Monday, April 6, 2009

Shouldn't feeding be easy?

This is our 'run-in shelter.' I never heard of a run-in shelter before we moved here. It's a three-sided structure that allows animals to get out of the weather. Ours has gates so we can close them in if need be, and a little corral attached to it.
The plan was that we would get horses and goats that would be in the pasture all the time, and drink from the pond, so very little maintenance would be required. I'm normally an obsessive researcher, but for some reason, I didn't research this.

It turns out that if you leave horses in rich pasture 24/7, they can get very sick. This means moving them back and forth between the pasture and the shelter. No problem. We got some 'all-grain sweet feed' and they love it so much that they come running when they hear us in the shelter.

Every time they hear us in the shelter.

That's every time we go in there to get something....every time we walk near it...every time we're 'picking' it (removing manure).

Then they pout, and run away. They're sweet-feed pigs.

When it comes time that we actually feed them, we have to separate them. Last time we didn't, the big horse kicked the pony. I don't want to see that again, so tonight I carefully put feed in the shelter for the big horse (Gus), and then some in a bucket for the pony (Tina). Then I called them.
Tina came running and went directly for the feed in the shelter, which wasn't for her. (She gets less than he does.) I finally got Gus to come, and he chased her out. I closed the gate on him, and put the bucket down on the ground for her. That worked fine for a minute, then the goats started to close in on her.
We ended up circling her, chasing the goats away. (I'm SO glad our neighbors can't see us.) We were distracted for a minute, and the baby goat snuck up behind her. She whirled on him, and he just missed getting kicked into the next county.
We're working on a new plan for tomorrow....the plan includes phasing sweet-feed out for something not quite as enticing. I'm concerned, may be like my husband trying to pry chocolate out of my hands. Not a pretty picture...


  1. No way you are getting those babies off the sweet feed. I know I will die with a candy bar in my hand....

  2. You're too funny! I wished you'd been filming this fiasco. You might have won money on America's funniest videos. Then you could have hired someone who is familiar with livestock to take care of them!


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