Why Does My Horse Eat Manure
A common question from customers is “Why Does My Horse Eat Manure”. Most people think that their horse is lacking something in its diet. The truth is many horses begin to eat manure for several reasons to include stress, boredom, nervousness, lacking roughage in the diet or an imbalance in vitamins and minerals. Truth be told, horses eat manure to reinvest bacteria into their gastro-intestinal systems. The horse is a hind gut fermenter and requires a great deal of bacteria to effectively digest it’s food. Foals are born without any natural flora or bacteria, therefore eating manure will invest bacteria in the gut and of course worm eggs and many other nasty things. Using Equine Challenge Vitamins & Minerals™ or Equine Challenge Probiotic Blast will invest a great deal of pro-bacteria into the gut. Other enemies of your horses natural bacteria are foaling, de-worming, antibiotic therapy, abrupt feed changes, vaccinations, trailering, shows, depression, separation anxiety and anything which stresses the immune system.
Is it normal for my horse to eat manure?
Coprophagy (eating manure) can be a normal stage of a horse’s natural development. Foals may start eating their mothers’ manure at about 5 days old to obtain good bacteria and boost their immune systems. Some adult horses lacking protein in their diet have been known to eat manure.
How Do I stop my horse from eating manure?
Try adding long-stem roughage. Horses like and require roughage and may be craving something to chew on. Keeping grass hay in front of your horses or allow them to graze on pasture may help. Pick up manure in barns and stalls daily!
Will my horse get sick from eating manure?
Add probiotics to your horses’ diet. You can safely feed viable probiotics and prebiotics such as Equine Challenge Probiotic Blast and thereby rule out gut bacteria as a reason for copraphagia.
What should my horse’s manure look like?
Healthy manure should have a glossy shine, indicating normal hydration, and forms neat, somewhat firm, balls. You should be able to break up the manure balls easily. If your horse’s manure is dull, dry or hard, he may be dehydrated, and you will need to increase his fluid intake immediately.
Should I feed my horse salt?
Salt is essential in a horses diet. Plain table salt is fine; salt with a coarser texture is better. If you feed a commercial feed or a vitamin & mineral supplement, check the label as they may already be getting what they need.