Clay eating

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by Going round in circles, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Going round in circles

    Going round in circles Active Member

    I have just had a horse arrive for a bit of TLC and a freshen up. The horses condition is not to crash hot it very tucked up very dehydrated and its coat is very dry and yellow (not sunburn). Also is very sore in the back neck shoulder and backend.

    The first thing it did when put in the paddock was to start taking large mouthfuls of clay and dirt and eating it.

    My question is have you had this problem before and what was the reason this started.

    I have already given an isotonic drench for the dehydration done some manipulation for soreness, started on ulcer treatment given a vit/min block, got bowen already booked for 2 days time will worm out tomorrow and thinking about giving a vitamin drip at end of week got farrier coming on thursday to fix feet.

    Can you think of anything else that should be checked.

    Rember this is not my horse only arrived this morning and owner has to give ok for treatment so far all of these have been given ok. I have also been trained to stomach tube and give drips to horses so more than capable.

    Thanks in advance
  2. Cadabby

    Cadabby Well-known Member

    Horses in the wild have been observed to paw at the ground and then eat bits of clay/rock/dirt. It's meant to be how they get their minerals.

    My mare this morning was having a good chew on some clay at the edge of some water on our ride out. She certainly isn't lacking anything to look at her (and her feed is balanced on FeedXL) but perhaps there was something today that she needed that was in the clay? This is the first time I've seen her do this.

    I wouldn't worry too much about it unless he is doing it all the time. Probably once he is being fed properly, he won't do it as much. :)
  3. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    Mine will eat clay from time to time or drink water from a clay bottomed puddle. We have a clay spot on our training track. I think they get 'something' (mineral or whatever) from it.
  4. GoneRama

    GoneRama Gold Member

    Ahhh I wouldn't be stressing. Back at mum and dads on the Murray River is a little water hole that only fills up when it floods, the water dries up leaving what must be a very mineral rich clay/dirt behind. We have to go past it to get to the swimming hole and some days you'll be cruising along on the usual track in your own little world and then you find you're heading straight for the bottom of this dried up water hole. The horses must be able to smell it from some distance away because some days they head straight to it and other days they just walk straight past it. I even dug up a golf ball sized chunk one day and fed it straight to a horse! Not sure what it is as the horses have access to a Barastoc Horse Block which has heaps of goodies in it, must just be something different.

    Let him go for it, once he has got his 'fix' of whatever it is he's after he'll be right (I think, I hope!) Must say though, horses certainly are fascinating creatures.
  5. Going round in circles

    Going round in circles Active Member

    Well this horse this mornng had a mouth and tounge so black and full of dirt like you never seen. He also ate the whole 1kg mineral block so gave him another one his levels must be so low. Poor boy. How do people let them get this way.
  6. horsescomefirst

    horsescomefirst Well-known Member

    please dont tell me he was racing in this condition?? iv seen so many "racing" horses and think my god, how can they even race in that condition!!

    i have a 30acre clay paddock as its all clay soil out here and every horses within a week of being in it just shines like you never seen it before and put on heaps of condition!
    i believe there is definately some type of mineral/salt in clay that they need/like. :)
  7. CatabyWarmbloods

    CatabyWarmbloods Active Member

    Yep, my stallion who is in recovery after his op is doing the same thing on his daily hand walks - we've brought him a mineral block which he didn't seem too fussed over, and brought some extra calcium to put in his feed. I think for memory it was calcium in the clay/dirt they are after. I know if you see them licking steel or the picket posts they are after the iron on the steel.

    Amazing how if they need something, they'll find it :)
  8. Going round in circles

    Going round in circles Active Member

    Some of the horses I get here you see them lick at the clay every now and then but I have never seen them take huge mouthfuls and eat it like this horse he has made a hole in the ground
  9. weezal

    weezal New Member

    My boy was eating licking the clay in his old paddock so I got him a mineral block and he was going through 1 every two weeks. I'm not sure if he was actually lacking in anything or was just bored as he didn't have much grass to graze on.
  10. jackstock

    jackstock New Member

    Our donkeys love the red clay deeper down from when post holes are being dug.
    They do get minerals,and salt.There is perhaps another reason ..recalling medicinally some types of clay are used to absorb toxins?
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011

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