Welfare Opinion Needed
My great uncle purchased a herd of twenty two premarin colts last month, and I've finally gotten to go see them. All twenty two colts, and foals share a pasture with a herd of cows. I guess that would be okay on a normal given circumstance, but the cows aren't aloud in the horses only shelter, which is a run part below the barn, so the door to it stays closed in order to keep the cows out. Because of that, the horses can't can't get into their only source of shelter, or to their water. They'll need a place to go to get away from the wind, snow and rain in the winter, not to mention they need water at all times of day. I thought it was a little sketchy, and another person who wishes to remain anonymous has threatened to call the humane association if the conditions don't improve. I was hoping to get some opinions on the matter?
Yes, 24-hour access to water is an absolute necessity. But how are the cattle getting water if the horses can't?
Shelter is a notch below on the priority scale, but still very important, particularly if you have severe weather. What's he planning on doing with all those colts, anyway? Fattening them up and running them through a sale?
How difficult would it be to put another stock tank out for the colts? Shelter I guess wouldn't be a big deal... not sure how to get the horses in there WITHOUT the cows when bad weather does arrive. The setup doesn't seem very convenient. Why not run some electrical (My neighbors use it for their cattle, one is a big bull too and they respect it) and separate some land for the colts? I'd just think that'd be a little easier....
Well, if he plans on training them, he'd better make some serious plans for better shelter and water. And sooner, not later. Winter's here in some parts of Ontario. Where-ever it's not winter yet, it soon will be!
With 22 horses, he's going to have a lot of requirements for different personalities, sexes (hopefully all colts will be gelded, but just in case there is a problem), health issues, and I don't know what all else.
Nothing wrong in my opinion with horses being out with cows as long as they have enough room, but I don't understand why the shelter is only for the horses, unless it's too small and all the animals would try to crowd in together, plus create a big ugly muck hole. Multiple shelters would be a good idea for just that many horses, never mind the cows.
Generally horses will run off cows if they don't want them there, anyway.
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