Nutmeg has a problem. She has very dry skin. And, it's at its very worst right now.
I'd intended for this post to include a pic of her cracked, bleeding teat. But, I apparently accidentally deleted it. Lucky you. I can hardly think of a more painful problem for a poor dairy goat to have. It's cracked. It's bleeding. And, then I have to go and squeeze on it twice a day and seemingly undo all the healing that had taken place since the last milking.
I hesitantly turned to the internet for help, afraid that I'd be advised to stop milking her so that she can heal. That would, of course, mean no more milk until she kids again in the spring.
Thankfully, I found no such suggestion. What I did find was advice to wash the area well (which we do with each milking anyway) and coat my own hands with Udder Balm before milking. This would basically mean that I was massaging the healing cream into her udder throughout the milking. Worth a try!
But, you know me. . . I set out to find a recipe for an all-natural balm made up of ingredients I feel good about (and can pronounce). After all, we are drinking this milk, and while I do my very best to keep any ointment (or anything else, for that matter) out of the milk, there is the chance that trace amounts could make their way there.
I tweaked/mashed-up a couple recipes I found online and created this bag balm.
Now, I know my audience well enough to know that you're not all about to go run out and try this on your own goats. But, this does make a great heavy-duty hand salve. While I don't have a lot of goat milkers in my blog readership, I do have a lot of hard workers/gardeners/crafters. And, I'm sure your hands or other rough areas could use a healing salve from time to time.
To make this one, melt the following all-natural ingredients in a microwave safe bowl, stir to combine, and pour into a container or two:
- 1/2 oz. beeswax
- 1 oz. cocoa butter
- 1 oz. coconut oil
- 3 oz. olive oil
- several drops of a skin-healing essential oil (I used Melaleuca oil because I had it on hand, but lavender oil would work well, too)
Now, I've added this balm to my arsenal of all-natural milking products, including fly spray and teat disinfectant. The healing is slow going, but Nutmeg is doing much better. I can definitely tell a difference in both my hands and her teats since beginning use!