Why Does My Horse Eat Her Own Poop?
I recently witnessed my 23-year-old Arab/Welch pony eating her own poop while in her stall. She gets fed 1 1/2 pounds of senior grain two times a day, and right now, until pasture comes in, she has access to unlimited hay. What are the health risks associated with this behavior, and could it be caused by a nutritional deficiency?
The condition you are describing is called coprophagy, Becky. Horses have been known to eat their own and other horses’ feces, and young horses are especially prone to eating their mother’s and other adult mares’ feces. This is not known to be related to a nutritional deficiency. In fact, it’s a fairly harmless activity. However, coprophagy can result in the ingestion of parasite eggs. Because of her coprophagic habits, you may consider having your pony’s health status examined by your veterinarian, requesting that a fecal sample be checked for internal parasites.