Sunday, November 18, 2012

Horse Supplements

Many horse owners have a very difficult time deciding what to complement their horses forage with to ensure they get everything they need. After years of trials with different grains and supplements I have finally settled with a product called Cbiscuit. Besides Cbicuit, all I offer my horses is free choice hay, loose salt and water as well as a small amount of Rice Bran mixed with the CBiscuit. I have also started my bull calves on this diet and actually started giving my dogs the CBiscuit. Below I will list the ingredients and the benefits of each!

CBiscuit Ingredients!

Designed as an additive to pasture of hay, CBiscuit has no by-products, non-nutritional hulls, middlings, waste products, chemicalized foods, added sugars or GMO's!

Oats - Oats have about 47-53% starch, which is less than other whole grains. Oat starch is more digestible than the starch in corn or barley and less likelyto cause problems like founder or colic, so oats are considered the safest grain. Research has shown that oats contain high levels of other antioxidants that act to fortify the vitamin E. 
Wheat - High in carbohydrate energy.
Barley - Improves muscle tone.
Timothy Grass Hay 
Organic Alfalfa
Organic Flax - High in Omega 3's
Whole Sunflower Seeds - High in Omega 6's
Whole Pumpkin
Pumpkin Seeds - Pumpkin can work as a natural dewormer and detoxer for horses.
Organic Nutritional Yeast - Helps with a healthy 'gut' by promoting fermentation and providing natural B Vitamins.
Organic Bentonite Clay - High in minerals, cleans intestinal track, a natural chelator of herbicides & chemicals.
Kelp - Removes radiation, high in minerals and trace minerals.
Traditional Chinese medicine uses kelp to treat enlarged thyroid glands, swelling, cysts, liver problems, tumors and phlegm. More info on kelp:
The natural and supplemental ingredients in CBiscuit have been known to help with inflammation, hoof & hair condition, digestive disorders, palatability, joint health, disposition, strengthening the immune system & other common concerns.

The pellets are formed from a low heat process that retains and activates the enzymes and nutrients.

A cup per day per horse is all that's needed to balance your horse.

A 25 lb box is $52.50 and I am now distributing CBiscuit to those who are interested in Western and Central Maine.

I feed loose salt free choice to the horses because they are not designed to lick off the lick blocks you can buy from the store. I feed the rice bran also for these benefits:
Not only is RB a highly palatable fat source, it also has a few other benefits:It contains gamma oryzanol. Gamma oryzanol is thought to help muscle repair and rebuilding. Many horse owners have reported increased lean muscle mass in horses that are on RB.
It has a significant amount of fiber in addition to the fat. The fiber in the RB makes it less likely to cause digestive upset than other calorie sources that contain large amounts of starch.
For more info on Rice Bran, go here!

Here are some pointers about other ingredients:
  1. Most feed contains high amounts of corn and corn gluten. Corn is usually a GMO seed stock, produced with chemicals and herbicides. Why is it used to such a great extent? It is very economic, it is high in starch to help bind the pellets together and the corn gluten will elevate the protein content. Corn is considered a high starch. Refined gluten tends to disturb the intestinal system because it is a glue. Many feed manufactures are moving away from using corn in horse feed.
  2. Wheat Middlings. Discarded left over bits of wheat after making flour. It is mostly flour.
  3. Distillers Dried Grains. Corn mash after distillation for the production of ethanol and alcohol.
  4. The majority of most feed is composed of soy. It has many forms from hulls, to meal, to oil, plant protein and dehulled soybeans. Many companies include several versions of soy in each product. The soybean used is most certainly of GMO stock, produced with chemicals and herbicides. Why is soy used to such a large extent? Economics. Many articles conclude that soy and soy oils are toxic and hard to digest for people and for horses and cows and do not promote health.
  5. Most feeds contain Plant Proteins. This is mainly the pulp of the soybean after extracting the oil and other nutrients. Its nutritional value is very questionable. Plant Proteins may also contain canola oil and flax.
  6. Molasses. Molasses is generally use to increase the 'palatability' of the feed mix. In other words, the feed would not taste good on its own. Horses appear to have similar reactions to humans when consuming concentrated sugars.... hyperactivity, nervousness and an addiction for more sugar.

Soley Barefoot Trimming

Will post more info soon!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Extreme Fence Make-Over

As some of you may know I rescued a sweet little miniature horse stallion back in March, now referred to as Leonardo. He had come from a complicated situation which resulted in not only him but 4 other horses locked in 24/7. Leonardo was originally born in Virginia on a miniature horse breeding farm, then brought up to Maine where he was abruptly weaned off his mom and sold because he was unregisterable. The family who bought him (and who I rescued him from) consisted of a nice older man and his mentally disabled daughter who had lost her mom as a toddler to illness. But because of family hardships, the animals well being could not be high on the list of priorities for the family. Leonardo stayed cooped up in a 4X5 foot pen for the first year and half of his life because adequate fencing was never put up and the daughter could not handle his energy when he was taken outside for walks. I found out about Leonardo when the older man called me to trim his feet one day because he wanted to sell him to a family that also had a mentally disabled child, and who had never had horses before. When I arrived, Leonardo's matted forelock was barely noticeable from the edge of his pen in the back of the barn. When I got closer his big blue eyes lit up and he began to prance when he realized he was coming out of his enclosure. Once out in the light, it was clear he had some type of parasite.. he had bloody raw spots on his shoulders, back and neck. His ribs were noticeable even under his shaggy/matted coat and he had a low hanging belly that seemed to droop. His hooves were the worst of all. They were curled up and around, like a circle. I trimmed 6 inches off the first trim and told the old man that I would take him right then but he refused as he had promised the lady with the disabled daughter. Discouraged, I left wishing for the best.

About a month and half later I got a call from the old man saying he still had Leonardo and that the woman came to meet him and called the state on the condition of the horses. He said he had sold one of his horses and that I could come pick up Leonardo anytime for free as long as I promised to not call the state on him again. I immediately picked him up and began the rehab. In less then 4 months, the parasites, worms and hooves were under control and although he had a terrible clip job (courtesy of me) he was happier then ever to be running around in his make shift pasture where he could see the other horses.

Since then, I've been able to keep in touch with the old man and his daughter, as I work right down the road quite often. I recently found out the the mans son had some very serious medical issues having to do with chemicals he was exposed to in the army and was on hospice. The old man himself had been having some major medical issues too, with random seisures. A therapist was called out to talk to the daughter and let her know what was going to happen if one or both of them passed away. She would have to live with another family or stay in an institute. Besides from that, the horse fence had still not been tended to since I seized Leonardo from the property which meant the horses had to stay inside since they knew they could plow through the mangled mess.

With the help of my good friends Maria and Ethan, I decided we should take charge and help out this unfortunate family and improve the lives of the haflinger horses locked inside (Luke, Duke and Tony). I was willing to donate all the wiring needed to enclose their small paddock as well as some insulators, Maria was willing to donate all remaining insulators as well as gate handles, poles, and other miscellaneous and Ethan was willing to donate the time needed to pull all the efforts together.

Maria and the disabled daughter spent nearly 3 hours one day pulling down every bit of the original fence as they could which consisted of 6 strands of high density wire wrapped and stapled into every post, tangled around one another and one strand of barbed wire weaved through all the plain wire, around the whole pasture. When me and Ethan arrived the next day we removed what was left of the original wire and began to put the new insulators and poles.

One of the supply buckets.

Getting ready to set up for the make over!
Some of the removed wire from the day before.
This was how the barbed wire was attached to each post as well as unorganized strands of high density wire.. the horses had not had electric fencing for over 10 yrs, no wonder they didn't care about pushing through!
We cleared this up before we began any further with the new set up.
Putting in the new poles. This is the most trouble-some side to keep the horses in because Maria owns a nice lush field to the left that is very tasty looking to these hungry haflingers.
The old man has difficulty catching the horses to bring them in at night so he created a smaller holding pen, which just added more dangerous obstacles for his horses to get around. You can see Maria's horse barn in the upper left hand corner, from there you can hear the horses locked inside and kicking in annoyance at the old mans house.
Another up close shot of his 'holding pen' with his bigger paddock in the background.
Ethan making the holding pen clear and visible!
Maria hooking up the electrical components.
Helping eachother out.
Some of our supplies.
The new holding pen!
Connected into the perimeter fencing!
No more jumbled fencing here, these horses are in for a surprise.
We turned Luke, Duke and Tony out one by one for the first time since Spring.. what a happy sight!
"What's this new zapping material?" Tony says.. after pushing into a couple times and feeling it 'bite' him!
Job well done here.. when the horses are happy and the owners are happy, I'm happy. I'll do whatever I can to ensure that horses can get what they deserve and in times of hardship, like this family has been facing, I don't think twice abot making donation like this to relieve some of their pressure!
Thank you for reading.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Slow Feed Hay Nets

WHO are the hay nets designed for?
I was originally introduced to the hay nets for horses but after using them for some time, it has also served well for my cows. Some of my clients also use them for their goats and sheep. Hay nets are best used with barefoot animals, so shoes do not get caught and pulled off by the material, and animals who are polled or dehorned so that their horns do not get caught up also.

WHAT sizes do they come in? And WHAT are they made of?
 Hay nets can come in all shapes and sizes. I make them most commonly Bale Size (Fit an entire bale inside) and Round Bale Size (Fit an entire round bale inside) but flake feeders (fits roughly 3-5 flakes) are also available as well as custom hay walls (Netted on the side and open at the top for handler to drop the hay into). If you have another idea, let me know and I'd be willing to customize the bag for your wants and needs. The holes of the hay nets are commonly 1 inch 3/4 but other sizes are available too (1/2 inch, 1 inch, 2 inch) if your horse has alternative needs. Hay nets are made of Hockey Netting.

WHERE do you use them?
You can place hay nets almost anywhere. The farther you scatter them, the more movement your horse/s will endure! Putting them away from their water/shelter or over obstacles (gravel, rocks, small logs, streams, etc) can really expose them and their hooves to great surroundings, building confidence and strength in no time! You can also place hay nets in doors too for those bad weather days. Tying them to trees tend to help keep them where you left them, other wise your horse will likely tumble them around and make it difficult to find them.

WHEN do you use them?
 Slow feed hay nets purpose is to extend the longevity of the horses feed and allow them to 'graze' 24/7. Some only use the hay nets when their horse is locked in overnight so they don't become bored or hungry from the long period without food. Some people only feed twice a day but use the hay nets to help make those feedings last longer throughout the day/night.

WHY do you use them?
For many reasons! I'll attach a few articles below to sum up the reasons for slow hay feed nets.
~Stephen Duren, PhD, an equine nutritionist and founder of Performance Horse Nutrition in Weiser, Idaho:
"One reason these different feeds may cause ulceration is because the main buffer for acid in the stomach is saliva," Duren explains. "The horse produces about twice as much saliva when eating hay or grass than when eating grain. The very nature of a grain diet takes away some of the protection in the stomach."
Horses at pasture graze almost continuously, and at the same time they produce saliva. "Acid in the stomach is produced on a continuous basis," he says. "It doesn't stop. So the constant eating is a help."
~The other major cause of ulcers is exercise. The horse's stomach lining contains glandular tissue (mucus-producing glands) that helps protect against the effects of stomach acid, but the top part of the stomach is not as well-protected. There is a thin layer of mucus that coats this area of the stomach, but there are no mucous glands there.
"When the horse begins to exercise, the diaphragm and movement of internal organs compress the stomach and push acid from the buffered area up into the nonbuffered area," says Duren.
~Tom Trotter, MS, general manager of Progressive Nutrition in Iowa, says horses are not like humans in how their digestive systems work. "We salivate mainly when we eat, and certain enzymes are produced when food enters the stomach. Horses are producing digestive acids all the time. So if a horse has an empty stomach, he is at risk for ulcers," says Trotter. "The most effective way to prevent ulcers is to allow horses full-time access to hay or pasture. This also gives the animal something to do, which relieves stress and boredom. When we do consultations on farms, one of the first things we do is check to see if there is hay in the stall."
(Link to the above articles
~Diana Thompson
Even though our domestic horses share their evolution with wild horses, they, in contrast, remain confined in small enclosures and wait for food to be brought to them. Usually this food is packaged as flakes of high-quality dried hay and bite-sized, nutrient-rich grain and pelleted concentrates. Because of the less-abrasive pre-cut nature of this food, domestic horses don't have to use their front teeth to cut the stems. Instead, they use their lips and tongue to stuff large amounts of the calorie-dense material into the back of their mouths and grind away. It only takes four to five hours a day for a horse in this situation to eat enough food to meet his caloric needs.
Unfortunately, because of this unnatural eating style, most of our domestic horses have dental problems. While many horse owners are aware of the sharp edges which can form on their horses' back teeth, one significant and largely unrecognized problem involves the front teeth. Because they are not used to cut the hay, these teeth, known as the incisors, become too long in relation to the back teeth. This interferes with the horse's ability to chew and utilize his food. This can cause him to experience loss of stamina and condition as well as various digestive disorders including colic.
One dental problem occurs when the horse is not continuously grazing: he does not wear his incisors down by nipping off each bite of grass. If you watch your horse eating grass and eating hay, you will easily see the difference in his chewing pattern. When he eats grass, each bite is nipped off by the front teeth and then transferred to the molars for chewing. When he eats pre-cut hay, he takes a huge mouthful, shoves it to the back of his mouth and grinds away.
These hay nets not only make your horses hay last longer AND improve their teeth wear, they also reduce the waste of excess hay that gets deficated on. A few clients who have purchased roundbale feeders say that the feeders double the longevity and greatly reduce the waste!

 HOW do you use them?
 Hay nets are designed to be tied and untied from the top. Flakes have to be placed inside the bag before being refastened. Bale feeders can be slipped right over the bale and retied. Round bale feeders are similar to the bale feeders except you have to flip the round bale in order to pull the bag completely onto the round bale. The excess rope on the flake feeders and bale feeders can be used to tie to trees or hooks in your barn or around your pasture.
Regular flake feeder $25
Regular bale feeder $45
Regular round bale feeder $150
For more info on custom bags and putting in your order, feel free to contact me!

Meet The Animals







Malcolm & Daisy

Bo & Wrangler