Do Horses EatEating horses
How come horses eat strange things? - David Ramey, DVM
The horses aren't choosy chickens. They are not predators, I mean, they are not predators, so they will generally turn up their nose over a good meatloaf ( even though I came across a pony that had a flavour for warm dog). He eats like a goddamn pony, indeed. In any case, I regularly get asked why horses eat, what they eat, and whether what they eat is good for them.
A lot of horses are kept in stables with wooden chips. Wooden chips are absorptive and odour good, which is especially important for us as we are the ones who brought them there (horses also like to get filthy and don't seem to worry as much about how they odour, which is also confusing for the owners).
Even chips are not inedible. It is not that you are going to see many horses poking regularly on their chips, but there are many horses who are more than lucky to be consuming a mouth full of chips just so that they can enjoy the last lucerne leaves. These are unfortunately quite poisonous to horses; they cause serious laminitis, an issue that has unfortunately caused some horses to really get ill to recognise (it occurred a few years ago and if you want to know about the issue you can CLICK HERE to get a beautiful paper from Purdue University Extension Service).
However, there is a good chance that you will not find any dark chippings in your horse's stables and, if you do, get him and/or her out. In fact, timber is a good fibre resource. Indeed, horses that are poor in fibre (a mostly experiential state, but possible for horses kept only on luxuriant grasses without accessing rougher forage) will look for fibre springs such as timber.
Again, it probably won't harm them, although horses that persist in eaten firewood (boards, railings, doorways, etc.) are a great deal of backache. Those horses are like an oversized pets plain tile. When you feed your horses' straw, it gets enough fibre; when it eats timber anyway, it is probably tired of living and looking for something to do.
When he is out in the field, watch your horses closely and give them a fibre spring (like hay) because unrestricted grazing is one of the most frequent causes of deer. The horses eat crap, too. To eat shit (NO medicinal word) is also a quite innocuous practise, and it is quite prevalent.
Elephant youngsters, coalas, hippos (you can also call them hippos, but the hippopotamus is more correct), and panda are among the species - even horses - whose young people eat excrement. It is believed that the consumption of faeces helps to repopulate their gut with the germs that enable young birds to eat the rough food they depend on.
It is also easy to digest as it contains indigested vegetable matter. Hounds also eat dung, which is just one of many things why I don't like barnyard hounds that suck into my face. Monkeys were seen feeding on horseshit, probably because of the salts, though when I was in Africa I never saw how the monkeys did it.
In the past it was even quite frequent to give horses' dung to swine. Of course, flying loves crap. Indeed, if you breed a stallion, you will also breed a fly. Even though the consumption of equine dung is generally innocuous (and apparently delicious for some), it is a possibility that infectious agents are transferred.
Horses do not get direct exposure to slurry as a result of the consumption of slurry. However, some pasture horse owners have insisted on distributing slurry on their crops, which exacerbates the problems of transmitting parents by distributing food in such a way that they become nymphs, creep up the lawn and can be ate.
However, for horses kept in stables with restricted grazing rights (as in South California ), the random presence of slurry is generally inoffensive. Incidentally, the sentence "An applet a day is keeping the physician away" was not said about horses' apples. Practicing to eat other strange things (dirt, bristles, stones, etc.) is referred to as pickax.
There is this notion out there that horses have some kind of "innate intelligence" about their nutrition, that is, if they miss a micro-nutrient or have some kind of vitamin:mineral issue, they will try to solve the issue themselves. Horse dieticians, who are not only very good at the basics, but also studying such things, have found that horses really only look for food (calories - starving horses, like starving humans, look for something to eat), food, drink, water, salts and fibre.
Equines with eating disbalances usually do not eat filth, or other strange things, or like cement, or something else. Behaviour like this reflects the horse's interest and tendency to drive its owners mad, but not food issues. There is even research to back up the notion that horses with food deficits are not trying to fix it (I really like it when there is research that answers questions).
Another research trial gave research subjects feeding low phosphorous diets several different minerals, among them phosphorous. In fact, these donkeys - apparently not in terms of nutritional physiology - did eat more silicon, which in theory would have aggravated any lack of minerals, since the consumption of more silicon affects phosphorous uptake.
However, there was a Turkish survey (I like to read) in which 15 horses were examined that were either dealing with picas or not. Horses were blood-tested and it was found that horses with picas had lower concentrations of brass and irons in their horses' milk, as well as the maths relationship of brass to tin.
Scientists proposed that supplementation with irons and coppers could inhibit pink (you can CLICK HERE to see the summary of the study). Honestly, I don't really understand the trial, because it seems to me that if they would eat strange things to rectify an unbalance, they wouldn't have had the unbalance, but that's just me.
It is enough to say that in the lack of more stringent research, I generally do not think thatica is a big business for horses, healthy, and if your horses get a good nutrition, the odds thatica is related to a lack of minerals are quite low.
However, these horses eat grit together with their forage. A few of them can collect so much grit (I've seen 70 lbs of grit in a horse's intestine in surgery) that it is blocking the intestine. The horses don't eat sands because of a nutritional disorder - they eat sands because they are big swine who like to pick up a mouth of sands just to get a stalk of hey.
Just the sands come along with everything else they try to eat. Then there is home- and tail-eating, an absolute enchanting custom accountable for an almost unlimited number of prescriptions for all kinds of horrible - or very hot - preparations smudged on horses.
Again, not detrimental to the equine, but the kind of things that can drive the sanity of an occupant over the top. However, mostly when horses eat strange things, it's no biggie. Like little children, they put their mouth on almost everything. So long as what they eat is not directly damaging to them (e.g. oilander leaf, * elastic fences or food bags), feeding on strange things is more troublesome and sometimes more damaging than anything else.
When your stallion is lucky to chew with a mouth full of chips, I usually say, "Good for him.