Monday, January 2, 2012

Helpful Hints

These pieces of information are from my own experience and some that others have suggested to me during the cycle of breeding, weaning, training, showing and so on of my Miniature Herefords.   They are also applicable to a wide range of other animals.   If anyone has something they would like added to this column for others to read please contact me on and I will put it in.   Photos are also welcome.


Ever struggled to fill a hay net with the hay refusing to be stuffed in and the net twisting like an octopus?   Here are a couple of easy ways to deal with that.

The Plastic Bag method.

Fill a plastic bag with the amount of hay you need then pull the hay net over it upsidedown.

Turn the hay net right side up and slide the plastic bag out leaving the hay in the net.

The Bucket method.        

Tuck the hay net into a bucket or something similar (here I have used a feed container) then put the required amount of hay into the net.

   Pull the hay net up over the hay and remove from bucket.      Now hang up the hay net securely.

For cattle we use a hay net with wider spaces in the netting than those in our horse nets.   Cattle need to use their tongues to help pick out the hay whereas horses use their teeth and lips.


Horrible little beasties have been invented to plague man and animal alike particularly in the summer months.   Biting flies, ants, midges, fleas, sandflies and so on can now be given a taste of their own medicine.

Procure a bottle of Baby Oil and a bottle of Dettol (antiseptic with a strong smell) and mix equal parts together (i.e. 50/50) into another container.

                 Baby Oil                                                                         Dettol

You will notice that the oil sinks down while the Dettol floats on top of it.   Shake vigorously until the liquids blend into a cloudy mixture.   You will need to do this every time you use it.

                 Unmixed solution                                                       Mixed solution 
Transfer the mixture to a container with a spray nozzle.   You can then use it on yourself (arms, legs) or the animal.   We ususally spray it on the legs of our cattle or horses and under their bellies.   If horses have a day sheet on that is all that is required otherwise it can be applied anywhere avoiding, of course, eyes and nose.   The oil keeps the solution on the hair and makes it shiny while the smell of the Dettol repels insects.

                                                        Spray container with mixture.
It is wise to label the container with what the mixture is.   If your animal objects to being sprayed simply spray the solution onto a cloth and wipe that over them.