Saturday, January 23, 2010

Owyhee Hors d'oeuvres

Saturday January 23 2010

Hay is the main repast here, of course, but the horses like - and need - a variety to their meals besides hay, hay, and more hay.

You might think there's nothing out here in the desert, but they find things. The herd makes their rounds several times a day getting their buffet of greens (or browns, this time of year).

They snack on the dry cheat grass, and they nibble at the tumbleweeds - Russian thistle. I can't imagine how they chew on this nasty prickly stuff.

They eat the greasewood. It's mainly forage for jackrabbits and California quail (both numerous here) and pronghorn antelope (you'll see an occasional one). It's prickly enough to where you can't imagine a horse chewing on this, either, but they use their teeth to strip the branches, and they carefully chew it. The seeds and leaves are supposed to taste salty, but I can't taste anything but wood in these dead-looking winter branches.

Rice grass is a treat, and already the green grass and weeds are starting to sprout in this near spring-like weather. They have to work to get tiny bites of them, but work at it they do.

Salt blocks seem to be used more now than in the summer.

An occasional bite of alfalfa is a nice delicious treat; and if you have a carrot within fifty miles - forgetaboutem!


  1. Funny how horses will eat those things which appear to have no nutritional value this time of year. Maybe it's like spices in their diet.


  2. Almost like a goat, eat anything and everything. Love your pictures!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  3. Horses like Chinese Cabbage so much that we call it ice cream weed and it feels and looks very prickly.
    A past shoer of mine said, :"Horses are as bad as goats," or as good! Neat concert last night.

  4. Dixie likes to nibble on juniper and ephedra shrubs. She's a weird horse!

  5. omg how do u get these shots love it. cole

  6. Beamer likes thistle but does nor like carrots or apples. Go figure. Love that last shot, had me laughing!