Deficient in Something?

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Deficient in Something?

This is a discussion on Deficient in Something? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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  • 2 Post By Left Hand Percherons

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    01-03-2012, 12:27 AM
Deficient in Something?

I posted on here not long ago asking for a feeding critique. I didn't get a whole lot of responses, but the ones I got said what I was feeding seemed like a decent diet.

Anyways, my 3 yr old thoroughbred has recently starting licking A LOT lately (maybe 3 days now that it's been really noticeable)... She licks wood, dirt, metal, my clothes, she would lick my hands for hours if I let her.

She does have a mineral block which she has access to 24/7. I just can't help but to wonder if she is maybe deficient in something or if she is just going through a weird 3 year old phase.

Over all she seems pretty healthy.. Decent coat, good body condition, happy and energetic.

If anyone has any thoughts on why she is maybe licking so much I would love to hear from you! And as always, thanks in advance! :)
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    01-03-2012, 12:29 AM
Green Broke
She could be looking for straight salt. I know some horses do well with mineral blocks and others with the plain salt. A few of the people at my barn have one of each. Sorry, that's the only thing I can think off.
    01-03-2012, 12:59 AM
The standard red mineral block really doesn't to the job it's bought for. It's 99% salt and 1% trace minerals. The macro minerals (Ca, P, Mg) are completely deficient. Dirt eating is usually a sign that one of these is lacking in the diet.
laceyf53 and SorrelHorse like this.
    01-03-2012, 01:07 AM
You could try a feed through trace mineral supplement, and switch the mineral block to a straight salt block.

I like LMF Super Supplement and Select I and II
    01-03-2012, 02:54 AM
GenX Equine Feed

I would consider switching your grain to GenX Equine Feed. They offer 5 different types of feed to fit every horse. They also do not use any by-products in their feed unline Purina and Nutrena. As far as supplements go, when you add a supplement to your horses feed, it completely changes the percentages of every thing else in the feed (such as minerals, vitamins, ect) = not good. GenX has every trace mineral already in the feed. No supplements are necessary with this grain.
    01-04-2012, 08:27 AM
Super Moderator
What kind of hay do you feed?

If it is grass hay and not alfalfa, your horse needs Calcium and Magnesium. Licking and eating dirt is a major sign being Calcium deficient. As mentioned, mineral salt blocks do not supply any of the minerals that horses are usually deficient in.

Grass hays and all grains are high in Phosphorus and very low in Calcium. In order for Calcium to be absorbed by horses, they need Magnesium (also low in grass hays) and they need the fat soluble Vitamins, A - D - E. We use a loose mineral that is 25% Ca and only has 5 or 6% Phosphorus, has 2% Magnesium and has Vitamins in it (including 150,000 unit of A per pound). It is 25% salt but we still keep our white salt blocks. They usually only lick them during the summer, but they are available.

When we have this mineral out free choice, we also never see any rain rot.

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