(Based on a Northern Climate)
Spring is here and that means manure clean-up in the paddocks, sheds and pastures that the horses have used all winter. The following strategies can help decrease the parasite burden and exposure through out the year.
- Make your manure pile outside of the horses paddock or pasture.
- Feed horses away from potentially contaminated areas or use feeders to avoid feeding on the ground.
- Manure should be picked from paddocks, lean- tos or any areas where horses are eating regularly (ideally every 2-3 days)
- Pasture management is very important. Ideally horses should be rotated to a new pasture when they have eaten the grass down to 4 inches high. The tall clumps should be mowed down to this height. Keeping the pastures mowed allows manure to properly desiccate. Horses should be allowed back out to graze when the grass has grown up to 8 inches high. This may mean the horses are in a designated dry lot until the pasture has grown back.
- During very hot dry weather, pastures can be mowed and then harrowed to disperse manure and facilitate desiccation of parasites. Horses should be kept off the harrowed pasture for 7 days to ensure all parasites are dead.
- Do not spread manure on the pasture while horses are using the pasture. If you are going to spread manure it should be done during the very hot dry season, after the pasture has been mowed. It should then be harrowed so that it can desiccate properly. The horses should be kept off that pasture for 7 days.
- Horses are categorized into low, moderate and high shedders based on risk factors and fecal egg counts. They should be grouped together this way into sesimilarly.
- Young horses(<5years) and older horses(>15 years) along with any horses diagnosed or displaying signs of Cushings Disease should be monitored more closely as they are often the high shedders.parate paddocks/pastures if possible. This decreases contamination levels overall and each group (example yearlings) can be dewormed
For a deworming schedule based on your horses shedding level please see link below, Please note, horses that do not have an annual fecal are considered a “high shedder” for deworming purposes.