Posted 29 August 2008 - 11:36 AM
They came running, all right, but headed for the mesquite trees. They began to eat the beans on the ground as fast as they could. They were even making little excited piggy noises! I tried to catch them to lead them to the corral and they wouldn't be caught. They kept running around the area, evading me and snatching a bean. I called my husband to help me and we tried driving them away from the area. They were obsessed!
Finally caught them and put them in their corral. Tonight, I will be using halters to transfer them! The beans are drying now and are full of starch and sweet as sugar. Too fattening for my two plumpos!
Posted 29 August 2008 - 11:57 AM
I am having the same problem with the mesquite beans. Now that we've had some decent rain to end the drought, the grass is coming up, but the beans are everywhere!
I've been raking them up as best I can and sometimes even bend down to pick them up by hand.
A rancher friend advised me to cut back on grain so they don't get an overdose of protein. I did have two horses founder at the same time in the past and believe the beans to be the culprit.
My minis do the same as yours about searching for the beans when I have them in the yard for grazing.
Posted 29 August 2008 - 12:49 PM
I don't know for sure, but I dont' believe protein is the issue with the beans. Sugar is the culprit and could possibly be the cause of your founder troubles at bean time.
If yours have foundered at bean time, it might be a good idea to keep them off totally till they are gone. You might call your Extention office and ask for facts. I did that the first year we lived here.
My horses don't seem to be prone to founder, but I don't want to take any chances and plan to keep them away from the trees till the seeds are gone.
I don't remember such a prolific bean crop before this year. Every tree has dozens of pods. We have an ongoing program of keeping the mesquites under control, but do not plan to eradicate them completely, as they are not all bad.
They are legumes--nitrogen-fixing plants. We use the firewood. And their filtered shade is good. And the mockingbirds love them to build their nests in.
Posted 29 August 2008 - 12:55 PM
Julie A Miller
Posted 29 August 2008 - 01:00 PM
It doesn't seem to hurt the bigger horses as much as the little guys. I have 4 very large mesquite trees in my area where they are. Before letting any of them out on the pasture I rake the beans! There are a few left when I'm done and my guys will even fight over them.
I will be glad when the bean season is over!!!
Posted 29 August 2008 - 02:11 PM
I have not noticed sap, but did see little ants around the trees to maybe that is an indication of sweet sap. I will check it out.
I have been keeping an eye on my horses, espeically since one is on the antibiotic, and neither seem to be having an impaction problem--if the piles of normal poop are the correct indication.
Posted 29 August 2008 - 03:29 PM