Thursday, February 16, 2012

hoof notes, update on the Big Bay

I've been meaning to write a little about Keil Bay's hooves and how they responded to his new trimmer and her willingness to take his heels down further. We both wanted to address the contraction in the front feet as well as his deep central sulci areas which can become breeding grounds for thrush.

A week after the trim I tried to pack a folded square of gauze soaked in Banixx into the two front hooves - in the crevices that he has had since he's been with me due to the contraction of his heels. Usually I can get the entire piece of gauze in that crevice. A week after his last trim I could only get it halfway in - the crevice is closing up from the inside out.

Yesterday, about halfway into the trim cycle, I brought Keil Bay into the barn aisle to clean his hooves and take a close look at them. His frogs are no longer ragged and jagged in front but nice and flat with almost no central sulci. The crevice, as I call it, is nearly gone.

But the really wonderful thing is that the moment I picked up the first hoof, Keil Bay started licking and chewing, loudly, and he repeated this behavior as I went all the way around from hoof to hoof.

Keil hasn't ever been difficult about his feet, but he's never seemed so happy about the process either.

I should add that we put #78 stone into the shelter behind the geldings' stalls - so that any time they go in or out of the barn (which is at least 4x a day) they are walking on the rocks. They also tend to gather under the shelter when waiting for meals or if they want the shelter for some weather-related reason, so they've been getting a fair amount of time with hooves on stone. And they seem to love it. The donkeys actually ROLL in it!

We extended the #78 to the area outside/beside the shelter, as that too is a favorite hang-out spot. And yesterday, we added #67, which is a nice smaller size gravel, to the strip in front of the shelter and around the edges of the outside square of #78.

Tomorrow I'll get another load of #67 and we'll extend that outside edge to the area beneath and on both sides of the gate that leads from the small barnyard into the dirt paddock.

In addition to helping with the muddy areas we tend to get when it rains, we're providing lots of different terrains for the equine hooves here, and I'm looking forward to seeing how their feet change as we make our way from the barn outward.

We still have the barn aisle doorways to do, the other side of the barn outside Salina and the donka boys' stalls, four gateways, and then squares around each water trough. I'm also going to do a dedicated hosing/bath area in the smaller stone.

With all this stone work, can anyone guess what I wish I could get for my birthday?

(That's right - a baby dump truck!)


Grey Horse Matters said...

It all sounds good. It's great that their hooves are doing so well. I can't wait until the Spring to get our stone delivered and spread. Hope you get that dump truck for your birthday with a big bow on it.

Victoria Cummings said...

I'm so jealous! I want a dump truck full of gravel sooo badly right now. I'm glad to hear that the Big Bay's hooves look so good. I have to admit that I spend too much time thinking about drainage these days.

billie said...

A, I am not holding my breath for the dump truck, but if one shows up you will likely hear my excited shriek of pure delight all the way up there!

billie said...

V, we are fortunate to live very close to a quarry that allows us to get pick-up loads for $25. Although a small dump truck would be ideal, this way we can get each section done and take a break before the next one. I never knew how much I would covet things like loads of stone and shavings, farm equipment, and tools that last and work well.

Máire said...

That sounds great. I could do with a dump truck too. Very interesting about Keil Bay's reaction to his new trim. Really encouraging.

Netherfieldmom said...

I'll have to tell my husband these grade numbers. This year we put fines on our barn porch, to give them an island from the mud. I am so glad we did, as we haven't had a hard freeze yet this winter! The paddock is hideously muddy and we can't get a dump trailer to it do add anything. Anyway, the fines have pretty much been swallowed up with dry, crumbly manure, on the porch. Perhaps we will top it with your grades, rather than more fines. Wanted to put "hog fuel" into the paddock to cut down the mud, but no one around here has heard of hog fuel mulch.

billie said...

Maire, another week later he is still licking and chewing when I pick his feet. It's so interesting.

billie said...

Netherfieldmom, we have loved what we've done thus far. I will say that the one issue is that they are loving to pee in the #78 that's beside their shelter - I'm not sure why! So I may have to sprinkle something in that area periodically to keep it from smelling. As long as it rains some, that seems to clean it up.

With the manure, I'm about ready to get a clicker and train them all to use a muck bucket! Or better yet, the wheelbarrow itself. :)