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post #11 of 14 Old 12-10-2018, 09:50 AM
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I'm not sure that eating poop is related to a Vitamin/mineral deficiency because logic doesn't support that. What comes out the rear end can only contain what went in the front end - if your horses diet was deficient in vitamins and minerals when it went in then it isn't going to miraculously absorb then as it goes through and comes out the other end
The horses would be more likely to eat soil for minerals


It won't hurt to use a good supplement but be careful how much iron and selenium is in it if you don't know what's in the feed you're currently using - including hay and any grazing
I would try giving the horses a 'wet' feed twice a day - soaked sugar beet, damp any pellets you use and add a good chopped forage to that
If it isn't freezing where you are I'd also run the hosepipe over any hay you feed - during the winter months a lot of horses don't drink enough to match the amount of dry hay they're having to eat to make up for loss of grass so could be eating poop as a source of something with water in it
The only times I've had horses eat poop was
1. When we first moved here DH bought a bag of mixed grain feed that had got whole oats and whole corn in it and all 3 horses were going through their poop picking out the bits of grain that had gone right through their digestive system untouched. As soon as we stopped feeding it they stopped doing it
2. A horse that we bought that had a very heavy worm burden, even though he always had hay or grass he ate poop but as soon as he'd been successfully dewormed (took a while) he stopped doing it


Any horse that's on a mainly hay diet (zero to very little grass) needs supplementing with Vits A & D because they aren't retained in hay
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post #12 of 14 Old 12-10-2018, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
if your horses diet was deficient in vitamins and minerals when it went in then it isn't going to miraculously absorb then as it goes through and comes out the other end
The horses would be more likely to eat soil for minerals

Any horse that's on a mainly hay diet (zero to very little grass) needs supplementing with Vits A & D because they aren't retained in hay
I thought about that, but a lot of the horses out here get special feed that has vitamins and minerals already in it (mine don't) so it's possible he was eating the poop of one of those horses.

It wasn't a moisture issue because this was old, dry poop.

We're in Central Texas so there is some green grass out there but I think they are eating mostly hay right now. So hopefully the supplements will be good for them. I am also adding ground flaxseed.
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post #13 of 14 Old 12-10-2018, 11:47 AM
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I agree with @jaydee . Also, my older gelding Harley sometimes has very loose stool. Because the food runs through his digestive system too fast, I can see pieces of barely digested hay in it. I think this is appealing to my other horses (he never eats poop, only the other two do). And honestly, because I only see them do it in winter when they don't have pasture grazing, I think it's partly due to boredom.

We are making progress on the loose stool front btw. But if your horse is eating other horses' stool, then it's entirely possible there are bits of undigested food in there and it just tastes interesting to your horse. I know, gross, lol, but horses are funny.
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post #14 of 14 Old 12-11-2018, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
I thought about that, but a lot of the horses out here get special feed that has vitamins and minerals already in it (mine don't) so it's possible he was eating the poop of one of those horses.

It wasn't a moisture issue because this was old, dry poop.

We're in Central Texas so there is some green grass out there but I think they are eating mostly hay right now. So hopefully the supplements will be good for them. I am also adding ground flaxseed.
If it was another horse's poop then it could be that he's eating it because that horse is passing undigested grains, if he gets fed that sort of thing.
Otherwise it could be that excess minerals that one of the other horses isn't absorbing is being passed out in his manure but if its old dried manure I think maybe your horse is just seeing it as an alternative food source.
It (copraphagia) can become a habit just as it does with some dogs

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