I have to say that I am very careful about these kinds of posts because I don’t want to become a rescue blog. I’m not saying I’m not all for it — I am.
So, standing on the shoulders of my byline, “Exploring the bond between equines and their people”, I’m going to post about an equine that needs people. Now, there are many, many horses out there that need help, but babies and skinny, pregnant mares seem to really tug at my heart. Well, they ALL tug at my heart…
I was sitting here on Saturday morning, musing about my topic for Sunday when this came into my mailbox. Oy. Another starved baby on Craigslist. The sad part is the owners think the foal is just fine and want $100 for his purchase. Luckily, a wonderful rescue in that area, Beauty’s Haven Farm and Equine Rescue, is going out to get him today. As of right now, I have no idea if they will get there in time… If you want to watch the progress of this rescue, you can go to the BHFER website for updates. Or check in with this Forum (you might have to sign up… if so, look for the header, “BHFER: Starved baby needs help” under HORSE RESCUE ISSUES) that is taking donations and keeping everyone abreast of the situation up to the minute. It will take many man hours, man power and special care to nurse this baby back to health. If you feel the desire to donate, I do know that BHFER is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization so the donation is tax deductible.
So, if this moves you, please go to either of the sites above to watch this story unfold or to help with his, we hope, rehabilitation.
HOW DO YOU RE-FEED A STARVED HORSE? Did you know that you cannot just give them a bunch of grain and hay? There is a method to re-feeding a starved horse.
WHAT VETS SAY (I have two vet links highlighted here)
. Most vets recommends this:
“The best approach to re-feeding a starved horse is to give frequent (every 4 hours) meals of high-quality alfalfa hay,” Stull says.
One pound or about one-sixth of a flake at each meal will provide a good source of protein to begin rebuilding the body. Because alfalfa is high in calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, it helps provide electrolytes that reduce the risk for catastrophic system failure.
This diet should be maintained for 10 days, though the amount of alfalfa can be increased (up to four pounds) and the number of feedings decreased (to three) for Days 4 through 10.
After 10 days the horse can be fed as much alfalfa as it will eat in two feedings, and it should be allowed access to a salt or electrolyte mix. Feeding grain or other supplements should be avoided until the horse is well on its way to recovery, which can take 60 to 90 days.
I’m going to tell you about his incredible feed for starved horses. I’m not saying the vets aren’t right, I’m just saying that this works great, too! This is an easy to digest, complete feed for horses in general — but for starved horses in particular. So, you will know if you ever come upon a starvation case…
I first heard about this feed when I was watching a starved horse story on one of the rescue boards. Then, I saw THRIVE pop up several more times on other starvation cases. What really got me is that the manufacturer of this feed, DALE MOULTON went above and beyond the call of duty. I know he traveled the feed himself to destinations where the starved horses were being rehabilitated. He would do whatever he could to get the feed to the horses! I remember that he once met the rescuers half way between a far away starved horse and the Thrive distribution center in Texas. I was amazed! He won my heart after that! But, not just on his grace, on the success of the feed.
One Thrive starvation story that I will site here is the case of “Dolly”. When she came into Rainbow Meadows, she couldn’t even stand up. The rescuers picked her up, loaded her into the trailer while she was laying down, drove her for 3 hours and tended to her like a Faberge Egg. (This was Oct 31st pictured.) I can remember how the first five days were touch and go as they waited for the Thrive to get to them. (Pictured as Nov. 1st.) As you can see by the pictures (third pic is Dolly on Nov 25th), Dolly thrived (last pic was Jan ’10)!
Here is an excerpt from the Rainbow Meadow website regarding Dolly: “Dolly came to Rainbow Meadows in the most dire condition of any horse to arrive here. Saved by two wonderful volunteers, who trailered her in from Missouri, Dolly had almost nothing left in her. So thin and so weak, she couldn’t even stand for the three-hour trailer ride to the rescue. For the first days, she spent much of her time lying down, and could only rise when given the assistance of being hoisted up with a tractor. But by less than two weeks later, she was already trotting, gaining weight and healing from her wounds caused by her struggling as she laid in the trailer for transport. Her recovery will be a long one, but she has already proven that she has a true zest for life and Rainbow Meadows is doing everything it can to give her the chance she deserves!”
So, in conclusion, this post holds a few stories of man helping equine. I sure hope this little nameless starved Craigslist colt will have the same happy ending as Dolly.
Thanks for reading this…