Today was one of the horse’s favorite days (not) – worming day. We have to do this a few days each year and I finally woke up and realized these days could be hard or easy. I’ve mentioned this on the blog before but a couple of years ago after a morning of chasing down horses and having paste wormer all over my hands I decided their had to be an easier way. Since the majority of the horses live outside 24/7 I don’t have the luxury of just going from stall to stall and worming all of the horses. And once you’ve put the tube of wormer in the first horse’s mouth out in the pasture, they all KNOW what you want to do and play the “you can’t catch me” game.
Thus the next time worming day rolled around I prepared feed as I always did. I put the feed in the feedbags, put the feedbags in water to soak, then removed them from the water and add any medications and supplements that might be needed. Except that morning every horse had a “supplement” in their feed – paste wormer! To my delight they all ate it, every single one of them. A few of them tried to not eat it but that is the beauty of feedbags, they cannot walk away from their feed, it just goes with them. They can’t graze or eat hay instead of eating the “poisoned” feed. So after awhile they just gave up and ate. Although surprisingly most of them don’t even act like they notice there is anything different in their food, they just gobble it up like normal.
I’ve refined my approach a bit since my initial attempt at an easier way to get through de-worming day. I now know the ones that take forever to eat their wormer laced feed, there is a handful of them, and I just shove the tube down their throat the old fashioned way. They will eat their wormer laced food eventually, I simply find it quicker to just shoot it down their throats than stand around waiting for them to finally eat. However it is a lot easier to do this with four or five horses and not all of them. My hands (and my hair) are not covered in horse slobber and paste wormer and there are no “runners” to chase down.
I don’t know how well this approach would work without the feedbags. It would be easy for the horses to just not eat, go graze or go eat hay. The other advantage I have is all of the horses are used to eating soaked feed every day, and it is so much easier to mix and hide stuff in soaked feed. I guess my point is I am not sure how well this work if you just mixed the wormer in with dry feed in a feed bucket in a stall. Luckily for me it works like a charm for our set-up!
Josephine (Jo) wanted Wilhelmina (Mina) to play with her. Mina kept ignoring her so Jo decided to stand on her. Of course we all know they are the World’s Cutest Fainting Goats.
Then Jo tried butting Mina
Then Jo tried pawing Mina with her leg
I’m not exactly sure what Jo was doing here but it didn’t work because Mina did not get up to play.
Dutch and Murphy were grazing and The Don (rooster) joined them
The Don hanging out with Fuzzy Punch and Murphy
Trigger, Levendi, Apollo, Homer, Thomas and Baby
Ivan and Lightening playing over the fence
Missy, Harmony and MyLight