Eating dirt!
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Keeping and Caring for Horses > Horse Health

Eating dirt!

This is a discussion on Eating dirt! within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Why so horses eat dirt
  • Does my horse eat dirt

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    07-11-2010, 10:32 PM
  #1
Trained
Eating dirt!

As some of you may know, my mare, Ricci, is on stall rest. I've decided to take her off her Bute early and try and get her back outside sooner. [Yes, I know you have to wait 24 hours for the Bute to wear off.] So it had been almost 24 hours when I fed this evening, so I brought my other horse, Gracie inside so she wouldn't get excited, and let Ricci in my front pasture. Ricci trotted around for a second, then dropped her head and ate some dirt.

This is not typical Ricci. When she's out 24/7 like she's supposed to be, she doesn't do this. She's on the same food now as she would be if she were outside [orchard grass hay, horseshoer's secret, and until recently, alfalfa pellets]. I have a total of three trace mineral salt blocks; one in her stall she's been in, and one in both run-in stalls.

Why do you think she's doing this? I know it's typically because of a nutritional deficiency, but WHAT is the nutrient she's missing? I've been hand-grazing her every chance I get, she gets good hay, fresh water twice a day, and she is using her trace mineral salt block. I had decided to wean my girls off the alfalfa pellets [I've hit a rough patch, I can't afford them and figured they'd prefer hay] a few days ago, and she hasn't had any in about four days. Could that be the cause?

She didn't ingest a ton, and I do have SandClear that they get for a week every month, but that's what worries me most; what if she gives herself sand/impaction colic?

Any ideas? She's back inside tonight, and will be tomorrow. I was thinking I'd turn her out tomorrow night, in the smaller pasture so she can be out but should be "chill" enough to not get all prancy.
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    07-12-2010, 11:55 PM
  #2
Trained
What? Nobody has any ideas on what to do or what's causing my mare to eat dirt?
     
    07-13-2010, 04:50 PM
  #3
Yearling
It could be something missing in her diet or it could be boredom. My two Geldings do this in the fall and winter, they dig down and lick mud. I sort of thought it may have something to do with their coats coming in.......?????? They received the exact same food all year round so who knows......Was she healing from a wound?

If it's once in awhile and it's dirt and not sand I would think she'd be fine, but I'm not a vet...
     
    07-13-2010, 04:56 PM
  #4
Weanling
I would ask your farrier or vet. My farrier told me that my area lacks in selenium and to make sure my horse gets that block. Just before I sold him, my Paint started licking the ground. His selenium block had disappeared. I bought him a new one and he immediately went to it and started licking and biting at it and quit licking the ground.
     
    07-13-2010, 05:02 PM
  #5
Yearling
You want to be very careful with selenium, even a tiny bit too much can lead to serious consequences.
     
    07-13-2010, 05:03 PM
  #6
Banned
Bored, missing something nutritionally, being silly, oh heck, it is a horse, do they need a reason?
     
    07-13-2010, 11:35 PM
  #7
Trained
My area is low in selenium too. Before I start supplementing for it, I'm going to get a hair sample tested so she doesn't get too much.

Always, I'm sure she has a reason. Ricci is a very practical mare, lol. I bet she's doing it just to get me worked up. And it's working! Ugh! =P
     
    07-13-2010, 11:40 PM
  #8
Weanling
Not sure with horses but when a human is pregnant your doctor will ask you if you start to crave dirt (seriously) That you need to tell them as it means an iron deficiency.
     
    07-13-2010, 11:50 PM
  #9
Trained
Iron? Interesting. Whatever it is, it's obviously something she gets while she's outside on a normal basis, because she NEVER does it unless she's been stalled for a certain amount of time. I'll have to look into testing for that sort of stuff and how much it costs. It'll be interesting to know what she's getting from her food, grain, and pasture. I do know selenium is a big deal in my area, but that is a tricky thing to mess with without knowing the actual amount in her body.
     
    07-14-2010, 01:40 AM
  #10
Trained
Trace mineral blocks don't always provide all the minerals that a horse needs to remain healthy...you may need to get an actual mineral supplement, that has ALL the trace minerals she needs; especially because she's an older horse, you want to make sure she is recieving all of those everyday...because she's older, she may not absorb enough from a simple salt lick. I prefer a loose mineral, anyway, as I'm not so sure they lick quite enough each time they do, to really ensure their levels sustain. But that's just me rambling...might be worth checking into though, or trying out, especially while she's on stall rest.
     

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.
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:

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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Horse Eating dirt? Savvy Debonair Horse Health 6 03-16-2010 05:47 PM
Eating Dirt The Canadian Way EveningShadows Horse Training 10 11-26-2009 12:51 AM
Eatin' Dirt! welshpony15 Jumping 5 10-10-2009 12:38 PM
BLM mustang yearling wont stop eating dirt SecretHavenFarm Horse Health 11 08-30-2009 11:02 AM
Older then dirt. iridehorses Horse Stories and Poems 3 09-01-2008 11:34 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0