Use it fresh, or dried in small quantities throughout the year.
Honey is an amazing healing ointment all by itself. The antibacterial action adds to it’s benefits.
Salt water paste- salt and water mixed to a paste
Coconut oil is one of the best treatments for skin irritations. Coconut oil has healing properties and coats and protects abrasions.
Teri Page from Homestead Honey website says “ I keep coconut oil in the barn to rub on chapped tears and udders. If I suspect pre-mastitis, I’ll add essential oils.”
Weakness, Energy Boost, Postpartum Supplement
Molasses adds calories and some nutrition to a weakened animal. It’s also what we use to treat the momas on the farm, after birthing. We put a few big glugs into the bucket with some warm water. They drink it right away Molasses is a good source of iron, and the sweetness provides energy for recovery.
Devon Young , from Nitty Gritty Life – “I always keep blackstrap molasses on hand during lambing season to give mamas and babies a boost if needed and also to entice a lamb to suckle a bottle nipple in event of bummer lamb…”
Apple Cider Vinegar
Added to the drinking water, apple cider vinegar with the “mother” or culture, provides a healthy dose of probiotics goodness. ACV keeps the pH of water at a healthy level that discourages bacteria growth. Adding ACV at a rate of one tablespoon per gallon of water, will keep the chicken’s digestive tract healthier and help the immune system. It is also good for humans! Have you tried to make your own apple cider vinegar?
Don’t add vinegar to metal watering containers as it will contribute to increase rusting.
White vinegar is also helpful around the barn. It is a cheap cleaning substance. Fill a spray bottle and add some herbs for a pleasant, non-toxic cleaner. I also use it to clean the water tubs and cut through that nasty scum that forms.
Other Items to Keep in the Barn Storage Room
Kris from Attainable Sustainable website has a list of items she keeps on hand in the chicken area. Not all are food or kitchen products, but they are all must have items.
Angi Schneider, from Schneiderpeeps, had this to add. We’re harvesting honey right now and we’ve decided that chopsticks, mason jars and duct tape are the all purpose tools that we need for any project…..haha!”
And now it’s your turn. What would you add to the list. Do you have kitchen products for the barn that you wouldn’t be without and I left off of my list? Add it in the comments to keep the conversation going.