If you have horses or ponies, you also have worm issues. Increasingly, horse owners are finding that traditional wormers that use chemical-heavy pastes and liquids are becoming less effective as resistance increases. Furthermore, in order to combat worm resistance, many of these chemical compounds have increased toxicity levels, which may lead to other complications with your herd. To counter this trend, horse owners are looking at homemade natural or herbal horse wormers as a viable alternative to chemical pastes.
The Advantages of Natural or Homemade Horse Wormers
It can be a very rewarding feeling knowing your are administering an effective worm treatment without adverse side effects, such as allergic reactions or internal damage, from high toxicity levels. Natural or herbal horse wormers are made from herbs found naturally, not chemically created, so negative side effects are nearly non-existent. Natural horse wormers work simply to cleanse the gut. As an added benefit, many of the bitter herbs used in natural wormers also work to repel external parasites, such as ticks and midges. Herbal wormers also help horses develop a stronger immune system making it more likely they can resist future worm infestations. They are a holistic approach to ridding your horse of parasites and nurturing the health of the whole horse.
Which Herbs Work in Horse Worming?
While homemade herbal wormers have not been scientifically tested and approved, they have been shown to be effective by thousands of satisfied horse owners The most effective natural remedy for threadworms and roundworms is wormwood. Garlic is also effective against roundworms as well as hookworms, pinworms and tapeworms. Aloe, rue and tansy are good for all worms. Pregnant mares should not be given wormwood, aloe, or rue, however, as they can lead to premature contractions or other complications. Other effective herbs are horseradish, red clover, ginger, thyme, cayenne pepper, and clove buds. Though black walnut is effective in human wormers, it has been suggested that it can be toxic to horses and other animals. Use caution if administering an herbal wormer with black walnut.
When to Worm
How often you worm depends on environmental conditions and other factors relevant to your horse. A fecal test is recommended to determine the type and saturation level of worms in your horse. It may be necessary to first use a chemical wormer and then progress to natural treatment to ensure eradication. Some natural-horse-wormer recipes recommend treatment once a week, while others suggest dosage once every six to eight weeks. Your treatment plan will depend upon how severe the infestation is, the recipe chosen and the worms detected. Regardless of which recipe used, your horses—and their worm-free, chemical-free systems—will love you for it.