Archive for the ‘Horse’ Category

Seasonal Diet Changes for Horses

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

Changing seasons can bring about potential problems for horses and horse owners. 
horse
Changing seasons also mean drastic swings in weather conditions and temperatures.  This, combined with a major diet adjustment of moving from pasture to hay, can increase the chance of digestive disturbances. When nighttime temperatures drop in the winter, it becomes too chilly for plants to grow and the sugars are stored for later use.  This leads to a concentration of stored sugars in the plants, which may increase the risk of digestive upset or laminitis in some horses. Horses at most risk are those that are significantly overweight or those that have trouble managing normal blood sugar levels and are sensitive to sugar content in the diet.

While not scientifically proven, many horse owners and veterinarians have experienced what appears to be an association between changes in barometric pressure and the incidence of colic episodes in horses. A dramatic drop in temperature often causes horses to drink less water, and at the same time, horse owners will often increase the amount of hay fed to help horses stay warm.  More hay and less water consumption together may lead to impaction colic.  

As we move into fall and winter, hay becomes the major forage source for many horses.  Switching from pasture to hay or getting a new supply of hay represents as big a change to the horse as a change in grain. These significant dietary adjustments should ideally be made gradually to decrease the risk of digestive upset. Horses should be fed good-quality hay to maximize nutrition and minimize potential digestive problems. Good-quality hay, of any variety, will be clean and have outlying characteristics. These include a high leaf-to-stem ratio, small-diameter stems, few seed heads or blooms, fresh smell and appearance, and bright color.  Argyle Feed Store is here to help with all of your foraging needs.

Winter is a season of transition and an important time to evaluate the quality of forage available for your horse. Find out whether the grain ration is appropriate and adequate to meet your horse’s nutrient requirements. When winter arrives, horses must be in good condition to be able to withstand colder temperatures. 

Stop by Argyle Feed Store today to prepare your horses for this cold winter season.

Source: Purina Mills

Holiday Gifts for Pets

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

Holiday Gifts for Pets at Argyle Feed

Keep your pets and animals on your holiday shopping list this season. Argyle Feed’s Holiday Gifts for Pets guide includes items for the horse and pet lover. 

Horse folks can choose from a selection of horse blankets, bridals, halters and leads in our tack department, brushes and stall snacks. 

Pet’s need treats too! A new collar or leash, toys, pet treats, pet foods, and a thunder shirt to keep them feeling comforted during the excitement of the holidays or fireworks. 

Stuff your pet’s stockings at Argyle Feed Store this holiday season. Ask any of our staff for ideas, they’re here to help you. 

 

Season Changes Can Mean Diet Problems In Horses

Friday, November 22nd, 2019

Season Changes Can Mean Diet Problems in Horses

Season changes can mean potential diet problems for horses and horse owners.  Pasture quality fluctuates with every season, but the shift in quality from summer to fall is significant. During the fall, there are often warm, sunny days and cool nights. Pasture plants manufacture sugars in the presence of water, carbon dioxide, and sunshine, and then use those sugars to fuel growth during the night. However, when nighttime temperatures drop in the autumn, it becomes too chilly for plants to grow and the sugars are stored for later use.  This leads to a concentration of stored sugars in the plants, which may increase the risk of digestive problems or laminitis in some horses. Horses at most risk are those that are significantly overweight or those that have trouble managing normal blood sugar levels and are sensitive to sugar content in the diet.

Changing seasons also mean drastic swings in weather conditions and temperatures.  This, combined with a major diet adjustment of moving from pasture to hay, can increase the chance of digestive disturbances. While not scientifically proven, many horse owners and veterinarians have experienced what appears to be an association between changes in barometric pressure and incidence of colic episodes in horses. A dramatic drop in temperature often causes horses to drink less water, and at the same time, horse owners will often increase the amount of hay fed to help horses stay warm.  More hay and less water consumption together may lead to impaction colic.

As we move into fall and winter, hay becomes the major forage source for many horses.  Switching from pasture to hay or getting a new supply of hay represents as big a change to the horse as a change in grain. These significant dietary adjustments should ideally be made gradually to decrease the risk of digestive upset. Horses should be fed good-quality hay to maximize nutrition and minimize potential digestive problems. Good-quality hay, of any variety, will be clean and have a high leaf-to-stem ratio, small-diameter stems, few seed heads or blooms, fresh smell and appearance, and a bright color (faded, yellow or brown color may indicate aged hay or poor storage conditions). The maturity of the plant at harvest determines the hay quality more than any other factor. Young, leafy, immature plants contain more protein, energy, and minerals than older plants with thicker stems.  Also, as a plant matures, it contains more indigestible fiber (lignin), which reduces nutrient availability. Lower-quality hay must be supplemented with higher-quality feed to prevent diet problems in horses to maintain horses’ good condition and health.

Fall is a season of transition and an important time to evaluate the quality of forage available for your horse and whether the grain ration is appropriate and adequate to meet your horse’s nutrient requirements. When winter arrives, horses must be in good condition to be able to withstand colder temperatures. Adjusting grain rations in the early fall will prevent weight loss due to lower-quality forage and, if horses need to gain weight, there is still time for a thinner horse to gain some before the cold weather really sets in.

Source: Karen E. Davison, Ph.D. – Equine Nutritionist and Sales Support Manager, Purina Animal Nutrition, LLC 

Winterizing Horses

Saturday, October 26th, 2019

 

Winterizing Horses

What steps should you take for winterizing horses so they thrive in cold conditions and emerge from it in robust condition, ready for a busy riding season? Let’s look at these methods you can take to protect your horse’s body systems.

Protect and Support Respiratory Health
Horses evolved as plains animals, well-equipped to deal with wind, cold, and snow. Nonetheless, horse owners like to protect their charges from the elements, often building complex stabling structures to keep them sheltered.

“When horse function was equivalent to automobiles, we put them in the barn at night after being out all day plowing fields, transporting people, pulling wagons,” says Eileen Fabian Wheeler, Ph.D., professor of Agricultural Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. “Now the situation is the opposite: Many want to keep their horses in the stable 23 hours-a-day with one hour-a-day at work. It seems we have lost perspective on the purpose of a horse stable.”

One of the downsides to stabling around the clock in winter stems from poorly ventilated structures. “Closing a stable up tightly traps stale air pollution inside with accumulation of urine ammonia, endotoxin particulates from manure, dust, and molds from hay and bedding–these pollutants challenge the equine respiratory system,” says Wheeler.

So if you plan to keep your horses stabled this winter, keep in mind that inhaled ammonia can destroy their airways’ epithelial lining and contribute to the development of respiratory diseases such as inflammatory airway disease (IAD) or recurrent airway obstruction (heaves), says Wes Elford, DVM, an equine practitioner from Mayville, Wisc.

First determine whether your barn’s ammonia levels are high, and then take steps to improve air quality. Wheeler recommends smelling the air as you enter the stable: “Ideally, you’ll enjoy a light essence of hay and horse rather than wrinkling your nose at a pungent urine odor,” she says. “If you smell ammonia, then it’s already too high. While it’s desirable to keep ammonia levels less than 10 ppm, the human nose won’t detect its odor until at least 20 ppm.”

She further stresses the importance of considering a horse’s usual breathing zone when assessing air quality; respiratory pollutants are greatest at foot level and especially in stalls. “It is not uncommon for the working aisle of a stable to have much better air quality than the stalls,” she says.

You might be inclined to don five layers of clothing and want to seal up the barn for warmth, but Wheeler notes that “even during the worst winter days, cold, dry fresh air is desirable and comfortable for horses. While horses’ body heat warms the air in a closed barn, unfortunately, trapped humidity makes the barn damp, dank, and feeling colder.”

Elford acknowledges the difficulty in keeping barns open in inclement weather: “While we need to keep water pipes and waterers from freezing, a complete exchange of air is necessary for ­sufficient ­removal of air pollutants. Heating waterers and burying pipes protects from ­freezing.”

Barn air quality benefits from ventilation year-round, via small slots or openings along the building’s perimeter that ­allow fresh air to enter and stale air to leave. Opening doors and windows further amplifies air circulation for improved respiratory health.

Horse traffic and footing maintenance in indoor arenas introduce dust to adjacent stalls. During winter Wheeler suggests oiling footing with high-grade, Vaseline-based petroleum (not motor oil) to weigh down and glue particles together so they don’t loft. “Watering the footing,” she says, “increases the likelihood of it freezing into hard lumps, which is dangerous for riding. This also increases humidity in the building, which impacts structural soundness by rusting metal and rotting wood.”

Another means of reducing harmful particulate dust levels is to store hay and bedding in a separate structure. This decreases environmental dust from horse and people activity, especially during feeding time. It also eliminates the fire hazard created by combustible hay.

Wheeler adds, “Turn horses outside when cleaning stalls to decrease exposure to aerosolized particles of molds, dust, and endotoxin.”

Respiratory challenges also come in the way of pathogens; immunizations against respiratory viruses (e.g., influenza, ­rhinopneumonitis, and strangles) help prevent infectious upper airway diseases in horse herds. Veterinarians recommend boostering these vaccines in both autumn and spring. Work with your veterinarian to ensure your horse’s immunizations are up-to-date prior to winter; this, along with clean, well-ventilated barns, can help prevent respiratory illness.

Outdoor Shelter
Full-time turnout (paddock and/or pasture) is the most healthful way for a horse to live, even in cold climates. “The best housing for horses in winter is no housing at all, or at most a windbreak,” says Elford. Wheeler also likes using run-in sheds: “The design should provide a dry location and reduced wind speeds. Surrounding ‘sacrifice’ paddocks with an engineered surface that sheds precipitation and is easily cleaned of manure provide a safe environment where being at liberty is the goal rather than grazing.”

Heading into winter, check that your sheds are in good repair, with roofing in place, nails safely embedded in the wood, and no protruding sharp edges. Ideally, your run-in should offer protection from the elements from at least one direction, with the solid side facing the prevailing winter wind; a three-sided structure open to the south allows drying, says Wheeler. “A shed design works best if at least eight feet high and with exits no less than 10 feet wide to allow two horses to pass,” she says. “Consider also the location of structural support posts–horses find it difficult to transition from bright to low light levels and could clobber themselves on the posts.”

To Blanket or Not to Blanket
Unless your horse needs his coat clipped for activities such as showing, veterinarians recommend letting his coat grow out naturally during winter. For horses with a full body of hair, says Elford, blanketing is not usually necessary. “Horses have an innate ability to withstand cold and wind with no more than a windbreak,” he says. Furthermore, blankets tend to compress a wooly coat’s layers, which compromises their insulating properties, notes Wheeler.

That said, “show and performance horses may need (clipping and) blanketing to control winter hair growth so they can exercise without getting too sweaty and so sweat dries easily,” Elford says. If you’ll be blanketing such a horse this winter, ensure that your blankets are clean and in one piece before the weather turns. Consider a partial rather than a full clip for the benefits of easily cleaned sweaty areas and heavy hair coat in other areas.

Turnout
While turning a horse out is ideal for his general health, doing so in questionable winter footing is not always a safe bet. “It’s dangerous to turn horses out when the ground is frozen in ruts created by hoof prints or vehicular traffic–I have seen coffin bone fractures as a result of a horse stepping into a frozen rut,” says Elford. “Also, following a thaw, ‘lakes’ of (pooled) water then freeze overnight with pastures turning into ‘glare ice.’ This increases the risk of fractured legs and split pelvises.” Plan ahead to have a safe, dry area to keep horses in times like these when traction is at a minimum. Alternatively, keep some form of gravel or even kitty litter available to put onto unavoidable icy areas.

Exercise and Feet
To keep your horse in moderate fitness and ready for more intense conditioning come spring, keep him in light exercise during winter. Besides benefiting musculoskeletal and mental health, Elford remarks, “Exercise is also important to maintain intestinal motility.” Turnout and/or consistent light riding both provide exercise.

To prepare your horse’s feet for winter, remove the shoes of the horses who work less. However, “if you intend to ride consistently, particularly on trails, and feel the need for shoes,” he says, “then shoeing with snow pads helps clear snow from the bottom of shod hooves–this minimizes stumbling over ice balls.”

He describes methods to increase horseshoe traction on packed snow and ice: “Drilled-in studs about 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch long or borium-tipped horseshoe nails provide grip without causing excessive, unyielding hoof grab.”

In cold weather take time for warming up and cooling down. “Walking is an effective warm-up,” says Elford. “The cool-down is hardest because once a sweaty horse stops work, he can quickly chill. Evaporation of sweat pulls heat from a horse’s internal core—this compounds the chill of winter air. Banket a horse damp from a workout immediately upon pulling tack. In addition, continue walking him a short while to maintain muscle (blood) circulation; this helps avoid muscle cramping while skin and muscles cool down gradually. Once he’s dry, the blanket can be removed unless the horse has been clipped.”

And while you might feel like frigid air assaults your airways during the first few minutes of a winter run, Elford notes he has never encountered a horse with a respiratory or breathing problem caused by exercising in cold weather. A horse’s long nasal passages warm the air during inhalation. Toweling off frosty muzzles and other wet areas after a ride, however, helps reduce the slight risk of frostbite before turning the horse out again.

Digestive Health
Water intake is especially important in winter to maintain hydration and avoid impaction colic. “Drinking is encouraged by providing warm water through heated buckets or stock tanks with heaters,” says Elford. “Water heating systems should be grounded since horses can sense low voltages and may refuse to drink. Use PVC pipe coverings over electrical wires to prevent a horse from electrocuting ­himself.”

Prior to winter make sure you’re well-stocked with good quality hay, particularly in the event of supply shortages due to drought. “In winter a horse’s diet doesn’t need to change,” advises Elford. “We’ve been told that additional calories help to keep a horse warm but it’s best to increase calories in winter by offering more hay, not grain, as fermentation of forage in the hindgut generates internal warmth. Forage also doesn’t create a carbohydrate load in the hindgut that could cause laminitis (inflammation of the sensitive laminae that connect the hoof to the coffin bone).”

Elford recommends feeling a horse’s back, withers, and ribs routinely to track body condition and adjusting rations accordingly. Make sure your horse has a healthy fat covering over his ribs (body condition 5 or 6 out of 9) rather than entering winter months in too lean a ­condition.

In addition, good dental care maximizes the nutrition horses get from their feed. “Check teeth at least yearly, particularly for the middle-aged and older horse; most horses need dental work and floating once or twice a year,” notes Elford. Completing routine work on any questionable dental issues by late autumn gives your horse the best chance of maximizing his groceries during winter months.

Attention to digestive health also includes parasite control. Veterinary recommendations in northern climes include decreasing deworming frequency during winter months; however, consult your veterinarian about using fecal egg count tests to tailor this program to your farm.

Take-Home Message
In general, horses thrive best when there is room to move around in and fresh air to breathe–regardless of the season. Movement helps keep musculoskeletal tissues limber and healthy, and it keeps the digestive tract motile and the equine respiratory tract healthy. Taking a few simple precautions in addition to these basic, healthful approaches can help your horse weather winter safely.

Source: Nancy S. Loving, DVM for The Horse.com

Six Signs of Good Quality Horse Hay

Saturday, October 19th, 2019

Six Signs of Good Quality Horse HayForage makes up between 50 and 90 percent or more of a horse’s diet. Much of the forage part of the diet comes in the form of hay. Because it’s such a big part of the ration, good quality hay can help keep a horse healthy, while poor quality hay can be detrimental. This is why, as nutritionists and horse owners, we put a big emphasis on the quality of hay we feed.

The nutritional value of hay is the most important factor when determining its quality. This begins with the stage of plant maturity at the time of harvest. Young, immature plants contain more nutrients than older, stemmier plants. Though after hay is harvested, the level of horse hay quality goes beyond the age of the plant at harvest.

Identifying good quality hay for horses:

When selecting your horse’s forage, keep these six signs of good quality hay in mind:

1. High leaf-to-stem ratio 
Think about the leafy greens you eat. You likely prefer greens with leaves rather than just stems. The same is true for your horse. Look for more flat leaves in the hay and fewer round stems; this indicates the plant was less mature when cut. More leaves typically mean higher digestibility and nutrient content for your horse.

2. Small diameter stems
Stems smaller in diameter or finer are also indicators of higher quality horse hay. Small stems mean the plant was less mature when cut. To test stem size, grab a handful of hay and give it a squeeze. Good quality hay is soft, pliable, and feels good in your hand. If it feels like you’re squeezing a handful of sticks, it is not a good choice of hay to feed your horse.

3. Few seed heads or blooms
No matter the species of plant, hay with little to no seed heads or blooms indicates a younger, early maturity plant, and thus a higher quality hay. For example, timothy hay should be cut in the pre-bloom or early-bloom stage when you see little to no seed heads; and alfalfa should be cut when you see few to no blooms.

4. Fresh smell and appearance
On our farm, there’s nothing like haying season. We love the smell of fresh hay. The same is true for your horse. Good quality hay should have a fresh cut smell and appearance. Avoid musty, moldy or off-setting smelling hay, because it can reduce palatability and indicate poor quality.

5. Cleanliness
Harvested forages primarily compose the hay. Look for a clean forage with little to no dust. Even if the majority of the hay is high quality, hay containing dirt, mold, weeds, trash or other foreign materials indicate poorer quality hay and may be unfit to feed to horses.

6. Hay Color
Good quality hay should be bright green in color with little fading. A bleached, yellow, brown or black color may indicate aged hay, mold or poor storage conditions. Storage condition and age have a significant effect on the vitamin content of hays. Many vitamins, such as vitamins A and E, are not stable over time and lose biological activity. After approximately six months, almost all vitamin A and E activity levels are lost. The nutritional value of hay is compromised with increased exposure to heat, sunlight, and rain, which speed up this process.

When good quality hay for your horse is scarce or too costly, you may need to compensate for poorer quality hay. You can do this by supplementing with a quality balanced horse feed. Hay balancers help provide the missing essential nutrients the horse requires in the diet. In some cases, they can replace hay in the diet entirely.

Feeds like Equine Junior®, Equine Adult®, Equine Senior®, and Omolene #400 Complete Advantage offer built-in forage for situations where hay is not available in a horse’s diet.

Gina Fresquez, M.S. for Purina Mills

Fly Spray for Horses

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Fly Spray Sale | Argyle Feed StoreDon’t let horse flies take a bite out of your horses. Protect your horses with fly spray on sale at Argyle Feed Store. 

The fly sprays available include: 

  • Pyranha Wipe N’ Spray – A popular choice among horse owners. Protect your horse with just 2 ounces per head, it leaves your horse with a very shiny coat. 
  • Endure Sweat-Resistant – Fly proof your horses with Endure. Made with a formula that works in wet conditions like rain and sweat, it protects your horse from all the bug biting insects and flies. 
  • Bronco Gold– Guards your horse against pesky flies while giving him a healthy shine. Kills and repels six fly species, mosquitoes, and gnats. Also doubles as a grooming aid and coat conditioner. 
  • Power –  Made with Pyranha technology, this spray kills mosquitos, deer flies, and horse flies. It has a citronella scent and water-based. 
  • Repel-X – With just 8 oz. of product you can coat one horse depending on the size of the animal. 
  • Ultra Shield – Kills and repels more than 70 species of biting and nuisance flies, mosquitoes, ticks, and gnats. Designed for the most challenging conditions. Contains multiple sunscreens and coat conditioners, including aloe and lanolin.
  • Mosquito Halt – Stops mosquitoes in their tracks and repels them before they can bite. True to its name, Mosquito Halt® spray provides quick knockdown, killing, and repellency of mosquitoes. Also controls gnats and face, stable and house flies.

 

Managing Your Horse’s Gastric Health

Thursday, July 25th, 2019

Gastric discomfort may negatively affect a horse’s health, attitude, and performance. Fortunately, recognizing signs of discomfort and providing proper management can help support your horse’s gastric health.

Did you know that the prevalence of gastric discomfort in active horses is high? Studies indicate that the prevalence of gastric ulcers in performance horses is 90% or more1

What causes gastric discomfort in horses?

As grazing animals, horses are made to steadily eat a forage-based diet throughout the course of an entire day. This constant slow-feed intake naturally regulates the acidity of the horse’s stomach contents. Additionally, the saliva a horse generates through chewing naturally buffers the acid.

Modern horse-keeping practices often limit feeding to two or three daily meals. Unless a horse is turned out to graze or barn staff frequently refills the hay supply, the horse doesn’t receive more hay until the next feeding.
Even though the horse isn’t eating, his stomach still produces acid. Without chewing, there isn’t a steady source of saliva and natural enzymes to help protect the stomach. An overabundance of acid and a lack of saliva means the stomach’s natural pH level drops too. These factors create the trifecta for gastric discomfort.

Stress can also put horses at a greater risk for gastric discomfort. Rigorous exercise, long-distance travel, a new environment, and confinement can contribute to lower gastric pH levels.

What are the signs of gastric discomfort in horses?

Gastric discomfort can present differently in individual horses. Common signs of equine gastric discomfort include:

  • Poor appetite
  • Picky eating
  • Poor body condition
  • Weight loss
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Poor coat condition
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Changes in behavior, including aggression, nervous behaviors, side biting and “girthiness”
  • Acute or recurring colic
  • Poor performance

How to manage a horse with gastric discomfort

Research has shown continuous acid production and low gastric pH can contribute to the development of gastric ulcers and Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS)1. Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize your horse’s risk for developing EGUS and manage a horse with gastric discomfort.

1. Recognize factors or events known to cause gastric discomfort in horses.

Some factors include:

  • Environment stressors
  • Lack of turnout
  • Injury
  • Fasting
  • High starch diets
  • Inadequate forage
  • Prolonged use of NSAIDs
  • Travel
  • Elevated exercise, training, showing or racing

2. Recognize the signs of gastric discomfort in horses.

Common signs are listed above, but individual horses present discomfort in different ways. Become familiar with your horse’s normal behavior to help determine if behavior changes are a sign of discomfort.

3. When to seek help from your veterinarian.

Work with your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment if you recognize risk factors or symptoms. Gastroscopy is the only way to confirm the presence of gastric ulcers, and prescription acid suppression therapy may be required to heal ulcerations. If treatment is necessary, work with your veterinarian to determine the best medication for your horse.

4. Manage gastric discomfort.

Develop a management program to minimize the factors contributing to gastric discomfort. Provide ample turnout and continuous access to fresh water. Anticipate stressful events, such as traveling or showing, and use Purina® Outlast® Gastric Supplement to support and maintain gastric health and proper pH during those times.

5. Horse nutrition.

Choosing the right feed products and implementing good feeding management practices are vital in managing your horse’s gastric health.

  • Never allow more than six hours of fasting and provide frequent access to good quality hay and/or pasture.
  • Incorporate alfalfa into your horse’s diet.
  • Feed higher fat and fiber concentrates and avoids high starch and sugar feeds. The Purina horse feed lineup includes many appropriate options
  • Support optimal gastric pH by feeding Purina® Outlast® Gastric Support Supplement along with concentrate meals. In addition, feed Outlast®1 supplement as a snack before you ride, trailer or show to maximize gastric support during these activities.
  • For horses needing more calories, Purina® Ultium® Gastric Care and Race Ready® GT horse feeds both contain a full serving of Outlast® supplement and are designed to support gastric health and caloric needs of performance and racehorses. Strategy® GX  and Strategy® Healthy Edge® and Impact® Professional Performance horse feeds now also all contain Purina® Outlast® Gastric Support Supplement.

By recognizing the signs associated with gastric discomfort and adjusting management and dietary practices, you can help support your horse’s gastric health. Learn more about Outlast® supplement and your horse’s gastric health at FeedOutlast.com.

 Source: Kelly Vineyard, M.S., Ph.D., Senior Nutritionist, Equine Technical Solutions

 

Premium Coastal Hay

Friday, July 19th, 2019

Premium Coastal Hay | Argyle Feed StoreArgyle Feed Store has premium coastal hay available. If you’re looking for quality grass hay, then stop by and pick up a bale or two from our stock. Contact the store for delivery and pricing information.

Coastal grass has a low level of nitrates but a higher level of fiber while maintaining a mid-level of proteins. Be sure to balance feeding this hay with other supplemental feeds that have higher levels of protein. This way your horse won’t become overweight or develop laminitis. If you have questions about how to create a good balance for your livestock, contact Argyle Feed Store. 

Grab your Premium Coastal Hay Available at Argyle Feed Store! 

 

Timothy Orchard Hay Available

Friday, July 19th, 2019

Timothy Orchard Hay | Argyle Feed StoreArgyle Feed Store has Timothy Orchard Hay available from Canada Come by the store and pick up our quality hay bales from this year’s crop. Contact the store for pricing and delivery.

Timothy Orchard Hay has high fiber content and low protein levels make this the go-to hay source for many livestock owners. Be sure to balance your horse and cow’s nutritional needs with supplemental feeds that will provide the protein it needs. 

Store your hay in an enclosed space like a barn or shed to protect it from elements. Also, watch the moisture levels so it doesn’t get mold and attract parasites. Feeding moldy hay can cause serious intestinal damage to your livestock. 

Contact Argyle Feed Store for pricing and delivery options. 

 

Tips For Pets And Animal Safety On July 4TH

Monday, June 10th, 2019

Animal Safety on July 4th | Argyle Feed Store

Remember these tips for animal safety on July 4th to have a successful and safe holiday celebration.  Your pet will thank you!

Cats

  • Keep your cat indoors.
  • Close all windows and curtains and switch on music or the television to drown out the noise.
  • Leave your cat to take refuge in a corner if it wishes. Do not try to tempt it out as this could cause more stress.
  • Make sure your cat is microchipped or is wearing identification tags to ensure it can be returned to you if it escapes and becomes lost.

Dogs

  • Exercise your dog during the day.
  • Never walk your dog while fireworks are being let off.
  • Keep your dog indoors, close the curtains and play music to drown out the noise.
  • Let your dog hide if it wants to take refuge under furniture or in a corner.
  • Make sure your dog is wearing a collar and tag and is microchipped or is wearing identification tags in case it bolts and becomes lost.
  • Keep dogs leashed if you take them outside the home.
  • Use caution when in or around crowds or people your dog doesn’t know
  • Remember, dogs get very excited during horseplay in and out of the water and have a tendency to bite when excited.
  • Use caution when picnicking and barbecuing, many small children are bitten while walking around with food in their hands.
  • Protect your dog from other dogs that may be loose, keep them at a distance, many bites occur while animal owners are trying to break up a dogfight.
  • If it is hot, give your pet lots of water – indoors or out
  • Never leave your dog locked in cars – the hot summer sun can raise temperatures to 120 degrees inside your car, even with windows rolled down.
  • Prevent sunburns – keep four-legged friends out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., peak skin damaging hours. Otherwise rub sunblock on unprotected areas such as skin around lips and tips of noses and ears, especially on fair-colored pets.
  • Provide plenty of shelter – animals should not be left alone outside on hot days, even in the shade. Shade moves throughout the day so pets need to be kept under a cool shelter or inside during peak hours when possible.
  • Watch out for heatstroke – symptoms of pet heatstroke include panting, staring, high fever, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, collapse, and disobedience, among others. If heatstroke is suspected, call a veterinarian immediately and apply water-soaked towels to hairless areas of the animal’s body to lower its temperature.
  • If you go hiking, pack supplies for your dog as you would for yourself on long hikes – bring extra food and water for your dog on long walks as well as an emergency first aid kit.
  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pet severe indigestion and diarrhea.
  • Use caution with open flames and fireworks as pets may be burned or could chase the fireworks and become injured.
  • A simple plug-in diffuser that dispenses a dog appeasing pheromone into the room is available at some veterinary practices.
  • Sedatives can also be prescribed by your vet.
  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them.
  • Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it.

Small Animals

  • Small animals – such as rabbits and guinea pigs – living outside should not be forgotten. They can also become very stressed from loud noise. Bring small animals indoors or into an outhouse or garden shed to give them extra protection
  • Where the hutch must remain outside then cover it in an old thick blanket, this will block out a lot of the light and sound.
  • Whether indoors or outdoors ensure your pets have plenty of extra bedding material to hide in and feel more secure.

Horses

  • If the horses on the yard aren’t used to music, start playing Radio 3 for them BEFORE firework night and leave the radio on to distract them on the night itself.
  • If you have stable lights, leave them on and they’ll make the firework flashes less extreme.
  • Don’t even think of riding out – yes, people do!
  • If you leave them out, check fences and gates first and then keep out of the way and just watch from a distance.
  • Try putting cotton wool balls in your horse’s ears but again practice in advance. It’s no good waiting until the bangs start to decide to give it a try.
  • If you do stable your horse, arrange for him/her to be brought in before the end of the school day when bangs are likely to start. You don’t want to be leading when they get a fright.
  • Make sure they have plenty of hay to keep them occupied.
  • Remember if you’re rugging up that they’re likely to get sweaty when they are nervous.
  • If you can keep calm during the bangs and flashes then hang around the stables or go regularly to check them – but if you’re likely to be scared/angry etc yourself, be in the immediate area by all means but keep away from the horses or you’ll only make them worse.
  • DON’T go in the stable with a horse once the fireworks start. I don’t care how calm they seem to be – it just takes an instant for them to change from your cuddly horse to a wild animal that has reverted to survival mode.
  • Never light fireworks near barns or fields, as it is an extreme fire hazard. And, horses can be especially frightened by fireworks, causing them to run through fences and become lost or injured. They can also injure people when they are startled by the lights and noise.

Sources:

Rural diaries, Lane County, and other random sites.