Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hey, hey

Yalla! began eating with her mother at about three weeks old. At first she was just curious, grabbing a nibble or two of her mother's grain. So I started creep feeding her at that time. Now she looks forward to her feedings and eagerly munches down. I am feeding Annie a mixture of grains and supplements and her teats are ridiculously full of milk. Yalla! is still nursing, of course.

Twice a day, I like to feed Annie a mixture of 1 - 2# coffee can of cracked corn, 1 -2# coffee can of 12% sweet feed, and 1 - 2# coffee can of 10% pelleted feed (I buy it at WalMart). I also feed her 1/2 ounce of MarePlus vitamins and about a 1/4 pound of Calf Manna. I've read both good and bad about Calf Manna but I've used it in the past so I decided to go ahead and use it again.
If you don't overfeed it, it makes a good supplement. The biggest complaint I've heard is from too fast of joint growth and too much protein.

I add a squirt of apple cider vinegar and a dollop of vegetable oil to the mix. I prefer to use corn oil but I figured I'd use up the veg oil first. I take Annie her grain in a big yellow bucket and then turn it over for a stool for me to sit on while I bucket feed Yalla! For Yalla!, I feed about a 1/4 pound of Calf Manna, a handful of cracked corn, and a handful of sweet feed. She doesn't eat it all yet so I just sit and let her eat what she wants while her mama eats her grain. Annie is a slow eater, savoring every bite, but she sloshes grain around so I should have her teeth checked, I suppose). It takes Annie about ten or fifteen minutes to eat up her grain so that's as long as I'm creep feeding Yalla!

Yalla! likes to taste everything, just like a kid, everything goes into the mouth. I've had to work on breaking her of nipping. She would take a bite of grain and then nuzzle my arm and then nip it while I was holding the bucket. I started smacking her mouth whenever she tried. She would walk off in a pout and then come back and we'd start all over again. I will not tolerate her nipping at me. I think she's getting better although I still don't fully trust her.

I feed the horses grass hay in the morning and a combination of grass and alfalfa at night. A week ago, when I was feeding them, I heard some strange scrittering noises in the hay trough. I investigated and found a baby mouse in the bottom of the feeder Annie and Yalla! had been grazing from. I caught it in the grain bucket.

Now, what do I do with it? It's been a week and it's still alive. I give it water in a little plastic cap and there's grain for it to eat. Because of the oil in Annie's grain, it got all greasy for a few days. But, I just can't kill it! I throw away dead mice all the time from the traps in the tackroom but this is a little baby! I've even been able to hold it in my hand. Any suggestions? I've thought about just letting it go in the field next door and I've considered a cage. What would you do with it?
The same day I found the mouse, I found a bird's nest in my hay.

I also found a tiny egg (the size of the speckled candy eggs at Easter). I don't know what kind it is or if it actually came from this nest but I suspect it did. The nest is interesting. It has hay, string, horse hair, and feathers woven together.

In regards to hay, my sons and I went out last weekend with the truck and trailer but we could only get about 35 bales of alfalfa. I didn't like the looks of the hay so we only took half of what he had. I guess you get what you pay for-it was $5.00. This was in the north valley so it wasn't too far away. Otherwise, what a wasted trip!
Last year, I bought a truckload of hay and had it delivered. It was a fiasco. They dumped some of the load on the way over to my place when they turned a corner too sharp, so I don't know if they lost some or not. Anyway, the trailer was too long to back up to my barn so they unloaded it in my arena and we had to haul it into the barn using my son's little truck. All 200 bales! We might as well go get it ourselves and drive it into the barn, huh?
However, after last weekend's wasted trip I called around for another delivery. I found an ad for grass hay at $6.00 a bale, DELIVERED and STACKED!!! I called him and although he doesn't usually deliver as far as where I live, he said he would bring it to my house if I bought 200. Also, the ad I saw had no restrictions on delivery. He has a smaller trailer than the guys last year, although it's bigger than mine. He can fit 100-120 bales at a time. The only problem with where I live is that the freeway has road construction all through the canyon which means a twisty two lane road with high walls on both sides and a huge hill to climb. It's very scary to drive anyway, much less with a big load, and hard on the truck engine in the heat! I told him to come along Route 66, the old highway, because there are no stops and the hill isn't as steep. So he agreed.
In record time he, his two teenage daughters, and my two sons had unloaded the 100 bales and they were off to get the next load. It started raining just as they were finishing, big soaking drops, but it only rained about fifteen minutes or so. Luckily the hay was safe in the barn by the time it began raining. I suppose you wonder why I didn't help. Hmmm, I was in town running errands and headed for home when my son called to tell me they were at the barn. They unloaded the hay so fast that they were gone before I got there.
He brought back the second truckload in just a couple of hours time. They were pulling in with the second load as I was pulling brownies out of the oven. I fixed up a plate of still hot brownies for the man and his two daughters and went out to help them all with the hay.
The bales are clean grass with some alfalfa although they are on the light side. Now I know how they could have unloaded so fast! But the hay looks good and it was a fair price. I spoke with someone else who would only deliver for an extra $3 a bale and that hay could easily be the same weight bales!

Update- I have let the little mouse go. Hopefully he will run far away and never come back. I cannot guarantee that my traps won't get him next time.

Hey, hey - song: Amlapura, artist: Tin Machine, album: Tin Machine II


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

That's a lot of work to unload all that hay. My hay farmer charges a lot, but he's got noxious weed-free hay that he delivers by harrow. It has a couple of arms and claws the set a stack of 76 bales down on my pallets. The only time we need to move hay is when we need to knock it down to open it up. It's a convenience I won't do without. I used to load and unload each bale with the help of my family, but somebody always ended up getting hurt. There were strained muscles and scrapes and allergies galore. For a while there, I had the feed store owner deliver some bales in a pickup truck, but he was rather stingy about his time and energy. He didn't want to deliver to me unless I bought hay from him at least once every three months, and he complained the entire time he was unloading my hay, so I quit using his services since he made me feel like he was doing me a disgruntled favor, as opposed to simply doing his job and getting paid for it.

fernvalley01 said...

Sounds like things are going well. As far as the mouse , what would I do ? Scream like a silly girl and run the other way! Sorry probably not much help huh?

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

I'd let the mouse go -- away from everything of course.

I know Yallah is enjoying growing up at your place.


Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

I'd let the mouse go -- away from everything of course.

I know Yallah is enjoying growing up at your place.


Cara said...

I'd also let the mouse go. As long as you are keeping it, I would give it a couple cotton balls or half a wash rag so it can make a bed/nest. Mice are burrowing hiding kinds of creatures.

If you want a pet mouse, get a health tame one at the pet shop. Rats make better pets-they are friendly and always ready to play.

Breathe said...

We have a pet mouse and while she's cute, I think she's a pretty lame pet, actually.

Good that you let her go.

Someday we'll live with our horses, although this hay post has me wondering. Maybe we can just live next door to a boarding facility???