same poop, different day

For well over a week, all four of our horses poop has been an unusual dark black. The majority of piles consist of well formed nuggets, with more moisture than usual. No unusual odor.

dark manure

I wonder if our dry weather and stunted fields are to blame? The darkness could be from eating some type of weed, as they usually thrive when grass struggles. However, our pasture and field weeds are managed. Our pastures are far from lush these days. They don't look much different than any other year. We feed hay 365 days, and it is the same grass growing in our pastures. We recently got some decent rain, and a couple days of short teasers. Nothing changed.

Same poop, different day.

I googled, and the only thing I found out about dark poo is it could be caused by a possible ulcer. That is not our case. The vet was out today and we asked about our poopy situation, complete with samples. He didn't think we should be concerned.

Our vet was out to do a pregnancy check on Cierra. For the fourth time, she is not pregnant.

I wasn't even excited for the appointment, or very hopeful. That ship has sailed, with good reason. However, this time Cierra is not in heat. According to her cycle, if she is not pregnant she should be in heat. Our vet feels bad, he shouldn't. All we can do is try.

He mentioned most facilities collect semen until the end of June, and we could possibly try again. Brad was going to check the exact June end date on our contract, but it is doubtful he will choose to try AI a fifth time. The other option given was to do a pregnancy recheck in two weeks. Our vet said he has had an occasional mare with a fetus that took longer than average to form, but it is not the norm. 

Same poop, different day.



Linda said...

Dang it!! I’m sorry. Same poop, different day sums it up. As for the dark poo, mine get that, too. I wonder if it’s the dry grass. I wouldn’t worry if your vet thinks it’s fine. It’s always good to be on the lookout for toxic weeds. That always scares me.

Shirley said...

If she doesn't come in heat, it is a possibility that she could be pregnant. Vets don't always get it right. A perfect example is LaTonne Tiller, whose not pregnant mares foaled just fine.
The dark poop could be from dry grass like Linda suggested. Also, in the heat it dries so quickly and always dries darker than fresh. Is it the same colour wet and dry?

Val Ewing said...

I love it we can talk about equine poop and not be embarrassed here. :)
I was wondering about Cierra and what could be. Hopefully she is hiding a little bugger. How hard you guys have tried!
Some of our grassy areas are starting to show a bit of green which is nicer than the crunchy brown stuff we had.

aurora said...

Linda, good to know your herd's manure darkens with the dryness too. I've seen darker shades with our herd, once in a while. Never this black, the whole barn and for such a long time. Especially odd for Harmony, she really self monitors and rarely changes habits.

I agree Shirley, vets are human and subject to error too. I was watching the screen, saw lots of nothing. Altho I certainly don't have a trained eye. Without showing heat there is a possibility Cierra is pregnant, but I am not holding my breath. The poo color is pretty much the same dry as when it comes out the dispenser.

As the main pooper scooper, I take my job seriously Val. Ha haa!! I can rationalize the first two failed AI attempts, but not these last two.

I think this "half full glass" gal spilled her glass empty somewhere along this very long never ending path...

Grey Horse Matters said...

The poop can change given any different circumstance or what they're eating I guess. For me the main thing is that they are pooping! No poop is always a danger sign to me.

Sorry about Cierra. Who knows maybe sometime in the future things will sort themselves out. Here's something I know next to nothing about so I'll ask you...is it possible for a mare to be sterile and not able to get pregnant. I mean it happens to women so is it possible for mares? Just wondering.

Linda said...

How do you dispose of manure? I’m just curious.

aurora said...

Arline, Brad has had that exact feeling for a while - that Cierra cannot get pregnant. I've asked him why, and of course he doesn't know. I never do either, when I feel like that. Just a suspicion/feeling that lingers.

I honestly don't know if mares can be sterile, but it only makes sense for it to be a possibility. I'll try to remember to ask our vet next time, and especially if there is a way for them to know (besides being unsuccessful 1 million times). We've been told repeatedly, they see no medical reason for Cierra to not be able to get pregnant as her ovary follicles are healthy.

Linda, we haul to our manure pit (located a good distance away from barn/fields) and then spread on our hay fields. Were you thinking there could be a related reason?

Far Side of Fifty said...

So sorry there is no foal, but she should be in heat so maybe there is a chance...a slim one. It must be frustrating for you. Poo is a good subject:)