As a horse owner and stable manager, I try to balance the amount of time cleaning stalls with the amount of time spent in the saddle. As an engineer, I like to explain things via equations and numbers so those visual learners out there will have to bear with me.
Poop, By the Numbers
For the uninitiated an average 1,000 pound horse can produce an average of 50 lbs of poop per day. If horse owners actually gave this some thought they may not bring the horse into the stable at all. When you have a private stable with 5 horses. That’s a mighty fine pile of poop happening. Two hundred and fifty pounds of poop per day!
After seeing the actual numbers, rose gardening and horse care should go hand in hand.
In terms of annual poop, it works out to a little less than 10 tons per year. That is a lot of fertilizer!
The Importance of Poop
Just as you may see those flakey, hippies nabbing you at the local fairs and bazaars to read your tea leaves, professional horse people can tell you a lot about their horses by
examining their horse’s poop.
Horse ‘poopology’ is not new. Expert horse people swear by poop examination to determine horse health.
This is the groundbreaking introduction into horse health. Before you know what is unusual, you must be a savvy poop watcher to know what is normal.
Walking into my horse’s stall is an education. I note, amount, consistency, and placement. All these things have a bearing on what is happening with my horse.
The amount horses poop is directly proportional to the amount they eat. So if your horse has eaten up all their hay and is grazing and the stall is fresh and clean, this may be an alert to something coming (or not coming) down the pipes.
Knowing normal consistency is key to alert for possible stomach upset. Be sure to understand, as well, the softer the fodder, the softer the poop. Horses which graze on green grass may have softer poops than those equines which are stabled indoors eating hay or other dried grasses.
“Cow patty” poops are usually a sign of an upset stomach. Each summer I know my horses go through a series of diarrhea poops when the Alsike clover comes out. when this happens I move my horses to avoid problems with loose poops and complications with the Alsike clover. I say this only because I know what ‘normal’ is for my horses. If you are not familiar with what is normal, then how will you know what is ab-normal.
Are you a poop aficionado?
Share with us your poop stories. We’d love to hear them.