Thursday, June 21, 2012
Corn and horses – especially wild horses - do not mix. Energy dense and high in calories, corn can contain the mycotoxin, fusarium moniforme, which causes “moldy corn poisoning” in horses. Even the highest quality corn can easily overwhelm the ability of the horse’s digestive tract and can ultimately cause colic and/or founder. Corn is NOT native to a wild horse’s diet. Corn that falls from corn feeders hung to attract deer will absorb moisture and become moldy. When ingested by a wild horse, colic can be the least of the horse’s problems (and colic is certainly life-threatening). Once a horse begins to exhibit disorientation, head pressing, and hyper-excitability, the outcome is irreversible and fatal. Corn that is mixed with peanut butter to bait wild hogs will cause all of the above as well as put the horse at great risk for choking to death. We have had two wild horses colic in the last three weeks. Both survived but only with timely and costly intervention by our Herd Manager and a veterinarian. Please, do not put corn out for the deer or corn mixed with peanut butter in areas where wild horses can get access. The deer don’t need it, there are other ways to trap hogs, and it has dire consequences for the horses.