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Feeding to Prevent Winter Colic

Colic is a painful digestive disturbance for the horse, where excessive gasses may build up, blockages may occur, or worse, the intestines may become entrapped within themselves. In many cases, colic may occur as a result of changes in nutritional management, particularly over the winter months. Warm the water Reduced water intake can result in too little water throughout the digestive tract, thereby increasing the risk for impaction colic. When the weather gets cold, so does the water in the barn or outside in the paddocks. Horses do not do well with frigid water (or snow or ice) and may decrease their water intake as the temperature drops. Warming the water (to 7-18°C) with a heated water trough or bucket will keep the water more palatable for horses. Water intake can also be increased through the provision of additional salt, or by mixing water with feeds already in the diet.…

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