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Weanlings have been on a dry lot

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mrichmond

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Hi All,

We’ll be new mini owners in October. Our new weanling colts will have a new barn that will be in our lower paddock about 100 feet or so from the house. My dilemma is this: they’ve always been on a dry lot and we have grass. I don’t want to founder or colic our new kids. We have a run off of our porch that was used when we were housebreaking puppies, but it’s been a few months since it was used. The area is 18x22’ or so, mostly mulched with cypress mulch, but with strips of grass about 3’ wide around 2 sides. Can we turn this into a temporary dry lot by removing the remaining grass? Would I need to remove the mulch as well?

I have time. I can fence in a run of about 25x90 on the lower side of the paddock fairly easily. It would then contain the barn and allow me to control grazing. I want to give the new boys a nice space for exercise and grazing, but I’m not sure what my best option is at this point. I’d appreciate any suggestions you might have. Sorry for the repetition, I posted the same pics in my intro post. Pic of the colts Cody and Theo (2 on the left) because they’re cute.
 

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Taz

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I'm going to put my two cents in and say I think having both those areas would be a great idea. If they haven't been on grass at all the run next to your house with the 3 inches of grass would be a great place for them to start getting a bit but not being able to do more than nibble while they get used to it. Weed wack it down and let them at it with some hay. That would also give you easy access to them until they are used to being handled. Is the breeder going to handle them before you get them?
The bigger area around your barn gives you somewhere to 'move them up to' as well as an extra space when you might need it. I learned a long time ago you can't have enough paddocks and if they are connected by gates so much the better.
 

mrichmond

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I'm going to put my two cents in and say I think having both those areas would be a great idea. If they haven't been on grass at all the run next to your house with the 3 inches of grass would be a great place for them to start getting a bit but not being able to do more than nibble while they get used to it. Weed wack it down and let them at it with some hay. That would also give you easy access to them until they are used to being handled. Is the breeder going to handle them before you get them?
The bigger area around your barn gives you somewhere to 'move them up to' as well as an extra space when you might need it. I learned a long time ago you can't have enough paddocks and if they are connected by gates so much the better.
Thanks, Taz!

Oh, it’s 3 feet of grass, not inches. We can weed wack it down. Do you think the mulch will be ok? It’s untreated and about 6 months old.

The breeder said they’ll get them used to halter and leads, but it will be good to have them close for awhile to work with them. Hopefully, it will get them accustomed to the dogs as well and vice versa.

When we had everything fenced we had them put gates everywhere, so pretty much everything is interconnected. I’ll do the same when I run the fence line near the barn. I have a guy bringing gravel for my chicken coop. He has an auger for his Bobcat, but has a 6 hole minimum. I hope I can talk him him into it. Otherwise, I’ll have to use T-posts.
 

Dragon Hill

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If you can't talk the guy into digging a few fence poles for you, you might find a hardware store that rents a hydraulic auger that can be pulled behind your vehicle. It's quick and easy for one person to use.
 

mrichmond

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If you can't talk the guy into digging a few fence poles for you, you might find a hardware store that rents a hydraulic auger that can be pulled behind your vehicle. It's quick and easy for one person to use.
Great idea, but I don’t have a hitch on my car. My neighbor does, though. He does our grass and has been instigating this whole mini livestock thing, lol. I bet I could talk him into it. 😆
 

Dragon Hill

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Oh, since your colts have been on a dry lot, you will have to keep a close watch on them, they will be curious and may sample anything with their mouth. I haven't heard anything about cypress mulch being harmful, but you don't want them eating mulch. Also you didn't mention if there are any flowers, trees, or shrubs, etc. in that area? A large number of ornamental plants are toxic.
 

mrichmond

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Lol, ornamental plants. Nope, not in this area. We have virtually no landscaping. In our front yard, we have one clematis in the ground and one in a whiskey barrel, but I’m moving them outside the fence where the dogs won’t destroy them. There is an overhanging black walnut outside the front yard. It’s about 60 feet tall, so we’ll have to keep an eye out for dropped limbs and nuts. I rake them, so they don’t turn into projectiles when the grass gets cut.
In the main paddock, we have a black locust and an apple tree. I’ve read that black locust is bad for horses, but it’s providing the shade for my chicken coop, so I think I’ll cut it back and fence it off for the chickens. They’re free-ranging the whole paddock now, but they mostly stay around the trees anyhow. The rest of the property has an assortment of trees around the perimeter, but they’re all back 4-6 feet. We’re working to keep that area clear to make it easier to maintain, but it’s a work in progress.
 

Taz

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Woops, sorry. If you can get step in posts(temporary plastic ones) you could run a line of electric tape(the wide easy to see type) to give them one side of grass only for the first few days. If you don't have one, solar electric fencers aren't too expensive and you can move it to anywhere you might need it in the future. I have no idea about cypress mulch we only have cedar here.
 

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