This is just going to have to be a short entry. As you can see it is after midnight on Wednesday night and I have to get up early to drive to the old house. I wanted to do a quick one though because I have two things to talk about. One is the chicks, and the other is the horses.
Butter, Dolly, and Freckles are all still working things out. For the most part we have been keeping them together. We separate them when they get their ration balancer in the afternoon, otherwise Freckles would get the majority of all of it lol At least if we separate them Dolly has no reason not to eat as much of hers as she wants. Today when the farrier was here he ended up working under the lean-to so we could stay out of the wind, so I locked the horses out into the other pen while we were focusing on the one getting trimmed.
For such a chunky little horse one would think she (Dolly) totally pigs out and eats whatever she can get her mouth on, but I have not seen that to be the case. I pulled Freckles out of the pen the other day to let him get a few minutes of grazing in. That was fun, but he always manages to INHALE as much as he can without stopping to chew, so I make him stop and chew. It is quite funny if you ask me. Anyway, that is the reason I don’t trust Freckles to just self regulate on grass. I’m pretty sure he’d eat until he exploded, even though he self regulates on the big bales of grass hay that we put in the pen for them. Dolly doesn’t even finish all of the pellets we put in front of her. She does not always take cookies. I took HER out of the pen to get some grazing in for a few minutes and she was only half interested. She was more concerned with where we were going and looking at everything. Every once in a while she would snag a mouthful, but then she would pick her head back up and chew! I need her to teach that to the guys!
I don’t know how long it has been since Butter was on free choice hay, but he picked up on it again pretty quickly because at first he just wanted to have his head in the food, but after just a few days he has realized that it isn’t going anywhere. He has also been walking the perimeter of the fence in between naps inside the barn, spending quality time just staring at everything. More than even Freckles or Dolly, Butter likes to stand in the back of the barn shelter where there is the least wind.
Anyway, so the new farrier that was recommended to me came out today. He did a great job, and I was very impressed with my little Dolly. He was able to sweet talk her into behaving for her front feet. He got them trimmed and evened up nicely! He said the one (her right front) had some laminitic changes in it, so it would be best to make sure she doesn’t get anything rich (this is why I was talking about grass earlier, a little scattered I know). While he made some progress getting her to pick up her back feet, he did not get to touch the with any tools. This does not surprise me, and I did not want to push her, especially after she did so well with the fronts. He agreed that the back ones did not look awful, so next time he comes out we will have her calmed down a bit and hopefully he can work on her then. (I’ll ask the new vet about suggestions for a calming prescription, like say a valium we might take if we have anxiety before an MRI or something like that. That way she will be aware of what is going on, but just less likely to overreact to everything. We will see how far I can get with just desensitizing and repetition etc. He said he could tell that she had had her feet done before, it is not like she was completely wild. It is possible that she was turned out long enough to practically become feral again, or that she had a really traumatic experience with a farrier, or who knows. Anyway, I was very happy that he got the fronts done, and we have 8 weeks to get as much progress made on those back feet as possible.
Butter was next, even though his farrier had seen him just 2-3 weeks earlier, his toes (especially front) looked really long to me to have just been done. New Farrier agreed and did some reshaping, mostly from the top. He found that the undersides were pretty tender and gross with thrush, so we have assignments to keep his feet cleaned and get them treated. I’ve had really good results with the Life Data Labs hoof line (Farrier’s Formula Double Strength, and the liquid, forget what it is called, I’m tired.) so I ordered a product from them that you are supposed to use on a clean/dry foot that is actually a clay with all kinds of good stuff in it (like tea tree oil). You pack it into the crevices and it should stay there for a couple of days before you clean the hoof again and re-apply. I am excited to give it a try.
Freckles was his usual pain in the butt self for the farrier. I am vowing that next time I will exercise him before the farrier arrives. That way at least he’ll be somewhat tired, and somewhat warmed up instead of stiff. I haven’t seen anyone take that much hoof off of Freckles in a very long time (if ever) so I am really hoping that he doesn’t get sore from it. We will see. The good news is that his feet look great, and we got those front shoes off. It is also good that once again, even at his worst Freckles is still a pretty great horse!
Exciting thing, the chicks got moved outside yesterday (Tuesday) evening! Brent and I made the a little 3 tier roost and an area in the corner of their pen in the barn with lots of shavings and two heaters. We got the a huge water container, and a big feeder. I am thinking that we might get an additional feeder though, or use one of the ones that the big chickens use that we already have when we add the 9 additional chicks on Saturday. I am driving up to the old house in the morning, staying Thursday and Friday nights, then going to Colorado Springs to meet the chick chick, then heading home from there with the new chicks. We will basically put them in with our 7 in the barn immediately. Partially, no mostly because I don’t want to try putting them in the house. I suppose it would be possible to move the baby pen out to the barn, but then I’d have to take a heater away from the other chicks and I don’t want to do that.
The new little chickie girls made it through the night and are LOVING having the extra space out there. Even last night, the one we call Winter kept flying up and landing ON US while we were in there. Silly girl. They are loving exploring the space. Even though it is temporary, it is still at least 5 or 6 times bigger than the area they had in the playpen.
I introduced them to sunflower seeds this morning, and then later today Brent introduced them to dried mealworms. Apparently they were a HUGE hit with the little girls. I could tell who the adventurous four were, because as soon as I went over there, I had 4 ladies come over! Sunshine, May, Winter, and Astrid. However when Brent tossed in the worms he said all 7 of them were chowing down!
Okay, I am falling asleep writing this. Goodnight!