April, 2004 Monthly Report
April was a frenetic month on the preserve. Yet another fire, this one set just up wind of the preserve in a 20 mph wind, and shortly after the departure of several visitors, took out another third of our fencing and destroyed a large area of forage. Repairs were made rapidly with the help of volunteers, but we are now short of material to finish the stallion area.

Blood was drawn from mare Nunki and her offspring mare Spica by Dr. Bailey with Dr. Scott Langton assisting. Reports on hormone levels in these samples show low progesterone, meaning that the mares are not ovulating. This could still be the result of former obesity. We are waiting for reports on possible presence of hydrocarbon residues from the chemicals used on the farm. These may be affecting the progesterone levels.

Nearly half of the trail for the stallion part of the preserve is cleared. Using remaining fencing supplies one half of this new area will be fenced in as soon as possible to provide the mares with more forage as Spica remains thin after her weight loss after her teeth were floated. Two chunks broke off both of Spica's formerly abscessed fore hooves and her hooves are now nicely rounded. An abscess from a bite drained and healed on the left side of Nunki's belly near the thigh. Spica and Sirius were seen eating shoots with berries on poison wood, but not the leaves.

The stallion Sirius was removed from the Preserve area and released to the farm. He did not go willingly, but since the mares are not ovulating at this time and he is not their usual stallion, the mares will be less stressed if left by themselves. They have enough to deal with socially as the two former groups continue to work out their differences in a single herd. Horses are highly sensitive to hierarchical changes and these horses have been through many stressful situations beginning with Adhara's death in August, the move to the Preserve, the deaths of two more stallions and the release of the stallion Mimosa back to the farm. Introduction of Sirius was just another stressor since no mares are ovulating.

The paddock/treatment area is also in progress and the horses are learning to feel at ease in the area as they find bananas left there as treats.

back button


home button