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Horse Eating Its Poop

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 01:28 PM

Here is the scoop..
I went out to worm the boys today. Of course mike had to give me crap so the bo offered to help out.. Well while he was over there i had asked him why my 6 yr old QH teeth are so dark (almost black in color.) Well he said that thats usually from eating there poop.. I have noticed that he does do that and some other people that i boarded with at the last barn had said something to me about him eating his poop..

So my question is why does he do this... Is he lacking in something.. Is there something i can give him to make him stop.. WIll his teeth always be that nasty color or after he stops will the color come back to him...

Any info is greatly appreciated..


#2 BB Blue

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 01:53 PM

What and how much are you feeding him daily? Is he on pasture or a dry lot?

There are several theories on coprophagy. Some say vitamin or mineral deficiency, boredom, stress, digestive upset, etc.
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Posted 14 August 2008 - 02:02 PM

Well he gets about 1/3 to 1/2 a scoop of graim am and pm and then he gets 2 to 3 flakes of hay am and pm plus he gets a bunch through out the day.
He is mostly in his stall but he does get turned out a lot. plus he is exercised on a daily basis..
But we just moved him from a barn that we were having issues with and im almost 100 percent posotive that he and my other horse were getting skipped over at feeding time.. so could that have something to do with it?

Also.. His hair on his back is like falling out in patches.. the bo told me its probly from malnutrition.. it doesnt seem to bother him or be sore.. but is there something i can put on it so the hair will grow back?!?

Oh and get gets 12 percent sweet feed

#4 mlong13



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Posted 14 August 2008 - 02:20 PM

With the hair loss and poo eating, I'd say your best bet is to ask your vet. (especially because of the hair loss)

If he was not being fed regularly, he could have been seeking out nutrients and minerals by eating feces...and now even if he's fed and healthy it could be a behavior that just stuck around.

Have you noticed him eating any dirt? Sometimes horses will do this to get extra minerals. I would try putting him on a vitamin supplement, especially if his grain isn't covering the nutritional needs.

However, if he is getting a consistent, balanced diet I would DEFINITELY call the vet out, as there could be a more serious problem...like a vitamin deficiency. If his body isn't processing a vitamin correctly, he could be eating poop to compensate for that loss.

Hope everything turns out ok!

#5 Cheri Wolfe

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 10:24 PM

Manure is nature's own probiotic. Foals HAVE to eat manure [usually their mother's] to innoculate their gut with the good bacteria that produce the enzymes that digest their food. When we raise orphans, we always put a fresh pile of poop in their pens each day. We just make sure it is from a slick, fat, healthy, recently dewormed adult horse.

Horses frequently do this after an illness or after beng dewormed. They crave it to get the bacteria they need. I would not worry about the fact that it was eating manure. I would be concerned that the horses donating the manure were healthy and parasite free. If he keeps doing this, you might try to figure out why he needs the bacteria. And if he is only eating hs own manure, he will never get the bacteria he needs.

#6 Little Cow

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 01:55 PM

The hair falling out in patches and your BO saying he has malnutrition would concern me enough to call the vet out. They can better assess his health and maybe suggest a reason for his unusual diet. As an aside, horses can get anemia, too.
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#7 spottedsheila



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Posted 18 August 2008 - 08:13 PM

I boarded my mare at someones place for 3 months, she was not feeding her right, she did get her grain{cut in half I found out} and only 3 flakes of hay daily, well 9 flakes for 3 horse's in a 24 hr span. Needless to say she lost over 100 pds, and I noted she was eating tree's, and eating poop..... I did not know all this untill I pulled her out of there.. You depend on someone, and pay someone and they neglect your pride and joy.
I could go on, but my point is.
I asked the vet, {when I brought her due to weight loss} about the poop eating, and wood chewing.. He said it was due to not enough roughage in her diet.. I am thinking it sounds like your baby was not getting enough at your past boarding facility, If he is getting 3 flakes am, and pm, and through out the day more, It could be a habit, is your other horse doing it as well?? I would try free choice hay, and his grain {what you are giving him now}, and see if over time it stops.. If it is just shortage of roughage he should stop.. He might be doing it when he runs out of hay from bordom, but I belive it started at your last place of boarding.. Does he eat very fast??? how long does it take him to eat his 3 flakes of hay? is it good quility hay??
If it is just him, and not the other horse it might be a lingering habit from not getting the hay before
I would think it should stop if he gets enough roughage, try putting some toys in the stall, empty milk
jugs tied up in stall, a lik-it, if bordom is the issue. If he inhales his hay, try a hay bag it will slow him
down so the hay last longer, as if he is eating fsat, he might be re-eating his hay if you know what I mean....
You can brush his teeth to clean out the poop too.. Dont know if any if this helps, best of luck to you..

#8 SunshineAcres


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Posted 21 August 2008 - 07:18 PM

May or may not be useful advice but...
I took in a boarder's horse several months back. The mare is a 38 year old Arabian. She had poor coat quality and was eating manure. I improved her diet dramatically as well as added a daily probiotic. She has not eaten manure ever since and has gained her weight back. The probiotic I use is Pro Balance. I don't use the recommended amount but a teaspoon a day added to her grain, otherwise she gets the runs. Dosage was suggested by a friend who cares for several horses and noticed the diarrhea after starting the daily probiotic so she cut them back to the teaspoon a day and it has helped tremendously. You can buy it at Horse.com (Country Supply) Lots cheaper than ProBios.

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