Calico Complex Update
On February 18, 2010, while advocates were protesting in Las Vegas, the Bureau of land management began the processing of wild horses gathered from the Calico Complex Herd Management Area. Horses held at the Broken Arrow, a private holding facility, began to be aged, vaccinated, branded, etc. in preperation for adoption, sale and moves to long-term facilities. (BLM Fallon facility update here.)
John Neill, acting BLM manager of the facility, said mares are being processed first.
“We have prepped approx. 300 hd to date.Preparation is concentrated primarily on the mares at themoment, as we need to complete the preparation process with them before they begin to foal. Once preparation is completed with the mares, we will concentrate on the weanlings/yearlings…………which have already been vaccinated. Stallions will be prepped after mares, weanlings/yearlings. I do not have an exact date when this will take place The entire preparation process of the calico animals should take approx. 8 weeks.”
Horse Advocate Marilyn Wargo had some specific questions for the BLM:
“It would help all our perceptions if we had a schedule that reflects the work all involved at the Fallon facility are actually doing on a daily basis, weekly, etc. I would like to think the horses are central to activity and not just on some days. Everyday. How many people work there and what are their jobs? How often are horses fed and are their water tanks cleaned out regular to keep down infectious disease?”
Reply by John Neill:
“There are 3-4 experienced wranglers and a veterinarian present during the
preparation process. On average 60-70 animals are prepped/day. There are days where other activities may take place along with prep. to ensure
animal care. The facility contractor has sufficient personnel to feed and
maintain the facility. Horses are currently being fed free choice
grass/alfalfa hay. Once all animals have adjusted to dietary changes the
feeding regime will be adjusted. Typically 20lbs/day/adult to maintain
good health. Younger animals typically receive 12-15lbs/day. Water troughs
are cleaned frequently. More often in the summer months as sunlight
promotes algae growth. Troughs are scrubbed with bleach for disinfection
when cleaning takes place.”
I asked if dates had been set for the horses going through adoption and through sale authority.
BLM does intend to hold an adoption event of Calico animals once preparation is complete and animals show no health issues. The adoption event will take place at Palomino Valley facility. There has been interest by other individuals on specific animals also. Most likely many of these that several persons have shown interest in will be posted on the I-net for competitive bidding. An adoption event date will be forthcoming once preparation is completed and animals show no signs of health issues.