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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2004
    Massachusetts, USA

    Default Cribbing - can't figure out triggers? Need super-sleuths...


    I have a 27 yr old retired guy who was a chronic cribber until 4 years ago when I brought him and somehow managed to figure out the right combination of diet, turn-out, whatever that made him stop cribbing.

    Except 2x a year, he starts again. For no apparent reason. No changes in diet, no changes in hay, no changes in turn-out. No strange occurrences. Nada. Zip. So, I am puzzled.

    Can't figure out if it's seasonal?

    I give him a week of a full tube of GastroGard and it seems to stop.

    He definitely cribs after his grain meals, doesn't seem to do it much else during the day.

    Cribbing starts again February/March and September/October.
    We're in New England, if that helps.

    He's on 7x24 turn-out with access to his stall.
    Some grass in paddock (not luscious huge field but green stuff on ground - mainly crab grass.)
    Fresh water available always (muck bucket under overhang).
    2nd cut hay free choice (or enough so he doesn't waste it).
    Teeth done 2x a year.
    Groomer daily.

    Fed meals 2x day (AM and PM):
    TC Lite 1 lb day split into 2 feedings
    Thyro-L (low thyroid but not believed to be Cushings yet) PM
    1 lb alfalfa pellets split into 2 feedings
    4 cups soaked beet pulp split into 2 feedings
    handful timothy balanced blend hay cubes split into 2 feedings
    Everything soaked before feeding.

    When he starts cribbing, besides the GG, I double the alfalfa pellets and drop everything else but the beet pulp and Thyro-L and still soak it.

    Any and all thoughts as to what could be triggering it are appreciated!

    This has me stumped...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 18, 2009
    New England


    It seems to happen at the times of year when his instincts are telling him to eat, eat, eat so it could very well be seasonal. I've only known die hard cribbers that would crib all the time, regardless of season or whether there was food in front of them or not; but wonder if having some extra hay would help. It's certainly not lack of effort on your part! I pray my horse never gets so complicated. A little strider, a couple of flakes, some pasture, water and good to go. Good luck!!
    If you destroy the land, you destroy the animals;
    if you destroy the animals, you destroy the people.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 20, 2004


    Could it be that he is cribbing when the sugar levels in the grass he has available are spiking, irritating his ulcers/stomach? It would make sense that the grass is high in sugar when it is first available and then again when the weather starts to get cold. Just a guess!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 31, 2007
    Aiken, SC


    Sugar can trigger cribbing bouts. So maybe VB is half right?

    You could just ignore it and not go crazy though

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001


    Encysted Strongyloid migration in his gut? Timing is about right, I think. How about a powerpak?

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