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Standardbred 02-06-2012 09:28 PM

Why is my horse eating her dung?
Why is my horse eating her dung? She is a 12 year old standardbred and today she was eating her dung for about 10 minutes. How can I stop her doing this? Why is she doing this? Any thoughts much appreciated.

mudpie 02-06-2012 09:33 PM

Horses eat their dung when they are missing something from their diets.

What is her feeding schedule like, and what does she get?

Jumper12 02-06-2012 09:36 PM

i heard similar things like it could be from deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, ive seen my horse eat it too but only interested to know as well what you feed your horse! mine eats blue seal carb guard and a hoof supplement

Standardbred 02-06-2012 09:42 PM

I wondered about that.
She gets about two slices of hay in winter and nothing in summer. She lives out in a paddock 24/7. She has access to a mineral and salt lick and is wormed regulary. The grass is really brown and there is not much grass for her to eat, could she be needing more food? She is not at all skinny though, if anything she is a little on the fat side!

mudpie 02-06-2012 09:47 PM

She needs a feed with nutrition. Senior feed is an excellent source. Also, a nutritional vitamin supplement could also help.

loosie 02-07-2012 03:29 AM

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If she is doing OK weight-wise, she doesn't need extra feed such as senior feed IMO & 'complete' type feeds don't tend to be very well balanced nutritionally - at least unless you feed heaps. Unfortunately salt & mineral licks don't give them that much either. I'd opt for a 'ration balancer' or other nutritional supplement.

SueNH 02-07-2012 07:46 AM

I second what loosie said. If she has plenty of grass and hay (usually the #1 reason) then something else is missing from her diet.

Look into ration balancers. They cost more to purchase but last much, much longer. An average horse doing average work is getting a pound to a pound and a half instead of several pounds in a feeding with most of them.

loosie 02-08-2012 12:36 AM

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Originally Posted by SueNH (Post 1346127)
An average horse doing average work is getting a pound to a pound and a half instead of several pounds in a feeding with most of them.

From the ones I've looked into, it seems amount also depends on what you pay for - the cheaper ones are less concentrated, so you need to feed larger amounts, while the 'expensive' ones may well be the cheaper in the long run because they go so far - eg. KER Gold Pellet generally only needs to be fed in one large handful daily for a medium sized horse.

SueNH 02-08-2012 05:28 AM

I admit I've only looked at 2 of them, Nutrena's Empower and Poulin's MVP. Poulin won purely because the staff at the feed store could actually answer my questions and I didn't get a blank stare. Even their corporate answered questions via email almost immediately. Tractor Supply was useless and screwed the order for Nutrena up 4 times. Agway went blank on me and so did Blue Seal.

If it wasn't for a 37 year old fat pony mare I wouldn't have been so picky but she is my friend and a lot more than just a pet.

Poulin isn't going to be available to Standardbred in NZ. It's very regional. Nutrena maybe, marketed under another name maybe. That's a multinational company.

Personally I'd be inclined to add more hay to her diet and then top dress the grain ration with a vitamin/mineral supplement. I'd probably look at vitamins designed for mare and foal first and then the others. Usually the mare and foal formulas are pretty concentrated. 2 flakes of hay isn't very much for a full sized horse and it really is the most important part of their diet. Doesn't need to be high end race horse stuff, just good clean hay. I actually prefer ones that have a mix of grasses in them. Different plants take up nutrients at different ratios and mature at different rates.

mftowner06 02-08-2012 07:00 AM

I would give more hay, she's not getting anything nutrition wise from the grass... I love RB's - it's all the essentail vit/min a horse needs without all the fillers that reg. grains have in them. Also if your horse is eating dirt or her own poop that tells me that he's lacking his good worms... you might try giving him some probiotics... I always give my horses their good worms back after worming them...

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