Prepare Your Farm for Floods

2:50 am
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A while ago I wrote about the need to have a disaster plan, http://equinefacilitydesign.com/equine-care/equine-disaster-plans.htm, recent historic flooding has reached the equestrian community, threatening the lives of hundreds of horses. Do your horses live in a flood plain? Even if the farm isn’t in an area commonly threatened by floodwaters, you might be surprised by the answer.

And even if the flood threat seems distant, consider this: extreme weather events in North America are on the rise, and urban construction only increases the risk of flooding. Rainwater which would have been absorbed […]

Alternative Horse Bedding: Corn Cobs

4:37 pm
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Ready to give shavings the boot? If you’ve been thinking for a while, “maybe using chopped up trees as horse litter isn’t the best idea,” you’re in luck. There are a variety of new, environmentally-friendly bedding choices on the market. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of one such choice, corn cob bedding.

Corn cob, ground up and processed into pellets with steam and water, creates an absorbent, biodegradable bedding for horses. The bedding composts much faster than wood shavings (some manufacturers state their bedding composts in as little as six months […]

Fans for Stables

6:56 am
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Ask an expert what a stabled horse is often lacking, and you’ll probably hear the words “fresh air.” Ventilation in barns is of utmost importance; a horse’s sensitive respiratory system is susceptible to mold, fungus, the fumes from ammonia in their soiled bedding, and dust floating through the air. Even in summertime, with all the windows flung open, a barn can be a place of still, unmoving air, which exacerbates heat problems as well.

All sorts of fans exist to help out with still stable air, from massive ceiling fans to discount-store box fans. Which fan is […]

Wildlife-Friendly Farms

11:33 pm
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Sharing our farms with wildlife is one of the privileges of country living. Farms serve a vital role in providing green space and habitat to a wide variety of animals who might not find places to survive in suburbs and urban spaces. But it comes with challenges–how do we keep our horses and other domestic animals safe from hazards wildlife might bring? And how do we protect wildlife which might be squeezed out of habitat by construction elsewhere?

Native animals: Animals granted wide-ranging habitats are more genetically diverse, which is good for the species overall. Even […]

Simple Strategies to Keep Bugs Out of Your Barn

2:14 pm
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It has been a while since I specifically wrote about bug control in stables. My last post was a couple years ago on this topic, www.equinefacilitydesign.com/equine-care/fly-control-for-stables-2.htm, and spring is a perfect time to write about it again.

If you’re excited for warm, sunny days, but already lining up an arsenal of fly spray bottles in your tack room, you know that one of winter’s few charms is a lack of biting bugs. Spring and summer bring horse flies, mosquitoes, no-see-ums, and a host of other pests […]

Stabling Draft Horses

4:06 am
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Stabling bigger horses? As a continuation from my article on how big should a horse stall be, http://equinefacilitydesign.com/facility-planning-design/big-horse-stall.htm, most of us are accustomed to average barns for average horses: twelve foot by twelve foot stalls, with doors about four feet wide. (In fact, you might not have ever considered the width of your stall door — they seem pretty uniform, right?)

But as draft and draft crosses become more popular as riding and recreational horses, it’s time to consider whether the average stall is the right size for our larger mounts […]

The Stabled Horse: Keeping Your Indoor Horse Healthy and Happy

9:37 am
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Mention the word “stable” and most people will conjure up images of green pastures surrounding a serene barn where horses lean over their dutch doors, taking in the fresh air and peaceful surroundings. And while that’s certainly a lovely goal, the truth is, plenty of our horses will live much of their lives lives in more suburban, if not completely urban, environments. Does your horse live in a barn where turn-out time is limited, or non-existent? Or does your horse stay inside for health and safety reasons? If so, it’s important to take special measures to […]

Landscaping for your Stable

2:37 am
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Ready to add some spring colors to your stable? While no one wants to add work to a busy barn day, there’s no doubt that a few flowers can add to the appeal of your farm. Let’s look at a few easy ways to landscape around the barn, using horse-friendly and low-labor plants.

Hardy plants: Let’s face it, most of us will plant flowers with very good intentions and eventually forget to water them. Horse-people are busy people; sometimes anything without four legs falls through the cracks. Look for flowers to plant […]

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