Ever since my horse, Blue, had his little over-eating problem that led to a mild case of founder, I can't turn him out on the entire forty-two acres. Because with all the rain we've had, the lush grass would allow him to have another feast that could cripple him.
So there's this lot that's perhaps two or three acres, mostly weeds with some white clover mixed in. That's where I let him graze for twelve hours each day.
At night, I put him in his stall.
The other horses, and the heifers, have the opportunity to stroll around all of our property while Blue is in his stall for twelve hours. The woods, the lush pasture... anywhere their hearts desire.
But do they?
No. When I go out to put Blue in the big lot, I shut the gate to the rest of the property. And the other horses are shut in with him, because they've never left the lot overnight. And neither have the heifers.
The heifers have access to an even smaller area, right in front of our house, where the horses can't join them. There isn't much to eat there, but they prefer to spend most of their time lounging around in that particular spot. And yes, when I step out my front door, I do detect the smell of cow dung. Why do you ask?
At night when I put Blue in his stall, I open the pasture gate wide, which would allow the other animals the freedom of grazing on our entire property.
But they don't do that. They stand around in the over-grazed lot, eating weeds and waiting for Blue to join them in the morning.
I just don't get it.
I know the cows are getting something to eat, though. Because I see them chewing their cuds.