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Desperately Need Ideas!!!

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  • Desperately Need Ideas!!!

    Ok, we all know the problems I've had with Kiwi...

    A lot of my issues stem from Kiwi being a HORRIBLE drinker, such as, he hasn't taken a sip of water from his bucket in about 3 weeks. He's always been like this. The BO and I always joke around that I could go away for 1-2 weeks and leave him with a 5 gallon bucket of water and he'd have plenty left over.

    I DESPERATELY need ideas to get this guy to drink!!!!! Especially since this morning I've noticed his mature looking VERY dry. He doesn't touch his salt, mineral, or hymalian block (he has all three). I can't even put salt in his feed or he won't touch it. He hates Koolaide in his water, and not very fond of molasses in his water. I'm seriously about to start syringing salt into his mouth 1-2x a day, but need more ideas.

    He's been living on senior and hay cubes for the past 2 weeks since he's been sick, but won't eat them if they have extra water in them. He just HATES water! Lately, I can tell he's getting sick of eating his hay cubes because he's not finishing them.

    Anyway, can you guys please list any ideas you have???? Thanks!

    Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:

  • #2
    A friend of mine has a mare who's not a big drinker but she does like her Himalayan salt rock and that encourages her a little.

    She has syringed electrolytes (either the paste form or just mix the powered form with water) and syringe it into her mouth.

    One time she purchased some mixture, it looked like she was putting grain/sweet feed into her water, that was to encourage horses to drink. It seemed to work well but I cannot remember what it was.

    Also, have you tried different temperatures of water? Cold, cool, warm etc?


    • #3
      What does he like to eat?
      Wet whatever it is.

      You can do apple juice and water it down, anything he likes.

      I've a friend who bought the big container of black strap molasses distributed by Seminole Feeds, and she pours a layer to cover the bottom of a bucket, then she fills bucket with water and her mare drinks it all.

      I'm a fan of "grain tea" which is the handful of grain dissolved in a 2 gallon bucket, and fed, bucket after bucket to get gallons into a horse.

      My WB drinks Coke, beer, orange juice, Metamucil, grain tea, bananas and just about anything, so he's easy to tempt when the weather requires more water. He does not like salt of any kind, so I buy summergames from smartpak and he excludes it from the small amt of grain he gets. So I soak his Equalizer and pour it on the summergames, or pour a Coke over it.

      Oh and if it is cold up there, heat some water. If you barn doesn't have hot water, JeffersLivestock sells a good coiled heater for about $30 that heats water fast.

      Juice whatever Kiwayu likes to eat. Add water, and keep it up till he stays hydrated. His treats maybe, a special treat, a special fruit, carrot juice, apple juice, whatever.


      • #4
        I pour Behr Rabbit sp.? molasses from the baking section of the grocery store --- GET MILD- on my ponies' & horses" salt bricks when the weaher turns cool and throughout the winter . They think it is Cracker Jacks lick it and then drink their usual amount of water. Just an idea you may want to try - has always worked for me & mine. Also Gatorade is well liked by some horses - to keep them drinking and hydrated.
        Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


        • #5
          I use Equitea or graintea which is where you put 1-2 cups of pelleted grain in a bucket of water. Molasses makes it sweet and they'll drink it right up. My bad drinkers get a bucket every night.
          "ronnie was the gifted one, victor was the brilliant intellect, and i [GM], well, i am the plodder."


          • #6
            It's a good idea to try warmed water. Another thing you can try is adding some apple cider vinegar. Sounds gross to me, but it's worked for some. Also, try putting peppermints in the water, they sink and let out a gross sugary mess that horses love.


            • #7
              When was the last time you got him a brand new bucket, or cleaned the one now in there? If the bucket now in place is fairly new, please recap for us what the cleaning routine is on it? He might have a memory of a past problem with the bucket, which is why I suggested a new bucket.

              Has his mouth been checked for open sores? I agree that warm water is a good idea. Will he eat a soupy mash of any kind?

              I hope your Vet has been contacted again, critter may need IV fluids. One thing to be very careful of, if the horse is already dehydrated, do not give electrolytes, that will make things worse. Have you tried making a huge batch of peppermint tea, to see if he'd drink that? If that turns out to be a flavor he likes, may have to serve water with tea for awhile?
              Last edited by sdlbredfan; Dec. 2, 2009, 11:12 AM. Reason: add ideas
              RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.


              • #8
                warm water (as mentioned above) can help entice a horse to drink

                or a soupy bran mash?


                • #9
                  If you're going to syringe anything into him, let it be WATER. Shoving salt in a bad drinker just gives you a dehydrated bad drinker.

                  Maybe his teeth hurt when he drinks cold water? Mine do.
                  Click here before you buy.


                  • #10
                    I would try warming the water. There is a horse at the barn I lesson at that has lemon essential oil added to his water otherwise he will not drink.


                    • #11
                      You said he didn't care for molass in the water. I'm kind of surprised... Did you put enough of the molass in? I know my horses will turn their noses up if there isn't enough molass in the water. I always have to dump a ton of molass in... and then they suck it all up.


                      • #12
                        Molasses based salt like is like crack for my horse. I don't let her have free access to it - I let her spend 15-20 minutes with ti every day or two as a treat.

                        Zu Zu's idea is a good one too.

                        Good luck!


                        • #13
                          My mare LOVES rice bran that is liquid with water. It's not quite a soup, but I put maybe 5 cups into a gallon or so of water, and she will drink that. It's a lot of calories, but it sure gets water into her if I need her to drink.

                          Everyone here likes water out of the one old water tank with the fish and algae in it. They won't drink out of a clean water tank anymore unless I add the algae water to it. Go figure. So if he drinks water in the pasture, try mixing half a bucket of that water into some fresh water in his stall.


                          • #14
                            HorseQuenchers is the name of the product someone referred too, it works like magic... I moved my horses to a barn once and the water was really funky smelling and they stopped drinking, I gave them a couple of buckets with HQ and they got used to the water fast.

                            My older gelding went through a period of a sensitive tooth (it finally actually fell out) where he refused ice cold water, but loved warm water.

                            If it were my horse, like mentioned, I'd find anything that horse did like to eat and make a 'tea' from that for them to drink.... water is so critical and dry manure is sooooo scary.

                            Uckele makes some sugar-free flavoring syrups I keep on hand for making teas in the winter, they have peppermint and molasses.

                            Also, if it were my horse, I'd probably consider the possibility of ulcers too and probably buy a tube or two of gastroguard just to see.

                            can you wet the horse's hay just to get some more water into him?

                            Also a friend had a horse that despised the smell of plastic and refused to drink from most water tubs/buckets.
                            Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                            • #15
                              hey, just another thought... for a short period of time I kept my Morgan at a facility that had mandatory stalling. My morgan refused to pee in his stall, so he soon decided to stop drinking in his stall too. It was hard to keep track of as they had automatic waterers, but when I did install a bucket his was nearly always untouched (while my aged gelding would drink his down and make lakes in his stall).

                              Does your horse pee in his stall? if not, is peeing one of the first things he does when he leaves it?

                              If he doesn't pee in his stall then he may purposely not be drinking.
                              Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                              • #16
                                I've had luck with adding gingerale to water --
                                "I never mind if an adult uses safety stirrups." GM


                                • #17
                                  Try adding a couple of whole apples to his bucket. They should float, and he'll slurp water as he's trying to get them out. You could try other fruit/veg too- I'm just not sure what else will float!

                                  Can you move his bucket around the stall too? Asp refuses to drink if I put hers in a corner, so I try to keep it on the long wall.

                                  Is it a dark bucket? Try a light one so he's not sticking his head into a great dark hole. Maybe try a more shallow bucket too, for the same reasons.
                                  Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


                                  • #18
                                    I sure hope one of the ideas works. It could be the material the bucket is made of - try several buckets of different types -- metal, rubber, plastic, whatever you can think of and see if he has an aversion to the material of one or likes one.
                                    Good luck!


                                    • #19
                                      I'm wondering about the IV fluids, too. What does your vet think?


                                      • #20
                                        How does your water taste? You could try the purest tasteing bottled water you can find. Can you feed him wet peet pulp that adds some moisture, warm water, carrot juice, seven up, hope you find something that helps! My horse is on stall rest right now and he tends not to drink enough.