Eating Dirt - The Horse Forum

 3Likes
  • 3 Post By Cherie
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 10 Old 07-15-2013, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Eastern Ontario
Posts: 1,166
• Horses: 3
Question Eating Dirt

I've been taking Nell out for walks in our hay fields for the past couple days because it's been too hot to ride, and I noticed, occasionally she'll scrape her teeth along the ground and pick up dirt and eat it. Is there a reason why she's eating it? And is there anything I can give her to prevent colic?

Thank you for feeding us years of lies. Thank you for the wars you left us to fight. Thank you for the world you ruined overnight. But we'll be fine, yeah we'll be fine.
BornToRun is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 Old 07-15-2013, 02:44 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 203
• Horses: 2
You too? One of my mares has been licking/rubbing her teeth in the same patch of dirt for awhile now... it's so weird.

People are mainly saying that it's because they want the salt/minerals from the ground...
star16 is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 07-15-2013, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Eastern Ontario
Posts: 1,166
• Horses: 3
Hmm, that's strange, but interesting to know. She does have a cobalt block in her stall that she licks from time to time, I wonder if that's not enough?

Thank you for feeding us years of lies. Thank you for the wars you left us to fight. Thank you for the world you ruined overnight. But we'll be fine, yeah we'll be fine.
BornToRun is offline  
post #4 of 10 Old 07-15-2013, 05:33 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 5,995
• Horses: 0
Horses that lick and eat dirt are usually deficient in Calcium (Ca) and/or Magnesium (Mg), usually both.

If you are feeding grass or grass hay and the horses are not on a large pasture with varied brush and small trees as well as grass, they usually are not getting enough Ca and Mg.

Trace mineral blocks are useless as they contain no 'macro minerals' and only contain 'micro minerals' known as trace minerals. Horses are seldom if ever deficient in these, but Calcium, Phosphorus and Magnesium are frequently not balanced. Grass usually has a lot of Phosphorus (P) in it and Ca or Ca and Mg are usually low.

The same minerals are responsible for horses eating wood and stripping the bark off of trees.

We have always been able to find a loose livestock mineral that has 3 or 4 times as much Ca in it as P and it also has 2% Mg in it. It also has 150,000 to 200,000 IU of Vitamin A per pound in it. The one we have used for the last 10 years or so is labeled 'Un-medicated Wheat Pasture Mineral'. It stops all tree eating and dirt licking and eating.
Northernstar, BornToRun and star16 like this.

visit us at www.wolferanch.com
Cherie is offline  
post #5 of 10 Old 07-15-2013, 05:43 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 3,015
• Horses: 3
My QH is an easy keeper (not too obvious in my avatar, but believe me!), and my Morgan is very sensitive to alfalfa, so I have to feed them a very grassy, 1st cutting hay only - I supplement that with a loose mineral called, "Grostrong" (comes in a 25 lb bag) so they get the nutrients they're otherwise missing. Grazing here is sandy (Sand-aid given for 1 wk. Ea. Month as well) and sparse, thus the reason.

Last edited by Northernstar; 07-15-2013 at 05:46 PM.
Northernstar is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 07-15-2013, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Eastern Ontario
Posts: 1,166
• Horses: 3
Thanks Cherie, that is really helpful!

Thank you for feeding us years of lies. Thank you for the wars you left us to fight. Thank you for the world you ruined overnight. But we'll be fine, yeah we'll be fine.
BornToRun is offline  
post #7 of 10 Old 07-15-2013, 06:19 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Missoula, Montana
Posts: 134
• Horses: 1
Cherie -- If you don't know for sure if they are deficient in Calcium or magnesium, is it bad to give more to them? My horse eats/licks dirt and he's not turned out to pasture even during the summer. He's in an individual paddock (and stall rest indefinitely right now... but when he is out, he can't go out with the whole herd). Is it okay to give him more? I don't want to hurt my horse...but what you are saying makes sense :)
Thanks!
mangomelon is offline  
post #8 of 10 Old 07-16-2013, 06:57 AM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Surry, Va
Posts: 4,712
• Horses: 0
many of those super hard salt/ mineral blocks are made for cattle, you need to get one made for horses. Different ingredients and they crumble a bit easier. You also need to keep it out of the rain. As they crumble more.
Joe4d is offline  
post #9 of 10 Old 07-16-2013, 08:12 AM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 5,995
• Horses: 0
I have never had a horse eat more of the Ca / Mg mineral than they needed. I also keep plain white salt out so when a horse needs more salt than mineral, they lick or eat the salt.

I have had visiting mares come in, some fat and some looking pretty rough, that ate our mineral like it was grain -- to the point that they ate it instead of grain. They all quit when they no longer needed it and I have never had a problem from using it. We have always liked the loose mineral best and I have never found a horse mineral that I liked as well as the livestock mineral used to prevent grass tetany and Ca deficiencies.

Some of the main things this mineral has helped is that we have not had a crooked or weak legged foal born since using it -- not one and NEVER have to treat rain rot in horses that have had it available -- mostly because a good mineral has a high level of Vitamin A in it.

visit us at www.wolferanch.com
Cherie is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 07-16-2013, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Eastern Ontario
Posts: 1,166
• Horses: 3
Her block is made for horses, and it is sitting safely, protected from the weather, in her stall.

Thank you for feeding us years of lies. Thank you for the wars you left us to fight. Thank you for the world you ruined overnight. But we'll be fine, yeah we'll be fine.
BornToRun is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mare eating dirt newhorsemom Horse Health 1 06-08-2012 02:35 PM
Eating dirt Koolio Horse Nutrition 15 02-27-2012 05:19 PM
Eating dirt! riccil0ve Horse Health 12 07-14-2010 07:07 AM
Horse Eating dirt? Savvy Debonair Horse Health 6 03-16-2010 04:47 PM
Eating Dirt The Canadian Way EveningShadows Horse Training 10 11-25-2009 11:51 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome