Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cow healing and controlling flies with salve

After the gruesome post I did last time I thought it was necessary to follow up with a update on poor Rosebuds injury.

I found Rosebud Sunday night and started a salve regimen that included cleaning out the gouge initially then packing with salve every few hours as the salve gets rubbed and licked off. After the initial cleaning, Lucy (our natural healing friend) recommended to just applying salve over and over the immediate and surrounding areas. No need for cleaning. She’s never had an issue with infection even if the salve is just applied over the last dose. Here are some pictures of the salve.

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The yellow salve is a balm of Gilead salve that comes from infused oil made from poplar buds. You know the kind that are sticky in the spring just before the poplar leafs out. We pick a bunch of the buds and leave them in olive oil for a while. After a while we melt bees wax into the oil and it comes out nice and pliable.

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This salve was a bit too thick. Rosebud kept kicking when I applied it as I had to really push to pack it on.

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The first picture above is how I wished the salve would stay. The above picture is how it often looks, full of hay and dirt.

Milly made another salve today that wasn’t so thick. (she didn’t put as much bees wax in). It went on like I was icing a cake. Rosebud didn’t mind the application and it’s gotten in deeper in the wound. I think Milly’s recipe was something like 5 ounces of balm of Gilead oil, 4 ounces of honey, an ounce of bees wax, some old balm of Gilead salve, and some left over green salve that has a bunch of stuff infused in it. She kept the bees wax at 10% of the concoction.

If there was one nice thing to come from this injury its that I think we’ve stumbled onto a good solution for controlling flies. Check out Ferdinand the steers back.Cow healing 009

He is right beside Rosebud.

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Look at rosebud. Every time I’ve applied salve to her sore udder I’ve wiped my hands on her back. No flies. I’ve been really surprised the flies haven’t attached her wound as well. Anytime I’ve applied salve the flies immediately stop bugging her. She had a bunch of flies on her face and nose. I applied a really small amount of salve to those areas and now the flies have stopped pestering her. I’ve only seen a few mosquitos as well. Great find. Even with the 4 ounces of honey in the salve the flies have still stayed away. Amazing really.

The best thing about the salve we make is it’s practically free (other than the hours of labor it takes to pick and infuse native plants in oil).

Other than the oil (we get ours from Costco) and a small dollar amount for beeswax we can make the salve ourselves. It makes us really feel empowered to be able to take care of injuries on our own.


  1. How is Rosebud doing? How did she get the lacerations? Has she had her calf? Lots of questions.

  2. Skillful blog! I love it. If you have the determination and the space to keep a cow, they make a great addition to any farm. Your cow will provide you with milk, cheese and butter if you take good care of her. Cows are hardy animals that can help you to make a quick buck by selling their dairy products. thanks a lot!~ Pamela Thompson