Tick-Tock, Beaky, Duchess, and Clover

Tick-Tock, Beaky, Duchess, and Clover are Dutch Bantams.  They’re very pretty and sweet–and tiny.  Tick-Tock, the rooster, has an extremely shrill crow, but he doesn’t crow much except for when he sees the other rooster, Frizzy.  When it snowed for the first time this year, they didn’t like it.  They went back in their coop and wouldn’t come out for the rest of the day.

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Tick-Tock.

Duchess, a blue cream light brown hen.

Tick-Tock, Clover, and Duchess, with Beaky in front.  Tick-Tock is crowing.  The cardboard taped to the front of the coop was there to make the doorway smaller.

Feeding Horses: What Is a Forage?

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Pasture, or grass, is a forage.

Forages contain a high crude-fiber content.  In general, a forage would be grass or hay.  Horses should be fed to horses because they provide nutrients.  But they don’t do just that.  Forage keeps up the muscle tone in the GI tract and provides horses with something to do.  Without forage, horses can develop bad habits such as stall weaving and wood-chewing.

According to Feeding and Care of the Horse, forages have the following characteristics:

They are bulky.

They high in fiber and low in digestible energy.

Forages are high in calcium and potassium and low in phosphorous. 

Sun-cured hays are higher in vitamins E, A, and K.

Vary in protein content.

Horses should have access to pasture in moderation.  But hay can be fed in larger amounts.  It is recommended that horses be fed many small meals throughout the day or else get their hay in a slow feeder to make it last longer.  This simulates natural grazing activity.

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Hay should be fed in little bits to mimic natural grazing.

2015 Chicks

After forgetting about this blog for 2.5 years, I have decided to start writing on it again.  This year’s chicks are Puffin, Spicy, Della, Fluffy Tail, Griffin, Icy, and Ivy.  The first batch of five chicks we raised in a brooder.  The last two, Puffy and Spicy, are being raised by a hen.


To see more chicken photos, please visit: http://www.bigthingscoop.com/


 

Puffy and Spicy with Black Beak.

Left to right: Della, Griffin, Icy, and Ivy.  Fluffy Tail is not in the picture.

Starlight Song

It was upon a starlit night

a bird set out to see the sights

to travel the world — near and far

more specifically, to map the stars

in the beginning of firefly June,

it was the time to admire the moon

late in the summer month of July

said the swallow,’Let us travel the sky’

so, off he flew, higher and higher

in his mind, just one desire

to touch a star, to hear it sing

feel the melody, take to the wing

High above the atmosphere

melodies drifted clear

the bird felt his wing brush a star

and heard the sweet song twinkle far

he opened his beak and sang along

drifting through the starlit song

a world of melody and grace

to earthbound beings, out of place

tinkling music off twinkling stars

against soft velvet space, stretching ever so far

Everything Equine

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A tall chestnut horse

makes its way across a nearby field.  With flaxen feathers and a mane and tail to match, you can see even from a distance that this is a powerful, if not lazy animal.  His brass and leather halter has pulled to one side but he has a gentle look in his eye; a draft horse no doubt, known as the Jutland.

Bred in the country of  Denmark since the 1100 a.d., this breed is often thought to be one of the breeds crossed to form the Suffolk Punch.  They may stand a powerful 16 hands high on stocky, heavily feathered legs.  Their shining coats may be either chestnut (sometimes flaxen), black or bay.  Strong enough to carry a knight into battle, these horses are best suited to pulling wagons through the countryside.

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Bits and Facts   Secretariat01

A horse carries 65% of his weight on his forehand-that’s over half!

Sir Barton, the first Triple Crown winner, entered the Kentucky Derby never having won a race- and won.

The most common kind of colic in horses is Spasmodic or Gas Colic.

The oldest currently living horse is 51 years old. 

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Also Known As…        DSC08632

Hyperkalamic Periodic Paralysis- a genetic disorder linked to the sire Impressive and most commonly seen in Quarter Horses- is sometimes called Potassium Induced Periodic Paralysis (PIPP) because it can be triggered by diets high in the mineral Potassium.

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A Wish

 

It was hardly a day ago

when with a pocket of treats

and a head full of hopes

I went to the fence

with hardly a sound

I held out my hand

to see apple turning brown

then over the hill,

the chestnut came

with tall white stockings

-far from plain

a white blazed nose took

a treat from my hand

a forelock that is hardly there-

just a strand

oh, would it be that this horse

would be mine

a long, arched neck and a tail

quite fine

Ride over fields sugar-coated in snow

to win a ribbon- tied with a bow

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Poisonous Plants to keep out of pastures

Day-Blooming Jessamine (Cestrum diurnum) was introduced to the US as an ornamental tree and is most common in California, Texas and Florida.

This dark green, glossy leafed plant grows up to 16 feet tall and has small clusters of trumpet-shaped fragrant white flowers which form into berries, which are black when ripe. Its toxin similar to the active metabolite in vitamin D.  Consumption of Jessamine  results in excess calcium intake, resulting in serious elastic tissue calcification and excessive bone formation.

Symptoms of ingestion include chronic weight loss, stiffness, lameness in all four limbs and lying down for long periods of time (much more than normal).  Lameness results due to calcified ligaments and tendons in the legs.  Recovery from ingestion of this plant is rare so keep horses away from it!  In general, if you see a plant or ornamental tree in your horse’s paddock, a good preventive measure is to check if it is toxic before allowing your horse access to the pasture.

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Did You Know…

Chestnuts (the horny growths on the insides of horses’ legs) are also called night eyes.  Chestnuts are unique to each horse- much like human fingerprints.

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From the miniature to the Percheron,

there are many different breeds in the world- Shires, Morabs, Danish Warmbloods, Walers, Haflingers, Holsteins (not the cow), Andalusians, Cleavland Bays, Gelderlands and many more.  Which is you favorite?  Have you ever  seen one for real?

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