Soaking Hay. A pain in the butt.
After Aero’s last bout of coughing on Thursday, I finally decided enough is enough. We were going to have to soak his hay, if only for to find out whether this affects his coughing or not.
Why did I put it off so long? First of all, I bloody hate soaking hay. It’s a massive pain in the water butt. Also, I kept thinking Aero was better. One day he’d cough badly, then there might be nothing at all for three or four days. Besides, a visiting vet said not to worry, sometimes a cough will linger for three weeks after the infection has cleared! But this has gone on for more than four weeks now.
First issue was what to soak it in. Would I buy a plastic dustbin? Alexandrine said no, there was a blue barrel I could use that had its top cut off so it was open. Perfect. Next issue was where to situate it. It needs to be close to running water, so this meant it needed to be close to the stables. But Aero lives across the road, a couple of hundred metres away… lugging wet hay around is not a trivial task, so Aero has had to move closer to the hay soaking setup. He’s in the ‘debourrage’ paddock – the breaker’s paddock. There’s a breaker coming in two weeks time, though, so his time there is limited. Still, two weeks will tell us a lot. Even deciding where to drain the barrel is problematic. It has to be out of the way in a corner, where there will be no horse traffic or no vehicular traffic to churn the wet ground up. Fortunately such a corner exists, between the stables and Aero’s new paddock. There’s even a conveniently placed sturdy oak tree there –
Georges and George (that sounds funny) used a stout branch on that oak tree to set up a makeshift pulley over the barrel, making it easy to haul the hay nets out to drain. I filled every hay net I possess (four) so that when one net has been emptied into the feeder, the next one can be put soaking. I’ll leave them all full every day and change the water in the barrel every day.
Aero is not at all impressed about moving house and has been calling to Flurry all day long. Flurry? Flurry doesn’t give a toss.
Some of the other inmates are not impressed by bright blue barrels and hay nets swinging from trees.
I’m sure they’ll get used to it.