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Managing Horse Pasture
A major part of a horse's diet is hay or pasture. A horse weighing 1000 pounds will eat about 500 pounds each month. A horse needs roughly 28 acres of non-irrigated, dryland pasture a year if that is the only source of forage. However, a pasture that is irrigated will grow more forage than dryland pasture, requiring less acreage. The amount of irrigated pasture needed for one horse is roughly 1 to 2 acres.
Two acres of pasture for each horse are recommended. One acre of pasture will provide adequate grazing, but requires more pasture management. Manage your pasture as you would with any crop with soil testing, fertilizing, and managing manure. Horses will not eat trampled grass or grass with manure on it. Horses will also overgraze smaller areas very quickly. Therefore, a combination of pasture and small lot or barn is needed to help minimize overgrazing.
Do not let horses overgraze the pasture as this can cause grass to no longer grow. Keep pasture grass healthy--overgrazed pasture may never recover. To allow for re-growth, leave about 1/3 of the grass uneaten at any given time. The horse can be confined to the lot or barn and only allowed to graze for a few hours a day, reducing damage to a small pasture. Rotational pasture lots are one key to using small acreage pasture space to the fullest potential. Portable electric fencing provides an efficient and economic way to partition you pasture. Over-supplementing your horse with hay and grain will not prevent your horse from overgrazing.
Pasture grazing is not absolutely necessary for a horse. A nice green pasture is not always a reality. Horses can be properly fed without pasture. However, pasture has several advantages as it is the natural feed for horses, reduces the cost of feeding, provides your horse with exercise, and generally speaking, horses are usually healthier when kept outside on pasture.
Establishing and maintaining a productive pasture is not too difficult. A few dollars spent on soil nutrients for your pasture is a good investment. Fertilizer will help your pasture to become more productive and produce more forage. Fertilizer costs will generally be offset from good pasture rotating and from savings in feed costs for hay and grain supplements.
Mowing is also important of pasture management. It minimizes the spread of weeds to help maintain higher quality forage. Mowing weeds before seed heads are produced limits the spread of weeds. Grass should be mowed to 3-4 inches.
No matter how well you manage your pasture, it will most likely thin. To help ensure pasture continues to produce good grass, new forage seed should be spread every year. It is recommended re-seeding be done in the spring or fall. In the spring, wet conditions will allow for germination and growth, but only if it is not too wet or muddy. In the fall, there will be less competition from weeds. Grazing should not be allowed on new grass seedlings for approximately 6 to 8 weeks after emerging from the ground to allow for proper root growth.
Caution! Turning your horse out on green lush pasture before conditioning him to a change in diet is dangerous and can result in sickness or possibly death. Start your horse out slowly by letting him graze for few minutes each day and gradually increase to a few hours each day.
Randall Holman, site owner of Front Range Frenzy and horse enthusiast, is the author of the above article. You will find other easy and practical basic horse care information on his website: http://www.FrontRangeFrenzy.com.
Pet Vitamin Supplements - Whether You Need One and How to Choose One
Vitamins Can Increase Your Dog's Life Span!There is evidence to suggest that a good vitamin supplement for your dog not only helps prevent, improve or cure many degenerative type illnesses and disease, but may actually lengthen your dog's life span. Really!This is particularly the indication if you supplement with vitamins while your dog is young and healthy, rather than waiting for your dog to get sick or show the usual signs of aging and degeneration.
Talk to the Animals? Yes! And Whats More, They Talk to Us!
Talk to the animals?Yes.And what's more, they talk to us!If you've ever shared your life with animals, you'll know that they understand most of what you say to them.
Christmas Gifts For Cat Lovers
The act of offering Christmas gifts is always enhanced if you take some trouble in matching the gift with the recipient.Sometimes, though, it is not as easy as it may seem, especially if the gift is for someone you have not seen very often throughout the year; or someone whose tastes you do not know that well.
Maintaining your Fish Bowls
Maintaining your fish bowl can be difficult sometimes. However, your fish bowl should be kept as hygienic as possible.
The Truth About Dog Food
These days, it's hard to know what decisions are the best ones for our beloved pets. So much information, so many conflicting theories and opinions! When it comes to dog food, is wetter better? Or should you give dry a try?In this article, I'm not going to tell you what to feed your dog.
You Must Train Your Dog From A Young Age
The best thing to do is to start training your new puppy as soon as you get him home. You need to teach your puppy your rules, and how you expect him to behave starting from a very early age.
The Noble Skye Terrier
With ancestors who were a breed of tenacious terriers, most often used for ratting (hunting vermin), the Skye Terrier has become less a working dog and more a dignified companion animal»since the latter part of the 17th century.Long before the reprieve from work, however, the Skye Terrier had an involved life and unique start: it is said that the first Skye Terrier came from ancestors who survived the wreck of the Spanish Armada, swam to shore of the Isle of Skye , and mated with the terriers living there in North-western Scotland in 1588.
The One-Minute Horse Training Manager
If your life is so busy you literally only have a minute or two a day to spend with your horse, then here are 5 smart training tips you can use to keep your horse "tuned up" when you have just minutes a day.Smart Tip #1: Practice Backing UpSuppose you just fed your horse some hay and he's eating.
Biting & Nipping Behavior Can Kill Your Dog!
Dog bite injuries are alarmingly the most common condition that we human suffer from as a result of contact with dogs. In the United States alone, there are between 1-2 million people bitten by dogs each year.
Understanding Dog Fleas: How Fleas Breed & Affect Your Dogs Health
Fleas belong to the insect order Siphonaptera. They are common pests and may attack many mammals, including man.
Arthritis Pain Relief For Dogs - Simple Home Remedies That Work
Did you know that arthritis affects one in five dogs over the age of seven? It is a painful condition that affects the joints and can occur in your pet's neck, hips, shoulders, elbows and back. However, there are many simple solutions that you can provide at home that will relieve the aches and pains in your dog's joints.
How To Raise A Goldfish
Did you know that your goldfish can live for over 10 years? Under the right conditions he can live even longer but most never make it past the first year! If you want your goldfish to live long and healthy lives, you've got to provide the proper environment.It's a common misconception that a goldfish can live in a tiny bowl.
Finding A Reputable Dog Breeder
Anyone can put two dogs together and let them breed, and in turn call themselves a "breeder." However being called a "reputable" breeder encompasses far more than that.
Is Pet Insurance Right For Your Pet?
Trying to decide if you should get insurance on your pet? There are of course pro's and con's to it. Years ago I decided to try it out.
The Birds and the Bees for Adults (Parrots, That Is!)
The days are getting longer, and if you have a sexually mature parrot, there may be some major sexual stuff going on - and you might not even know it!A lot of people believe sexual behavior in adult parrots means they now need to be put in a breeding situation - not true! While there are a FEW birds who truly are not happy as pets and desperately want a mate and babies, they are very much in the minority. For most birds, it's simply a few months of mother Nature's influence, which then passes, revealing your loving companion once again.
How To Choose A Dog - There Is A Lot To Consider, But A Lot Of Help Too
Choosing a dog is a fun adventure. The search for a new familial addition is exciting, but it can also be a little overwhelming.
Dog House Training: Straightforward Advice
Making sure that accidents don't happen in the first place is the focus of this article about dog house training. Training is far easier and faster then getting upset with your dog every time they eliminate in an inappropriate place.
Decorating for The Cat Owner - How to Protect Your Possessions
The first thing a cat owner should know about home décor is to keep it simple. Cats are completely convinced that they are in charge, that the house and its possessions belong to them, and that they have every right to break rip or shred anything they like.
How To Determine The Sex of Discus Fish
One of the biggest question asked of the discus breeder is "how do I determine the sex of my fish?" There are very few easy identifiable identifiers in this process. Here, we will discuss the methods used by some of the top breeders.
Last summer, we added a new pet to our family - our cat, Ally. She was a sweet, shorthaired, stray kitten that we picked up from a neighbor's house.
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