It’s a word that sends cold shivers up every horse owners’ spine, and for good reason!
Colic is the single biggest killer of horses worldwide.
I lost my beautiful CoaCoa to this horrid condition… with their gastrointestinal tract the way it is, horses are simply prone to developing all sorts of problems with their gut.
There are certain conditions that will increase the risk of colic. So there are things we can do to reduce the risk of colic.
Research presented at the European Equine Health & Nutrition Congress, March 2017 (by Lindroth et al) found the following:
- Change of water source and/or a change of roughage more than twice (though the time period is not specific) doubled the risk of colic.
- Horses fed concentrates three times per day had twice the risk of colic compared to horses not fed any concentrates (amounts were not specified though)
- Here is the REALLY USEFUL bit: For every 1 kg increase in roughage (forage) per 100 kg bodyweight fed per day, the risk of colic DROPPED by three times!
- For every 1 kg increase in muesli feed (composition not specified but would think it contains grains) per 100 kg of bodyweight, the risk of colic INCREASED by three times.Which makes a whole lot of sense, given the more forage we feed and the less concentrate, the closer we are to a horse’s natural diet.
And when we can keep them closer to their natural diet, their gut and overall health is almost always much better!
So more hay, less grain, less risk of colic!