Monday, February 8, 2010

Common Horse Problems – Loose Manure

Horse owners should be checking the condition of your horse’s manure to give insight into what problems the horses may be having.

Manure should be dropped in small balls, a little bit bigger than a golf ball. I don’t like the analogy since I can’t stand golf.....just don't see the point in it. Anyway, the balls should be loosely formed, can and should break apart under a little pressure and should be somewhat moist. The average horse, depending upon activity and feed, should drop about 7 to 14 piles a day, although it is not unusually for a horse to drop even more.

The photo on TOP shows manure that is too loose possibly indicating problems for the horse. The photo on the BOTTOM depicts normal manure as firm, moist balls.

Possible problems the horse may be experiencing, evident by the loose manure, could be: poor digestive enzymes in his gut; lack of worming – that is de-worming the horse; poor quality feed; horse experiencing stress; or eating sand - too much sand in his gut. Or it could be a combination of problems.

If you regularly find loose manure in a corral or paddock occupied by more than one horse, you can check under the horses’ tails looking for loose manure residue to find the guilty horse.

One of the first things I do when I have a horse with loose manure is to check to see how much sand is in his manure. I’ll cover that fun test in another post.

1 comment:

  1. I have a 30 year old quarter horse who has the patience of a saint for this. His manure is sometimes loose because of his age and digestive tract. I first learned years ago that the condition of the poop was the condition of the horse. He also likes his butt to be washed and baby oil on it after washing. Probotics does help and it seems he will get it till trails end.