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Do you have animal care instructions written down?

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  • Do you have animal care instructions written down?

    My DH and I spoke of this last night-- having explicit instructions written down for the care and feeding of all our farm/house animals. I have two retired horses, chickens, baby chicks, dogs, cats and a bunny that all require daily care. If something should keep me/us from being able to do so, I figured I should have instructions visible with clear labels on all feed for all animals, as well as "how to" for muzzling my horse, where the other horse's meds are, which dog cannot go out unsupervised...all those things that mean my babies survive unscathed if I'm out of commission.

    Do you have these prepared? I'm also thinking of giving my brother(s) my passcodes/words for bank accounts/FB/etc. in case the absolute worst should come to pass. Dire, but perhaps necessary at this point. And given the sport I indulge in, which we know is risky. Any good hacks on how to do this?
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

  • #2
    Since my dog became "special needs" I have posted directions for her care. They list her medications and feeding needs (she has a set of daily pill holders). Also directions to take her to the specialty hospital for medical board if this is long term. One friend and one neighbor have keys and codes to get into my house. My horse is boarded and his board comes out of my account automatically so he should be okay for while.

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    • #3
      Yes, the horse, dog and cat instruction are all written out for the animal sitter who looks after the animals wile we are away. The horse instructions are on my computer, and there are usually a couple of recent versions in hard copy in the feed room. The cat and dog instructions are on my husband's computer.
      Janet

      chief feeder and mucker for Music, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now). Spy is gone. April 15, 1982 to Jan 10, 2019.

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      • #4
        Yep, a blackboard with current instructions for feed and management of horses hanging in the feed room.
        Also in person instructions on place if ever necessary.

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        • #5
          Yes. Fiduciary and designated contact that my dog info (only animals in my care).
          When you start to observe, you become more effective... your movements soften, you see more, you are more available to becoming a team member. Be an Observer first, a Handler second.

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          • #6
            Horses- yes. Dog and cats- no. There are 4 people in our house that can feed them and none of their instructions are anything complicated
            Wouldst thou like the taste of butter ? A pretty dress? Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?

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            • #7
              Yep. We travel (or did until recently) overseas. The house sitter/horse sitter has written instructions as does the backup house sitter/horse sitter ---and the vet has a letter assuring him that I will stand all bills for treatment regardless if I am there or not (he is to contact me by phone if possible; if not, use his best judgment. He's been my vet for 30+ years --trust him.).

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              • #8
                Horses, yes. I mainly do it for when my DH feeds. He usually forgets who gets what.
                My hopeful road to the 2020 RRP TB Makeover: https://paradoxfarm.blog/

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                • #9
                  No...but will do tonight!

                  I have a special needs cat (hyperthyroid and very finicky eater). She needs meds twice a day. The other cat is some what finicky so I should write down at least what he likes...although I haven’t been able to find it at the store or Chewy. His diet may change in a hurry.

                  The horse is boarded but I should still write down her feed routine in case she had to move for some reason. She is pretty easy peasy. Forage (grass hay) and a ration balancer + 4 Vit E caps which she would certainly survive without for a period. Fingers crosses I can even get ration balancer when I go to the feed store tomorrow.

                  Susan

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                  • #10
                    Does anyone make a larger size feed chart that is like a dry erase board? Smart Pak used to have one but I don't see it offered anymore, I'm not looking for the stall plaque size but a large one for all horses that can go in the feed room. The one Smart Pak had was am/pm for each horse, had lines was very nicely laid out. I could just get a dry erase board but this one was preprinted and nice.

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                    • #11
                      Yup! When I had the farm it was quickly clear that a lot of people who are good at caring for dogs and cats have no clue what to do with pigs, cows, goats, and ginormous flocks of poultry. Biosecurity protocols only added to it -- I managed to bring 500 new adult hens onto the farm during the Avian Flu outbreak without issue by creating and maintaining a strict routine. So, I tried to have at least 2 people who were trained and worked a few days every quarter with me there so that they could take over if something happened to me. (Or if I just wanted to go out on a date in the evening, for crying out loud! )

                      It's very important to have detailed written instructions and to review them every monthly to ensure that they are current. If you changed the dosage of Fluffy's meds in your head and the farm sitter is relying on the written instructions she was given while you're in the ICU, things are going to go south fast. Especially with equines. Think about all the silly little things that we're constantly tinkering with because they matter a great deal to the horses - the field buddies who are now sworn enemies, clothing changes, when it's time to break out the barn fans, etc.

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                      • #12
                        i have an extensive feed chart, turnout map and order of turn in and turn out.
                        i also have several people who know my routine. i do not have instructions for my dog, but i think i will tell someone just in case.

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                        • #13
                          Yes, I always had a farm notebook with information on every animal. Each animal had its own page with photo, information on personality, basic health info. feed info., turnout info. I also kept vaccine records and coggins tests in that notebook. I also put name/photo/feed info on each of my horses' stall doors.

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                          • #14
                            LastPass is a good tool for securely sharing passwords with someone, especially if they change.
                            If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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                            • #15
                              I haven't written down my horse's grain plus supplements that are in a zip lock baggie. I should. It's also a good idea to have something on file with the vet.

                              I'm working on a written contract to go with a bank account that will pass to the BO, a close personal friend, upon my death or incapacity. It includes instructions for care and euthanasia. I will set up a bank account has enough to cover the latter plus several months of expenses. If you put something in your will it won't take effect until the will is probated. Horses can't own bank accounts. I will also set up a contract for my cats. I asked my mom's estate attorney. She said this is often a big problem when there is nothing in writing that takes effect immediately when you die, especially for horses.
                              "With hardly any other living being can a human connect as closely over so many years as a rider can with her horse." Isabell Werth, Four Legs Move My Soul. 2019

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                              • #16
                                I have an actual chalk board in my feed/tack room that lists what everyone eats.
                                What the dogs are fed is listed on the inside of the cabinet door, where their bowls, food, and treats live.

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                                • #17
                                  My feed room has feed instructions that are updated with every change. I also prebag their feed each week so if I'm out of commission for a short time someone can just grab the bags and deliver to each individual horse. If needed my Horse Management Spreadsheets are on my google drive and I can share instantly. I keep this updated and designed in a way that anyone who needs to step in should be able to understand my routine and what care I've been providing.

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                                  • #18
                                    not for my housepets (dogs, cats and a turtle, all pretty simple) but i keep a print out of who gets what grain, supplements, meds, etc, where everything is, etc. i tried keeping a white board in the feed room, but found it easier to just keep a print out up to date. our guys all live out, which makes life easier in that regard. and thankfully, i have my kid, my better half, plus 4 riders who know all the horses, know the routine, and are perfectly capable of making good decisions if they feel something is wrong, see an injury, etc.
                                    Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch
                                    www.DifferentTimesEquestrianVentures.com

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by EmilyM View Post
                                      i have an extensive feed chart, turnout map and order of turn in and turn out.
                                      i also have several people who know my routine. i do not have instructions for my dog, but i think i will tell someone just in case.
                                      Excellent to include the map and the others knowing your routine
                                      Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

                                      http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

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                                      • #20
                                        I have a feed board that's usually not at all up to date--but it's current now.

                                        And a document that I use for the farm sitter that's basically a walk through for both the inside and outside animals. If someone had to come in with no info but the feed board and the sitter's document, everything would be okay.

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