Cribbing & Colic?

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Cribbing & Colic?

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  • Can cribbing cause colic
  • Cribbing and colic in horses

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    08-28-2009, 10:45 PM
Question Cribbing & Colic?

I have a TB gelding who is a very mild cribber. The only time I see him cribbing is when he's tied for grooming or tacking up or sometimes when he's in the pasture, as he's usually eating grass. I put a cribbing collar on him when he's tied, and I was thinking about putting it on him while he's in the pasture, too, but I'm kinda nervous about leaving it on his neck while he's turned out.

I was just wondering if cribbing can cause colic? If so, are there more ways I could keep him from cribbing? If you have any products or remedies in mind that I could make at home, that would be great :) And also, he doesn't necessarily "crib", he's just one of those horses that places his top front teeth on a post or stall door, arches his neck, sucks air in, and makes an odd sound while doing so. He doesn't chew the wood, though. I just don't want him to get colic.
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    08-29-2009, 12:41 AM
I cannot give a definitive answer as to whether or not cribbing and colic are related, but I agree that there is good reason to believe so. Your horse is only going to crib on things that make good cribbing surfaces (and some horses get very creative). If he is not a chronic cribber, then simply giving him other choices of things to do will likely deter him quite adequately. Pasture turnout is the best thing you can do! I would not put the collar on him when he is in pasture.

It is very unlikely that your horse will ever completely stop cribbing (this is a very addictive habit for those who do it). When he is not out to pasture, making sure he has hay to munch and keep him occupied, access to salt and minerals, as well as plenty of exercise, will keep him about as happy as you can hope.
    08-29-2009, 05:09 AM
Thanks :) I usually only find him cribbing early in the morning when I go to feed him, when it's still dark outside, so I think he may be doing so throughout the night as well when he's not eating grass. But, another reason may be because the pasture he's currently in has had the grass eaten down to almost dirt because there are seven horses in that pasture, and he's probably doing it out of boredom, since there's not much grass left. When we move our horses over to a different pasture with much, much better grass (most likely this wednesday), hopefully he'll stop cribbing so much while out in the pasture.
    08-29-2009, 06:48 AM
There is some thought that cribbing and colic/ulcers/stomach upset may be related. This article on the ASPCA website may have some information useful to you... ASPCA - Virtual Pet Behaviorist
    08-30-2009, 02:25 PM
I just got a call from a lady who will be donating a horse to us next week. The horse was foaled at her place but the people who bought him let him starve. She said he has been cribbing like mad on the stalls etc and that you can see his hip bones.

I'm going to try putting him in a pasture/wooded part of the property with some toys and a round bale. I'm going to over feed him for a week and see if he's cribbing or just starving.

If we can get him to stop feeling like he has to eat everything to keep from starving and he has an environment that makes him feel like food is always available and there's plenty to do, he may forget all about it.

I'm not so sure that cribbing is even the problem. I think we may find that it was simply starvation and bored chewing.
    09-02-2009, 05:20 PM
I have a weanling foal I've had him since he is 3 mo. He was pastured at night and turned out days until he was 4 mo. I then started keeping him w/ my older QH during days and he is now out 24 7 except when horrific weather. He is very smart, leads, stands calm most times and pics up all fours willingly while I pick them. He loves to be groomed and bathed. I noticed this week, I feed all horses there grain(3) inside so no one can be pushy and eat anothers share. None of these older horses crib. I saw my colt sucking wind as he finished his grain in his stall this week. Can't understand it. He actually is licking up the last few crumbles of feed and as he does it he will try to bite the bottom of his feed trough and make that awful gulping noise. I was so dissapointed when I saw this. Any suggestions??

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