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"Acceptable" colic rate?

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  • "Acceptable" colic rate?

    Is there a percentage that might be considered acceptable for a facility with, say, 100 horses?

  • #2
    It's so individual case by case as to the cause, I think it's hard to say. Depends on if you are going by case or by horse, how you label causation, etc.

    For example, if said barn of 100 were to be unfortunate enough to board my mare, who has colics at the slightest barometric pressure change, and she were the only horse to colic all year, you'd be looking at 8-10 "colics" per year. That looks bad, until you find out that yes, she's that sensitive, she's been vetted up the wazoo, and she receives excellent care. In the case, numbers don't matter.

    But lots of different horses colicking would become suspect, especially if a cause related to the individual horse couldn't be found. But I'm not sure I could pin a number that would turn me from "it happens" to "not sure I want to board there".
    Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not. Remember that what you have now was once among the many things that you only hoped for.

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    • #3
      Depends. Show horse,broodmares, weather,feed?
      My colic rate has been pretty low. I've lost one to colic,one to torsion,had a few minor comics. In 45 years,often having 6-20 horses at a time.

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Multi-discipline barn, some show, some pony club/eventers, many trail horses. Primarily saddle horses. Summers are hot and dry and winters average highs in the 30s. Varied hay - local, mediocre grass and good quality alfalfa.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Colicks are typically impaction or sand when known.

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          • #6
            On average, most horses I have known might get a colic every couple of years at most. Some colic at the drop of a hat, some never do, but it happens to most of them at some point in their lives, even if just mild.

            Most places I have boarded have about 15-20 horses, and they might get about 2 colics a year? But I did spend a lot of time at a very sandy place as a kid, with about 60 horses, and sand colic there was very, very common. Somewhat unavoidable, the whole state was very dry and sandy.

            So at your mega-barn with 100 horses, I would expect maybe 10 colics a year, overall. But of course it will vary a heap. And the sand colics are a different thing: you can at least try to manage to prevent that, even if it may be very difficult depending on your local conditions.

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            • #7
              Back in the old days, when I ran a 30 horse facility-we would go 18+ months without (exception: my very sensitive Thoroughbred, who like the previous poster will get a low grade "tummy ache" whenever the wh hits him). We would then have a run of "bad luck". A sand colic, a torsion (no sand when opened up), a gas colic, ect within a few months of one another. Then a good long run of nothing.

              That said, I would have to say that my radar would go off if there were say more than 2 bad sand colics in 4 months without some sort of management change. If there is a common thread among, and something doesn't change-that would alarm me.
              "The Friesian syndrome... a mix between Black Beauty disease and DQ Butterfly farting ailment." Alibi_18

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