Sunday, March 02, 2014

warming up, cooling back down

Our wacky winter is continuing - we've had a few days of nice warm sunshine, 70 today, and tomorrow we're looking at ice pellets and low of 18 degrees.

Keil Bay and I had the first ride in over a week yesterday - he had chiro this past week and with the weather weirdness we had not gotten in riding time. He seemed a bit stiff and I fretted some - thinking that maybe I'm asking too much of him. But I decided that even if we poke along it's probably better to keep riding than to stop. Today was totally different - very nice ride and lovely forward trot work. 

In hindsight I think his front frogs are shedding (and there's a longer story involving hoof trims which I don't really want to go into - suffice it to say I am seeing the value of allowing some self-trimming to go on and let the riding do the work instead of the rasp) and that he was just tender yesterday.

We had a bluebird flying around the arena as we rode and that was nice. I think spring is coming but it's clearly not here yet!

In other news, if anyone is using MidWest Agri plain beet pulp shreds, PLEASE make sure you rinse and soak and rinse and check for STONES.

I had been finding stones in the shreds for several months now - not daily, but off and on. Since I rinse the shreds in a metal colander, I realized I could easily hear them when rinsing - and I also have hands in the beet pulp as I rinse and inspect it carefully.

I decided that I needed to check more rigorously and when I opened the last bag, I started collecting what I found in individual ziplock bags each batch. What I found is rather stunning. After the second day I contacted the company to let them know that I was quite concerned. The quality control director emailed me within an hour and asked for photos, which I was more than happy to send. I also sent two days worth of stones at their request. They are supposedly checking into this and seemed to take it very seriously - I have continued to collect what I find, as I wanted to finish out this bag and have the entire "collection" of what was in it. 

I'll post some photos here later this week - but there are stones bigger than chickpeas as well as many tiny stones. 

While I'm happy that the company responded so quickly, I have switched to Blue Seal beet pulp pellets until further notice. 

The only way I reliably find these is by listening and sliding the wet shreds across the metal colander - they are not visible just by looking, and I can't feel the tiny stones just by running my hands through. 

I know I'll be complaining about ticks and fire ants and fleas and flies but I have to say it - I am ready for spring!!


Grey Horse Matters said...

We're all ready for Spring! Glad you got a ride in with this crazy weather.

Interesting and worrisome about all those stones. Wonder what they will do to fix the problem. Good catch on your part.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Ugh - bummer about those stones. I feed that brand od beet pulp daily. What might the consequences of ingesting them be?!

Also ready for several seasonally appropriate days in a row...

billie said...

A, I was so happy with Sunday's ride. Saturday's had me fretting a bit!

I am a sort of maniac when it comes to checking the feed. I was told they would be in touch to let me know what they found and how they were resolving it but no word yet.

Especially worrisome is that the entire bag had the stones - from top to bottom, all mixed in. And folks in nearby counties found similar things once they knew to look.

billie said...

C, my immediate concern is cracking teeth - the larger ones could easily do that.

I imagine steady ingestion of stones could create GI issues of some kind - like sand but much larger. My main reaction is to stop the ingestion asap. I'm sure a google search will yield more!

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

It doesn't sound (or look) like much chewing goes on when Val consumes his nightly mash lol.

Did a google search and found several COTH threads that mentioned pebbles and debris in their beetpulp. Heading off to read your new post now. ;D

billie hinton said...

Mine get alfalfa pellets in the wet beet pulp so there is some chewing happening - but if Val isn't chewing then hopefully you'll steer clear of the possibility of him chomping down on a stone!

Matthew said...

I think spring is going to be late again just like last year.

Our hay grower said they have ice in the trees this morning.