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Discussion on Horse eating moss

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Shelley
Member
Username: Sswiley

Post Number: 105
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Wednesday, Nov 30, 2005 - 5:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

We have a pony new to our place. Since the rains came this fall and the moss on the rocks started blooming, our pony has been eating moss exclusively when I let her out in a particular pasture. None of my other horses have ever show a taste for moss and I am a little concerned about it. She even prefers this to the grass.
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Erin Jaffarian
Member
Username: Ejar

Post Number: 30
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Nov 30, 2005 - 10:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I'd have it checked out by the local botanical garden, university botany professor, or maybe the poison control center, just to be sure that it doesn't contain a toxin.

You might even do a Google picture search of it and see if you can find your particular moss on-line.

Horseadvice has nice article on horses who eat stuff other than their approved rations. I can't remember the title (something with -phagia, I suppose). Check that out for more info, too.

Erin}
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14238
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Dec 1, 2005 - 8:46 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Moss is not reported as toxic to horses but it may be because horses don't eat it routinely. I would not turn the pony out in this pasture if you can help it. The term is "pica" and you will find it under the Nutrition Topic. It might have some ideas that help. Is the overall condition of this pony good?
DrO
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Shelley
Member
Username: Sswiley

Post Number: 107
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Thursday, Dec 1, 2005 - 10:37 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

She is an 11 year old quarter pony. She is up to date on wormer, good weight, spunky, drinks well, eats her hay well. She gets a big variety of hay, oat, alfalfa, and grass. She has a mineral block she likes. She gets hoof supplement. Thats all I can think of. Her paddock is large but does not encourage too much running and playing, that is why I am trying to give her more room. She was a little spunky last time my daughter rode her after lunging(speaking of cold weather affecting horses!). Saw no ill effects this morning after yesterdays gorge fest. Also caught her eating acorns which I know are a no-no in large amounts. Today I will check her piles and try to see how many acorn shells I see. Ponys !! Such little piggys.
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: Mrose

Post Number: 982
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Thursday, Dec 1, 2005 - 11:29 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Not that I would recommend feeding it, but I thought moss was supposed to be nutritious? Don't moose and other animals in the artic eat moss and lichen?
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Shelley
Member
Username: Sswiley

Post Number: 108
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Thursday, Dec 1, 2005 - 2:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well, I was out and about this morning and ran into a horse friend. She said that her horses have pick her rocks clean of moss. Think I will ask a local vet. It would be nice if I did not have to worry about the moss eating.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14256
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Dec 2, 2005 - 8:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have never seen the nutritional profile for moss but you should remember that moose are ruminants and though they both can do well on grass have very different nutritional requirements.
DrO
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