The birds keep eating my horses feeds...HELP!

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by KKKiroo, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. KKKiroo

    KKKiroo Well-known Member

    HI guys,

    I need some ideas.

    We have tonnes of birds at our place and the Maggies, pink and greys and an ibis keep eating my horses feed.

    My horse is a very SLOW eater and likes to have a few mouthfuls, have a drink of water, go and have a pick of his hay net and then the cycle begins again.... Anyway as soon as he leaves his feed the birds are on to it and picking out all the good bits. The bl00dy ibis is the worst culprit!
    My horse is too gentle and kind to push them off and stands to the side letting them eat his food....

    Anyway he has dropped his condition and I think its because the birds are eating all the good bits in his feed.

    What can I do?
  2. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    Try placing some flappy things like shopping bags, tarp strips, bunting flags etc. on the gate and around his feed area to scare the birds off. Birds can actually spread Salmonella to horses very easily.

    If all else fails, do you have a stable to feed him in??
  3. madison

    madison Well-known Member

    Just a question KKKiroo but is there any chance your horse has ulcers because that behaviour is pretty typical of them
  4. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    Got a gun ? :D ;)
  5. Little Bean

    Little Bean Well-known Member

    I'll lend you Bump! Birds are for chasing :lol:
  6. KKKiroo

    KKKiroo Well-known Member

    Yes, I actually suspect this myself and I'm planning on getting him scoped :)
  7. KKKiroo

    KKKiroo Well-known Member

    He is such a softy! I run out there like a mad woman chasing the birds away and he looks at me as if he is saying "oh they are just sharing"
    I keep telling him to chase them away!
    I've actually stood and watched him numerous times try to gently nudge the birds out the way...
  8. KKKiroo

    KKKiroo Well-known Member

    I will try some flapping things. Unfortunately I dont have a stable.

    I know bird poo is very bad for them thats why I'm keen to sort something out.

    Maybe I could feed the birds some seed at the same time.....
  9. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    What sort of feeder do you use? I have a 3yo here who is a very lazy eater. He has a birdwatcher's DREAM happening every nighttime :D So cute the little family of Mummy-duck and ducklings all round his feeder, and the ibis!!! Sooo many. The feeder is a half-blue bin, so they can't get "in", just eat the dropped bits. Galahs woud be worse tho :dry:

    Can you move his feeder closer to his water if he tends to wander off for that drink?
  10. KKKiroo

    KKKiroo Well-known Member

    I just use a normal square feedbin hooked over a rail on the side of his hard.

    I love having the birds around and in fact I can now tell most of them apart but they have just gotten too comfortable eating his food and now he isnt getting all the good stuff and I'm worried about them pooing in it too.

    I will try and buy a blue bin tomorrow and see if that helps.
  11. KKKiroo

    KKKiroo Well-known Member

    Well I went and bought an OWL garden ornament from Bunnings last night and pinned it to a fence post near the feedbin.

    I was woken this morning at sunrise by my 'usually' happy maggie family going berserk and dive-bombing the intruder! They were going off and even hubby woke up (who usually would sleep through the sound of a bomb going off)and asked what was going on. They were not happy and were making quite the racket that then my horse wouldnt eat his breaky... at least the ibis hasnt appeared and there will be no bird poop in his feed bin. Not sure how long this diversion will last though as maggies are pretty smart.
    Maggies - 1
    Owl - 0
    Horse - minus 2!!!

    One friend suggested a very logical idea - feed him in the dark when the birds go to sleep.....
  12. Fat Tiger

    Fat Tiger Active Member

    This is just my opinion but by all means follow the advice of your vet.

    To get a horse scoped is not only expensive but quite stressful and invasive for most horses. Trialling a month of ulcer treatment will give you a clear picture of whether or not he has ulcers. You will notice a change within days as he becomes more comfortable.

    A basic breakdown is approx $300 for scope + $200 for ulcer treatment if ulcers ($500 overall)
    Or just $300 if no signs of ulcers. Or
    $200 just having a crack at the ulcer treatment. Some vets may charge a consultation fee of around $80 but if you have been using your vet for a while they should be happy or you to try this without scoping or consultation.

    Good luck with the birds though. I agree the higher cut feed bins on the ground work better for slow eaters and also provide better drainage for the horses nasal system.
  13. Fat Tiger

    Fat Tiger Active Member

    Sorry I missed your last post about the owl! Oh well at least owls are supposed to bring good luck so maybe just move it to your front door! :D

    While it might seem like feeding him after dark makes ok sense, it also goes against the theory of small feeds often rather than one big feed per day.
    As a grazing animal it does make more sense to feed them often and I am thankful to say I have the opportunity to do this due to living on the property and working from home and also part time very close to home. I know this wasn't possible for me years ago when I used to do PB agistment but if it s a possibility maybe try this along with the ulcer treatment!:)
  14. KKKiroo

    KKKiroo Well-known Member

    Hey Fat Tiger,
    I was speaking to my mate about this yesterday and she said the same thing. She said I would be wasting my money only to confirm what I already know.
    I'm going to call my vet and have a chat :)

  15. Fat Tiger

    Fat Tiger Active Member

    Sounds like a good plan**)

    A lot of pepole won't entertain the idea that their horse has ulcers because they don't like to think their horse is "stressed"!
    Studies show 60-90 per cent have ulcers which us just another indication of how much a horses digestive system sucks ( another one being colic)!
    We can do plenty of small things to prevent them but sometimes the only thing that works is treating them and it is money well spent in my opinion!

    All the best! Let us know how he responds if you treat him! :)
  16. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    What about a nosebag for his hard feed. Birds will soon work out they don't even get crumbs and stop hanging around.

    I'm not surprised about that ulcer rate. We don't feed or keep them in the way their guts evolved to cope with. Their guts are very well designed to spend 16 hours per day searching far and wide for a wide variety of very sparse roughage with low nutritional value. We do the complete opposite then blame their guts.
  17. old_mate

    old_mate Well-known Member

    An other problem is people moving away from using straw as stable bedding- not the best but at least if the horse ran out of good hay they could eat the bedding to keep things moving on.
    Hard to do in Perth suburbs, but a big grass filled paddock is the go(dream the impossible dream)....
  18. Fat Tiger

    Fat Tiger Active Member

    Old mate, mine are on reticulated grass paddocks but as they are in work for racing I just keep the gastrozol up to them because those figures at the high end reflect race horses and the figures at the lower end reflect pleasure and lower key performance horses.

    I do all sorts of little things to try and keep them less stressed (like companions when travelling, small amount of food before work and travel etc ) but the nature of what we feed and do with them will always put them at risk of something that can be managed but I do realise it is expensive for some people.

    I figure the cost of the food I used to throw away makes up for what I spend on keeping their gut as happy as I can.
  19. realalvin

    realalvin New Member

    try some flapping thing first.

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