Sunday, July 5, 2009

My Brilliant Discovery

First of all, thanks to everyone for the kind comments about my blog last week. I've not done such a great job with it lately and you do have to wonder why anyone would find a blog about retired horses (i.e. horses that don't really do anything) terribly interesting. So thank you very much for letting me know that some people do actually look at this thing! Now on to my discovery . . .

I really love taking care of the horses and spending my days with them. By the end of blanketing season I will admit I am sick of taking them on and off but I don't even really mind that. I enjoy being outside in the changing seasons. Sometimes I don't even mind getting rained on. One of the things I truly dread has always been paste worming the entire farm.

All of the residents are wonderful horses and pleasant to work around, but when it comes time to stick a tube of wormer down their mouths, well, that is when you are introduced to their dark side! Most of the horses are actually quite good about it. However, since most of them live out 24/7 once you've de-wormed one horse in the group the rest know it is coming. I wouldn't stick around for that and the horses feel the same way! We jokingly have what we call our "runners," the ones that know it is coming and exit the building. We always try to get the worst runners first but they can't all be first. So on top of dragging around a mountain of halters and a zillion tubes of paste wormer, there you are chasing down the runners and convincing them that the horse cookie is totally worth having the halter put on and the dreaded tube inserted in their mouth.

Apparently I was the last person on earth to come to this brilliant discovery, but I've found a much easier approach to paste worming. I just empty the tubes into their feed and let them eat it. Wow, no dragging out the mountain of halters, no chasing the runners, the people administering the wormer aren't covered in sticky worming paste, none of it is spit out, no waste . . . I could go on forever about how much this discovery improved my life! If I only had a few horses to administer wormer to then it wouldn't really have been a life changing discovery, but we've got well over thirty horses here. On top of that a lot of them are big horses and one tube of wormer isn't enough for many of them, many get a tube and a half. You can catch them off guard with the first tube but they know the second one is coming, and of course the taller they are the more likely it is that they will put their head up in the air!

Last week was my second time administering the paste wormer in the feed. Every single horse ate it, every bite licked up. I have a bit of an advantage since I feed with feedbags. Also, we soak everyone's feed as well, so they are used to eating wet feed, and as you know it is easier to mix stuff up when it is wet. With the feedbags they can't spit it out, fling it out, drop feed or otherwise get rid of any unwanted addition to their food, they just have to eat it. A few of them eat slower than usual and try to find a way to avoid eating it, but even these horses still finished every bite. With the ones that I know are super fussy about unknown substances in their food, I sprinkled a bit of dried molasses onto the wormer paste and then thoroughly mixed the wormer/molasses paste with their feed. I guess you could say I sweetened the deal!

Anyway, I thought I would pass my discovery along in case there is anyone else out there that hadn't tried it yet. When I've mentioned my exciting news to my horse friends most of them had already tried this. Well, I may be slow but I'm hell once I catch on. At least I think that is how that saying goes!

On a completely unrelated subject Jason cooked dinner Friday night and Sunday night. In a rare occurrence I am rendered truly speechless with nothing to say. I don't have a clue what brought this on and I don't want to ruin it. Oh wait, I do have something to say. It was actually good! The smoke alarm only went off one time. Friday night we had salmon and Sunday we had pork tenderloin. Wow. Huh. Wonders never cease.

Geese flying over the farm
The baby ducks are growing up!

Cuff Links
Buffy and MyLight
L-R in the back Dustin, Tony, Baby; up front Levendi and Homer
Tony and Baby
Elfin demonstrates a perfect afternoon. After taking a refreshing dip in the pond enjoy a nice roll.
And of course he has to do his famous dogwalk to roll on the other side; sorry about the tree branch in the way.
I took this directly into the sun (you probably had already guessed that from the lousy picture quality). Winston, Faune and Ogie in the front with Sebastian and Trillion in the back.
Asterik getting a bath and not looking to happy about it. I rarely remember to take any pictures of horses being groomed because I'm usually busy grooming one myself.


Anonymous said...

The feedbags are a great idea - I've used them on the road but not at home. Fortunately, all our horses are in stalls when I worm and all are pretty good about it! Thanks for the pictures - I like the unhappy bather!

I think hearing about retired horses is wonderful, and the pictures are entertaining too!

ZionFarm said...

Another little discovery we made when we had a "fussy wormer" was a little device called a worming bit. It is quite handy! Fortunately, now all of our horses are a piece of cake to worm. Our little Arab mare LOVES wormer and opens her mouth for the tube!

Ambi said...

Rob cooked Saturday and Sunday nights. He has deemed himself the Grillmaster, so I got to sit back and relax and watch HIM work for once. Nice, isn't it?

Jon said...

Melissa - if only ALL horses ate wormer in their food. I have some very fussy 3yr old boys that will WALK AWAY from grain, even with added carrots! They also understand the meaning of 'high head.' But . . . we're working on it and while I may wear a tube or two before it's all said & done, it's betting better. :] For whatever reason the 2yr old & yearling girls do well . . . go figure.

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

Hi Jon, I think a lot of the residents here would walk away from their feed with the wormer in it if they could. That is the advantage of the feedbags - they CAN'T walk away from it - so eventually they give in. Like I said some are pretty diligent in trying to eat around it but I can just wait them out and leave their feedbags on. (insert evil laugh here!)

Spotted_T_Apps said...

I read. I stop in at least once a week to read your blog. :) In fact, because of you I have been using feed bags for 4 months and it's the best move in the world. Thank you. :)