The Alberta Farm Animal council (AFAC) is calling for special attention to horse feeding now that winter is approaching.
“Our Alberta winters from north to south have a great deal of variance, but there is one thing that is common: Our livestock need to be fed,” says Bill desBarres, AFAC member and chairman of the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada.
“We need to have good, wholesome feed,” desBarres said in an AFAC release. “I recommend that if you have any questions about your feed, take it to your local fertilizer dealer and ask that it be analyzed for protein and ask your veterinarian what supplements you might use.”
He emphasizes that snow is not a replacement for water. Domestic horses need a good, clean supply of potable water. “Wild horses grew up eating snow but they also know where to find the creeks and are able to locate these even better than man can,”AFAC said, adding that shelter is also a necessity. DesBarres suggests bushes are acceptable. Slab fencing is also adequate but in the event of blizzards and very bad weather, accessibility to buildings so the horses can get behind them is highly recommended.
If anyone knows of an animal in distress, they are asked to call the AFAC alert line at 1-800-506-2273.