Worming Sans Wormers

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Worming Sans Wormers

Postby George Collins » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:31 am

Youngblood and I rode to town a couple days ago. I needed to pick up a couple things from the hardware store and the feed store and since I'm trying to be all environmentally less irresponsible these days, I waited until I could hitch a ride. It worked out well for while we were riding along I got to thinking about worming pigs. I asked him, "How'd Pa and y'all used to worm hogs 'fore they had all these high-dollar, drug-store wormers?"

"Lye."

"Lye?"

"Yep. Lye."

"Like Red Devil Lye?"

"Yep. Can't get it n'more though. They done took it off'n th'market."

"Whut for?"

"I don't know. S'more of that crazy, ignert-assed gummit [cuss words, cuss words, cuss wirds]!"

After returning home, I whurped out the handy iPhone and starting doing a bit if research. Found this:
Have you ever wondered how they did something back in the old days? You know, back when there wasn’t a store to go to for your every need. I’ve often wondered how farmers did lots of things without modern conveniences. In particular, I’ve wondered how they took care of the health of their livestock back in the pioneer days.

Through this homesteading adventure of ours, I’ve learned that most livestock need to be wormed, or they’ll die. But how exactly did pioneers de-worm their animals without the manufactured drugs we have nowadays?

Well, after asking around I’ve found the answer. Lye. I know it sounds crazy, but I have talked to people who are still using lye to worm their livestock to this day.

In particular I’ve been told that a tablespoon of lye in a 5 gallon bucket of slop is enough to worm a full grown pig. Just make sure to supply plenty of water. I asked if the pig seems to be in pain or anything from the lye, and the answer has always been “no”. Just don’t overdo it, or it could cost you the life of your animal.

http://newlifeonahomestead.com/2010/04/worming-livestock-in-the-old-days/

I also found that lye can be used to worm chickens and my guess is that it would be effective for any farm animal although I have not yet verified that.

During my research, I found that Youngblood was right in that Red Devil Lye is no longer manufactured. However, this is: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0039CPO34/ref=mp_s_a_1?qid=1356657884&sr=8-1&pi=SL75

Bought some.

However, what's really cool about using lye as a wormer is that you can make it at home. Like this:http://m.wikihow.com/Make-Lye
Last edited by George Collins on Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Worming Sans Wormers

Postby Lollykoko » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:45 am

Thanks for the lye recipe, George. My gf and I have been talking about making some before making bar soap.

So, how do you make sure each pig gets it's share of that slop with the lye in it?
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Re: Worming Sans Wormers

Postby George Collins » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:35 pm

Doing further research into making lye at home brought me to this website: http://thelibrary.org/lochist/periodicals/bittersweet/sp74h.htm

While reading there, I found this:
Ashes sprinkled around plants on the ground will keep almost any kind of insect away.
Sprinkled around your fruit trees, ashes will keep bore worms from bothering them.
Throw some ashes in the scalding barrel before adding water to help loosen the hair in butchering hogs.
A handful of ashes in a rag can scour silver or metal pans like a scouring pad.If you want to rid your chickens of mites or lice, sprinkle ashes in the hen's nest. Also if you put ashes on the ground, chickens will roll in them to rid themselves of the pests. Hogs will eat enough ashes to worm themselves if there is a pile handy for them.
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

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Re: Worming Sans Wormers

Postby matt walker » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:36 pm

That is awesome info. Love the part about the chickens, mine are always scratching around when I throw the ashes out there. Good find man!
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Re: Worming Sans Wormers

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:57 pm

That method of making lye from ashes has been around since before the pioneers started to move west. There is a stage coach stop at the foot of Laurel Mountain just before you get to Fort Ligioner here locally called the Compass Inn. It is 1/2 log and 1/2 stone and has been restored as a Museum of sorts. They have a large brick bake oven out side in a separate building that baked a weeks worth of bread and rolls at a time as well as a barn full of old harness for Conestoga wagons etc. There was a round log rotted out in the center that was used to make lye. The log was placed upright under an eve to catch rain water run off. They placed straw, soldiered into the opening of the log so that they were all pointed the same direction as a filter. The log was then filled to the top with wood ashes and the rain water was allowed to perk down through the straw slowly. The log was placed on a flat stone that had a circular channel chiseled into it to catch the water as it came out and there was a spout that dripped into a bucket. If the lye was too weak you just dumped it back through again. It was a low tech process that worked well using only what you had at hand. I was impressed with the stone that they used to catch the lye, it was obviously an original tool from the 1700's.
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Re: Worming Sans Wormers

Postby George Collins » Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:29 pm

I know of another, safer method of worming livestock ... one that my dad used for years. All it involves is giving the afflicted animal a bit of snuff in its normal ration of grain.

Why snuff? Well, if you were to read the label from a commercial worm medicine, chances are you'd find that the treatment consists mainly of powdered tobacco (probably 80 to 90 percent powdered tobacco, plus some antibiotics and fillers). OK. So why should you pay $1 or $1.50 for a half-ounce tube of doctored-up tobacco ... when you can buy a four-ounce tin of Levi Garrett snuff —which is nothing more than powdered tobacco anyway — for less than a buck? Why indeed!

In my experience, snuff works as well as any worming medicine you can get from a vat ... and It's probably a good deal safer to use than most such medicines. To rid your horse, cow, hog, or other large stock of parasites, here's all you have to do: Mix an ounce or so of snuff with a scoop of feed, give the mixture to your afflicted animal, and keep the beast penned up for most of the day. Within an hour of the feeding, the animal should begin to pass large, seething masses of stomach worms in its feces. (When it does, sterilize the wastes by pouring a little kerosene or used motor oil on them.)


http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/natural-dewormer-livestock-zmaz77mazbon.aspx#axzz2g2XtjorY
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