When preparing water for our animals, I boil water and use a small pinch of herbs. Though not prescribed for this use, I employ Gunter Hauk’s Bee Tea comprised of 15 biodynamic herbs. It smells pleasant and floral. It is not necessary to use this. If you have German chamomile, Stinging Nettles, and other medicinal herbs — use what you have.
Some people add minerals to the water for their animals. I do not because I add so much else, plus they have free range on grasses, legumes, and medicinal herbs. Herbs, like weeds, accumulate metals and minerals much more readily than other plants.
Note: ducklings need a source of niacin. Stinging Nettles, a common biodynamic herb, is a source of niacin.
We supplement all of our animals with raw organic apple cider vinegar. I have noticed that this prevents water from going “stale” for much longer. This stuff is quite potent. I dilute it in the herbal tea and dissolve a small amount of our honey in it. The honey moves the scent from an astringent vinegar to a more pleasing cider smell. Wildflower honey is sucrose and glucose, plus a wide array of proteins (pollen) from local plants helps our animals grow up with the widest range of immune benefits possible. I myself take local honey as an allergy remedy! Honey must be local. And honey must be diverse. If you feed your animals honey from a monoculture, it does them no good. As Abbé Émile Warré said in his Beekeeping For All, only mixed-source honey has any medicinal qualities.
Only droplets of Sea-Crop® are used for young birds according to its instructions:
SEA-CROP® may be used as a mineral supplement for animal nutrition. The product can be added to drinking water or food. The very low daily dosage rate is 0.02 to 0.05 milliliters per kilogram of body weight. This is approximately 1/5 to 1/2 teaspoon per 100lbs. http://www.sea-crop.com/application.html
Your recipe will vary depending on the size and health of your animals. There is no magical formula, but these are what I’ve found to be good ingredients:
- Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- Local Honey
- Herbal Tea
Our animals do not get sick often, but I think I have noticed fewer illnesses. My animals appear more vigorous, but a genuinely scientific study would require another lifetime. A contributing factor could be that I am improving in my management of my animals, and that we switched this fall to Countryside Organics as our feed source — one that includes probiotics, yeast, and trace elements; it is also produced within the Commonwealth of Virginia.