Due to superior breeding and an abundance of nutritional food, horses and livestock are larger and in better physical condition than ever before. While this is certainly a boon for farmers, these superb physical specimens also require more maintenance. One of the most essential tasks for any horse or livestock owner is administering the needed livestock or horse supplements on a regular basis.
Even if you are unfamiliar with the various supplements available, the process shouldn’t be reduced to a guessing game. Look for supplements from well-known producers that are created for a specific purpose. For example, you can now find supplements specifically engineered to augment fiber intake, improve metabolic function and even address the needs of aging animals.
Merry Christmas everyone. It is the holiday season and we are all getting ready for the parties, family get togethers and presents. Now, who doesn’t get excited over receiving a gift?
Well, can you believe that your animals like to receive gifts also? Now I am not necessarily talking large animals but if they are a pet, they will let you know in their own way that they are happy. Larger animals, like cattle appreciate a new bale of hay set out for them or an extra bucket of feed, even an extra bale of straw for bedding and to show their appreciation, they jump right in like it is a new toy.
If they are pets they are more loving and affectionate. Our horses enjoy an extra and unexpected brushing and even that unexpected walk just because they spend time with their master. Our calves get an extra bale of straw for bedding and my pet, Buster, gets to be led around and pampered a little, he is my Little Holestine bull calf. Our dogs, Jessie and Bella may get a new tennis ball and treats for a day or two and my goat herd will get new bedding and a little treat, animal crackers. Even livestock vitamins are a treat for your animal. My horse enjoys peppermint and if I give him a piece of peppermint candy after a good ride or just because. I can tell he loves it.
They really do appreciate the extras that we can give them just like we appreciate the gifts we receive. So do something special for your animals this season and show them your love.
Today, 11/12/09, we mourn the loss of our Belgian, Duke. He was one of the most gentlest, big horses I have ever known. He had a long life of 20 plus years and had competed in many horse pulls. He was what I would consider a “Big Teddy Bear” of horses.
My 2 yr. old niece, Kalissa, rode for the first time on Duke, as well as others over the years. Allen’s daughter used to ride Duke and I have seen him with 5 young riders on him at one time and not even care. He was that gentle. Allen would just place his hand on the side of his jaw and he would go wherever, most of the time Duke would just follow him without any halter or lead rope at all and the kids just sat on his back without fear.
When I first began being around the horses and livestock after an absence of 15 years, I had some fears to face. I do not mind saying that Duke really intimidated me and it took me a couple of months to realize that he would not ever intentionally hurt me. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t need to be cautious but, I could, at least, ease some of my fears. Here we are 8 yrs. later and having conquered some of the major fears, I can now feed every animal on the farm and feel confident. I do not, by no means, throw caution to the wind but, I do keep focused when choring and working with the animals. Having Duke helped me conquer that fear, mostly because of his personality and his size. I learned to work around him and therefore, it helped me with the rest of the livestock. Now I am out there everyday and loving it, for that reason alone, I’ll remember Duke and his gentle way.
In the past year Duke’s age really began to show. He acquired arthritis in his joints and there were days that he struggled to get around but, he continued on. We supplemented his food with joint supplements and vitamins and I believe that one small part of his diet kept him up and going. We knew the day would come yet, had not expected it to come so quickly. A few days ago he got down and didn’t come to the barn. Allen went out and helped him up and brought him to the barn. His appetite had decreased some but not so much that it concerned me until two days ago. I don’t have the insight that Allen has with animals and I believe he knew the worst was coming. Two days ago it came to the point that he did not have enough strength to get up and even with help, he could not accomplish that one task. It was then that it sank in, it would not be long before he just gave up and he did. He just closed his eyes and slept, peacefully without pain.
So, now he is in Animal Heaven and we will miss him but, we will keep him in our hearts.
When I was growing up my mom always kept horses, so I was accustomed to the stable atmosphere. Although my mom owned many horses throughout my childhood, my favorite was Denero. From the time I was about three years old I would go to the barn with my mom a few times a week to ride Denero, feed him, and give him his equine vitamins.
One of the best memories I have was going on long trail rides through northern California. Fortunately for me, Denero was a gentle horse and didn’t have a propensity to buck or leave the trail like many of the other horses. Naturally, I was devastated when we moved further north and were forced to sell Denero, but we still keep his portraits around the house to maintain his memory.
Many horses get their share of daily vitamins from fresh grass and hay. In some cases, however, horse owners are unable to provide their horse with high-quality hay. At this point, it becomes necessary to supplement a horse’s diet with the vitamins they require to remain healthy. Race horses and colts need vitamins in addition to a healthy diet of grains and forage.
Before feeding equine vitamins to your animal, take a moment to consider an important question: What sort of lifestyle does your horse lead? If he or she experiences a lot of stress from carrying heavy loads, keep an ample supply of vitamin C at the ready. If, on the other hand, your horse experiences a cracked hoof, you’ll want to infuse his or her diet with Vitamin H. Most vitamins should be synthesized in a horse’s everyday diet, but some instances call for more.