This situation is an emergency and you should call your veterinarian immediately. While some feeds manufactured for other animals may not cause any problems, certain feeds contain additives that are very harmful to horses, leading to colic, laminitis and poisoning.
Commercial feeds made for other animals, such as chickens, cattle, sheep and goats are simply inappropriate to feed to horses. Horses have specific dietary requirements which these feeds cannot satisfy. However, if these feeds contain additives or are medicated, the outcome can be deadly. Often these feeds can contain mould or microspores which don’t harm other animals also.
Call Your Veterinarian
Even if you’re unsure how much chicken feed your horse has consumed, the first step is to call your veterinarian immediately. You should have the feed bag handy, so you can list the ingredients to your veterinarian over the phone who will be able to determine the possible severity.
While you’re waiting for your veterinarian, you should check your horse’s vital signs, including their heart rate, respiratory rate and temperature. As a horse owner, you must be well acquainted with your horse’s normal vital signs, so you know what’s amiss in an emergency situation.
Watch Your Horse
If your horse has consumed a substantial amount of chicken feed or the feed is medicated, swift veterinary action will need to be taken to prevent serious health problems. Your veterinarian will also be able to give you information about warning signs to watch for.
The most common concerns when a horse ingests another commercial feed is intestinal upset. Even if the chicken feed isn’t medicated, the high quantity of starch can lead to the death of good bacteria in the hindgut, resulting in a potentially severe bout of colic.
Has your horse consumed another commercial animal feed? Call us immediately on (07) 5411 4554 for a consultation with one of our qualified veterinarians. For after hours emergency assistance, call 1300 641 007.