strange horse eating habits... help - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-16-2009, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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strange horse eating habits... help

my horse only eats when he works, so sometimes up to three times a week and somtimes several weeks without. but about three months ago he started this. he takes a few bites and then sticks his neck out and streches out his upper lip. he does this over and over and then he eventually starts to eat. he was eating sweet feed and then we changed him over to a pellet thinking mabey it was the feed, but he still does it. any suggestions on why he does this??
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-16-2009, 07:51 PM
Green Broke
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I don't understand the first part of your post? Several weeks without what?

Does he seem to have problems swallowing his food? How recently were his teeth done?
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-16-2009, 10:39 PM
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First, this random feeding isn't a good way to do things. Horses need to be fed the same thing in the same amount DAILY. Doing otherwise is a risk factor for gastric ulcers and colic.

What you are describing could be from any number of things. A good idea would be to discuss what you are seeing with your vet and look at the possibility of a dental issue or gastric ulcers.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-16-2009, 10:47 PM
Green Broke
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I'm wondering if this is for real? Who feeds their horse only when they are working???
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-17-2009, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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well I work on a farm with 40 horses who are pasture kept, so pulling all 40 every day to feed is not only unrealistic but also expensive.
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-17-2009, 09:54 PM
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Snort... Don't mind me.. I just knew what you meant about feeding.

If he's doing what I am picturing it's called Flehming(sp). This is now they suck a scent up their nostrils when they want a good whiff. No worry..

wiktionary says
  1. (intransitive) To exhibit the flehmen response, i.e., to draw back the lips, allowing scent to reach the Jacobsonís organ, an auxiliary olfactory organ found in many animals.

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post #7 of 8 Old 06-21-2009, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much for the help.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-21-2009, 09:23 AM
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Ours do it when they eat something unfamiliar in texture or something tastes bad. Ours seem to be really keen to textures rather than taste.

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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