Coprophagia: consumption of feces; one's own or another's
Pica: eating non-food items such a s wood.
Lets start with the most skin crawling one, it grosses me out to really think about it, but nevertheless I need to figure out why Moose does it, because he doesnt seem to think its disgusting. My first thought is the boredom/not enough chewing time. As you know I have a "slow feed" hay bag that I use for him now and I have observed that he and Milo finish eating at about the same time, so I'm not sure if its really slowing consumption down or not as Milo's hay is on the ground loose right now. Boredom I can see as a real issue too as he's alone in a small dirt pen right now. I gave him an orange traffic cone to stave the boredom, but he hasnt touched it like Milo would have. Without making him a legitimate slow feed box, and with the conditions we have right now the least I can do is give him more chewing time without overfeeding. Today I gave him twenty minutes of in hand grazing for mastication and help the boredom. I do mess with him quite a bit daily from brushing, to cuddling and handling, to taking him out for walks, so aside from putting him in with Milo just yet thats the best I can do until he's healthy enough to start working him.
Now for nutritional concerns. I started him on the same vitamin supplement Milo is on. Dynamite, if you look at the label, has a whole heap of ingredients, but simply put their website says, "It is a complete balanced formula containing enzymes, coenzymes, biocatalyst microorganisms, amino acids, cultered gut bacteria, vitamins, and bioavailable minerals." Coprophagia, as I researched, can be caused from a lack of Vitamin E in a horse's diet, common with horses kept in grassless confinement. I searched the label and my supplement does have Vitamin E in it, however the amount is unlisted just measured in IU, or effectiveness, so it's hard to tell if there is a true deficiency of that in the supplement.
So, how do I fix the problem? All I can start with is continued hand-grazing as I can, and try and keep his mind busy, unfortunately.
|Moose out hand grazing|