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  • latest reply 1 year ago

1 year ago

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our cold weather got warm it was 30 degrees today felt real nice and warm. Cows just walked in for cake today, when it is cold they usually trot in most of the way. I got a heater put in the horse tank today as it is almost full of ice 23' of ice. I have to cut some more wood for the house heater and for the tank heater tomorrow.

Klaus Karbaumer says 2018-01-04 09:52:47 (CST)

We have had two uninterrupted weeks with temperatures never getting above freezing, not even close, which is unusual for Missouri at this time of the year. It is supposed to "warm up" over the weekend, than cool off again. The newspaper says this morning that Anchorage, Alaska was warmer than Jacksonville, Florida, on Tuesday, indication that the weather is out of whack.
I have a water heater in a stock tank in front of the barn, so that all horses and the donkey have access to water at all times, but I have to carry the water to the goats, which are reluctant to leave their pen inside the barn, and to the ducks as well as the hens every morning. Everybody is eating more these days, the digestion of the hay being what warms the ungulates.
Visitors sometimes are amazed and ask " Aren't the horses cold when they stand outside?" and I have to explain that even though they have access to the barn at all times they like to be outside, staying in areas where the wind doesn't hit them.
That's one thing we certainly did wrong in Germany: Traditionally all farm animals were kept inside warm stables ( the walls being of brick or stone) during winter, which can be cold with snow but also with lots of cold rain. The lack of adequately large pastures was one reason, people wanting to stay warm while taking care of the animals was another one, and further back in history, the fear of theft in uncertain times of upheaval and war another. Nowadays things are changing, and more animals are kept in Offenstallhaltung (open stables) as the knowledge gains more traction that the supposedly protection against the elements actually leads to a lot of respiratory problems. Coughs and even heaves were quite common, especially in horses, and I myself lost three horses in the sixties and seventies due to those problems. I noticed the marked difference in health of my horses being able to be outside anytime they chose.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Klaus Karbaumer says 2018-01-04 20:48:34 (CST)

Re-reading what I wrote I don't want to give the impression that stabling horses in warm buildings was the only thing we did wrong in Germany. I guess you realized that I was referring to how we kept horses, but just to be sure!
And now that I showed that I am kind of pedantic, I'd like to clear up
three more things I wrote:
"than it will cool off, of course it has to be" then"
the supposedly protection = supposed protection
chose = choose
That I find is one of the downsides of writing on computers, one can change one's original sentences so easily, that one can miss errors when a new sentence is built out of previous parts. I am going to try to be more careful in the future.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

NoraWI says 2018-01-06 09:36:23 (CST)

I find that this winter my horses and donkeys are staying much closer to the barn than in the past. Our night temperatures have been consistently below zero and daytime has risen only into the single digits. Very cold in spite of the blazing sunshine during the days. Lack of cloud cover has driven the below-zero temps. In the past, my critters have always come into the barn (it has one partially open side) for food and water only. The rest of the time they wandered out through the 6-acre pasture. Not so this year.

As an aside, since horses and donkeys are so different temperamentally and in their herd mentality, I have an area set aside for the donkeys with shoulder high wood barriers. The donks can get under that while the horses cannot. It makes for calmer feeding times. The horses used to encroach upon the donks' food and chase them off. Now, typical of donkey preference, they eat in their own protected area gathered around a common pile of hay. The horses eat from a line of old water tanks (that won't hold water anymore), doing their perennial jostling for position. They always start from their self-selected places and wait for their portion of hay. Then the gelding starts wandering around wanting to eat at someone else's place. The mares are very tolerant of this and just move on. My 13.2hh pony, however, does fit under the donkeys' barriers and sometimes asserts her dominance. Funny, because she considers herself to be a horse and also eats next to whichever horse she wants. Typical pony!

I love watching their antics and mostly let them sort things out for themselves.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Klaus Karbaumer says 2018-01-06 21:14:06 (CST)

Nora, our Percherons are in a different pasture from the Haflinger, a Quarter horse and our little donkey but all of them have access to different parts of the barn at all times. While the horses prefer to stay outside a lot more, I often find the donkey inside , next to the goats. I suppose it's not that he would enjoy their company, because he chases them outside when they come even close to where he eats. It's probably because he discovered that close to them it is a bit less cold.
By the way, the hierarchy between the Haflinger, the Quarter horse and the donkey is exactly this sequence, but when it comes to the horses, the donkey and the goats it changes in an amazing way: While the goats do not respect the horses at all, and try to steal their oats out of the bowls, at times even pushing the horses aside with their heads in the bowls, when the donkey approaches the goats scatter away in all directions. The little fellow only needs to lower his head and they run, whereas the same behavior from the much bigger horses leaves them less than impressed. Go , figure!

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

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