Horse eating his own manure


This evening when I went out in paddock to pick up horse manure like I do every evening, I found Apollo eating his own manure.  Not just licking but taking mouthfuls.  When I picked up that pile, he just moved on over to another one and proceeding to eat more mouthfuls.  I've had horses for decades and never have seen this.  Why would a horse that's on a very good diet want to eat his own manure?  Could it be he needs more to eat?  He's on a dry lot and gets total of 24 pounds of roughage consisting of hay & OD timothy balance cubes, divided into 4 equal feedings/day including flax, vitamin E and mineral supplements.  I'd currently rate him as 5 for BCS.  His cresty neck and tail head fat pads are both much smaller and softer than previously although still noticeable.  Last calculated BW was 1458 lbs on 6/21/22,  I'm going to increase his roughage up to 28 lbs which will be 2% of 1400 lbs as ideal weight. He started out at 1605 lbs in October 2021.  Any comments or suggestions?
Karen B.
Apollo Case History:
Photo album:

Nancy C

Hi Karen

Here are some archived messages for possible issues with eating manure

Nancy C in NH
ECIR Moderator 2003
ECIR Group Inc. President/Treasurer  2021-2022

Starshine Ranch

Hi Karen,  I wonder if free feeding him would help so he didn't go looking for something else to eat.
I find it to be a wonderful way to feed and they adjust pretty quickly.
Linda in Grass Valley, CA  2020  Midnight and Ostara

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

EMS horses cannot be free fed in most cases. They will overeat. Double or triple netted hay nets is the way to go, with weighed amounts of hay.
Eleanor in PA 
EC Owner 2001

Starshine Ranch

Hmmmm.  Mine have been free feeding from 1" nets for 5 years now and their weight has stayed steady... Midnight is a bit overweight but Stara is perfect.  I've mentioned before that I had to start free feeding Midnight because she is terrible prone to a gas colic so not much of a choice.

Linda in Grass Valley, CA  2020  Midnight and Ostara


I havea horse that eats his poop when I give him uckele Gut. 

Lori, Abel, Bodie & Dusty


Redding, CA,,,50,2,0,0 .