Foal eating the ground

Discussion in 'Feeding Horses' started by deschuur, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. deschuur

    deschuur Gold Member

    Sam is eating the ground, at first I thought is was just natural curiosity investigating her world however everytime I see her, her head is down licking up the ground. She is two weeks today.

    Is there anything I can do to prevent her from doing this?

    Is she lacking in something that Paris is not providing? For your information Paris has adlib oaten hay, plus two feeds am and pm consisting of 1kg chaff, 500g flaked barley, 250 gr flaked lupins, Khonke's cell provide dose as recommended and salt.

    Our paddocks are already dust bowls - very little grazing now.
  2. Elanda

    Elanda Gold Member

  3. deschuur

    deschuur Gold Member

    Thanks for the link goodie, very interesting reading:)

    I always worry when they eat ground in case of colic. My stallion went through a stage but he stopped after I introduced a supplement.
  4. wooki

    wooki Well-known Member

    my horse (is fully grown) but latley he's been doing the same thing, licking dirt- most often when i take himout on trails.
    He has access to a salt & mineral block (and loves it...i checked the packet it contains no mlolasses) so lateley i've been taking him out and letting him graze where there is greater variety of plants, he has since stopped licking dirt so my conclusions are either the variety of plants are providing him with some mineral he was getting from the dirt or b the extra attention cured his boredom (alhtough i dont think he was bored to start with as the dirt licking only occured when we were out riding/walking)

    thanks for the article, it was really interesting
  5. Dollar

    Dollar Well-known Member

    D: I have found some of our foals have done the same thing in the past when they have been locked up in the stables/yards. Personally as far as mine go i think it is more from boredom however I have heard a friend of mine say that it can be from a lack of salt or some type of element they find in the ground, and that the ground they normally do it to is gravel, if that makes any sense. I haven't noticed our's doing it out in the paddock, but they do have plenty of feed out there.
  6. Noelle

    Noelle Gold Member

    Hi deschuur

    Not sure if you are having the same problem as I had with my foal a couple of years ago. Have a look at this thread and see if it helps. I ended up having to send the mare and foal up to Gidgie where there was no sand to eat and more fun with other foals. As much as I hated not having the foal on our place it was best for him.

    (hope the link works okay - if not it is a thread called Foal eating sand - 18/10/2005)

    Good luck
  7. CrazyDolly

    CrazyDolly New Member

    Hmmmm... Rubylena is around the same age. She licks everything. Walls, metal bars, sawdust, concrete, feed buckets, mum's butt... LOL

    But now she is more interested in the Formula 500 mineral block I put in the stable and in the paddock. It seems to satisfy her mouthiness for the moment.

    But who knows what she'll be into tomorrow.

    good luck!

    PS Goodie that is an excellent article :)
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2007
  8. deschuur

    deschuur Gold Member

    Thanks Noelle for the link.

    I am not sure that I know anywhere to move her too, we are not sandy we have red clay type ground. There is a hay roll in the paddock already, any ideas for toys would be great too:)
  9. wooki

    wooki Well-known Member is a big fan of his orange traffic cone (the are a few machinery companies next door, the workers are his biggest fans, they spoil him *and build me jumps*) i normally stuff apples or hay down the cone so he has to shake teh cone around to get it out
  10. Noelle

    Noelle Gold Member

    Hopefully you wont have the same type of problem as I did. Reilly kept eating the horrible Gnangara sand and it was only a matter of time before he would get sand colic. He was drenched (and only 3 weeks old the poor thing :( ) and you could see all the sand in his manure. Maybe with red clay it wont be an issue. The suggestions of toys and mineral blocks sound good. Maybe your vet has some suggestions?
  11. Antyk

    Antyk Well-known Member

    How old is the foal now Deschuur, and have you seen the foal eating the dam's poo yet?
  12. deschuur

    deschuur Gold Member

    Foal is two weeks old. Yes seen her have a nibble of dam poo, disgusting beastie that she is she waits behind paris while she is doing her business:D
  13. Antyk

    Antyk Well-known Member

    I'm not sure if you are aware but the dam will have in her poo a natural bacteria that the foal needs to build up the digestion system, so in fact when she is nibbling the ground you need to check whether it is left over poo or she may be chasing a different mineral needed to build a heathy digestion system.
  14. deschuur

    deschuur Gold Member

    Yep know that it is normal for her to eat poo. Definitely not eating poo though when I see her eating the ground, she is like a child that has got hold of a choccy bar all the red ground around her muzzle:)
  15. cocomist

    cocomist New Member

    hi I know that years ago, when horses were still a mode of transport, that people in europe especially, used to feed their horses a sections of grass, soil and all.

    It was actually recommended. Mainly for the vitamins and minerals found in the soil.

    Mind you I would n't be doing it now with all the chemicals etc that could be in the ground.
  16. HorseSlave

    HorseSlave Well-known Member

    I've noticed my 3 year old who is on supplements, hay, adlib salt lick and good grazing occasionally nibbles the soil in a particular patch of the paddock. Wouldn't it be great if we could read their minds to find out WHY they are doing it? Boredom? Deficiencies? Because they can??? ;)

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