Given the extreme weather in many parts of Canada in the summer of 2017 – hot and extremely dry in the west; rain and flooding in other areas - hay supply for the coming winter has been a top-of-mind concern for many horse owners.
For the horse owner, the onset of fall weather can signal the start of the search for storable forage before winter begins. Considerations such as forage type and storage form, nutritional content, palatability, and cost all become important.
As livestock and property owners worriedly watch the skies praying for rain, the wildfire season in British Columbia shows no sign of abating and could continue until the first snows fly. According to the BC Wildfire Service, the 2017 wildfire season is officially the worst on record in the province.
Today it is critically important to understand the basics of parasite resistance and develop a deworming program that will work for your farm. That program will need to be reevaluated and modified as environmental conditions change from year to year, and farm management and the number of horses fluctuates.
Horses are naturally designed to live outside. With shelter from the wind and elements and access to fresh water and good quality hay, most horses can live quite comfortably surrounded by their companions without a stable. This is not always a convenient option for their human counterparts.
Given the varied weather types and landscape in Canada, the threat of severe weather and geological events is a constant reality. Natural disasters can include wildfires, floods, hurricanes, tornados, hailstorms and landslides.
There are a vast number of plants located throughout Canada that are toxic to horses in some respect. Many need to be eaten in large doses to cause much of an effect, while others require only a few mouthfuls. There are a variety of resources on plants toxic to livestock, but the Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System seems to be the most comprehensive. It lists over 250 poisonous plants found in Canada, their lethal dose (if known), and symptoms of poisoning.