My horse was on stall rest last winter for 3 months, while on rest he developed a manure eating habit out of boredom (Perhaps lacking something nutritional then too since his food was cut way down and he cannot eat hay due to another condition). It is now an ingrained habit that has not stopped even though he is back to full work and eating well again.
He is on a dry lot during the day and on shavings inside at night. We live on long island - there is not getting around the fact that sand is everywhere.
So, after a few sand colic's, we started putting a muzzle on him when he is out during the day, and leave the muzzle off at night so he gets a break from it (even though he keeps eating all his manure...so gross). I hate the muzzle, but I'm not sure what else to do. The manure itself doesn't seem to bother him, but I know the sand is just asking for trouble when he eats the manure outside.
So first question - any idea's on the manure eating for a horse that cannot eat hay? He gets soaked cubes 3-4x a day, and they are gone within minutes. Would love to feed him more times a day, but he's in a boarding barn where that is all that is possible. Sprinkling hot pepper on the piles did nothing, apparently he likes it spicy. Perhaps something I can feed him that will not irritate his tummy but will make it taste bad?
Second Question - I've been using the best friend have a heart muzzle, which works great but it's time to buy a new one. The only seem to last a few months, so I don't want to drop almost $50.00 each time. Anyone use the Easy Breath tough 1 muzzle? Anyone have any other brands they would recommend? The hole at that bottom cant be to big, or he'll just get the manure through that. I also tried the light duty best friend stall muzzle, but that one only lasts about a week.
Please, any advice needed, I haven't found much help out there on this issue and I really need it.
Unfortunately, it sounds like in his particular situation, that he will probably never quit nibbling on manure...due to it being an ingrained habit now, and the fact he only gets 4 meals a day that only takes him a few minutes to eat my suggestion is to incorporate a psyllium product (sand clear) into his diet so he passes the sand out with little trouble. Good luck!
What is the condition that prevents him from eating hay?
What kind of training/turn out schedule is he in?
What is his regime? Maybe he is still missing some nutriments? Yeast, probiotic, minerals, have you tried any?
Does your horse have any kind of 'toy' in his stall? Maybe a Lik-it or a big apple that gives treats or a mirror? Someone I know who has a fat horse built a 'cage' for hay in the corner of her horse's stall. The horse gets to eat hay but tiny tiny bits at the time. It keeps him entertained as well.
First are you grossed by your horse eating manure?
It is natural and the horse is lacking in something.
Who said your horse cannot eat hay? Why?
3 months of stall rest is pretty extreme. What was your horse condition to get that sentence?
My idea from your post is that the horse is in dry lot not getting sufficient nutrition, he eats manure and you put muzzle on him.
I am muzzled - puzzled.
Positive thinking: horse will get sand colic while on dry lot not being fed hay and eating sand.
Can you feed this horse all he can eat hay while on dry lot?
Feed him good hay, not stringy wispy coastal stuff!
Last edited by kinscem; Sep. 3, 2012 at 10:51 PM.
Reason: To clarify
OP, I think there is a product for horses similar to the one that is fed to dogs to discourage coprophagia - basically, I think it makes the manure taste terrible. I would also feed psyllium regularly if the horse with tolerate it.
Is there any kind of forage that your horse will tolerate? Even something unconventional, like oat straw?