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Hi Bob,

...At our county fair we got numerous tips and advice from people. One tip was to put a raw egg on her feed to make her coat shiny. Is this a safe thing to do? We also have show chickens so we have plenty of eggs.

L. C.


I know there are horse people who are convinced that an egg supplement is the best way to give your horse a beautiful coat, but even if it works I don't think it's worth the risk.

I'd shy away from giving RAW egg to any critter (including humans) because of the risk of salmonella infection (which I'm sure you're well aware of!). Also, a horse is an herbivore (it eats plants), not a carnivore (eats food that comes from animals) or an omnivore (eats everything). Feeding animal protein to an herbivore seems like a risky proposition at best. Also, there is some evidence that eggs bind up biotin, which is essential for hoof health. Thus feeding eggs might help the horse's hair but damage its feet. Finally, if you've ever tried to scrub dried egg off a breakfast plate, you have some idea of the job you'll have keeping the feed bucket clean! If you don't get the egg out of the bucket, you'll have a ton of flies in there laying their own deadly little eggs.

A horse's digestive system is often finicky, and remember that colic is just another word for " bellyache." Upset old Dobbin's stomach and you've got a case of colic on your hands!

Personally, if I were convinced that my horse needed more shine to its coat, I'd try a good equine shampoo and/or adding a small amount of some source of vegetable oil -- flax, black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS), or corn oil, for example.

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