Mud Management

Written by System Fencing Wednesday, April 3, 2013

 

The spring season brings with it many changes to the landscape, the days are longer, the weather warms up, plants start to grow and almost every farm or acreage has to deal with mud.

Mud often forms in high traffic area such as barn entrances, gates and outdoor feeding and watering areas. It is a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi that can result in thrush and mud fever inhorses. Although you may not be able to eliminate mud entirely, you can significantly reduce the amount on your property with proper maintenance.

One of the first steps to preventing mud from forming is to decrease the amount of organic matter in high traffic areas that are susceptible. Regularly picking up manure and leftover hay from the ground will help to reduce the buildup of mud in those areas.

The next step is to make sure the ground is draining properly so that the water will not pool there. Experts in the field, System Fencing recommend the use of base stabilization tiles that are designed as a grid-like structure, sometimes referred to as a "checker board" system. This tile can be installed in the area that is susceptible to mud to give that area better stabilization. To install the tiles, you should scrape back the soil currently in the area you are working on to create a level base. Once the area is level, the tiles can then be put down to cover the affected area. Once this grid is installed,topsoil, sand and gravel can be added inside and on top of the grid to suit the desired purpose.This helps to prevent the turf or grass from settling and collapsing from underneath itself, whilepromoting filtration.

With planting of vegetation, such as grass, within the grid system the end product is a grass or turf covered footing. The grid system protects the grass roots and reduces storm water runoff, resulting in a very durable grass area. These can be the perfect solution to keep high traffic areas level and dry and keep the grass growing! Some tiles are manufactured from recycled tires, which give each one the durability to withstand high traffic, no matter the weather conditions. They also offer support and a constant level surface allowing optimum drainage and great footing for livestock to stand and walk on.

Well draining areas lessen the chance of mud forming and make high traffic areas much easier to navigate. Keeping mud at a minimum is a great way to make property maintenance easier and safer for yourself and your horses.

Posted in General

Water Consumption for Horses

Written by Administrator Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The actual daily amount of water that most horses need to consume (at a minimum) to maintain body functions and remain properly hydrated is from a half gallon to a gallon per 100 pounds of body weight. This works out to be a minimum of 5-10 gallons for a 1,000-pound horse that is not presently doing any work and is living in a temperate climate. If you increase the horse’s workload or the environmental temperatures are elevated, then this will increase the demand for water. Lactating mares, horses with diarrhea, and horses with certain medical conditions will also require more water each day.



The horse’s water consumption from the available water source may decrease if the horse is on a lush, green pasture, as those grasses typically contain 60-80% moisture. Likewise, if the horse is maintained in a dry lot and fed a dry matter forage such as hay, which typically has a 12-15% moisture level, the horse’s time spent at the water trough will increase. The type of forage fed will also affect the horse’s water consumption based upon the feed’s protein content. Protein requires water during the digestive process, and as a result, feeds that are higher in protein will require the horse to consume more water. For example, a horse in a dry lot fed alfalfa hay (typically around 21% crude protein) will require more water in its daily diet than the same horse in a dry lot fed grass hay (typically around 9% crude protein).

Studies have also found that a horse’s consumption of water will be greatly affected by the temperature of the water. The consumption of water appears to be best with a temperature range from 45° to 65° F, with more consumption occurring at the warmer temperatures. This can be difficult to manage, especially in natural water sources such as creeks or ponds, when the weather drops below freezing. In fact, when the weather changes suddenly and temperatures drop precipitously, then even with fresh, palatable water available, many horses will reduce their water consumption drastically which can lead to problems such as impaction colic as the ingesta within the intestines loses its ability to progress normally without enough water. One way to combat this is to provide an ounce or two of a loose salt mix on the horse’s daily ration when weather changes are imminent (in addition to an available salt block) to ensure that the horse continues to consume water when the temperature does drop. Overfeeding of salt is not a problem if there is plenty of fresh water available.

Posted in General

Welcome!

Written by Administrator Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Welcome to the System Fencing blog!
Our goal is to post useful and pertinent information that would be interesting to anyone in the equine industry. Please continue to follow and post your own comments, we would be happy to hear from you!
 

Posted in General