WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Essential oils are often used for therapeutic purposes in humans. Now, they’re being used with cattle.

a herd of cattle standing next to a fence

© Provided by Wichita-Hutchinson Plus KWCH-DT

New research shows essential oils can have a positive effect on overall gains and for fly and tick control.


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Jaymelynn Farney, an extension specialist with K-State, said instead of applying the oil topically form, it is mixed into cattle feed.

“We mix it in with some of their daily vitamins and minerals,” said Farney, “but what I found more consistently is an improvement in gain for our cattle, on grass, that’s being fed these essential oils. Anywhere between .08 to almost a quarter-pound improvement in average daily gain.”

Farney said there is still research to be done on tick and fly control.

“In regard to fly populations, I don’t really see a consistent result from the products that I’m looking at in regards to being able to control it,” said Farney.

Essential oil products for cattle are currently on the market. Farney said using essential oils in the cattle industry to increase growth efficiency could be one small step to make an impact on gas emissions and overall sustainability.

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