Some years ago, we interviewed David Wilson, Farm Manager for the Duchy Home Farm in Gloucestershire, for our ‘This is Farm Homeopathy’ newspaper. We spoke to both David and his assistant manager Nick Fuge. Here, David tells us how and why a 1900 acre organic arable, vegetable, dairy, sheep and beef enterprise would use homeopathy and how they feel it has benefited them.
David told us, “I think homeopathy works best when a stockman embraces the whole topic and understands it otherwise they tend to use it as a bit of a bolt on. There is nothing easier than saying ‘it’s got a high temperature, right give it 12mls of Engemyin’, the decision making process is clearer, it does not require as much expertise. But, I think using homeopathy satisfies a very good stockman in a way that antibiotics don’t.
Above: Picture courtesy of Lower Hurst Organic Farm
We use it all the time, that is what underlies our approach to farming anyway, avoiding the problems in the first place. You know that at certain times you are likely to get problems and we use the basic preventatives for things like NFE and Foul of the Foot, and the common remedies for ease of calving and lambing as well as for bruising and things.
Probably 15 to 20 of those are in everyday use and then if we have specific problems we may ask for advice.
For example, we had a whole bunch of ewes with really bad orf which got very infected, the vet had said ‘all these have got to go onto antibiotic treatment’ but with help we cleared it up without using any antibiotic at all.
We will use homeopathy and use conventional medicines along side if we think we need to. It does depend to a large degree on the individual who is administering the treatment as to what precise approach is taken.
Nick Fuge was in charge of the beef and sheep enterprises at Duchy Home Farm and he agrees that homeopathy helps him to do his job more effectively and avoid problems.
He told us, “We mainly use homeopathy at times of stress, for the beef and sheep that’s really at weaning time because that’s their biggest problem and ours. Otherwise, they are outside on grass with one or two offspring or with mum and it’s a life of Riley really!
“Homeopathy has been a big help at weaning. Previously there would be a lot of shouting, bellowing, bleating and there is much less of that."
"It was the biggest check to their growth, we would lose animals a couple of weeks later, they would go off their food, which now they don’t and we would have a few cases of illness, perhaps pneumonia, and now we don’t.
“It’s all part and parcel of sorting out the system. We wean later now and we use a gentler system. We creep feed as well as use homeopathy in the water and we get a lot less noise and no check in production. It’s been a big improvement.
“They are not so upset by the separation, it covers the grief and the stress, and it’s easy. I spray them on the nose and put it into the water for 2 or 3 days afterwards.
“It helps us to be proactive on a larger scale, that’s its biggest benefit, we can be ahead of the game. It helps general welfare. I would definitely go on using it if I was on a conventional farm, you can work on a group basis, help a whole group and the cost is negligible, it’s pence. It makes you feel better."
"I have seen its effect for myself. As a stockman you have FAILED if something is wrong with them, especially with the beef and sheep, it’s not like a dairy herd, they are not under great stress. The only critical time really is weaning and it helps HUGELY.”