What is your opinion of this cause of cribbing?
 
 

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What is your opinion of this cause of cribbing?

This is a discussion on What is your opinion of this cause of cribbing? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Is cribbing hereditary
  • Cribbing cause

 
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    03-03-2011, 08:59 PM
  #1
Green Broke
What is your opinion of this cause of cribbing?

I was on another forum/website, and had someone say their horse cribs because it was weaned too early. They also said it was the same as when a child is weaned from breast milk and starts sucking it's thumb. Weaning could cause cribbing if the horse was left in a stall and all alone. But just because it was weaned too early? Has anyone heard of this before?
     
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    03-05-2011, 12:03 PM
  #2
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by usandpets    
I was on another forum/website, and had someone say their horse cribs because it was weaned too early. They also said it was the same as when a child is weaned from breast milk and starts sucking it's thumb. Weaning could cause cribbing if the horse was left in a stall and all alone. But just because it was weaned too early? Has anyone heard of this before?
i've never heard that. I think it's a boredom thing, but once it starts you can't stop it. I rescued an off the track tb who was a bad cribber...he pretty much didn't know how to be a horse. I do wonder if it is a learned behavior, my filly has started chewing(not cribbing) on metal gates because the gelding she was put out with had a habit of doing that. They only do it when they are bored(when the fields are flooded).
     
    03-05-2011, 12:06 PM
  #3
Weanling
I heard recently that the latest research seems to show that cribbing is genetic. They did a study at one of the big universities. They explained that the reason it shows up in foals is that they are actually born with the tendency to crib.

This was intriguing to me since I always used to think cribbing was caused by poor management (too much energy/time locked in a stall and not enough turnout) and that horses could teach each other to do it. But in the barns I've been in that had a cribber, none of the other horses ever picked it up.

I used to think: Oh that poor horse, at some point he has been so frustrated about being locked up that he taught himself how to crib. Now I am no longer judgmental about it.
     
    03-05-2011, 01:02 PM
  #4
Green Broke
I've always heard it's caused by boredom, stress, anxiety or a learned behavior from watching another horse doing it. I just thought it was funny when they said it was from them being weaned too early. I have two mares that were weaned early and neither crib. One was weaned because the dam couldn't keep enough nutrients for herself and the other was weaned because she had to have surgery and was being moved to another stable(we didn't own her dam).
     
    03-05-2011, 11:25 PM
  #5
Yearling
I've always thought that ulcers were one of the causes of it. I could be wrong tho...

I've taken care of three cribbers in my life. Two of them were OTTBs, and one was a QH gelding. I think once they figure out how to crib, it becomes an addiction. Even if they no longer have ulcers or are bored, they still like to crib. The OTTB mare I took care of (who was a cribber) was bred once she was healthy, had a colt, and he's now 6 years old and has never cribbed or tried to in his life.
It wouldn't surprise me though that horses that are stuck in a stall most of the day learn this behavior.
     
    03-06-2011, 03:29 AM
  #6
Yearling
This is from my vet book Horse Owner's Veterinary Handbook by James M. Giffin, M.D. and Tome Gore, D.V.M. published in 1989:

"The causes of wood chewing and cribbing are not known. Observation suggests that one or more of the following may be causative or contributing factors: social isolation and lack of companionship; boredom; frustration; lack of opportunity to release tension and nervous energies; need for more fiber; imitative behavior; and vestigial browsing behavior. An hereditary predispostition for cribbing has been identified in some Thoroughbred families."
     
    03-06-2011, 03:53 AM
  #7
Weanling
Here's a link that refers to the Cornell study:

Horse cribbing: What you need to know.
     
    03-06-2011, 04:15 AM
  #8
Foal
Our 4yo mare started cribbing a year ago, we had bought her 6 months before it started.

It was not a learned behavior as no other horse on the property cribs. It is also not a boredom issue, as she is either worked or turned out daily.

She only cribs on certain things so we stear clear of those area, she also never chews.

The vet checks her teeth every 6 months for damage, so far there is none. If she starts to damage her teeth we will put a grazing muzzle on her when she is most proned to cribbing, but so far we are able to avoid those places.

I owned another cribber as a teenager. He cribbed when we bought him and his teeth were horrible even at 5 years of age. He was a spectacular event horse and we dealt with his 'addiction.'
     
    03-06-2011, 04:23 AM
  #9
Weanling
How do you tell the difference between a horse cribbing and chewing wood? Lola has started doing it a lot these past few weeks. But she actually tries to bite the wood off the fence..Is that still cribbing? She will do it with her rug too and whatever else she can find.
     
    03-06-2011, 04:32 AM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarahandlola    
How do you tell the difference between a horse cribbing and chewing wood? Lola has started doing it a lot these past few weeks. But she actually tries to bite the wood off the fence..Is that still cribbing? She will do it with her rug too and whatever else she can find.
Cribbing is when a horse grabs onto an object and sucks air, it makes a very distinct sound. A horse that's chews actuals breaks off or chews the wood. A horse can be a cribber and chewer but they are two seperate habits.

A cribbing collar works by cutting off the windpipe so not allowing the horse to suck in the air, which is how they get their 'high'.
     

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