Monday, March 02, 2009

snow melting

The sun is out now and the snow is beginning to melt, although tonight we have temps falling into the teens so everything is going to freeze back up again.

Meanwhile, though, I have turned everyone out of the barn, put Keil Bay on the near side for a change of pace, and put the donkeys and Salina out on the other side where they can march around and stand in the sun.

Everyone has a little hay to munch on, and stalls are mostly mucked. I need to top off shavings and get the water buckets cleaned and refilled, but the hardest part of today's work is done, with thanks to a daughter who works hard.

I'm doing pages of editing as I make my way through the day, and we're taking a break now to enjoy last night's roast pork - which is today's barbecue sandwich.

Mugs of cocoa after lunch, and then we'll be back out at the barn to finish up.


Nachodonkey said...

Happy belated B-Day!! It must bite maturing at the usual rate and only having cake and ice cream every four years!!! Hope you had a good week end despite the weather.

I have been watching your food shopping trips with much interest. You may have written about this earlier and I missed it but I assume you are going to a natural diet for your equines? I have been trying to research a natural diet for my diverse lot for a while now. Any advice or direction you could give?

Enjoy the nice weather coming. We have had March Breaks where the temperature has reached the 70's but not in quite a few years.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Good to hear your melting. We've still got some snow falling and wind. Very cold. Hot cocoa sounds like an excellent idea. Enjoy your break.

billie said...

Hi, Nacho!

It's funny - most people assume having a Leap Day birth is a negative thing b/c of the birthday every 4 years, but thanks to my mother, who told me from the very beginning that my birthday was quite rare, and that I was very special indeed to be born on that day, I have gone through my entire life thinking that. :)

We always celebrated on Feb. 28th the off years, and I usually got flowers or something else on March 1st too, so the off years were sort of double-day years and not at all lacking.

Re: the horse feed: yes, when Salina had a reaction to the soy in the very high quality low-carb processed feed I was using, I decided it was time to make the switch to whole ingredients.

Not every horse (and certainly not donkeys) needs all of the ingredients I listed out.

Salina is now on a complete senior feed that is carefully balanced for all the vits/minerals - as she is no longer maintaining her weight with hay/forage.

She gets soaked beet pulp, alfalfa pellets, steam flaked oats, wheat bran, iodized salt, freshly ground flax, vit. E from gel caps (as it is better absorbed when mixed with oil) and a custom mix HorseTech has put together to go with that feed.

Keil Bay is going on a slightly reduced version of that same feed, as even he is not quite maintaining on hay/forage, but he doesn't need all the calories Salina needs yet, so I'm tweaking his a bit to accommodate his work/use of the nutrients.

Cody is getting alfalfa pellets, beet pulp, the salt, flax, vit. E, and vits/minerals (not the same mix as above) but he is also currently getting l-carnitine powder and coconut oil to address mild pssm symptoms.

The pony and the donkeys are getting beet pulp and the supplements but will soon be switching to Ontario Dehy's timothy balance cubes - which have timothy hay, beet pulp, and all the vits/minerals balanced right there in the cube. These were developed for Cushings/IR horses but work well for easy keepers like ponies and donkeys!

I may have to tweak the vits/minerals once I get my hay/pasture numbers in, but for now this is where we are with diet!

I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend taking Eleanor Kellon's online NRC PLUS course on equine nutrition. It was recommended to me by my trimmer, who learned of it via Pete Ramey.

It's not for the faint of heart when it comes to math, but as someone who had a nervous breakdown in the second grade over double-digit multiplication, I assure you if I can do it, anyone can. :)

Here's to the onset of spring - I am very very ready!

billie said...

Arlene, stay warm - I hope the storm passes quickly and you get some sunshine and warmer weather again.

Nachodonkey said...

Many thanks for the info. I will check Eleanor Kellon's site. I switched my dogs to a natural raw food diet about four years ago when the eldest developed severe allergies in late summer. Last year he was hardly bothered at all and was able to go without prednisone. When I saw the benefits for them, I thought it would be good for all of us to go on a more natural diet. I will start next with the equines and then on me. I am also not strong in math (understatement) but will give it a shot.

I meant to tell you that the pumpkin cake and hot chocolate in your blog the other day sounded wonderful. The perfect ending to a cold afternoon.

billie said...

Except for a brief time when they were puppies, we have fed our Corgis (9 years old as of January 8th) a raw diet their entire lives. They are incredibly healthy and I love knowing exactly what they are getting.

I have considered many times doing this for the cats, but have discovered that they seem to be averse to switching from what they ate as kittens. We did switch them to Innova Evo, as I felt it's the closest one can get to a raw diet while using a commercial mix. They love it and thrive on it, but sometimes I wish we were doing raw for them too.