Standlee Barn Bulletin

The Standlee Barn Bulletin is your source for insightful articles about premium western forage and beyond.

Changing Equine Behavior with Forage

Changing Equine Behavior with Forage

Forage plays a critical role in equine behavior and training. Countless common behavioral problems and stereotypical behaviors can develop due to a lack of forage in a horse’s diet. Horses are grazing and foraging animals, spending an estimated seventeen...

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Is Your Forage Forest Friendly?

Is Your Forage Forest Friendly?

Standlee Certified Noxious Weed Free BadgeStandlee Premium Western Forage® offers several Certified noxious weed free forage options. “Certified” means that a forage product is free of any noxious weeds. A majority...

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Must-Know Proper Forage Storage Tips

Must-Know Proper Forage Storage Tips

Forage is the foundation of your horse’s diet, meaning that you need to be able to safely store large volumes of it throughout the year. As this year’s forage is harvested, you’re likely filling your barn with bales in order...

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To understand weight gain and loss in horses, we must first be able to accurately evaluate the horse’s current body condition. The Body Condition Scoring (BCS) system has been developed to help horse owners visually determine if their horse is overweight, underweight or in ideal condition. It assigns values from 1 to 9, to classify horses from underweight to overweight in each the following areas:

\n\n

Horses with a BCS of:

\n\n

Horse owners have numerous strategies for increasing a horse’s body weight. The 2007 National Requirements for Horses suggests that it takes 40 to 45 pounds of gain to change a horse’s body condition score by 1 unit (based on a 1000/1100 pound horse).

\n

We can safely achieve this amount of weight gain in approximately 90 days by adding additional calories to the diet. Care should also be taken when feeding for weight gain not to cause digestive disturbances with the increased feed intake. Feed changes should be transitioned over several days and not made rapidly. The question then becomes “what should I feed my horse for weight gain?”

\n\n

Weight loss in horses can be caused by many different factors. Work with your veterinarian or nutritionist to identify the cause of weight loss. Once you have resolved those issues and started your horse on a more calorie dense diet, it will begin to gain weight. Remember weight gain is a slow process – do not expect results over night.

\n

By Dr. Tania Cubitt\n
Standlee Nutritional Expert

\n
\n

Standlee Forage Products Recommended for Weight Gain

\n
\n \n
\n \n \n
\n \n
", "urlWithHost": "http://standleeforage.com/standlee-barn-bulletin/safely-help-your-horse-gain-weight", "rating": 0.0, "commentsCount": 0, "trackbacksCount": 0 }, { "id": 660060, "type": "BlogsPosts", "date": "2019-09-17T00:00:00", "author": "", "authorPictureUrl": "/CatalystImages/UserProfileDefault.jpg", "trackbackUrl": "http://standleeforage.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=11741&PostID=660060&A=Trackback", "url": "/standlee-barn-bulletin/why-certified-weed-free-forages-are-important", "title": "Certified Weed Free Forages: Why Are They Important?", "postFeaturedImage": "/images/blog/horseback_riding.jpg", "metaTitle": "Certified Weed Free Forages: Why Are They Important?", "metaDescription": "Noxious weeds pose a threat to our environment. Using certified noxious weed free forages minimizes the spread of noxious weeds and keeps habitats healthy. Learn more about certified noxious weed-free forages and why they're important to us.", "body": "

In order to understand the importance of certified noxious weed free forage, let’s\n first look at what noxious weeds are and what threat they pose to our environment.

\n

Noxious weeds grow aggressively and scavenge moisture, nutrients, and sunlight from other plants. Noxious weeds are weeds that cause harm to the environment\n by:

\n\n

The threat to wildlife comes from suffocating native plant, restricting waterfowl and mammals of their food sources, nesting areas, and access to water.1\n

\n

Buyers using certified noxious weed free forage help minimize the spread of noxious weeds onto private and public lands. Certain areas in the western United\n States require the use of certified forage (long-stem and cubes) on public land. These public land managers may also issue fines for using non-certified\n forage and require recovery costs of damage caused by noxious weeds to wildlife habitat.

\n

“Certified” means that a forage product is free of any noxious weeds. A number of certified noxious weed free forage programs are based on weed-free forage\n standards set by the North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA). Nationwide, there are about 20 State Department of Agricultures\n that are members of NAISMA. These Departments combine their state noxious weed list with the NAISMA prohibited weed list to create the NAISMA Standard\n for forage and straw certification.

\n

The benefit to you is that certified forage products can be fed on National (USFS and BLM) lands, without the risk of spreading unwanted noxious weeds\n which squeeze out other naturally occurring vegetation. Certified Noxious Weed Free products are required on Federal lands. Each state’s requirement\n on Noxious Weed Free Forage differs, so please check with your state’s Department of Agriculture for specific details.

\n

The weed free forage program was initiated to meet the demand for weed free products and prevent the spread of invasive plant species throughout North\n America. Certain state and federal government agencies have forage restrictions on where noxious weed free forages are required.

\"Timothy\n

All Standlee forage products that are labeled noxious weed free have been field inspected by the standards of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture\n and NAISMA. Select Standlee Premium Western Forage® products are Certified Noxious\n Weed Free in compliance with the North American Invasive Species Management Association program. Standlee Premium Western Forage® certified bagged\n products include Alfalfa Cubes and Timothy Grass Pellets.\n Standlee also has certified compressed bales of Alfalfa, Timothy Grass and Straw, as well as certified Grab & Go® compressed bales of Alfalfa and Straw.

\"Compressed\n

Compressed bales will have a yellow band and bagged products will have the Idaho Department of Ag logo in the lower center on the front of the bag.

\n

Is your forage forest friendly?

\n

By Dr. Tania Cubitt\n
Standlee Nutritional Expert

\n
\n

Certified Noxious Weed Free Standlee Products:

\n\n
\n

1: Using certified hay for horses - Krishona Martinson, Equine Extension Specialist - University of Minnesota Extension\n

\n

NOXIOUS WEED FREE FORAGE AND STRAW (NWFF&S) CERTIFICATION PROGRAM - Invasive Species of Idaho\n

", "urlWithHost": "http://standleeforage.com/standlee-barn-bulletin/why-certified-weed-free-forages-are-important", "rating": 0.0, "commentsCount": 0, "trackbacksCount": 0 }, { "id": 659995, "type": "BlogsPosts", "date": "2019-08-21T23:00:00", "author": "Jessica Wright", "authorPictureUrl": "/CatalystImages/UserProfileDefault.jpg", "trackbackUrl": "http://standleeforage.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=11741&PostID=659995&A=Trackback", "url": "/standlee-barn-bulletin/changing-equine-behavior-with-forage", "title": "Changing Equine Behavior with Forage", "postFeaturedImage": "/images/blog/horses_in_field.jpg", "metaTitle": "Changing Equine Behavior with Forage", "metaDescription": "Countless common behavioral problems and stereotypical behaviors can develop due to a lack of forage in a horse’s diet", "body": "

Forage plays a critical role in equine behavior and training. Countless common behavioral problems and stereotypical behaviors can develop due to a lack of forage in a horse’s diet. Horses are grazing and foraging animals, spending an estimated seventeen hours a day consuming different kinds of plants and grasses in small quantities. Everything about them is designed to consume their food in this way, including their stomachs, which produce stomach acid almost continuously.

\n

However, in many domestic environments, horses are often restricted in their consumption of forage, in quantity and/or duration, in favor of feeding concentrated feeds to supply their nutritional requirements. This type of feeding program is easier for caregivers in many ways, but in other ways, makes our lives and that of our horses, more stressful and complicated.

\n

“Boredom” Behaviors to Look Out For:

\n\n

“Boredom” behaviors often stem from the frustration and stress around being restricted from performing natural behaviors, such as grazing. A simple “training” solution might be to provide access to forage to allow for natural grazing behavior to take place.

\n

Simply tying a hay net where you’ve tied your horse can reduce pawing dramatically, or help them stand still for the farrier. Providing one or more slow feeding hay sources in your horse’s living space may curb, or at least dramatically reduce, weaving and pacing. For senior horses, consider providing fresh, soaked hay pellets frequently throughout the day and night can also provide a similar solution.

\n

Irritable and dangerous behaviors such as girthiness, kicking out when handled, sensitivity to being touched, bucking or bolting under saddle, and spookiness may be the result of all too common equine ulcers. Ulcers and other painful stomach issues, often develop from diets that do not contain adequate access to forage to buffer the sixteen gallons of stomach acid a horse produces each day.

\n

Along with treatment as prescribed by your veterinarian, increasing your horse’s grazing and foraging time throughout the day and night is often the simplest and longest-lasting solution to these behaviors. By providing more forage and increasing the time they take to consume it, you may not only prevent ulcers from developing but actually assist in the healing process. Once the source of pain is resolved, often the problematic behaviors will decrease or go away on their own.

\n

Aggression that’s related to food, directed towards humans or other horses, often stems from restricted forage sources. Bickering in the herd, acting threateningly towards humans during feeding time, banging on stall doors, “biting the hand that feeds” can often be quickly diminished by just providing more access to food more often.

\n

Easy Ways to Reduce Aggression:

\n\n

In general, the idea is that a horse’s stomach should never be empty, and the time they spend restricted from grazing or foraging should be limited. It’s much easier to provide some hay/forage than to fix behavioral issues through training alone. Training may be able to temporarily stop bucking, pawing, pacing, and biting, but if the underlying source is never resolved… the symptom, or perhaps a new one, will inevitably return and the cycle will continue.

\n

At the end of the day, it’s a better use of our time and money, healthier for the horse, and less stressful for everyone involved, for us to make the changes necessary to feed our horses the way they were meant to eat.

\n
\n

Blog post by Adele Shaw of The Willing Equine

\n\"Adele\n

Standlee Premium Products would like to thank Adele Shaw of The Willing Equine for writing this blog for us. Read other fun and educational blogs at thewillingequine.com or like The Willing Equine on Facebook and Instagram.

", "urlWithHost": "http://standleeforage.com/standlee-barn-bulletin/changing-equine-behavior-with-forage", "rating": 0.0, "commentsCount": 0, "trackbacksCount": 0 }, { "id": 658640, "type": "BlogsPosts", "date": "2018-08-31T00:00:00", "author": "", "authorPictureUrl": "/CatalystImages/UserProfileDefault.jpg", "trackbackUrl": "http://standleeforage.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=11741&PostID=658640&A=Trackback", "url": "/standlee-barn-bulletin/is-your-forage-forest-friendly", "title": "Is Your Forage Forest Friendly?", "postFeaturedImage": "/images/blog/forest_friendly_forage.jpg", "metaTitle": "Is Your Forage Forest Friendly?", "metaDescription": "Standlee Western Forage offers several Certified noxious weed free forage options. “Certified” means that a forage product is free of any noxious weeds.", "body": "

\"StandleeStandlee Premium Western Forage® offers several Certified noxious weed free forage options. “Certified” means that a forage product\n is free of any noxious weeds. A majority of Certified noxious weed free forage programs are based on weed free forage standards set by the North American\n Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA). NAISMA provides a list of noxious weeds found in North America, and many states start with that list\n and add other noxious weeds found in their states as qualifying factors. Many states accept these minimum standards.

\n

The benefit to you is that Certified forage products can be fed in protected National lands without the risk of spreading unwanted noxious weeds, which\n squeeze out other naturally occurring vegetation. Certified Noxious Weed Free products are required by Federal and State authorities in protected areas.\n Each state's requirement on Noxious Weed Free Forage differs, so please check with your state's Department of Agriculture for specific details.

\n

Click here to learn more about the certification process.

\n
\n

Certified Noxious Weed Free Standlee Products:

\n", "urlWithHost": "http://standleeforage.com/standlee-barn-bulletin/is-your-forage-forest-friendly", "rating": 0.0, "commentsCount": 0, "trackbacksCount": 0 }, { "id": 658401, "type": "BlogsPosts", "date": "2018-07-15T23:00:00", "author": "", "authorPictureUrl": "/CatalystImages/UserProfileDefault.jpg", "trackbackUrl": "http://standleeforage.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=11741&PostID=658401&A=Trackback", "url": "/standlee-barn-bulletin/must-know-proper-forage-storage-tips", "title": "Must-Know Proper Forage Storage Tips", "postFeaturedImage": "/images/blog/forage_storage.jpg", "metaTitle": "Must-Know Proper Forage Storage Tips", "metaDescription": "Proper storage methods are important, since they can help to keep the forage in good, feedable condition, and may even play a role in reducing the risk of a barn fire.", "body": "

Forage is the foundation of your horse’s diet, meaning that you need to be able to safely store large volumes of it throughout the year. As this year’s forage is harvested, you’re likely filling your barn with bales in order to stock up. But proper storage methods are important, since they can help to keep the forage in good, feedable condition, and may even play a role in reducing the risk of a barn fire.

\n

Forage Storage Location

\n

Where you store your forage is an important choice that can affect the safety of your barn and animals. If possible, it’s best to store forage – especially when it’s been newly baled– in a building that is separated from your barn.

\n\"Forage\n

Evaluating Your Forage

\n

Before you bring in a new load of bales, you’ll need to make sure that the forage has been properly baled and is safe to put into your barn. Bringing in forage that was baled with high moisture levels can make for a fire hazard. The centers of the bales can heat up and even combust over time. The same is true of storing forage that is moldy.

\n

To inspect your forage, break open a few bales and inspect the centers. Look for signs of mold and smell the forage – it should smell sweet and shouldn’t be overly dusty. You can use a candy thermometer, or any thermometer that reads up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, to check the temperature of the bales. Temperatures ranging from 121 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit are concerning and should be monitored. Temperatures from 141 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit should be checked every day, and can lead to dangerous conditions. Temperatures of 175 degrees Fahrenheit and up mean that your forage can combust and you must contact your fire department.

\n\"Forage\n

Forage Storage Methods

\n

When it comes to storing bales, the most popular method is to place the bales on wood pallets. These pallets allow air to circulate beneath the bales, which is beneficial when the forage is newly harvested. Additionally, this helps to keep the bales up and off of the ground. If your bales come into contact with the ground, they can absorb moisture (especially during temperature fluctuations) and will quickly mold.

\n

As you stack your bales, you’ll also want to create the stack to maximize ventilation. One popular way to do this is to alternate the orientation of the bales in each layer. Make your first layer with the hay strings facing upward, then for the next layer, turn the bales on their sides so the strings face outward.

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When Forage Storage Is Limited

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If you have limited storage space for forage, or come into a shortage where you can’t get enough bales, remember that Standlee Premium Western Forage® offers a wide variety options to substitute or supplement the diet of your animal. Quality products like Standlee timothy grass pellets, alfalfa cubes, beet pulp pellets, and our alfalfa/orchard compressed bales, available nationwide, will ensure that you’re able to keep your horses fed year-round.

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