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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~


6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

GRAIN UNDER ATTACK!

I'm pretty sure that I have been given repeated signs from the gods of horse obesity that Gogo's days of grain-eating need to temporarily be over, and I think after this last one I need to listen. Firstly, Gogo is clearly gaining weight rapidly, and should not be carrying extra weight around on that leg, so if I can find any way to cut out extra calories, I should take it. Secondly, I already lost four bags of (incredibly expensive) Gro N' Win that I purchased in Connecticut when water leaked into my trailer during the snowstorm on the drive down to Texas and contaminated the grain. I managed to salvage a bit, but didn't have much, and searched desperately high and low in search of a grain dealer anywhere remotely near me that carried Buckeye. I finally found a place in Grapevine, over an hour away from my house. It was worth it, and I made the trek out there and brought a few more bags of grain home.

Things were going well until a few days ago. It is unclear whether or not this particular nuisance originated inside a bag of already contaminated grain, or if they came in through my open screen door, but I started noticing a massive influx of teeny tiny little beetles gathering near my door. I store my grain in my house specifically to safeguard it from rodents and bugs (you have no idea how terrifying Texas bugs are... I've already found THREE scorpions in my house... SCORPIONS!), but apparently, as my old landlord pointed out to me, I guess I should have gone one step further and gotten galvanized steel garbage cans. Worried about my grain, I went out and brought home some more intense storage containers, and poured the little bit of my first bag of Gro N' Win into the bin. When I poured my second bag into the bin (why did I do it second??), I pulled back the empty bag, looked into the bin, and gasped. It was CRAWLING with THOUSANDS of bugs!!! Closer inspection of the bag showed lots of little holes all over the bag that I didn't see before. Did the beetles sneak into the bag, multiply and start busting out, or did they bust in?

Either way, my entire remaining store of grain is gone. And my house still is crawling with bugs despite my best efforts to eradicate them. They don't bite, they so far haven't gotten into my food, and they haven't done anything except be annoying, but if I can't get them under control I'm going to have to bomb the house. Damnit all. Thought I could protect my grain in here, but noooooo, apparently not...


Anyway, I threw in the towel and gave up. The grain is impossible to get and impossible to store, Gogo is a Fattie Boomblattie, and she's not doing anything but eating right now. For the first time in four years, I'm taking her off of the Gro N' Win. Instead, I contacted SmartPak, went through their list of multivitamins, and ended up picking the SmartVite EZ Keeper Grass Formula. From now until she's presumably back in work someday, she won't be getting any grain. I also went ahead and ordered SmartShine, seeing as my bag of ground flax also got destroyed in the buggy process. It's cheap, although it's probably completely unnecessary. I loved the freakishly amazing shine that flax brought out in her last spring, and some extra Omega-3's won't hurt her. (If you notice in that picture from the shavings in her tail, she hadn't even been groomed yet that day... she was just that shiny standing around in her stall!)

It's a minor calorie reduction, but it's something to try and counter her ever-growing foodbelly. The other interesting thing is that this is the first time Gogo will ever be on a soy-free diet. (I mean, nearly every horse feed and supplement has some sort of soy base or derivative, but I guess you could call it for the most part 'soy-free.') While I don't honestly think that Gogo has a soy sensitivity, I am interested to see if removing soy from her diet will cause her white line to tighten up - a common problem with soy sensitive horses. Her hooves are rock-crunching and always have been, but she's had just a hair of white line separation and very slight flare on all four for pretty much ever. It just hasn't really ever gone away. I had attributed it to the soggy mushy climate of New England, but it's still here now that she's been in Texas for four months. Gogo easily drops a whole new foot in about six months. It will be interesting to see as her foot keeps growing down what happens. Trust me, nobody loves Gro N' Win more than I do, but you never know!



Can you find the Mami in the picture? :)

15 comments:

Snowhawk Przhevalsky said...

Yeah, welcome to the South. We have bugs. Lots of them. You should see some of the cockroaches I came across in FL a few years ago... :x

Good luck getting read of the little bastards. I've been having an influx of little brown beetles with black spots on their carapaces over the past week here...

jenj said...

Oh yes, those little weevils are icky creatures. The only way to store feed down here to ensure they don't get in is in galvanized trash cans. It's a pain, but it works.

And scorpions... oh my yes. Awful, awful creatures - the sting hurts like nothing else. But, did you know chickens eat the little buggers? It's very satisfying to watch my hens hunt and devour them. Another reason to own chickens!

Amy B said...

I started my mare on the smartshine in February, and I must say that her summer coat looks FABULOUS already... seems like it's well worth it for the money!

Barbara said...

Before you bomb the house see if you can find some diatomaceous earth - the edible kind, NOT the swimming pool filter kind. It will kill any bug, you just sprinkle it around on the floor, windowsills or whatever and vacuum it up later. It is the consistency of flour.
I am curious about the soy free diet also. Keep us posted, please.

Our Beautiful Life said...

interesting about the soy sensitivity... and thank you for the recommendation on the Smartshine. Good luck!!!

smazourek said...

Take a gander at California Trace, a know a lot of barefooters that swear by the stuff.

Breathe said...

God loves beetles. There are more of them than anything. Barbara is right, the diatomaceous earth is the way to go.

I hate scorpions. They get into every crevice. Shake out your boots before you put them on, Chica.

Stacey said...

Bottom right corner!

You probably have those giant nasty centipedes there too. Those are the nastiest things ever. I can handle snakes and scorpions but those centipedes are just disgusting. We saw our first rattle snake the other night :( Damn it. Not looking forward to them all coming out again.

Andrea said...

Barbara, I have cats and dogs in my house who will eat anything on the planet earth - will this be harmful to them? I know it's in my feed-through bug supplement but I dunno about small animals.

Barbara said...

No, it won't hurt anything but the bugs - it dries them out, it is not poison. Just be SURE to get the kind that is labeled edible and NOT the kind that is packaged for pool filters - that kind has dangerous chemicals mixed in. The edible kind is used by people and given to animals to kill internal parasites and claims other health benefits. I don't know about the health claims but it will kill any bug that crawls through it. And it is safe.

SoraSoul said...

Just wanted to say that the smartvite is a great supplement. I do use less than they say to after hearing a couple of reports that their dosage is too concentrated but Sora does so well on it. I went out and found it after changing her to a grain free diet.

Dressager said...

Yeah, I hate weevils. Trash cans are the way to go, and the diatomaceous earth sounds like a good idea! As for scorpions...... I like to jump on top of the chair and scream for my life until I work up the guts to kill it with whatever is around haha. I'm terribly brave, no?

And chickens do a wonderful job of keeping down bugs!

And I LOVE SmartPak. Their Daily Omega Plus is awesome. It's just like Platinum, and works just as well, but much cheaper.

Deered said...

We used an old refrigerator - laid it on it's back after taking the motor and assorted bits out. It was mainly for keeping out rats and mice, but it worked really well.

equuskat said...

Smart vite is great! I love flax & omega-3s too...and wow, so does Gogo's coat! Phenomenal shine!

PS: now I am caught up on what's going on. Actually subscribed to your blog FINALLY so maybe I can keep up?

Sparkling said...

omg i would die if i saw that many bugs in my house. truly die. did you scream or did you do that internal scream where you just coil all your insides up and died right there?