Wyoming Advocates Push for ‘Wild Horse Highway’

Volunteers with Friends of a Legacy, a group that works with the BLM to manage the wild horses of McCullough Peaks HMA, has asked the state legislature to formally name a section of U.S. 14/16/20 running from Cody to Emblem, according to a report posted yesterday by the Powell Tribune.

The HMA is on the north side of the road, while the neighboring Fifteenmile HMA is a few miles to the south.


Both HMAs are subject to permitted livestock grazing.


The group received $5,000 last year from ASPCA to dart mares with contraceptives, signifying their assent to the overpopulation narrative.  (The ASPCA, an organization that guards against cruelty to animals, actually inflicts it.)

You have to wonder if these people have ranching backgrounds or ties to the ranching industry.  What a great way to get rid of the last few wild horses remaining on western rangelands.

These maps indicate that roughly half the land in this part of Wyoming set aside for wild horses is no longer managed for them, supposedly due to inadequate food and water, yet it can support privately owned cattle and sheep.

RELATED: Wyoming Advocacy Group Receives $5000, Aids Ranchers, Livestock Grazing in Wyoming.

Backyard Chickens – Intro

If you have horses on your property, you can probably have chickens too.  Even in urban areas, you may be able to keep a few hens for personal use.  Check the ordinances.

To get started, you’ll need these items:

  • Galvanized tub with screen and lamp
  • Coop with covered run
  • Wood shavings
  • Feeder
  • Waterer
  • Chicks
  • Egg cartons

Feed stores usually have chicks in the spring, some have them year around.  Start with four to six.  They must be kept warm until they have feathers.

Place them in the tub with some bedding, cover it with a metal screen, and set a reflector lamp on top.  Sixty to seventy five watts should be adequate (incandescent bulb).  Add feed (medicated) and water daily.  The chicks will outgrow the tub in three to four weeks but will be ready to go into the coop.

Choose a location that’s level and protected from wind.  Coops are usually built with wood frames and wire cloth.  Chicken wire is not acceptable.  The mesh for the wire cloth should be 1/2 inch or less.  Install it on the floor of the coop to stop rodents from tunneling their way in.


You can build a coop or buy one.  The feed store probably sells them, ready to use.  You can also find them online.  Ideally, the run would be of walk-in height.


You’ll need to access the run daily.  The feeder and waterer can be hung from the wood frame if strong enough to carry the weight.  As with horses, you should provide clean, fresh water every day.  The hen house should also be accessible but if the nesting boxes have separate access (such as the hinged cover on the left in the top photo), you won’t need to open this door very often.


Put some wood shavings in the nesting boxes and on the floor of the hen house.  A ramp extends from the house down into the run.  Two bales of straw can be positioned below the house for additional protection from wind and rain.


A corrugated roof can be added to the run to keep it dry.


The last step is to place the chicks in the cage.  They can go outside when three months old.  If the cage is in a remote area, there is a risk of predation by hawks and coyotes.


Allowing them to go scratch for bugs and seeds (known as free ranging) may improve the quality of the eggs.  Don’t worry about getting them back in the cage at sunset, they will do that by themselves.  Just remember to close the gate!

Be prepared to find little ‘fox holes’ where they have temporarily nested.  They can make a mess of your yard and garden.

At this point you can go back to the feed store and get a few more chicks, repeating the process to build up your flock.  The coop in these photos will handle ten to twelve hens, although it held sixteen at one point.

Eggs will appear in the nesting boxes when the hens are about five months old.  Their feed should be switched to the non-medicated type before this time.  Read and follow the directions on the bag.


Photos above were taken in 2011, when everything was new, except for the last one.

This YouTube video from 2018 shows the ‘halfway house’ that was added a few years after the coop was delivered.  Chicks are moved there after their stay in the tub and are turned in with the older hens when three months old.

It’s Not Their Land, It’s Their Birthright

If you think AMLs represent the carrying capacity of the land, or are somehow related to it, read this press release about livestock grazing that appeared in Wyoming Livestock Roundup in 2011.  Here’s the money quote:


Appropriate Management Levels should be renamed Acceptable Forage Losses, the number of wild horses (or burros) the ranchers are willing to tolerate.

After all, the land was set aside for cattle and sheep, right?


RELATED: Livestock Grazing in Wyoming.

Advocates Disappointed with Heber Recommendations

The proposed management plan for the Heber WHT is now in the public domain and some wild horse advocates are not happy with it, according to a story that appeared today in the White Mountain Independent.

One person said the collaborative working group that drafted the plan had a pre-set agenda to remove all free roaming horses from the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.

Another said the group was trying to solve a problem that didn’t exist.

A third person said she was removed from the group because she disagreed with some of the recommendations.

Comments on the plan can be submitted to the Forest Service this summer, according to the report.

RELATED: Heber Management Plan Drafted.

Horses of the Coalfields

Wild horses roam the abandoned coal mines in southern West Virginia, according to a story posted today by the Herald-Dispatch of Huntington, and mine owners don’t always consider them a welcome addition.

Tinia Creamer, founder of the Heart of Phoenix rescue, says many were abandoned by people who don’t want them anymore, or are looking to sell them but let them go to save money until a buyer is found.

She met last week with legislators to discuss the wild horse issues but concedes the meeting focused mostly on tourism, noting that organizations that use the horses for that take no responsibility for their care.

Given that things didn’t go exactly as planned, she wonders what the legislators might propose and if the horses would be better off left alone.

Paiute Roundup Draws Lawsuit

A wild horse advocacy group and Palomino Valley resident have joined forces to sue the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe for taking privately owned horses from private property during the tribal roundup in Palomino Valley, NV earlier this month.  Refer to this story, posted today by KOLO-TV in Reno.

Also named in the suit are the Nevada Department of Agriculture, Cattoor Livestock Roundup, Inc., the tribe’s contractor, Zena Quillan, a woman who allegedly bought the captured horses from the tribe and sent them to slaughter, and two Department of Agriculture employees.

What’s the punishment nowadays for horse theft?  Why isn’t this a criminal case?

RELATED: Paiute Roundup Snares Privately Owned Horses.

Assateague Island Welcomes New Foal

A pinto filly was born to first-time mom Susi Sole last week, according to a report posted today by the Maryland Coast Dispatch.  The arrival brings the wild horse population on the barrier island to eighty.

Fertility control efforts were suspended recently, because of the shrinking size of the herd.

The distribution of males and females on the island is now wildly skewed, based on a census from last November, a result that should be investigated.

Additional Remarks About the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Sale

The syndicated report cited in this post earlier today, which has been picked up by news outlets across the country, suggests that the Forest Service built a short-term holding facility (known as the Double Devil Wild Horse Corrals), to circumvent protections afforded by the WHB Act of 1971.

The article, carried by AP News, said “The U.S. Forest Service has built a new corral for wild horses in Northern California, which could allow it to bypass federal restrictions and sell the animals for slaughter.”

It is the belief of this writer that

  • The Devil’s Garden horses enjoy all protections of the WHB Act
  • The Forest Service has no intent of bypassing the law

The problem is the WHB Act has been amended several times by ranching interests and no longer works to the benefit of the horses.  The sale of these animals without limitation was established in 2004 by the Burns Amendment.

The case is an indication of the amount of work that lies ahead in pushing back against the ranchers, along with their allies in government and media.

Forest Service Moving Ahead with Devil’s Garden Sale

The legal battle continues over wild horses removed from the Modoc National Forest in October and November, 2018, according to a syndicated report that appeared today in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  Animals aged ten years or more, currently held in a Forest Service corral, are subject to ‘sale without limitation’ next month, which means they could be shipped to slaughter.

The report stated that “Ranchers generally support these sales because of the horses’ economic impact on leased grazing land.”  It didn’t mention that the land was set aside for the horses.


RELATED: Group Attempts to Block Sale of Devil’s Garden Horses, Devil’s Garden Horses Get Short End of Stick, Livestock Grazing in California.