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Feeding Eggs to Horses

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  • Feeding Eggs to Horses

    Debated whether to post this accidental find here or in Horse Care. Concluded more here would actually have chickens.


    Can a horse eat eggs?

    I was talking with an old racehorse trainer today and he said he used to give his horses eggs regularly. It made their coats look terrific. As my hens are laying like crazy and providing more eggs than friends and family can use, I was wondering if the extra eggs could be given to my horses?

    Answer provided by Sarah Ralston, VMD, Ph.D., dACVN, Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

    Eggs are an excellent source of protein, as we all know. One egg per horse per day would definitely not hurt-if you can get them to eat them! I don't know if it would be easier to feed them raw (which would be easier to mix into feed) or hard boiled (to reduce the risk of salmonella). The shells could even be ground up as a calcium supplement. I believe they used to feed eggs to horses in England and Ireland.
    "Police officers are public servants. Not James Bond with a license to kill."

  • #2
    Grew up riding with old Irish horsemen. Raw eggs and Guiness for a dull coat.

    ETA: This was back in the 70s and 80s. They also used motor oil for hoof oil, listerine for summer itch and bleach to treat thrush. There may be better things now with the knowledge we have now as compared to then, but the horses were happy, healthy showing & foxhunting.
    Last edited by SunkenMeadow; Nov. 20, 2012, 04:38 PM. Reason: clarification


    • #3
      Marge Tone (Jack Tone Ranch) fed her world famous stallion, Fadjur, raw eggs each day-------never hurt him. (jacktoneranch.com for info on the Fabulous Fadjur)----------the stallion created a dynasty.


      • #4
        Yes, we fed in Europe and here when we had race horses raw eggs with some salt and horses loved them.
        Sure made their hair shiny and feet grew quickly.
        All that extra protein, I guess.


        • #5
          IDK...my horse won't eat them, not that I ever purposely tried to get him to eat them. If my horse leaves any hay in his bucket I have a hen that will lay an egg in it. Horse won't eat anything out of that bucket again until egg and any food it contaminated is gone, especially if he broke it.
          "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


          • Original Poster

            Uhm, you are supposed to crack the egg open & feed the contents. Not merely expect the horse to eat the egg in its whole shelled form.
            "Police officers are public servants. Not James Bond with a license to kill."


            • #7
              My Dad's mare, Nancy, would raid the hens' nests herself for eggs. She could pick up an egg in her lips, nip off the end, and slurp out the contents. Daddy said you had to race her to the henhouse if she got loose and you hadn't gathered eggs yet.
              I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show


              • #8
                I would never feed raw eggs to horses. Raw eggs have a protein, avidin, fed to pets it can make them very sick. Had this happen with one of my own dogs, thought raw egg would be good, she got very ill. All sorts of bloodwork at the vets revealed nothing. Stopped the raw eggs, she got better. Cooking eggs negates/destroys the protein and is safe for consumption. I read about the avidin (protein poisioning I guess you could call it) in one of my chicken keeping books, sporadic feeding sounds alright, but not daily. For me, excess eggs get cooked and fed back to the flock.
                I LOVE my Chickens!


                • #9
                  A friend of ours, the local egg man would feed the broken eggs to his string.
                  Must have worked fine, his one gelding was certainly close to/above the 17h mark, at that time in the area nearly unheard of in TB circles.
                  And his horses did well on the track as well.

                  According to one of my old books, the people in the east would feed their prized steeds a mix of eggs and sheep's fat.

                  But I don't think a couple of eggs would harm but the most sensitive of horses compared to a dog.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Megaladon View Post
                    I would never feed raw eggs to horses. Raw eggs have a protein, avidin, fed to pets it can make them very sick. Had this happen with one of my own dogs, thought raw egg would be good, she got very ill. All sorts of bloodwork at the vets revealed nothing. Stopped the raw eggs, she got better. Cooking eggs negates/destroys the protein and is safe for consumption. I read about the avidin (protein poisioning I guess you could call it) in one of my chicken keeping books, sporadic feeding sounds alright, but not daily. For me, excess eggs get cooked and fed back to the flock.
                    Ditto this. Raw eggs are a BIG no-no for pets - even pet birds. And regardless of how fabulous it works in Europe, I won't be feeding eggs to my horses either.


                    • #11
                      I know a barn where the chickens like to lay their eggs in the feed buckets. If you're not checking for them when you dump the grain, your horse gets their breakfast with eggs sunny side up!


                      • #12
                        Weeeelll... this topic has a story in my barn...see below

                        "5/28/11 Mango Learns that EGGS and APPLES ain’t the same.
                        I can’t stop laughing! Mango decided to “sneak” a bite of something while my back was turned getting buckets ready. He sucked up the biggest big-butt chicken egg (1 of 3) sitting atop the hay bale closest to the feed room door. I turned around to see him throwing his head up & down, with a kinda surprised look on his face, then he bites down, and FLINGS egg yolk down onto the feedroom floor, ohh and about ½ of the eggshell. He stands there looking confused and keeps chewing & flinging, as I burst into hysterical laughter. I was laughing so hard I couldn’t be mad at him for stealing my chicken eggs! I don’t think he will be interested in my eggs laying on top of the hay ever again! It was priceless… wish I had THAT on videotape!!!!!
                        (He does however herd chickens in the yard, still!)"
                        ‎"Luck favors the prepared, darling." ~~ Edna Mode


                        • #13
                          We had a big "ole" race horse that we fed one egg and a splash of vegetable oil to every day!! One day I forgot to put the egg in his feed before bringing the tub to the stall, so I cracked the egg and mixed the feed...darn horse had a fit when he "saw" me add the egg!! He wouldn't eat anything I fed him for a week, but DH could give him the same mash with the egg and oil. Made him shine and thrive, but he didn't forgive me for "poisoning" for about a week!! He was still eating it...just not delivered by me!! Eggs are good for horses...as long as they eat them promptly.
                          Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                          • #14
                            My question...

                            If eggs have nutritional value for horses but the avidin in raw eggs is bad, does anyone cook eggs for them? Do they prefer scrambled or over-easy?
                            They're not miniatures, they're concentrates.

                            Born tongue-in-cheek and foot-in-mouth


                            • #15
                              How can dogs eat all those rotten, nasty things they drag home or find in the barn, and now one damn raw egg will kill them? Why aren't the raccoons who raid my eggs dying in the field, gagging and rolling about with X's in their eyes!? Damn...there goes my plan to do in the coyotes, too...

                              Lest you thumb me down...I'm kidding...sort of. But seriously, why don't those rotting, gag-worthy meat and mystery items dogs eat make them ill??
                              Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                              • #16
                                Is there actually something scientific out there that says raw eggs are bad for horses?

                                I DO know that raw whites are dangerous for cats. But, you can't extrapolate that to horses.
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                                • #17
                                  The secret treat for our pigs are hard boiled eggs. Not twinkies, not cookies. Hard boiled eggs.

                                  Haven't tried it on the horses yet, I'd go with the raw eggs. One egg for a 1,000 pound animal doesn't strike me as enough to do harm.
                                  Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                  Incredible Invisible


                                  • #18
                                    I feed a raw egg to both of our dogs 3-4 days per week, never had a problem.

                                    As for horses? I think Digger would eat it if he didn't see me crack it. Mooch doesn't trust me any farther than she could kick me so I'm pretty sure she'd think I was poisoning her...


                                    • #19
                                      Well here's something else to think about..I had a horse delivered and his trainer insisted "Rendedered Pig Fat" bought @ the local Mexican Food Store was added to his feed....I never heard of feeding Animal based oils/fats to horses???


                                      • #20
                                        I had a friend who lost a nice horse to salmonela from ducks living in pasture/barn. I'd be afraid of the same thing with raw eggs. I know that it's not recommended for people due to the same danger.
                                        Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!