Printer Friendly

Publication helps horse owners get a leg up on rainy season.

Byline: The Register-Guard

A clean horse is a healthy horse, but small Willamette Valley pastures tend to turn muddy in winter, and that can cause problems for animals.

To help horse owners, the Oregon State University Extension Service has released a new publication on managing small-acreage horse farms.

It spells out how to keep horse pastures healthy and protect horse health and water quality.

With horses on one to 10 acres, rain and mud can harbor bacteria and fungal organisms that can cause health problems for horses, said Garry Stephenson, small-farms faculty member with the Extension Service.

These include mud fever (scratches), cracking of the hoof and sole, and related lameness.

Insects also breed in mud and manure, and muddy pastures can pollute streams, groundwater and household wells, Stephenson said.

With careful management, it's possible to keep grass cover through the winter, weeds down, water clean and horses healthy, he said.

The 24-page publication gives several tips for getting through the rainy season:

Keep animals off wet pastures, where they overgraze, trample grass, compact soil and create mud.

Create a "sacrifice area," a separate paddock to keep animals off wet pastures. This restricts impacts to one area and saves pastures during wet months. Paddocks can be prepared with wood shavings or chips or gravel.

Install rain gutters and downspouts on farm buildings to direct water away from paddocks.

Use grass or vegetation buffer strips around the sacrifice area.

Don't overgraze or overstock. Rotate grazing to allow pastures to rest. A mare and foal require about two acres for grazing in Western Oregon. At least one acre per horse is required to cycle nutrients from manure and urine and to provide adequate space for exercise.

Cover manure piles with a tarp or roof to prevent rain from leaching away nutrients and micro-organisms. Or compost.

"Managing Small-acreage Horse Farms" costs $4 per copy plus $3 shipping and handling. Send a check or money order payable to OSU to: Publication Orders, Extension and Station Communications, 422 Kerr Administration, Corvallis, OR 97331-2119.
COPYRIGHT 2003 The Register Guard
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Agriculture
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Nov 12, 2003
Words:338
Previous Article:CALENDAR.
Next Article:BRIEFLY.


Related Articles
STROKES OF COURAGE SWIMMER EVERLOVE, 11, SUCCEEDS IN SPITE OF PARALYZED RIGHT ARM.
WIN SPEAKS WELL OF TRAINER ROBBINS.
Federal fertilizer.
MANY ON FORM IN DERBY; SMARTY JONES JUST BEST.
Three horses test positive for West Nile.
HORSE OWNERS REIN IN WEST NILE VIRUS.
GHOSTZAPPER CLAIMS TOP ECLIPSE AWARD.
Wallaces farmer celebrates 150 years serving Iowa readers.
And, they're off! How champion racehorses are built to blast from the starting gate and gallop to the finish line.
HORSE MISSING AFTER JUMPING OUT OF PEN.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters