04-20-2010, 07:41 PM
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My posts copied from a previous similar topic:
I personally have never had a colic prone horse – maybe I am unintentionally managing colic through diet! Is your horse on 24/7 turnout? Or is he stalled? For a colic prone horse, the best thing you can do is give him 24/7 turnout, ON GRASS. A horses gut was made to be continually digesting grass – In small amounts throughout the day, not in big feeds. For a colic prone horse, a big feed can overload the gut and cause impaction. If it isn’t possible to get him on 24/7 or increased turnout with grass, you need to keep hay in front of him at all times. Just a grass hay, so a mix of different pasture grasses – But he needs to be munching on hay nearly constantly, or as often as he likes. This will help keep his gut regular, and also helps maintain the correct levels of bacteria and microbes in the gut. It also avoids the spike in energy and sugars that occur after a bulk feed. If he is known to drink less in winter, you can use soakable feeds like speedi-beet or copra to make him a nice, warm soup :] Speedi-beet soaks super fast in warm water – The type I use only takes about 5 minutes in warm water. You can add as much water as you like, so he will get a good amount of water through his feed. Also, make sure he has constant access to salt – Loose salt is best, but a salt block is fine. The salt will encourage him to drink more, and will help with general health. All my horses have a salt block and a mineral block available 24/7.
Are there any alternative feeds I should consider? What about supplements? Are there any other oils that have helped for people? What about some of the daily supplements, like SmartDigest Ultra?
If you think he is having trouble digesting his feed, then maybe consider switching to a no-grain and no sweet feed diet. (I don’t know what is in safechoice, I don’t think we have it where I live, so if you have already then ignore this :]) Horses guts weren’t made to digest grain or the high levels of sugar and NSC’s present in sweet feed and grain. Grain and sweet feed can ferment in the hindgut, creating harmful gasses that can cause tying up and colic. Alternate feeds are things like Speedi-Beet (this is fantastic. It is suitable as a forage supplement – So great for the sensitive gut of a colic prone horse – Low in NSC’s and Starch, and soakable so you can get more water into him) Copra – A coconut meal that is low in NSC’s but high in Coconut oil, which means safe and cool energy and fat – Micronized Lupins – Again low in NSC’s and a good grain alternative – Flax seed meal – Rice Bran – And so on and so forth. I also haven’t used any supplements – My horses just have a salt lick and a mineral block available free choice. Others will help you with that I’m sure :] I think the MAIN thing is as much turnout with grass as you can manage. My horses are on 24/7 turnout, and I have only had 1 case of colic in 9 years and many horses – And it was because he drank too much cold water after a long ride.
And: * Forgot a few things - Copra is soakable also so is another good feed option for a horse who doesn't drink much.
Also, I will put in a plug for FeedXL - You can completely balance your horses diet to make sure he isn't deficient or being overly supplemented with anything. I did all my horses diets with FeedXL - And they now have completely balanced diets consisting of salt lick and mineral lick, hay, Speedi-Beet and Copra.
If you want to read the other posts in the thread, go here: Colic Prevention Through Diet?