Saturday, October 15

Just add water…


…and a little time, like a week. The greenery is popping out all over the place. The grass is three or four inches (75 to 100 mm) high in many places, but the real treat for horses is what we call filaree, a forb that they love. They discovered the filaree when it was barely out of its seed form (mm-m-m! filaree sprouts!) and have continued munching it wherever they can find it, which is almost everywhere.


As a testament to filaree’s appeal, we put out six drums of Crystalyx, a hardened molasses-and-protein-and-other-stuff mix, in various places around the ranch. Each drum weighs about 250 pounds (113 kg) and the horses found them quickly. Being hierarchical (kind of like chickens) the meanest horses get to eat first, then the second-third-and-fourth meanest horses, and finally the wimps get in a lick or two before the meanest ones get hungry again. Usually the Crystalyx is gone after a couple of weeks, but we found three drums with some of it still uneaten, and no horses around! All we need now is more rain in order to keep the green stuff growing.

Or we’ll have to spend the other green stuff on more Crystalyx. Or feed hay. Or move onto a more rewarding way to make a living, like raising worms or chinchillas.


HHhorses said...

That's AMAZING!!! Look at all that grass! I'm really glad the horses in Death Valley left before it came up, or they would be really, really jealous. I won't tell them.

Pat said...

Is this filaree the one that has seedpods that we used to make into 'scissors'? And when the seeds dried they would pop loose and their stems would coil up and "bury" the seedheads in the ground. At least that was the theory.

(I think perhaps worms would be a much better bet than chinchillas----)

Tom Hurley said...

HHHorses: We won't tell your horses!

Pat: Yes, this is the scissors plant. Later on, the seeds form the helix that buries the seed head. An amazing natural feat.
Worms don't have the fuzzy appeal of chinchillas, but I am sure they're more profitable.

Daffy said...

..the advantage of chinchillas really is obvious at round-up; one only needs little tiny saddles and lassos they are quite tasty.

Tom Hurley said...

In my experience chinchillas are quite nasty little rats. When they’re upset, they sit up on their haunches and pee at you! Stinky pee, too.