I will be honest, I have absolutely no idea what I am doing with Fivla. There are so many factors to think about:-
Should Fivla be on her own?
Pros: She can eat at night her own food without Shetland vultures stealing.
Cons: She is on her own and can only see the others. She does like mutual grooming very much. If she is with the others at night, she won’t eat anything, just chewing hay and spitting it out – for 12 hours solid. She can’t eat the soaked hay and the others will bully her off her soaked hay replacer and ad lib fibre block, all of which they don’t need.
Should Fivla go on the track during the daytime (about 10 hours)?
Pros: She would be with the others moving around and socialising. She does not have laminitis (certainly another possible symptom) yet.
Cons: The Autumn flush has come and any short grass is full of sugar. I would worry this could trigger laminitis.
Can Fivla manage on four meals of fibre and hay-replacer a day? I will weigh it (bought scales today) so she will have 1.5% of her bodyweight (1.5% of 228kg = 3.42kg) in dry food divided between four meals in 12 hours.
Pros: She is eating and I can make it very mushy, so she is also drinking.
Cons: She just stands in her paddock, waiting for her buckets and eats. No movement, nothing. I am tied to home totally and have to be there four times a day to give her any food at all.
Things to consider – Fivla’s mental health. She is very depressed. She is not really interacting with the others much but will groom them. She is, however, wuffling (a little neigh under her breath) when she sees her bucket, which is a good sign.
So much to think about. Nothing is written in stone. I am thinking Fivla is in the paddock for a couple of weeks, or at least until the autumn flush finishes – it is getting colder next week with plenty of rain. If she can manage doing 12 hours by herself, then she gets an even smaller section and she can have night-time food too. Or I leave her for the night with the others chewing and spitting out hay wondering if any is going in.
It is good to write this down but I am none the wiser.