Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Username: Password:
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Muzzles and weeds  (Read 98 times)

Iceangel

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 300
Muzzles and weeds
« on: August 04, 2018, 07:40:39 am »

I brought my New horse back from the barn where he wasn't getting any grass. I was going to put the muzzle on him and let him out in the big pasture for a short time but my big pasture is really really weedy.
Can they differentiate weeds from the grass with the muzzles? Do they end up eating weeds?
So instead of having a muzzle on him I turned him out the first few days for an hour without one. Yesterday and today he is out there for two hrs in the morning and one to two hrs in the evening.
When I put them in the pasture that has more available grass I will muzzle him. Is he getting enough? Is there any way to equivalate hrs on pasture to flakes of hay?  Oh he is fat, not as fat as when I got him but he needs to lose weight. He has a cresty neck that so really watching his weight.
Logged

kckc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4190
Re: Muzzles and weeds
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2018, 07:56:56 am »

is he getting hay the rest of the day?  He needs to eat pretty much when he wants to (hay net, slow feeder)... even if he needs to lose weight.   I don't believe in dry lots per se - horses need something in their stomachs due to the acids and it's just how they are made.   As far as weeds mine don't seem interested in weeds until they don't have grass then they try anything green …
Logged
NC

Laurie

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 473
Re: Muzzles and weeds
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2018, 09:56:34 am »

Mine have always been on pasture 24/7. They are quite capable of delicately eating the grass around weeds without getting the weeds. The only time I ever worried was after I mowed /bush hogged . I figured they might get some chopped up weeds but it never has seemed to bother them. The can probably still pick out the grass. If you have ever tried to hide some medicine or supplement in your horse's feed you know how they can pick around stuff :P

However , I have never turned out a horse with a muzzle........is there a reason you are doing this? Trying to limit their intake? I would be more likely to limit their time out rather than muzzle one.....
Logged


Iceangel

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 300
Re: Muzzles and weeds
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2018, 06:21:51 pm »

Of course horses can pick out weeds from grass when grazing but I am talking with muzzles. I have Icelandics and they are very prone to getting very fat. The muzzles are a great way to allow them to be out in the pasture but limit how much they eat. Also in an ideal situation horses should have something in front of them 24/7 but again with horses prone to founder- IR that is not possible. I have tried that approach and they gain weight.
I read two hours of grazing equal One flake of hay. To me that seems wrong. They can eat a lot in two hours.
Logged

kckc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4190
Re: Muzzles and weeds
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2018, 06:47:55 pm »

I wonder if the one flake for 2 hours of grazing is very short grass???   How about paddock paradise to keep them moving more plus that limits where the can eat and they walk it down some leaving only nibbling. 
OR...since I really want an Icelandic they could come here... I have no grass  :-) :-)
Logged
NC

stablemind

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 161
Re: Muzzles and weeds
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2018, 07:27:28 pm »

I have 2 mares that have been turned out with muzzles all summer. My pasture is as much weeds as it is grass and they have no problem selectively grazing. Keep in mind that certain weeds are as palatable to them as grasses, in fact, they will only eat certain kinds of grass.

I think your bigger risk is turning him out unmuzzled.
Logged

Pamela N.

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 152
Re: Muzzles and weeds
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2018, 11:58:56 am »

You are luck your Icelandics keep their muzzles on.  My Icelandic Blessi found more creative ways to remove his grass muzzle.  He destroyed 5 of them in 4 weeks.  I went to an Amish harness maker so he could add extra straps to a new muzzle.  Ha!  When I put it on Blessi, he took 5 steps into the pasture, stopped, dropped, rolled onto his back and used his foreleg to swipe the muzzle off. 

And Blessi doesn't nibble grass. He is more like a grass vacuum.  I swear he stuffs in more grass per minute than another horse, except for another Icelandic.

These days, I make sure he goes into a pasture that is mostly barelot with just enough grass that he can nibble a bit between feedings.

Sweden did a research study--something about feeding horses a certain type of hay based on weight.  The saddlebreds (or was it standardbreds) lost weight; the Icelandics gained.

Pamela N.

Logged

PAWalker

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 465
Re: Muzzles and weeds
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2018, 01:22:25 pm »

To answer your original question:

Yes indeed, if the grass is too short to get picked up thru the muzzle and there are weeds available (tasty or not), horses WILL eat the weeds.

That is how I ended up taking the muzzle off Joker, permanently in 2015.   I caught him sucking up weeds thru the muzzle enough times to know he had begun to search them out with intent.

Knock-on-wood, he has been in insulin resistance remission since 2015.  He has about six acres of yard and pasture, plus free access to the barn ---- where the hay stack is.  I set him up a "salad bar" where he can freely eat, since he no longer has the sense that he has to always be shoving food in his mouth because of "fake starving".

Which, my hay is locally grown orchard/mix and always tests in low-mid 8% NSC range.

Joker is on pasture from around 9:30 AM to dusk --- whatever time dusk is as the season's change.  That is completely contradictory to what ecir.org and all the other professionals say but his pasture time is a lot shorter than those hours "on the loose" because he puts himself in the barn a few hours every day.  In this bloody hot/humid weather, he's in the barn the better part of the day of his own free will.

IMHO, the highest at risk season for these types of horses, if Fall when we have frost, followed by a fast warmup and a lot of sunshine.    A lot of cloud cover has become my best friend ---- good thing I never suffered from sun deprivation, lol
« Last Edit: August 06, 2018, 01:24:40 pm by PAWalker »
Logged

riding the sun

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 303
Re: Muzzles and weeds
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2018, 02:25:31 pm »

I recommend being very strict about pasture time, even with a muzzle, if he has a cresty neck already.  You are 1 step away from laminitis/founder. You can never undo the damage.
Logged
My favorite trail is the next one
Pages: [1]   Go Up