horses making firewood...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by comfortablynumb, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    ok its the donkey but the horse helps too.
    over the winter they have debarked a few big trees, which is no big deal I will chop them down for firewood. but i want to keep them off the rest of the trees I do want.
    Some trees i have electric wire around but I cant on all the trees. Any idea of something ling lasting and nontoxic to spray the trunks with? to keep them from stripping the bark.
    vinagar works but is gone a day. natural pine tar works but dries out and then becomes a tasty treat. I ave afew with "tube" of diamond wire around the trunks, that seems to work but I have a lot of trees...
    Help!
     
  2. bumpus

    bumpus Well-Known Member

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    Some times this is a sign of not getting enough
    of the right kind of minerals, and trace minerals.

    Try a mineral mix for horses and mules, free choice or mix some extra in their feed.

    They find minerals in the bark.
     

  3. Ruby

    Ruby Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was watching a show on animal planet the other night and there was some horses that had been eating the wood fence. The vet said it was a sign of not getting the right minerals.
     
  4. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    You've had horses long enough that I wouldn't even bother to discuss nutrition with you. I've had horses that chew just for the sake of chewing and found that in some cases, streamers, survey tape or tin pie plates tied to the trees will keep them off. Maybe try suggesting to the donkey that tree bark is a good source of feed and you'd like him to keep eating it, they ususally like to bend the rules a bit :haha:
     
  5. Kirk

    Kirk Well-Known Member

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    if your horses and donkey respect electric fencing maybe you could put fake electric fencing around the tree you really want to save.
     
  6. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    haha donkeys to smart for the fake wire.. that works in the horse..
    they have a big mineral block.. I think he just found a good snack alternitive.
     
  7. The suggestion of telling the donkey that you just love to see equines consuming so much nice healthy tree bark is a stroke of genius. I bet that would stop them completely within seconds.
    You could also tell them you've quit your job, and now depend entirely upon them to provide barkless trees for homestead income.

    Nonspray ideas:
    Could you prop a few wooden pallets against the trunks and wire them loosely together? Unsightly but it would work.
    How about the handyman's secret weapon, duct tape, wrapped very gently around the trunks in a continuous spiral with spaces just large enough for the bark to get light and such between each turn? Seems like with the smell and stickiness it wouldn't be any fun for them to mess with. It would deteriorate over time so the trees wouldn't be harmed. Cheap, fast, and easy to do.
    Fragile, overfilled water balloons could be balanced precariously in the lower branches. That should give quick and permanent results, not to mention considerable entertainment value for you.
    Prop several long poles, the kind you find standing dead in the forest, against each tree in a tipi shape. They will prevent the animals from even getting close to the trunks, and if they do manage to worm their way between the poles they will crash down noisily, startling, but not hurting, the bark munchers.

    Spray ideas:
    Eu de used kitty litter is supposed to work pretty effectively. The smell, once well applied, is pretty much permanent. I hope the trees are downwind of your house if you choose to try this.
    Slightly diluted tabasco sauce?
    Motor oil is the traditional thing, but of course it isn't environmentally sound.
    Good luck!!
     
  8. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) People here have nice trees(fruit and nut)growing in their horse, cow and sheep pastures. They just fence them off. I have noticed several methods of doing this. Our extension service has some good ideas too. I'd call them if I were you and see what the office in your area has to say. ;)
    Some people start with a tire and circle the fencing around it. Don't know what the tire is supposed to do? Keep the fencing from being pushed in around the bottom? Others just use the metal "T" posts(four of them for each tree) and put fencing around them far enough out from the tree that the stock can't reach the trunk. I see mostly field fencing used for this. It seems sturdy enough to do the trick. I've seen PVC and metal water pipe collars on the trunks also but don't know how they adjust for the growth rate of the tree?

    Good luck, I know you want to preserve some trees. LQ
     
  9. Strange Bear

    Strange Bear Well-Known Member

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    My friends wrapped their tree trunks with chicken wire. What kind of trees do your horses prefer? Ash was the bark of choice at my friends.
     
  10. clsmith

    clsmith Member

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    The only thing I know of that truly works is wrapping the trees in mesh wire but you're right it's a lot of work when you have a lot of trees. I built tree cages (just fenced in the shrubs) when I first moved to this place so the horse and goats would leave them alone and I could transplant when I got time. The goats took those down but I think they would have been fine with just the horse.