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Editorial: Call For Gau Farmers To Treat Their Horses Well

These horses will help ease the issue of transporting farmers’ harvests from the farms to their homes.
20 Feb 2019 16:35
Editorial: Call For Gau Farmers To Treat Their Horses Well

Farmers in the 16 villages in Gau are happy after receiving the 32 horses from the Ministry of Agriculture as part of its Rural Millionaire Concept for the island.

The ministry spent $32,000 to purchase the 32 horses which included 16 stallions and 16 mares. They have been distributed in pairs, 1 male and 1 female to the 16 villages on the island.

These horses will help ease the issue of transporting farmers’ harvests from the farms to their homes.

Initially, they had asked for their farm roads but it was not a viable option because of the topography of the island.

The ministry opted for horses because they can ease the burden of carrying heavy loads from the farms to their villages.

Farmers on the island have been informed about the proper handling of horses as it would be a shared responsibility among farmers.

They have also been told of important tips on the welfare of the horses and the ministry’s expectations on their safekeeping and usage because these horses are expected to multiply in number.

Working horses allow people in remote communities to transport produce or goods. Without these horses, families would struggle.

Horses also get tired; they cannot work at night and can easily be subject to heat and weather pressures that may not affect vehicles.

Now that the horses are in the villages, it is the responsibility of all the villagers to look after their welfare. Remember that horses need a regular supply of food and water. Clean, readily available water is essential for good horse care.

An average-size horse will eat about 20 pounds (lbs) of food and drink at least eight gallons of water daily.

A book on “Horse Health and Nutrition For Dummies” by Audrey Pavia, and Kate Gentry-Running gives you up-to-the-minute guidance on keeping horses healthy at all stages of life.

Their advice –

  • Manage your horse’s diet
  • House your horse safely and comfortably
  • Tend to the daily details of horse care
  • Examine coat, eyes, hooves and manure
  • Identify, control, and prevent equine diseases
  • Understand links between horse behaviour

and health

  • Practice good horse nutrition
  • Grow your own horse food
  • Cover horse-health-care costs
  • Breed your horse
  • Care for pregnant mares and newborns

A healthy horse is a happy horse.

Even if you do everything right, your horse may someday get sick. But the better you treat your horse every day, the less likely that will happen.

The Gau farmers now have horses to help them and the onus is on them to keep them fit and healthy all the time. As helpers they should be treated well.

Feedback: maikab@fijisun.com.fj

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