Horse licking dirt and metal

Last post 08-07-2006 6:41 PM by 900845. 4 replies.
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  • 08-07-2006 6:41 PM

    Horse licking dirt and metal

    Hi, I am concerned over my 6 yr.Qtr. Horse gelding. I have seen him licking dirt and today I saw him licking the stall wall and then outside he was licking the metal fencing. Has anyone had a similar incident with any their horses and any ideas what or why he would be doing it. Thanks
  • 08-07-2006 6:46 PM In reply to

    Re: Horse licking dirt and metal

    My first thought is that he may be missing some minerals in his diet, do you have an available salt block? I have noticed that my horses are on it more since the weather has been so hot lately. I use the white block but I know other's who use the mineral, My horses tend to use the white salt block better.
  • 08-07-2006 7:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Horse licking dirt and metal

    Commonly when horses do this they need a mineral that they think they are going to get from the dirt or the metal.

    I'd offer him free access to loose horse mineral salts (not cattle salts). The loose versions are easier to eat than salt blocks; however, if you don't want or can't get the loose stuff you can get a large mineral block (not a white salt block...the mineral blocks are redish brown) for him to lick on.
  • 08-08-2006 2:16 PM In reply to

    Re: Horse licking dirt and metal

    YOU KNOW I HAVE 2 LARGE MINERAL BLOCKS OUT FOR THEM AND THEY DO USE THEM. I DID RECENTLY CHANGE FEED FROM POULIN GRAIN MVP WHICH IS A SUPPLEMENT TO NUTRENA SAFE CHOICE FOR THE LOWER STARCH CONTENT. MAYBE THAT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT. THANKS FOR YOUR ADVICE.
  • 08-08-2006 2:25 PM In reply to

    Re: Horse licking dirt and metal

    My QH gelding does the same thing with the stall licking. He will usually do it after eating or after I have given him a treat. He has access to a mineral salt block. I just think it is some kind of quirk. He doesn't do it often but its always after eating. My haflingers lick on the edges of the water trough after their sand supplement feeding because they get it all over their noses. They rub and lick it off. As for the dirt, some horses you just can't keep away from the sand. If you are concerned try putting him on a sand supplement to clean out any dirt he might accumulate. If the wood licking is a problem, maybe try wood chew. I haven't had a problem with him licking the metal fence. If he's in a bad mood he will bite and pull at it if it is off. but that's just behavioral.

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