CARE OF COWS WITH A DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
by Dr. Larry Wilson
© February 2019, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Health Of Cows
Three Methods Of Care
The Development Method
Water For Drinking
Isolated Nutrient Supplements
Dry, Clean Bedding And No Concrete
Drugs And Vaccines
Music For Cows
Love Your Cows
Understanding illness - Layers Of Illness:
- Basic Causes
- Second Layer – Metabolic Disturbances
- Superficial Layer - Symptoms And ‘Diseases’
- Infections, including Pneumonia
- Reproductive Problems
- Eye Problems
- Premature Aging
- Liver Toxicity
- Sluggish Weight Gain
- Low Milk Production
More About The Development Method Theory
Falsely Labeled Grass-Fed Or Organic Beef
Cows are the most important livestock animals in the world. Over a billion people depend upon cows for milk, butter, meat, hide and other products they provide.
However, most cows around the world are not healthy. This is due to a combination of mainly four factors: lifestyle stress such as being cold, nutritional factors, use of medical drugs and vaccines, and genetics (hybrids). These problems are the subject of the first half of this article.
THREE MODELS OF CARING FOR COWS
There are three methods of caring for cows. It is important for farmers and ranchers to understand the differences between them. They are:
Model #1. Conventional drug veterinary care. This is the care that 99% of cows receive. It is very inadequate, in our view. It is the least preventive in nature and the most toxic of the three methods. It is what we call a diagnose-and-treat and remedy method.
It is causing:
- Serious diseases in cows such as pneumonias.
- Diseases in the human beings who eat their products, including cancers, heart disease and others.
- For the reason above, it is leading to a reduction in the consumption of cow products, which is not good. Some are calling for a ban on all cow products today, which would be a disaster, in our view.
- Conventional cow care also damages the soil and grazing lands, contaminating them with drug residues.
- Water supplies around the world are becoming contaminated with antibiotic and other drug residues.
- It is a major cause of antibiotic resistance, a worldwide problem that threatens everyone’s health.
Model #2. Holistic, natural or organic cow care. This is better than conventional veterinary care. It is more preventive and less toxic than Model #1 above.
It is an expansion of the diagnose-and treat method with an:
- Expanded number of diseases or problems. These include imbalanced saliva pH, for example.
- Expanded number of assessment methods. These include various urine, blood and saliva tests.
- Expanded types of remedies. For example, it uses natural remedies for infections to reduce the need for antibiotics.
It also focuses on better nutrition, a better lifestyle for cows, greater cleanliness and avoiding crowding and other unhealthy practices.
Still unhealthy. However, it still requires antibiotics and, at times, other drugs and vaccines because cows handled naturally are still not healthy. Among other problems, they are still too yin, a term borrowed from macrobiotics, quite toxic and often nutritionally depleted, even if they are pasture-raised.
We view natural or organic cow care as a hybrid method between model #1 and model #3.
Model #3. The development method. This is another leap forward. It is a relatively new system of healing that is not based upon diagnose-and-treat and not based upon the use of remedies.
History. Instead of diagnose-and-treat, model #3 derives from the stress theory of disease and the theory of the oxidation types. The stress theory of disease is the work of Hans Selye, MD, a Canadian physician and researcher who lived from 1907 to 1982.
The word stress has found its way into common usage. However, the essence of the theory – the stages of stress – are still not recognized by medical doctors or veterinarians almost 70 years after the theory originated.
The theory of the oxidation types is the work of George Watson, PhD, a researcher at the University of California at Los Angeles from the 1960s to the 1980s. It is somewhat obscure research, but very important because it dovetails perfectly with the work of Hans Selye.
Features. The main features of the development method are:
- Cows must be fed a high-quality diet, including some forage.
- It requires a few simple, but precisely balanced nutritional formulas. These are to correct very specific metabolic imbalances. They can be put in licks and the cows will choose which ones and how much they need.
- It requires avoiding certain products that are yin or toxic. These include most drugs and vaccines, molasses, spent brewers mash and most all vitamin, mineral, herbal and essential oil supplements except the ones mentioned above.
- It requires hair mineral testing of a few cows to determine their stage of stress, especially if a cows are ill. The test may also reveal problems with the water, the feed or other types of problems. This is a biopsy test that is identical to the soil analysis test that all farmers use.
- It causes an unusual phenomenon called retracing. This idea is known in chiropractic science, but not in conventional medical or veterinary care. We mention it here because if one is not aware of it, one will become confused using Model #3.
We have helped research this method for about 40 years. It is not found in any books about cows of which we are aware. It is also just beginning to be used so there is little research on its use. Our work has been in Australia and New Zealand, even though we are based in the United States, where it was developed.
It is discussed at length on this website in the context of human health care. However, all the principles are the same. The only difference is the ideal mineral values that are used to make the assessments.
This article discusses the second and third of these methods in some detail because they are largely unknown and very much needed today.
MAIN FOOD – PASTURELAND OR FORAGE
The correct basic food for cows is fresh pastureland grasses. Rye, wheat, oats and other grasses work very well.
Large grazing areas. Ideally, cows need a large area in which to graze.
Rotation. Be sure to rotate fields. This prevents overgrazing and gives cows added variety in their diet. It also allows manure and urine to be processed correctly without overloading an area.
Choosing their food. Pasture has the added advantage that if the grass is plentiful, the cows can choose which plants to eat. This is important because choosing their food allows:
- better nutrition
- balancing their body chemistry and healing their bodies. Most cows can do this, both hybrids and heirloom varieties.
Without a lot of diversity in the plants cows can use for grazing, one will have sick cows. On most farms, instead of providing enough variety in grazing plants, ranchers use a variety of drugs to control diseases. This is horrible for the cows and for those who will eat their products.
Improving grazing lands. An excellent idea is to improve pastures by planting plants that cows like to eat and that add nutrition to their diet. Examples are lambsquarters, smooth pigweed, burdock, milk thistle, dandelions, tulip poplars, multilfora rose and lespedeza. Do not plant crabgrass because it tends to take over a field and ruin it.
Others are food seeds such as broccoli, cauliflower, peas, carrots and sunflower. One can buy a bag of mixed seeds for cow grazing areas. The cows help by spreading the seeds in their manure.
HAY OR SILAGE
The second best type of feed is silage, or dry hay. This is a standard feed in wintertime if fresh grass is not available.
Hay is a dry food that is too dry by itself. It is acceptable for cows as long as there is enough water to mix with the hay. Hay varies a lot in quality, depending on where it was grown. Hay is also not green grass, by any stretch. For all these reasons, it is not as good as pasture.
CORN, SOY AND OTHER GRAINS OR LEGUMES
This is the least desirable food for cows. It is hard on their digestion and causes digestive problems, in all cases. It may produce a sweet-tasting steak with marbling, but it is not healthy meat. For development, the less grain and legumes a cow eats, the better.
WATER FOR DRINKING
If cow are fed on pasture land, then water is less critical because a healthy cow will get a lot of moisture from the grasses it eats. However, if cows are forced to eat silage or grains, then the cow must have a lot of water to balance the dryness of these foods.
Sadly, many cows have no choice but to drink poor quality water. At times, a low-quality well water can be mixed with some better quality water such as rain water collected properly. Even a small amount can help cows tolerate poorer quality water.
Common problems with water.
Iron and manganese. This is a common problem in many wells. Water that is high in iron and/or manganese needs filtering. Otherwise, cows that drink it will suffer ill health, at least to some degree.
The iron and manganese are usually in a form such as oxides that are stimulating and not biologicially available. We call these forms of minerals the amigos because they are found together. They are discussed in the article entitled Iron, Manganese And Aluminum – The Amigos. They are quite toxic and one of the scourges of cows.
Other toxic metals. This is another problem of some water supplies. Some can be filtered out, but not all of them, by any means. These are hard to identify because standard water testing does not test for all of them. A comprehensive hair mineral test will reveal most problems with water.
Toxic chemicals. This problem is worse in areas such as America, where pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics and other drugs have been used for years. Testing is costly and can miss many chemicals. However, we believe that overall, toxic chemicals are not as bad a problem as are toxic metals and high levels of minerals such as iron and manganese.
Superphosphates or nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. An enormous problem with water in agricultural areas such as the American heartland is the presence of residues of N-P-K fertilizers in the drinking water supplies. These are not easily filtered out, and they sicken many cows. They are also oxide and other irritating forms of minerals.
Other water problems. These include 1) an imbalanced pH, either too low or too high, 2) a very high mineral content, and 3) infestations with parasites, bacteria or other germs.
Use of rainwater or snow runoff for cows. If a cow’s drinking water is contaminated with iron, for example, giving the cows some rainwater is helpful. The cows do not need a lot of rainwater, and even a little helps them offset the effects of toxic metals in their regular drinking water.
When collecting rainwater, be sure that all gutters, conduits and storage tanks are made of plastic, not metal. This is because rainwater will absorb oxide forms of minerals easily from metal pipes and metal gutters.
Sugar beets. Cows benefit from a few food supplements. One of the best is sugar beets. One or two sugar beets every day are a superb addition to a cow’s diet. Among many other nutrients, they contain a significant amount of trimethylglycine. This nutrient is a powerful methyl donor. It helps the brain and greatly enhances the cow’s ability to detoxify all kinds of toxins through the liver.
We find that all cows, as well as human beings and many other species, benefit from extra methyl groups. This is true regardless of what a medical test indicates about the state of methylation in the animal’s body. For details, read Methylation.
Extra fat. Some cows need extra fat in their diets. These cows are fast oxidizers. This is a term from development science. It is a common condition of cows today, though not of all cows. It means that the thyroid and adrenal glands are stressed, and usually overproducing their hormones. Such cows require more fat in the diet. For details, read Fast Oxidation. Later in this article is a discussion of how to tell if a cow has a fast oxidation rate.
Fats. To supply extra fat, animal fats are excellent, but costly. These include chicken skin, suet or others. Oil supplements for cows that we recommend are flaxseed oil or hemp oil, in particular. If your cows enjoy regular corn in the diet, it may be because they want the corn oil, not all the starch.
Supplements to avoid. We do not like adding molasses or spent brewery mash to cow’s diets. These supplements are rich in some nutrients such as iron in molasses. However, they are unbalanced and too yin in macrobiotic terms.
Feeding molasses to cows will overload a cow with iron, which damages its health and can lead to iron storage diseases that can kill a cow. Cows will eat these supplements to supply many nutrients, but it does not mean that they are best. Having more natural foods to graze is best.
ISOLATED NUTRIENT SUPPLEMENTS FOR COWS
Without a few simple nutritional supplements, most cows are sickly today because most soils, and therefore the grasses, are low in vital nutrient. Among these are zinc, calcium, magnesium, iodine and, in some cases, others.
The two ways to decide upon which supplements to feed to cows are 1) guesswork and 2) testing. Guesswork is very unreliable. We never recommend it. It is almost always harmful for cows.
Testing does not have to be costly or difficult if one uses the development method discussed later in this article. This method uses a hair mineral test, which is a tissue biopsy. Blood, urine and other tests cannot provide the same information. The development science section of this article discusses supplementation in more detail.
Cows can select supplements. Unlike human beings and most other livestock, cows will usually choose supplements fairly well if given a choice. A horrible practice at most factory feeding operations (CAFOs) is mixing vitamins in with a cow’s ration so the cows must eat it. Cows do not like this.
Supplements to avoid. With the development method, it is of the utmost importance to avoid giving cows almost all vitamins, minerals and other supplements. This cannot be emphasized enough! It is true even if the supplements produce symptomatic improvements. The problem is they unbalance the body at deep levels and can easily prevent more permanent healing.
Supplements to avoid include most herbs, most vitamins and minerals, and all homeopathic remedies. The latter are toxic and should never be used. We know this is not what the books say. A section later at the end of this article discusses this in more detail.
This is the feeding of beef cows near the time of slaughter. It is a method of altering the taste of the meat and for fattening the cows so the farmers will make more money when the cow is slaughtered due to the extra weight of meat.
Methods. Feedlot cows may not need finishing because they are fed grain most of their life and become fattened early on.
Grass fed cows can be shifted to fields where they will eat more high-carbohydrate grasses and less high-protein grasses. This will add some weight and help get rid of the gamey taste of true grass-fed beef. They may also be confined and fed grain.
Another method in cold climates is to put the cows outside in the cold and they will eat more food and higher carbohydrate food in an attempt to stay warm. This will fatten them and produce a less gamey taste to the meat.
We do not recommend finishing. It harms the animals and the beef, in all cases. However, it is standard practice in the beef industry.
Important lifestyle factors for cows’ health are:
Pneumonia is a problem for all cows that are not healthy and/or not handled well. A simple preventive measure is to make sure cows get enough fresh air. This means to be out of doors, if possible, or to ventilate barns.
Out of doors in the winter. This can cause lung problems for cows if the temperature is below about 50° F. in this case, there is no way to avoid breathing the very cold air. Cows must heat up this air by breathing too slowly or it irritates the lining of the bronchial tubes and lungs, which can lead to disease.
Heat exchangers. The best idea is to use heat exchangers in order to keep the barn warm if the winters are cold. These bring in fresh air, but keep the barn warm at the same time. They cost more than leaving the door or windows open, but they are better for cows.
While it may not be apparent, cows like clean surroundings. The fields are fairly clean although most cows do not like all the bugs and small creatures that sometimes bite them or hang on their hide.
The worst places are usually crowded barns in the winter. These are often quite contaminated with urine, feces and other uncleanliness. Try to avoid such conditions. Barns should be designed so they can be cleaned or moved to new locations if they don’t have a floor so that filth does not accumulate.
We are impressed with using geodesic domes made of PVC pipe as portable and possibly self-cleaning barns. One builds a simple and inexpensive dome frame and covers with greenhouse plastic or used billboard tarps. These are removed in the summer when the barn is not needed and the sun will clean the area. Domes can also be moved easily because they are lightweight (several hundred pounds) and require no foundation.
Crowding cows in feedlots, in particular, tends to spread diseases and makes cows very nervous. Temporary confinement for testing or milking is usually okay. Prolonged confinement in crowded barns or feedlots with a lot of other cows is unhealthy. It can be dangerous if disputes arise between cows. Overnight confinement is not bad and much better than being out of doors on a cold night.
Cows require an outside temperature of at least 50° F. or 10° C. When the temperature dips below this temperature, cows mount a fight-or-flight response that speeds up their metabolism in order to generate more heat. This is okay if it occurs once in a while. However, if it continues, as occurs during the winter season in many locations, it depletes calcium, magnesium and zinc, among other vital nutrients. For details, read Understanding Stress.
Cows in a fight-or-flight situation burn more calories, so they will eat more to keep up their weight. This is hard on their digestive system and wastes grass or other feed. It is like racing a car motor to heat up the engine on a cold morning. Doing this for a few minutes is okay. However, prolonged racing of the motor wears out the motor and wastes fuel.
Chronic cold exposure also affects cows’ disposition. It makes them more skittish and harder to work with. They may just be angry with you, even if they appear calm and happy. The worst situation is staying out all night on cold winter nights. Please try to avoid leaving cows out all night in very cold weather or in unheated barns in very cold weather.
DRY, CLEAN BEDDING AND NO CONCRETE
If cows are in barns in the winter, the bedding must be kept clean and dry. Otherwise, there will be disease.
Also, cows much prefer sleeping and lying on the earth rather than on concrete. Keep cows away from direct contact with cold and hard concrete, which they do not like.
DRUGS AND VACCINES
Hybrid cows are not healthy animals. Heirloom cows are naturally healthier and require less medical care if fed and treated properly. However, all cows, if fed correctly and given a development program, will usually not become ill with infections and other problems. They also will not need vaccines and other medical interventions that are often quite toxic.
The widespread use of antibiotics, female hormone shots and other toxic veterinary practices damage the health of cows more than one might imagine. In addition, drug residues in the meat and dairy products reduce the quality of the products and damage the health of those who eat these products.
This should be obvious, but bears mentioning. Do not allow cows to sit, stand or walk through damp, muddy soil or ponds, or any unsafe locations. Doing so can lead to hoof diseases, parasitic infections and other serious health problems.
COWS RESPOND POWERFULLY TO MUSIC
This is an unusual trait of some cows, particularly heirloom varieties. They like upbeat simple music such as some salsa music and some light classical music. They may enjoy guitar music very much, for some reason.
A wise idea is to have a stereo in a barn or wherever cows spend time and just play music softly for them all day and all night. It should not be so loud that it would interfere with their rest and sleep.
An unusual use of music is that on cold days or nights, spirited music such as salsa music can actually help cows relax and keep warm.
LOVE YOUR COWS
Cows love people and need people’s attention. If possible, do not just leave your cows alone in the fields for days. Try to attend to them, ask them how they are feeling, and listen for answers. You may be surprised that they will speak to you and tell you their observations and their needs. To tune into cows and other animals better, we suggest following a development program for human beings.
Cows heal humans and other animals. Cows always help the humans who take care of them. Some are wonderful healers. This is another reason to spend time with them. Cows also heal other farm animals that are nearby.
A. UNDERSTANDING ILLNESS - LAYERS OF DISEASE
Development science has given those of us who research it many insights about health and disease. One of these ideas is that illness develops in layers, although this is not taught to veterinarians. For simplicity, we have divided the process of becoming ill into three layers or stages, as follows:
The most basic problems. These are:
- Vital mineral deficiencies.
- Accumulation of toxic metals.
- Accumulation of toxic forms of vital minerals.
- Stress from errors such as crowding, too much exposure to cold, use of medical drugs and vaccines, and giving cows improper food and improper supplements.
The next layer. The combination of the above results in unbalanced oxidation rates, low tissue sodium/potassium ratios, and other key biochemical imbalances in the bodies of most all cows today.
The surface layer. What are called “diseases” are just the surface symptoms of the deeper layers mentioned above.
In light of this way of looking at health and disease, we can now discuss a few common health conditions. We will use the examples below to teach some of the basic principles of development science.
B. COMMMON HEALTH CONDITIONS
Cows are prone to many infections when their bodies are out of balance.
High tissue iron. This is very common among cows. It predisposes cows to infections, especially bacterial infections. Toxic forms of iron feed the bacteria. Iron also replaces bioavailable copper, which is protective against fungal and other infections. This is the reason copper sulfate is added to swimming pools and even some wells, lakes and streams as a sanitizing agent.
Low hair tissue sodium/potassium ratio. When this ratio is less than about 0.5:1, cattle are more prone to infections. The low ratio indicates reduced electrical charge of the cells. This reduces an animal’s natural protection against invading organisms. When we correct this ratio with a development program, the tendency for infections decreases.
This is one of the most common problems of cows. Causes are:
- A body chemistry out of balance with a low ratio of sodium to potassium in the tissues. This is the most important cause.
- Inadequate or incorrect diet.
- Breathing very cold or stale air.
- Too much sitting and not enough exercise.
Correction with antibiotics. Conventional farms use antibiotics by the ton. This always damages the cows and shortens their life.
It also damages their products. The antibiotic habit should be illegal because it is abused to such a degree. The problems with it are:
- Harm to cows, including shortening their lives.
- Damage to their products, which causes beef and dairy intolerance or allergies and many other diseases in humans.
- The growth of antibiotic-resistant bugs that could threaten the entire beef and dairy industries one of these days.
- Greatly increased cost of raising meat and dairy products. Newer antibiotics are much more costly and often even don’t work that well.
Food allergies to beef and dairy products among human beings. This problem is escalating, especially in products from hybrid cows. Antibiotic use is the main source of the problem. Other contributors are feeding cows grain and legumes and pasteurization of dairy products.
These food allergies, intolerances or sensitivities are important because they lead doctors to believe that cow products are not healthful, which is not true. Organic and grass-fed meat and dairy products are better, but not good enough because these cows are also fed plenty of antibiotics.
Prevention of pneumonia. This is best, and need not be too costly. Prevention of pneumonia is easy if one knows how to do it and is willing to treat cows correctly.
- Feeding forage, not just grains and legumes. The more forage or silage in winter, the better. The more variety of plants in the fields, the better.
- Balancing the body chemistry with a development program. This is explained later in this article.
- Tail reflexology. This is rubbing and pressing on certain areas of the tail that reflex to the rest of a cow’s body. We are just beginning to research this simple, non-toxic and safe method of balancing the body chemistry.
- Red heat lamp therapy to the lung area. This is another simple, safe and often effective method we are researching.
- Do not rush to antibiotics. This is important because it is often a knee-jerk response of farmers and ranchers today.
Natural methods of correction of pneumonia. Methods include herbs such as enchinacea, golden seal, burdock root and other plants. Natural supplements are vitamin A, oregano and other essential oils, and a development science product called Limcomin or its equivalent.
Oegano oil and all the essential oils are very yin and most are somewhat toxic, which is not helpful over time. Vitamin A, if it works, is excellent but costly.
Impregnation. Many cows have difficulty with impregnation. This particularly occurs when the hair sodium/potassium ratio drops below about 0.5:1. This is associated with infections in the ovaries, fallopian tubes or uterus. A development program will correct this problem.
Calving. Difficulty calving is common, especially in hybrid cows. Reasons for this include that the calves are too yin in macrobiotic terms. A result is that the calves are too large to pass easily through the vaginal canal. This causes the need for pulling, a very painful procedure for a cow.
Another reason for calving problems is reduced flexibility of the vaginal tissues. This is usually due to replacement of zinc in connective tissue with cadmium. This reduces the flexibility of the tissues.
A friend of the author’s owned a surgical glove factory in New York. We visited and he explained to me that if he wants more flexible gloves, he adds a little more zinc to the plastic mixture. If he needs stiffer gloves, he adds more cadmium to the mixture. I commented that this is the same as what goes on in our body tissues.
Hardeners. Cadmium is called a hardener in development science. It is, indeed, a very hard and very tough metal. The body uses it to shore up weak tissues.
Crutches. In development science, hardeners such as cadmium are called crutches. Crutches are not good to have, but by stiffening weak tissues they may keep weak animals alive, just like crutches one might use if one breaks a leg.
Less-preferred minerals. When an inferior mineral replaces a superior one, such as when cadmium replaces zinc, the phenomenon is called replacement with a less-preferred mineral.
Look-alikes. In the case of cadmium, it can replace zinc in certain enzymes because cadmium atoms “look” just like zinc atoms to many enzymes. The reason for this is that zinc and cadmium have the same number of electrons in their outer electron shell. You can see this easily by consulting a standard periodic table of the elements. Cadmium is in the same column as zinc on the periodic table of the elements.
This look-alike quality allows cadmium to “fit” into some enzyme binding sites where zinc belongs. When zinc is in short supply, which is all over the earth, this replacement process can allow some enzymes to continue functioning, although at reduced efficiency. In other words, cadmium is a replacement for zinc. When an animal becomes chilled from exposure to cold temperatures, zinc is lost. This creates a deficiency and the animal will use cadmium to stay alive. However, the “replacement part” causes problems because it is not the “factory original” part or preferred mineral. This is how bodies stay alive when nutritional deficiencies arise.
Another analogy is that cadmium is like a key that is not the correct key to open a lock. However, it is similar enough that it fits into the lock and may work to some extent.
Once again, if a cow becomes stressed for any reason, it eliminates some zinc from its body in order to go into a fight-or-flight reaction. This effect is part of all acute stress reactions.
Unfortunately, cadmium also stiffens the tissues, hardens the arteries and does other damage. A second problem is that as long as the wrong ‘key’ is in the lock, the right key cannot be put into the lock to make the lock function properly. In the animal or human body, this means that just giving an animal zinc will not solve the problem, although it will help prevent its continuation.
This is why when animals are stressed by cold exposure or for other reasons, they are often doomed to problems for the rest of their lives. A development program can reverse this, but it takes time and effort for the animal to accomplish the replacement of cadmium with zinc. Figuring out how to do this was one of Dr. Paul Eck’s breakthroughs in the 1970s. How it is done is explained in the Cadmium article on this website. The same principle is used to remove many toxic metals and toxic compounds of vital minerals such as iron oxide, manganese oxide, hexavalent chromium, and others.
Lead often replaces calcium in the bones of cows and weakens them. This occurs and may be needed because stressed cows all develop calcium deficiencies. Part of every fight-or-flight reaction is a loss of calcium from the tissues. The soils of earth also are deficient in calcium for the same reason – they are stressed. This makes it hard for the cows to replenish their calcium quickly. Many farmers ‘lime’ their soils every year to put back some calcium and magnesium. We do the same thing to cattle in the development method of healing, using calcium supplements.
Lead is a less-preferred replacement mineral in the bones of cows. This replacement, however, is not due to a look-alike situation as is the case with cadmium and zinc. Instead, it is due to other qualities of lead that allow it to settle in the bones. A development program will slowly remove the lead from the bones, strengthening them and reducing the tendency for fractures.
Fractures are also sometimes due to weakness of the protein matrix of the bones. This involves zinc deficiency and copper excess. These minerals are vital for the double bonds that give strength to connective tissue such as collagen that form the protein matrix of bones.
Infection with parasites is an ongoing problem with unhealthy cows. Veterinarians prescribe deworming drugs. However, these are all toxic and usually do not get rid of all the parasites. They just reduce the numbers of parasites to a more manageable level.
Development programs eliminate parasites by a different method. They strengthen and balance the cow’s body chemistry until parasites cannot live in the body. This takes longer, but once it is accomplished the parasites are gone forever. Re-infection does not occur, unlike the situation with deworming drugs. This difference can save a rancher a lot of money by not having to buy deoworming drugs and labor.
Some ranchers use bentonite or other clay products to eliminate some parasites. These can help, but all clay is very high in aluminum, a highly toxic metal. We do not recommend its use as it sicken cows.
The eyes of cows and other animals contain more zinc than most other organs, except perhaps the male prostate gland. A zinc deficiency due to stress reactions leads directly to eye problems such as irritation, infections, visual disturbances, retinal detachment and others. As explained above, stress reduces a cow’s zinc level and can do so quickly.
Aging is associated with the buildup of oxide forms of iron, manganese, aluminum and often copper in the body. These compounds are called the amigos in development science because they are often found together on hair mineral biopsy tests.
We also sometimes call them the irritants. The amigos irritate the tissues and cause oxidant and other kinds of damage that ages the body prematurely. They also find their way into the meat and make beef irritating to the digestive tract of many human beings. For more details, read Iron, Manganese And Aluminum – The Amigos.
The amigos are difficult to avoid if a cow is stressed. The reason is they serve as crutches that stimulate the adrenal glands of a stressed cow to keep the glands functioning adequately.
Removing the amigos from the body of a cow or other animal is quite difficult. Modern veterinary or medical science does not have the ability to do this. In humans, bleeding is still used to lower toxic levels of iron but this is not done to cows.
Removal requires minimizing stress and a development program will then cause their removal. This is the only methods we know of to eliminate the ‘amigos’ once they lodge in a cow’s body. Their removal has a rejuvenating effect on a cow or other creature, causing improved energy, better digestion, as well as many other health benefits. This is how development science de-ages animals and human beings.
Three main types of liver toxins often ruin the health of millions of creatures. Identifying them is not part of modern veterinary science, but is basic in the development method. Veterinarians measure liver enzymes, biilirubin and perhaps other liver markers in the blood. However, none of the three classes of toxins discussed below elevate liver enzymes or trigger other standard indicators of liver damage unless their levels are extremely high. Until veterinarians look for them in hair biopsy samples, they are not liable to find them.
- The ‘amigos’ - metal oxides, metal carbonates and other toxic forms of minerals that we discussed above. These are a serious problem for most cows today, even those that are well cared for.
- The aldehydes such as acetaldehyde and others. These are mainly the result of fermentation of food in the intestinal tract of an animal. They can also find their way into the bodies if an animal or human eats food that has been fermented. It is a problem, for example, with feeding cows brewery waste products. It is one reason we don’t like this feeding scheme. If exactly the right method is used to ferment foods such as milk products, few aldehydes will be produced. However, this is not done often enough. As a result, millions of humans and many cows on earth have excessive aldehydes in their livers. They are potent toxins and difficult to remove, even with development science.
- AGES or advanced glycation end products. AGES form when sugars mix with fats, oil or proteins. In human beings, they also arise during high-temperature cooking such as roasting, broiling, frying or baking, including frying meat. Much better is to cook at lower temperature and with water, with methods such as pressure cooking or steaming.
In cows, AGES arise because grain fed to cows is broken down to sugar in their intestinal tract. If there is too much, which is inevitable because grain is not the natural food of cows, some of the sugar combines with proteins and fats in the cow’s stomachs to form AGES.
AGES are also powerful toxins that are also quite difficult to remove. A development program will remove them, however. Modern medicine and veterinary science does not know how to remove them and most veterinarians are not even aware of their existence.
The presence of the liver toxins discussed above cause many cases of chronic hepatitis among cows, other animals and human beings. It is a viral hepatitis that may elevate liver enzymes somewhat, but not as much as occurs with some other kinds of hepatitis.
Veterinarians may try gamma globulin shots and even toxic anti-viral drugs. However, healing it with medical or veterinary methods is difficult. Most veterinarians tell animal owners that it won’t hurt their animal too much. However, this is not quite true. Hepatitis weakens the entire animal and impairs digestion, protein synthesis, and toxin removal.
In many cases, the only way to heal this type of hepatitis is to remove the liver toxins – the ‘amigos’, aldehydes and AGES. It then goes away on its own. No remedies of any kind are needed. This is another benefit of a development program. This is part of what we call the basic cleanup of an animal or human.
SLUGGISH WEIGHT GAIN
One reason for sluggish weight gain is that cows that are stressed cannot eat as much. Eating is a parasympathetic activity. Stress forces animals into a sympathetic nervous system pattern that literally ‘turns off’ their digestive system. Stress literally shuts down the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system and severely inhibits digestion. Appetite decreases and digestion slows to a crawl.
For example, in the winter in colder climates, it can take until noon or after for a cow to warm up enough to become hungry. In winter, cows exposed to the cold also stop eating earlier in the afternoon because they become cold as soon as the sun begins to wane, inhibiting their digestion.
For this reason alone, exposure to the cold weather of winter thoroughly unbalances a cow’s metabolism. It requires at least a month or longer to hopefully correct the situation when warmer weather arrives in the spring. A development program can help, but it cannot overcome the problem of cold exposure.
Cows, like human beings, should not be fat. Lean is healthier, even if the meat is tougher. Causes for overweight cows include:
1. A yin condition. Yin is a Chinese word meaning expanded and ill, today. For more on this subject, read Yin Disease and Yin And Yang Healing on this website. Yin in cows is caused by feeding grain, use of medical drugs and vaccines, and giving many vitamin and mineral supplements. Cold weather is also very yin and exposure to it also makes cows more yin.
2. An excessively fast oxidation rate. This is the result of stress. It causes sodium and water retention, and higher insulin and cortisol levels that fatten cows.
3. In a few cases, thyroid problems cause excessive weight gain. This is more common in human beings than in cows, but it occurs in some animals, as well.
4. Other causes. These include inflammation, liver toxicity, kidney weakness and heart problems. These, however, are less common causes for abnormal weight gain.
LOW MILK PRODUCTION
This problem is becoming more common. It is due to impaired health, low hormone levels, mammary gland infections and malnutrition. Milk production usually increases when cows follow a development program (see the case history later in this article).
WHAT DOES THE HAIR MINERAL BIOPSY MEASURE?
It measures the level of three groups of minerals. They are:
1. The macrominerals or electrolytes. These are calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. These are the most critical for setting up a development program.
2. Trace minerals. These are iron, copper, zinc, manganese, chromium, selenium, cobalt, molybdenum and lithium. Some laboratories also measure a few others. However, less is known about the others and testing is not necessarily accurate.
3. Toxic metals. These are lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum and nickel. Some laboratories measure others such as beryllium, antimony, uranium and others.
WHY HAIR TESTING?
For the development method of correcting body chemistry, one needs a tissue biopsy. Hair gives a reading of the cells and the interstitial spaces or spaces between the cells. This has proven to be the most accurate method to set up development programs.
Hair is also an excretory tissue. This means that the body often moves toxic metals and other chemicals into the hair in order to eliminate them. The interpretation of the test takes advantage of this fact.
Hair testing is fast, very simple, and inflicts no pain. Animals are completely unaware of testing, which helps them relax and is safer for those taking the hair sample.
Hair testing is also very accurate and reliable when done correctly. Thus far, we are unable to use blood, urine or other common types of tests for setting up development programs.
HOW IS THE TEST PERFORMED?
The hair sampling procedure is given below. At the testing laboratory, the hair sample is first cut into very small pieces. Then it is dissolved in nitric acid overnight. This dissolves the protein of the hair. The next day a carefully measured amount is placed in a computer-controlled mass spectrometer or induction-controlled plasma instrument for measuring the mineral content.
IS IT A NEW METHOD OF TESTING?
No. Mineral analysis using spectography has been around for hundreds of years. Newer, computer-controlled spectrometers have made it much more accurate, which is required to set up development programs. It is a standard method of mineral analysis and is identical to soil testing. Hair mineral testing is widely used for environmental monitoring.
WHY DON’T VETERINARIANS USE IT MORE OFTEN?
Veterinarians don’t use it because:
- It is somewhat new compared to blood and urine testing.
- They follow the drug medical model of healing, which uses mainly blood testing for assessment.
- Interpretation is more difficult than with blood and urine tests. Most vets are not familiar with it at all.
HOW DOES ONE INTERPRET THE TEST?
The hair mineral test can be interpreted in three basic ways:
1. Some just look at the toxic metal levels. This is a very crude use of the test, but it may indicate that something is poisoning your herd. For example, some bovine supplements are high in aluminum or mercury. Some soils are also too high in aluminum. At times, a water supply is causing poisoning with a toxic metal such as lead if there was formerly a factory or mine located on the land.
2. Some look at all the minerals and then use replacement therapy. This means that if a mineral level is low, they will supplement with that mineral. If a mineral is too high, they may try to reduce the cows’ feeding of that mineral. This method of using the test is popular, but not very successful and possibly dangerous.
3. We interpret the test by the method developed by Dr. Paul Eck. We find this method to be far superior to replacement therapy. It requires measuring the oxidation rate, the stage of stress, the metabolic type and other data about the animal. To do this requires calculating four ratios, as explained below. We also look for about half a dozen patterns of mineral imbalances that tell us about specific disease conditions or tendencies that are present.
Basic use of this method is quite simple. With cows, only a few patterns are really needed. These are discussed later in this section of the article.
HOW MANY COWS NEED TO BE TESTED AND HOW OFTEN?
We suggest testing three or four cows to obtain a reliable idea of the general health and problems of a herd. More can be done, if needed, to check problems with individual animals.
Repeating the test every three to six months is helpful to assess progress. The test can repeated up to once every two-three months because the hair needs to grow out before retesting.
HAIR SAMPLING PROCEDURE
Materials required. A sharp pair of scissors and a small, clean paper envelope in which to put the sample.
Location. Sample the hair from the head, ideally as close to the brain as possible. This will give the most accurate results. If sampling the head hair is not possible, sample the hair along the spine, as near as possible to the head.
Cleaning. Once you decide on the location for sampling, clean the area with a little rubbing alcohol. Do not use water or hydrogen peroxide for cleaning because they will wash out some of the water-soluble minerals. These are vital for accurate test results.
Cutting. Cut the sample as close to the skin as possible. This will give the most current results. Cut off the long end of any hair that is longer than about one inch long. Do not submit long hair for mineral biopsies because the ends of long hair can be several months old, giving less accurate results. The shorter the hair sample, the more accurate will be the results.
Packaging. Put the sample in a clean paper envelope. Do not put samples in plastic bags because the hair sticks to the plastic and is less easy to handle.
How much? The laboratory requires 125 milligrams of hair. This is about a full tablespoon of hair.
Which lab? The testing laboratory must not wash the hair at all for accurate results. At this time, we can only recommend Analytical Research Labs in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. They may not want to accept samples from cows, however. There is a way around this if you contact this author.
Almost all mineral testing labs wash the hair, which wrecks the accuracy of the water-soluble mineral readings. Beware that most mineral testing labs do not do accurate testing, even though they manage to meet government licensing standards.
Cost. The test costs about $45.00. Some labs will send an interpretation at additional cost. We do not use these for cows.
Balancing the ratios. The four ratios that one calculates on a hair mineral test are:
- The calcium-potassium ratio and the sodium-magnesium ratio together give us the oxidation rate.
- The sodium/potassium ratio indicates the electrical balance of the cells. The ideal ratio is about 0.6. A lower ratio is not desirable.
- The calcium/magnesium ratio tells us about the diet and lifestyle of an animal. Recall that for accurate hair readings, the hair must not be washed at the laboratory.
The method is quite simple to use. It is explained in more detail in a number of articles found at www.drlwilson.com. These articles use the human normal values, but the principles are the same. We offer training for anyone interested in learning it.
MINERAL BIOPSY PATTERNS OF COWS
Common mineral patterns seen with cows include:
Fast oxidation. This is very common. Mild fast oxidation is normal. Very fast oxidation is due to excessive stress. This can be due to zinc deficiency, a diet too low in fat or oil, infections, inflammation, exposure to cold weather or some other stressor.
Slow oxidation. This is uncommon in cows and indicates poor health.
Four highs pattern. This is an inflammation pattern.
Four lows pattern. This is when the first four macrominerals – calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium – are all low. It is rare in cows and indicates very poor health.
Low sodium/potassium ratio. This is common and indicates weakness of the adrenal glands, a tendency for infections, often reproductive problems, and excessive tissue catabolism.
High sodium/potassium ratio. This is associated with acute stress, inflammation or anger.
High calcium/magnesium ratio. This is usually caused by eating too much grain or other carbohydrate food.
Elevated levels of iron, manganese, aluminum and perhaps other minerals. These are the oxide forms of minerals that are often excessive in cows and other animals. For details, read The Amigos.
Poor eliminator patterns. These are very low levels of the ‘amigos’ or of toxic metals. They indicate difficulty eliminating toxic metals and maybe due to other imbalances such as liver or kidney problems.
Low zinc. This is common in areas where the soil is low in zinc. These areas are the Western world, and Australia, in particular, although low zinc exists throughout the world, to some degree.
CORRECTION OF MINERAL IMBALANCES
Correction may require a change in feeding for grain-fed animals. In addition, several formulas of supplements are needed. These can be placed in large bins and the cows will usually take what they need.
Successes. In our experience, a development program can correct most illnesses of cows. We have had good success with herds in Australia and New Zealand with mastitis, reproductive problems and damp hoof problems.
IDEAL HAIR MINERAL VALUES FOR COWS
Development programs are very precise. For this reason, we are less interested in mineral ranges and more concerned with ideal biopsy values. The ideal mineral values vary somewhat with the breed, but should be close to those listed below.
Calcium = 210-220 mg%
Magnesium = 105-110 mg%
Sodium = 50-55 mg%
Potassium = 100-120 mg%
Iron = 18-20 mg%
Copper = 1-1.2 mg%
Manganese = 1.4-1.6 mg%
Zinc = 20-22 mg%
Selenium = 0.062-0.066 mg%
Chromium = 0.02-0.025 mg%
Vanadium = 0.04-0.05 mg%
Boron = 0.02-0.025 mg%
Phosphorus = 25-30 mg%
Sulfur = 250-280 mg%
Cobalt = 0.02-0.021 mg%
Molybdenum = 0.001-0.002 mg%
Lithium = 0.001-0.002 mg%
Lead = greater than 0.05 mg%
Mercury = greater than 0.03 mg%
Cadmium = greater than 0.008 mg%
Arsenic = greater than 0.004 mg%
Nickel = greater than 0.4 mg%
Aluminum = greater 0.6 mg%
In November 2012, we reviewed the hair analyses of three grass-fed dairy cows in Australia. (Click here to view a photo of these animals.) They are part of a herd of several thousand. All of the cows’ mineral charts revealed:
* A fast oxidation rate
* Four highs pattern
* Normal to low sodium/potassium ratio
* Good calcium/magnesium ratio
* Low zinc and low copper
* Elevated aluminum, iron and chromium (these are oxides or ‘amigos’)
* High manganese in some of them, but not all (possibly from the soil)
All the cows were having reproductive problems. There were too few pregnancies and calving was often difficult. Also, milk production was low. In some of the herd, weight gain was also sluggish.
The hair tests indicated that the cause was low zinc in the soil, and perhaps low copper, along with too much iron, chromium and aluminum (amigos). This is typical of depleted soils on earth.
The entire herd was given access to licks containing three different formulas to balance the abnormal mineral patterns seen on the tests. They were also given accesss to supplements of calcium and magnesium, and zinc.
After five months on this regimen, reproduction problems diminished, weight gain improved, and milk production also improved. One rancher said he had saved about $40,000 in veterinarian bills in one year.
Repeat mineral analysis on the herd five months later revealed that the four highs pattern had gone away in all the animals and all were in a slow oxidation pattern with a low sodium/potassium ratio.
This represents a temporary calming down of the animals we call retracing. Basically, their stress level was lower and they were in a recovery mode. Some of the other imbalances were still present such as low zinc.
1. A multi-vitamin/mineral formula for cows with a fast oxidation rate and a normal or elevated sodium/potassium ratio. The formula is the same as Stress Pak from Endomet Labs in Phoenix, Arizona used for humans. To this formula, add a little more zinc.
4. A special formula for cows with a low sodium/potassium ratio. It is the same formula as Limcomin by Endomet Labs in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. High Five by Altech is similar to this formula. However, one must add more zinc to it. This formula is used to raise the sodium/potassium ratio.
In development science, a copper supplement will slow a rapid oxidation rate and will raise a low sodium/potassium ratio. These are two important problems of cows, especially in the USA. A reddish color of the fur, dermatitis or eczema, and pink eye may be associated with a need for extra copper.
Note: do not be misled by a high zinc level on a hair mineral test of a cow. This does not mean the animal does not need zinc. An elevated hair zinc level usually indicates that zinc is shepherding toxic metals out of the body and protecting the blood from them.
Calcium and magnesium. This needs to be added to the human formulas. Less may be needed in certain parts of the world, such as the United States, while more may be needed in Australia and New Zealand, for example.
Kelp is better than the cheaper “mineral packs” that are usually fed to cows and other animals. Kelp is a vegetable, and a unique one. Water supplies in America and Europe may be contaminated with iodine antagonists such as bromine, chlorine and fluorine. These increase a cow’s need for iodine.
Omega-3 fatty acids. Pasture-fed animals should not need this supplement. Grain-fed cows in the USA may need 5 to 10 mg/kg daily of omega-3 fatty acids if they are mostly grain-fed. Sources that are excellent are flaxseed oil, although fish oil, hemp oil, or others will work, too.
Trimethylglycine. TMG or trimethylglycine, at a dose of about 8-10 mg/kg, is excellent for all cows. They could be fed one or two sugar beets daily, but this is difficult with large herds because the cows may eat more than this and become very ill. So it may be best to use a supplement of TMG.
Selenium. This might be needed, in some cases. It could help cows to deal with metal poisoning and selenium deficiency. America is blessed with many high-selenium soils. Other nations are not as fortunate.
We use the name, the development method, because the method develops cows to their full genetic potential. This is a somewhat esoteric concept that concerns the opening of the seven physical energy centers of the body of all living creatures.
The time factor. Healing with the development method is often fast, but if a cow is very unhealthy it will take a few years. Building the health of a herd may therefore take some time, but it is well worth the effort.
The development method requires balancing the tissue electrolyte levels - calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. It also requires balancing the oxidation rate and the tissue sodium/potassium ratio.
These ideas are explained in various articles on this website, although a complete understanding of the method does not require knowing the entire theory of the method. This article is a practical guide.