Layer Feed and Horses

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ChickensREasy, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. ChickensREasy

    ChickensREasy In the Brooder

    Dec 2, 2014
    Northern California
    So I have a raised coop that is inside of a 3 sided horse shelter and my hens scratch feed that falls to the ground where horses can get it. While both my QH gelding and pony mare enjoy it, I discovered today that the pony mare can actually fit her whole body under the coop so she can effectively lick up every morsel of the layer feed. I read one place "Keep horses out of chicken feed." But there was no explanation, why is this bad and do you think the quantity they spill and she licks is dangerous?
  2. ChickyChickens

    ChickyChickens Chickening Around

    May 24, 2014
    BYC? Epic <3
    My Coop horses sometimes eta the chicken food (for like 7 years already) and they have never had anything happen to them!! I dont know what others think but you may be using a different feed to me!
  3. mossyroo

    mossyroo Chirping

    Oct 23, 2014
    Mossy Head, FL
    If a horse gets into any kind of feed, including their own, in large quantities, it can cause them to colic, which can be fatal. I doubt what they manage to glean from spilled feed would be much of a problem. Depending on the ground they could be picking up quite a bit of dirt or sand which can impact their gut in the same way. You may want to feed some psyllium fiber as a preventative. You can get a product called Sand Clear for horses but I use the WalMart generic, unflavored form of Metamucil which does the same thing for a little less money.
  4. Madviolin

    Madviolin In the Brooder

    Jan 6, 2015
    x2 Sand can be very bad for horses when consumed as it can cause an impaction. However your horses probably are not consuming enough sand to cause any damage. We keep our chickens far away from our horses as they poop on everything and as a professional working stable that dosnt look good to new clients. I personally would move my chickens from my horses in this situation mostly because i have fancy sport horses and some of them are boarders so they are not mine... Wouldn't want one to get sick or hurt... You probably wont have any problems but better safe than sorry.... Just what i would do but your horses will probably be just fine either way.
  5. ChickensREasy

    ChickensREasy In the Brooder

    Dec 2, 2014
    Northern California
    I am well aware of sand colic and the dangers of a horse gorging it self on feed having been a horse owner for 20 years. This is different, a small amount feed licked off of a hard surface. What I am concerned about is that there could be a toxic to horses ingredient in the Chicken Layer feed or possibly ingesting small amounts of chicken manure. I am far from a fancy public sporthorse stable so that is also not at all a concern. I am sure I could research each individual ingredient of the layer feed but I was hoping that perhaps someone on here would know if there was a toxic to horses ingredient in Layer Hen Feed. Thanks!
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    There's nothing toxic in the layer feed. The concern is ingesting large quantities, gorging on it. What you're describing just sounds like a boredom buster for your horses [​IMG]

    I've had my horses get out and get in the chicken feed (grower, not layer, but it's not that much different really) and eat several pounds with no ill effects. I've also had my chickens free range in my hay barn and the inevitable chicken poop on the hay--horses are still going strong.
    1 person likes this.

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