Horse Acting Normal + won't eat Grain - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-22-2016, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Horse Acting Normal + won't eat Grain

**My horse is not Colicing**


I have a 12 yr old tb who is fed his grain twice a day ( beet pulp, purina senior, biotin supplement and Biotic 8) and has free choice hay 24/7. He is also a cribber and has been since before I got him as a 4 year old. Within the last few weeks he will start to eat his grain and then stop to crib. Previously he would always finish his grain and then crib.
He is acting 100% normal other than the aversion to his grain. He is eating hay, passing manure, drinking, peeing and wondering around as he usually would. If I hold his feed tub up to him where he is cribbing he will finish.
I am not too concerned about getting grain in but would like to keep his supplements going in.
Not sure if he is just cribbing more or doesn't like his feed/supplements all of a sudden.
Ideas appreciated.
I am watching him closely, he shows no signs of Colic.
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-22-2016, 04:07 PM
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Have you tried feeding him off the floor - using a feed tub of some sort - and holding him away from anything he can latch on to?
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post #3 of 17 Old 04-22-2016, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Jaydee, thanks for your reply. He is fed outside and yes his feed tub is typically on the ground... I haven't tried actually putting his halter on and holding him near his feed tub while it is on the ground though. Usually he eats and then cribs on the hitching post right beside where his feed is so I just pick it up and bring it to his face and he will eat more. Just is weird when he for as long as I have owned him would finish his grain then crib. They keep us thinking!
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-22-2016, 04:30 PM
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They do that!!
Its a habit I would try to break if I was you
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post #5 of 17 Old 04-22-2016, 06:48 PM
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Sounds like it could be ulcers. Cribbing can cause them, and being off grain is a symptom. Does he seem touchy, girthy, or crankier than usual? Not moving as well undersaddle?
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-22-2016, 06:52 PM
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There's actually no evidence that cribbing causes ulcers, cribbing has a calming effect so works as a stress reducer, ulcers can be caused by stress hence the reason the two things get linked.
That's not to say that the horse doesn't have ulcers, there could be something gong on that's stressing him out particularly at feed times which is making him crib while he's eating and causing ulcers
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post #7 of 17 Old 04-22-2016, 07:02 PM
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I didn't know there wasn't actually any correlatable evidence between the two.

But going off grain is usually a sign of ulcers. Could be something unrelated started off the ulcers, maybe a show or new herd mate, and now eating grain aggravates it and stresses him more, which makes him want to crib more.

Many possibilities. If you want to treat, check out the Abler website.
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-22-2016, 08:17 PM
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I'd agree that he might be off his grain because of ulcers. However, some horses just stop liking some type of grain for whatever reason, so you could also see if it's all grain or just that one type he's tired of. If you just want him to take the supplements, you could give a small amount of a grain he really likes with them.

A question I would have is whether you have tried to stop the cribbing. Perhaps you could put electric wire around the post he likes, or try a cribbing collar. Although cribbing is an annoying habit, the problem is that it has been linked to serious colic in horses. Apparently it increases intra abdominal pressure, and that may be one reason why it can cause colic or make colic worse.
Researchers Find Link between Cribbing, Abdominal Pressure | TheHorse.com

A horse I knew that cribbed died very young from a serious torsion colic. So I know the collars don't look nice and covering the posts in a field or replacing them for metal ones might be difficult. But it is a risk to let a horse continue to crib. You can also add fleece padding to the collars to help avoid any rubs.
Horse owner alert: Cribbing and Colic Large Animal Hospital College of Veterinary Medicine University of Florida
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post #9 of 17 Old 04-23-2016, 10:28 PM
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You need to stop the cribbing.

Ulcers were an interesting idea- TB, was he raced? I would look into that.

Also, I would cut back to the minimum for grain and see if he eats better then re add the supplements, some horses can be like "nah I don't want that any more" Which is fine (but a pain for us lol) but sounds like food isn't a priority. Does he usually chow down or just "eat".
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-23-2016, 11:27 PM
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First I would check for ulcers, since he's off his grain for the most part. Then, I would work on fixing the cribbing.
I had a cribber for a while. He was really bad, he would take a bite, finish chewing, crib, repeat until his bucket was empty. Then he'd guzzle down a bunch of water, stand in the corner abd just go to town cribbing. We tried the metal over the wood...it chipped his teeth, but didn't stop the cribbing. So I tried a muzzle, he managed to hook the strip of metal on the front of it to the edge of the wood, and continue to crib. So we went with the collar. Worked wonders. He had to have it on all the time, except when being handled, so we bought those fleece seatbelt covers abd put them over the straps so he wouldn't get rubbed. We bought four, and would use two for a week, replace with the others, wash the two used one's and cycle them so the dirt abd sweat didn't cause problems. After I sold him, he was put out on 24/7 pasture, and the cribbing dwindled down. Now he apparently only cribs when stalled overnight for a show or camping trip.

So I would suggest the collar to stop the cribbing.
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