Young Horse eatting odd things

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Equest94, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. Equest94

    Equest94 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2007
    New York
    We have a 3 year old filly at our barn. She's been started undersaddle, has a wonderful temperament, she's a real quick learner. She's UTD on everything, has good feed and hay, ample water, assess to a mineral block, etc... but lately we've been noticing some odd behavior. Due to the weather being rather crappy and huge amounts of snow, we threw down some sand on icy parts of the pasture and paths. This filly will just stand there at lick it! Even out of the wheelbarrow! I'm nervous she' going to sand colic. She's not acting sick or weird in any other way, but she never did this before; it just started this year. We have hay out for them all day along with salt/mineral blocks all over the place, so I doubt it's a roughage or mineral deficiency.

    Any ideas?.... [​IMG]
     
  2. GwenFarms

    GwenFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 26, 2008
    Sometimes they are just goofy when they are young. It shouldn't be a mineral deficiancy, as you sometimes see in clay eaters, since you have a mineral block. Its not boredom, or trying to fill a hole, since you have a constant supply of hay. I would just say its general goofiness.

    Yes you can quote that...its a technical term [​IMG]
     
  3. helmstead

    helmstead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    Despite your mineral blocks, it very well could be a deficiency. Try offering loose minerals instead of block minerals. The sand may well contain something not native to your soils that she's craving.

    If you are concerned about sand colic - do a manure test. Put a handful of fresh manure in a ziptop bag with plenty of water, leave it hanging on a nail or similar for a few hours. Sand will settle out in the bottom of the bag. If it does, contact your vet for a treatment recommendation (such as psyllium).
     
  4. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Quote:It's also more work to lick a block and get what they need than the loose minerals. We found with the heifers that they wouldn't lick the blocks enough and went back to loose mineral. I would imagine the same would apply to a horse.
     
  5. helmstead

    helmstead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    Quote:Exactly right.
     
  6. verthandi

    verthandi Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2007
    Maine
    Quote:Any chance your sand has salt mixed in with it? I know the sand I get from the local town sand pit is premixed. I have one in my herd that thinks it is some kind of special treat to lick the sand when I use it. I try not to get the town sand but on occasion have run out of regular sand.
     
  7. Equest94

    Equest94 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2007
    New York
    We did try offering loose minerals and that didn't seem to phase her either. We didn't get a sand-salt mix for fear of the horses eating it... like it mattered anyways...

    As I have mentioned, we've never seen this behavior in any of our other horses; we haven't seen this filly do this until this year...

    I mean, she's UPDT on everything, she's healthy, is hydrated... we've even added a very mild electrolyte to her water and still... she just keeps lapping up that sand.

    maybe it is her just being goofy... [​IMG] lol.
     
  8. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    I also give loose salt/mineral mix to my horses. Horses don't usually lick as amuch as they need. I mix the loose mineral is with their grain, and in the summer I wet down their hay and sprinkle it on top. It is better for the horses, and really--it is alot cheaper than buying the salt licks. An 88 lb bag cost me ~$8 and it will last me YEARS.
     
  9. GwenFarms

    GwenFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 26, 2008
    Definite goofiness...[​IMG]
     
  10. equine chick

    equine chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2007
    pennsylvania
    It could be mineral deficient. I would worry about sand colic, I think there is a supplement that helps prevent the colic if she's going to continue to have access to it. She could be bored as well. I would get her a free minerals supplement and keep her away fro it if possible.
     

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