Managing Horse PastureWritten by Randall Holman
A major part of a horse's diet is hay or pasture. A horse weighing 1000 pounds will eat about 500 pounds each month. A horse needs roughly 28 acres of non-irrigated, dryland pasture a year if that is only source of forage. However, a pasture that is irrigated will grow more forage than dryland pasture, requiring less acreage. The amount of irrigated pasture needed for one horse is roughly 1 to 2 acres.
Two acres of pasture for each horse are recommended. One acre of pasture will provide adequate grazing, but requires more pasture management. Manage your pasture as you would with any crop with soil testing, fertilizing, and managing manure. Horses will not eat trampled grass or grass with manure on it. Horses will also overgraze smaller areas very quickly. Therefore, a combination of pasture and small lot or barn is needed to help minimize overgrazing.
Do not let horses overgraze pasture as this can cause grass to no longer grow. Keep pasture grass healthy--overgrazed pasture may never recover. To allow for re-growth, leave about 1/3 of grass uneaten at any given time. The horse can be confined to lot or barn and only allowed to graze for a few hours a day, reducing damage to a small pasture. Rotational pasture lots are one key to using small acreage pasture space to fullest potential. Portable electric fencing provides an efficient and economic way to partition you pasture. Over-supplementing your horse with hay and grain will not prevent your horse from overgrazing.
Pasture grazing is not absolutely necessary for a horse. A nice green pasture is not always a reality. Horses can be properly fed without pasture. However, pasture has several advantages as it is natural feed for horses, reduces cost of feeding, provides your horse with exercise, and generally speaking, horses are usually healthier when kept outside on pasture.
Making Your Own Bird FeederWritten by Greg Pilson
There is estimated to be over 100 billion individual wild birds on earth, and each one needs to eat certain amounts of food on a daily basis in order to survive. That’s where we come in! Birdfeeders are fun to make and are essential in order for birds to live. Bird houses can be made out of practically anything and are usually hung in different locations around your yard for birds to enjoy. Purchasing a bird feeder is another option, however this can be expensive and both methods serve practically same purpose.
The following is a fun and easy way for children (or adults) to make a bird feeder:
What You Will Need:
•An empty milk or juice carton (any size will do) •String (must be strong) •Scissors •Stapler •Hole punch •2 small sticks or wooden rods •Bird seed •Markers, paint or anything which can be used to decorate carton. Ensure paint is water based not to hurt your feathered friends and try not to use anything that can be potentially dangerous to swallow.