Feeding Evacuated Horses
We know we should make changes in our horse’s diets slowly, but when natural disasters occur that’s not always possible. The problem with natural disasters is their unpredictability. You have no idea for how long you will be evacuated for and what will remain when you return. Will your hay barn with winter’s stock still be there? Will you still have fencing and be able to turn your horse out as normal? Perhaps your barn will be gone and you’ll have to turn him out, possibly with other unfamiliar horses. What about the feed store? Will it still be operational and will feed be easily available? All these are unknowns. What results is a scenario where you just do the best you can.
Here are some things to consider when faced with an approaching natural disaster or in the aftermath of such an event.
When told to evacuate do your best to do so, and do it early. Try to take with you enough feed and water for each horse to last at least several days, preferably more. This will enable you to feed your horse as you do currently, and if the situation dictates that feed changes will need to be made you have enough current feed to slowly transition to something new. The same is true if you decide to shelter in place. Don’t forget about water even when sheltering in place. Remember that if you are on a system that requires a pump but power goes out, you won’t have water until it’s restored. Horses need 5 to 12 gallons of water per day per 1,000 pounds of body weight, more if they’re lactating
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