Expert natural health folks will tell you optimum levels of bacteria would 85% good bacteria and 15% bad.
What about pigs? Pigs are very similar to humans in there digestive system. It stands to reason if good bacteria is needed for optimum human health than it's needed for optimum pig health.
Good bacterial inputs are typically called probiotics. They are the opposite of antibiotics.
The big guys regularly dose their hogs with sub-therapeutic antibiotics to virtually kill all types of bacteria good and bad.
This keeps the animal healthier (supposedly) and optimizes growth. The major problem of course is the over use of them is resulting in resistance to antibiotics when we need them.
You can read some very solid research here on the resistant pathogens that are direct result of factory farms.
So....let's just say that we at Spring Hill Farms do not want to use sub-therapeutic antibiotics for our livestock.
We want to use probiotics to build up the good bacteria to the point that it holds in check, or even stamps out bad bacteria in the animals system.
Probiotics are great for:
- The proper development of your immune system
- Protection against over-growth of other microorganisms that could cause disease
- Digestion of food and absorption of nutrients
Traditionally, clabbered milk is made by allowing raw milk to stand until it has thickened, a process which takes 24-48 hours. The milk is also typically kept warm, encouraging the growth of beneficial bacteria. As it thickens, the acidity of the milk increases, preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and creating a very distinctive tang which many people greatly enjoy. Pigs practically kill for it!
That was one of the plans when we bought our Oberhasli goats. Make clabbered milk to feed the pigs and chickens to keep them healthy and vigorous so we don't need antibiotics or other pharmaceuticals to keep them healthy.
It works great and the pigs and chickens both really enjoy it!
This is just another way we are striving to work with the animals immune system, not prop it up with outside inputs.
till next time!