Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Colic  (Read 608 times)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Colic
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2021, 07:05:29 pm »
Aye, you have to do

Time pony takes to eat hay in net + 4 hours for digestion + 4 hours before damage can start to occur from highly acidic environment.

So because Davy is greedy, we can't let it be more than around 10 hours from last net at night to first net in morning.  When he was bedded on straw he could pick at that all night so it wasn't an issue.

So at present I am going out to give him a final slice of hay around 10-11pm, then the milking team give him his morning net around 8.30am.  I am going to get a couple of bales of a chopped straw based bedding product to try him with next week, because the late nights are killing me! 

Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Colic
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2021, 07:57:34 pm »
Happy to be corrected but that's not my understanding. Once the stomach is empty the damage starts. Food is pushed through the stomach quite quickly whereas it spends several hours in the large intestine.

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Colic
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2021, 09:11:28 pm »
Can you not give him straw with his hay so he has something to eat all the time and therefore always something going through his gut?
When I had my cob pony, he lived in a large pen with my donkeys in winter. Donkeys can live on straw so there was always a large bale of straw in their pen. However we also gave them hay twice a day. Now horses are higher up the pecking order than donkeys so Apache ate most of the hay and the system worked well. He lost weight in winter without actually ever being without food and therefore in Spring we could put him out on spring grass which he would eat to his heart's content without fear of laminitis.
Like you said - Davy used to pick at his bedding straw anyway overnight so why not feed him straw ad lib and that way he would naturally restrict his hay intake without going hungry. It would be a lot cheaper to buy bales of straw than chopped bedding straw.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Colic
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2021, 10:54:43 pm »
Landroverroy beat me to it!  I was going to suggest that as a native feeding a large quantity of good quality oat straw is probably better than a small quantity of hay... and if you do feed hay, you're better to feed species rich meadow hay than timothy for natives.  If you want to slow him down further, feed chaff (it's how they did it in the good old days, when there were real horsemen on every farm!!!!).

In terms of sugar beet... there's virtually no sugar in beet... it's the pulp that's left over after the sugar has been extracted that goes for animal feed.  Bran is another good bulk feed for good doers providing you balance the minerals properly.  Feed it dry if they're 'a bit loose' and wet if they're constipated.

You could also try some tree hay - popular ones include willow and beech, but Christmas trees are plentiful at the moment and my natives do seem to enjoy picking at them if the goats haven't beaten them to it.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Colic
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2021, 12:23:46 am »
The situation re: straw is complicated. 

Our usual source of chemical-free straw has run out this year; we have managed to find one last pallet of 40 bales of chemical-free, which will just about see the cattle through the winter if we are not profligate with it.  So none to spare for greedy, mucky Davy, who would eat / dirty / use half a bale of straw a day, on top of a hay ration.

I don't mind so much if the ponies get straw that might have had chemicals on it - we don't eat them or drink their milk :D, and the amount of chemicals which would be persistent through composting and survive to get back on the fields or veg plot is minimal, given that aminopyralid is not authorised for cereal crops - but because there are a gang of us looking after the animals, most of whom are not experienced, it's just impossible to keep the two lots of straw in the barn and not have the wrong one end up in the cattle pen.  (People sometimes bed with hay, get hay and haylage mixed up...  ::).)  I'm hoping that the chopped bedding straw will look sufficiently different - itself and its packaging - that mistakes won't be made, plus the company that make it are very environmentally aware and source carefully, so whilst they can't 100% guarantee the crops would have had no treatments, the odds are somewhat better than with any other source.

The hay we use is locally produced from untreated ground.  Some people would think it poor hay, but it's perfect for the ponies; the cattle get half hay and half home-made haylage and do well on that.  The sheep are mostly Shetland mixes so they are fine on the rough hay.  Anyone who needs a bit more gets grass pellets. 


Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Colic
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2021, 12:39:07 am »
Happy to be corrected but that's not my understanding. Once the stomach is empty the damage starts. Food is pushed through the stomach quite quickly whereas it spends several hours in the large intestine.

Hmm, the vet who attended the colic was not of the opinion that 8+ hours without fresh input would be harmful.  I was expressing anxiety about him not having straw to pick at once his hay was gone overnight and she didn't seem to think it an issue.  I will talk to the vet some more about it when they come to rasp the teeth and investigate the lump.

Davy's health will, at the end of the day, trump trying to keep all our animals and land as organic as possible, so if the only way we can keep him healthy is to use treated straw (or alternatively to leave them out so that they trash 2 acres of grazing over winter, which would leave us short for spring grass for cattle turnout and lambing ewes, plus often short of making enough hay and haylage for our own winter use) then that is what will happen.  We aren't registered organic and aren't squeaky clean in every other respect, plus don't buy exclusively organic food in for ourselves (although the majority is).
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Colic
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2021, 11:33:48 am »
I would disagree strongly with your vet and strongly agree with Scarlett.Dragon and Landroverroy comments.


Take look at paddock paradise systems as an alternative to trashing your field. Rosemary and Dan use it I think.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Colic
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2021, 01:06:27 pm »
I can manage them on rotational grazing over summer, that's not the problem. 

If I put them on paddock tracks in winter here, they will be over their fetlocks in mud.  In fact they are over the coronet on mud if I let them have the whole of several acres in winter.  (And they don't need to be encouraged to move, they are always very active.)

The vet is now booked to come Thursday, and I have got Davy on once-a-day Bute for now, so that he doesn't wolf his evening haynet down but can eat what he needs slowly.  (Which is the lesser of two evils?  Some discomfort chewing hay overnight but no long periods with no input, as opposed to no problems chewing and ending up with 8 hours between haynets?)

So hopefully we can work out a way forward once we know more about what's going on in his jaw.

Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

Colic

Started by sabrina

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