Cycle of Substance Animals ensure that there is a cycle of substances on a farm. What livestock eat as fodder and then digest, later becomes partly available in the form of manure. The manure is returned to the land and the land can then produce more fodder and other products. This cycle of substances is permeated with life forces and qualities and this gives the farm its own individual quality.

Animals and the Farm Organism Therefore the ideal set-up for a biodynamic farm is a mixed farm with livestock and fodder crops, producing its own manure for the soil. This farm is (or should be) a self-supporting closed organism, in which the different sub-systems such as the fields, the manure, the meadows and the animals all interrelate properly. Elements are assimilated from the air such as the nitrogen which is absorbed by leguminous plants, the carbon dioxide which is assimilated and the energy of the sun. The farm feeds on these and the food produced for man is created as a contribution to life on Earth. 
  Animals are a core part of the farm. However, they have a very different mode of life compared to plants and therefore a different place in the inter-related system. They are not rooted in the earth but are able to move about freely. need living matter as food in the form of minerals, plants or other animals.

There is another big difference: they have instincts, passions, feelings of hunger and thirst. They are able to express these feelings and take steps to satisfy their needs.
Animals not only have a physical body and a life body like plants, but they have a higher organisation which enables them to act in a more independent and free fashion.
They can express their feelings through their behaviour, they can make us hear their call; they have an inner world and can clearly react to and even affect the outer world, digging a hole or building a nest. Therefore, they are less dependent on the earth, less rooted in the life body of the earth.
This organisation, which gives animals their consciousness and the potential to express themselves, is known as their ‘astral body’ or ‘sentient body.’ It is called ‘astral’ because the forces which act on the astral body come from the world of stars and planets.
In ancient Indian ethos, the cow was venerated as the 'Kamadhenu'. The sacred cow denotes "purity and non-erotic fertility, ... sacrificing and motherly nature, [and] sustenance of human life"

Our domestic animals and the livestock on a farm all clearly have their own species-bound behaviour. Although these animals may graze in the same field under the same conditions, their manure will have a completely different composition. The grass which they eat is assimilated and processed in a very different way in a cow and in a sheep. Cow manure is soft and slimy and flows down to form a cow pat. Sheep droppings appear in the form of solid, round pellets and these droppings smell very different from cow pats. The effect of these different types of manure on the soil is also very different. When an animal digests fodder, the substances and life forces assimilated from the plant nutrients are useful and necessary for it. What is excreted has been worked upon by the animal, with its astral body. Astral forces are contained in the manure, and these are expressed, for example, in the form of the odour and properties of the manure.

The soil, therefore, receives very new and valuable additions from this manure. The soil is enriched by these astral forces and is, therefore, better able to develop its own soil life, to form humus and to become more open to the beneficial effects of the sun, the moon and the other planets on the plants.

 

Each farm has to find the right types of animals and their number in connection to the farm’s crop. 
Then soil, animals and their manure can be brought into a fruitful co-operation.