What Does It Mean When Your Horse Is Dropping His Feed?

When horses are unable to completely chew grass or hay, they often drop partially chewed wads of forage on the ground near their eating area. This behavior is known as quidding. Fortunately, it can often be solved by a visit from an equine dental practitioner.

Is your horse a sloppy eater? Do you find half-chewed mouthfuls of hay in his stall? Are there handfuls of pellets dribbled around the base of his feed tub? Then you might need to have your veterinarian inspect your horse’s teeth. That’s right: Messy eating may be more than a bad habit. When a horse only partially chews his food and then allows much of it to drop from his mouth it’s called “quidding.” Not only is it a waste of food, but your horse isn’t consuming his entire ration, so he’s probably losing weight, too. Your horse could have dental problems that cause these uncouth table manners. Unevenly worn teeth or an overbite (referred to as “parrot mouth”) can interfere with your horse’s natural chewing motion. Only a visit by the equine tooth fairy can restore his ability to eat normally.

More on equine dental care:
Avoiding Equine Dental Problems
Dental Issues of the Senior Horse


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