Monday, 23 March 2009

Halter training

The fine weather has enabled us to get well ahead with the halter training. All the weanlings will now walk on a halter in one form or another. Some pull, hop, skip and jump ahead, some pull back and then rush forwards, some just pull and pull and the odd one or two actually walk very nicely!! Still another ten halter training days until the first show so we hope to get there. Once they are all reasonably happy to walk alongside me I will introduce them to the stock trailer so that it is not too much of a shock the first time they have to travel.

We have just started to separate the earliest due pregnant females so that we can keep a special eye on them and not miss any births. It is important to check them whilst they are birthing and immediately afterwards to make sure that everything goes smoothly, that the afterbirth leaves the mother and that the cria suckles within the first couple of hours thus taking in the vital colostrom which gives it the benefit of its mother's immunity to outside bacteria which he will have been protected from in the womb.

We have checked the birthing box to make sure there are clean towels, cria coats (to keep them warm if the weather is bad or if they are weak), dried colostrum in case Mum does not feed them properly, together with a colostrum feeder to tube feed directly into the cria's stomach if he is not suckling, Terramycin aerosol to spray the open wound where the umbelical cord has broken free, gloves in case any intervention is needed and a book to read if it is a long birth!!

The daily hay run is much reduced now as they are all able to survive better on the available grass which is growing well now. We are still not out of the woods as often the weather can turn wintery again even in April.

Everything seems to be going smoothly at the moment, although Mike is a bit under par, but I am sure he will feel better soon. We are saving on housekeeping money as he is off his food.

No comments: