Horse Eating her shavings, coming up with colic (HELP!)
Hi everyone --
I have a horse that is eating her shavings. She has a condition that keeps her from eating hay so she is bored and hungry. A few days ago she was showing signs of colic. I could use some help!
We have tried a lot of things to keep her away from the shavings including:
- adding vinegar
- adding chili peppers
- feeding her quitt (a supplement that is supposed to stop chewing)
- giving her licks (salt, molasses, etc)
She wears a muzzle inside to make the shavings eating more difficult and is happier when she can be outside all day but still comes in and instantly goes for the shavings. We would like to find a sure fire solution for rainy days, long nights, etc.
We haven't tried other bedding types (hemp, straw, etc) so if you have had a horse that was on shavings and eating them and you had success, I would love to hear about it.
I would love to find something she can eat that is really filling. Right now she is on hay stretcher, a complete feed and beet pulp as well as a vitamin, mineral and fiber supplement 3 times a day.
Have you tried giving her Hay Cubes? My pony eats those since he cannot eat hay. We soak them in plenty of water along with the rest of his food so he cant inhale it all.
(he gets 2 3qt. scoops of haycubes, 1scp Grain, and 1 scp of all-ready soaked beet pulp, all combined with about 4 gallons of water) If she cant eat haycubes, you could always try soaking what you are all ready feeding her.
Or try splitting it into multiple buckets. It is slightly unpractical but if you split her feed between a few buckets it would slow her down.
A Likit might be able to distract her for a little bit. I got my pony a "Licky Thing". its made out of oats and mollasses and other yummy stuff. And he cant take solid bites of it like a Lik-it.
One last thing. For bedding, if you do try switching it. We used woody pet at my barn for a short time, and noticed that a lot of the horses were eating it. I dont know why. None of them colicked. But it just seems that Woody Pet is very appetizing to horses. Just something to think about.
Putting duct tape over the bottom hole of a grazing muzzle will still allow her to drink water (it will come in from side holes) but not allow her to eat shavings. Will be easier for her to drink if you use a muck tub instead of a regular bucket.
Why horse can not eat hay? Diet to slim? Or something specific?
Last year I had one obese gelding on complete stall rest; to make things even worse, he needed a strong , very strong diet to reduce down. No exercises to burn fat, boring life in box 24/7 and eating as the only entertaiment...
So I used straw instead of hay - he got vitamins and supplements, and was eating straw as feed and straw as bedding as much as he wanted (at mornings box was empty, no bedding at all) - but still - until spring he reduced his weight quite impressive without any harm.
Nutritional value of straw is much lover thus slims them down while filling their tummies. If it is the problem of your horse, then straw is a solution.
There's a stall toy that I remember a friend having when her horse was on stall rest - it was basically a plastic cylinder with some holes in it on a plastic base. Fill it with grain (or in your case, something like hay stretcher), show the horse that they can make it fall out onto the plastic base through the holes a couple of pieces at a time, and they'll usually entertain themselves for a while. I wish I could remember the name of it - anyone have any idea what I'm talking about?
My horse had the same thing, he would get bored in his stall once he had finished his food he would start to eat his shavings. It ended up that he needed colic surgery and he had about 2 pounds of shavings/sand in his stomach. So after to prevent this we had regulated his food through out the day. (so it was the same amount, just smaller portions throughout the day instead of all at once. We also kept him outside more, gave him billions of salt licks/ lickits, gave him jolly balls and other toys and kept him out of his stall as much as possible. If you can't ride one day make sure SOMEONE does. This has all seemed to help us, but he can eat hay. Hay cubes can help, along with hi-fat pellets might help keeping weight on if you're having troubles with his/her weight.
Absolutely use straw. Basically nothing but roughage, so no colic, no nutritional value, so no weight gain, and a super comfortable bedding to boot, not to mention depending on the type of shavings it can be much cheaper.