View Full Version : Feeding advice for a windsucker.

18-05-11, 08:25 PM
Just looking for a bit of advice on feeding a windsucker. I ve had my girl since August, she windsucked really badly when she first arrived and was in poor condition. I kept her feed the same as her previous owner and have done since I've had her, only increasing the amount as her work has increased and she was fed speedibeat through the worst of the winter. She lives out 24/7, is fed once a day on Alpha A Oil and course mix and Frisky Mare to help with her seasons, she is a good doer and looks in great condition, but I know that cerals are not great for a windsucker and would love to know what everyone else feeds there windsucker. She is in light/medium work, and her windsucking has reduced dramaticly, its mainly around feeding time, but would love it too reduce even more!

18-05-11, 08:35 PM
Hi, I think you are doing better than I am with mine! Mine is a poor doer and a very bad wind sucker despite living out and having ad lib forage and Alfalfa and Saracens Show Improve (also a mix). If you have managed to keep weight on and reduce the wind sucking to some extent then you are doing well! I have had my mare for over 4 years and even in a field she will seek out a branch or post to suck on - I have just learned to live with it as she is such a special mare. I have tried yeast in the short term but it didnt make any difference but maybe I didnt have her on it for long enough - have you tried anything like that?

18-05-11, 08:53 PM
Thanks, I'm quite pleased with how she is looking although she does have a slight grassy belly, we are working on reducing and toning that up! Bally will windsuck in the field, she has her favourite posts, but is has reduced she would stand for up to 1/2 hour after a feed windsucking when she first arrived, tonight she windsucked 5/6 times then went off. She still windsucks during the day sometimes i think its just habit other times I think its more gastric related. I have her on Pink Powder too and it has made a difference, her belly doesnt make any of the gassy noises it used to, and when I stopped the pink powder for a while the gassy noises came back so it does something. I havn't tried her on anything else, but do think you need to have them on it for a good while before you see a difference.

18-05-11, 08:56 PM
I have a windsucker, who's in great condition at the minute. He used to windsuck a lot, but I cut out all mixes and cereals, and he is now on Allen and Page Fast Fibre, and he seems to be doing very well on this. When he lives in, he gets adlib hay. I also feed him Pink Powder and Limestone Flour.

In summer, he lives out 24/7, and then only windsucks at meal times, no other times. He is on box rest at the minute, so very stressy, meaning he is reverting back to windsucking as his way of relaxing I think. But generally, this feed helps with his windsucking a lot, and he looks really good, with a nice sheen to his coat. (see my signature, the bay :D )

18-05-11, 09:14 PM
My lad is a windsucker and was extremely thin when we bought him. He is in the best condition he has ever been in. He is on A&P Calm and Condition, (good for him as he is extremely cereal sensitive) speedibeet and FibreGy as well as plenty of carrots and apples. He also has excellent haylage.

But what I think has made the difference is Coligone, he has it everyday and wind sucks very rarely now, and really only out of habit, he wind sucks when he see our car arrive or when his bucket arrives, rather than basically all the time. Also we no longer get threats to bite or kick when touching his tummy and whilst he still does gaseous colic occasionally but it is much less serious, usually over in a couple of hours.


18-05-11, 09:41 PM
Thanks for the replies.

vikkiandmonica - Wings looks fab, do you just feed fast fibre itself? I've heard about limestone flour for windsucking, do you think it makes a big difference?

FYC - I've never heard about Coligone can you give me somew more info on it please?


18-05-11, 10:39 PM
Treat for ulcers.

I gave mine 10 Renies and he stopped cribbing...or go straight to scoping.

Dont feed small meals - as in Topspec - as the chewing helps with the saliva which coats the stomach.

Horses continue to produce acid even when not eating so the longer they eat the better.

I put mine on Equilibrium Growth and this helped to stop the ulcers returning.

18-05-11, 10:55 PM
I have a windsucker too! (we should start a club!) she has worn her front teeth away because of it!

She is a TB, ex racer but she is not stressy at all :)

I have only had her for a short while but she is turned out 24/7 for the summer, I have put electic tape around the post & rail but she will find somewhere to do it if she really has to.

I have started to feed her Fast Fibre but it is a bit yucky (after you soak it) a little conditioning mix, chaff, pink powder & limestone flower and a huge round of hay in the middle of her paddock.

I'm not sure it has helped because she will still do it if she can find somewhere but .... if she can't she's not bothered.

I am going to put her on Coligone in the winter when she comes in at night.

19-05-11, 05:57 AM
I gave mine 10 Renies and he stopped cribbing...or go straight to scoping.

I'm probably reading this wrong but are you saying 10 cured your horse's ulcers?

19-05-11, 07:21 AM
I have a wind sucker and if given the chance will wind suck all day long.

She is out 24/7 and has cribox on all posts so she can't do it and she has basically stopped doing it.

She doesn't do it at all in the field now, she has loads of grass and a pasture lick.

She will sometimes do it while stood waitinf for me to groom and tack up when tied to the gate.

She is fed on:

Summer: Cup of High Fibre nuts, Cup of Baileys outshine which I am currently slowly changing to Baileys No4., Seaweed and handful of chaff, she is a good doer (TB).

Winter: Out 24/7 still, Stubbs scoop of Chaff, half scoop of high fibre nuts, half scoop of speedi beet, Bailey's what will now be Number 4, seaweed.

I try to keep her feed as high fibre as poss and it seems to be working, not sure about the mixes as she has never had any due to pasture mix being the most non-heating at that sends her sky high.

19-05-11, 08:43 AM
Mooching in here as I have sucker too!

Winter now fed on: Speedibeet/Baileys outshine/Bluechip/Oil (doesn't do too well, but not sure if that was due to his op) plus as much haylage as I can get him to eat.

Summer currently being fed on: Nothing as he's turned out 24/7 and has become like a barrel on 4 legs :eek:

He has his post in the field and occasionally goes to it for a bit, if he's brought in he's terrible and does it unless there is food or he's being ridden or groomed!

I tried crib-box but he was that determined to windsuck he licked it off and then continued, still tempted to try pink powder and ditch the blue chip...

19-05-11, 08:47 AM
Right I could be wrong but I have heard about slippery elm bark being good for ulcers ..... scurries off for more info

Also Aloe Vera juice is amazing for indigestion - I saw some in my tack shop too the other day so perhaps try that !! You need to keep protien low as in order to digest protien the stomach has to produce more acid and hence irritates the stomach.

Also I have heard that Alfala is not reccomended for those needing a low protien diet!!

19-05-11, 09:00 AM
From Allen and Pages website
For the vast majority of horses and ponies Alfalfa is a great source of nutrients, however some equines may react badly if they are intolerant to it. Intolerance means their bodies don’t like what is in the food. Bad reactions could beanything from lumps on the skin to your horse becoming hyper on it with behavioural problems. It may also be inappropriate for a horse on a low protein diet, this may be the case for horses with liver problems.

Re slippery elm

For horses, slippery elm bark powder is most commonly used internally, to treat conditions such as scouring (diarrhoea) and gastric ulceration and as aftercare in some types of colic cases. It soothes and coats injured and inflamed tissues, helping them to heal and reducing the likelihood of scarring, as well as drawing out toxins and irritants. It can be added to a moist chaff/grain feed or combined with plain yoghurt (with live cultures) and/or honey, mashed banana or mashed pumpkin, and added to feed or syringed into the mouth.

19-05-11, 09:18 AM
Yes, I would say the limestone flour has helped a lot, although Wings was never girthy. I feed a small handful of Alfa A with about 2 scoop of dry fast fibre, all of which is then soaked thoroughly. I give him 2 feeds of this everyday, with the limestone flour in both feeds, and then he either has adlib hay or in a field with good grass for the rest of the time. He wintered out very well this year on adlib haylage and a feed with calm and condition once a day. I've never seen him look better than he does now, and I think his feeding regime is what helped massively.

Hope this helps :D

19-05-11, 10:54 AM
You are right that cereals are not good - you are best to feed chaff feeds that she will eat slowly and not bolt down.

With my windsucker I feed him Dodson & Horrel fibergy - http://www.dodsonandhorrell.com/products/horse-ranges/forage/fibergy.html

And for a little more energy I feed him Coolstance http://www.stanceequine.com/horsefeedproducts.php?CoolStance-Copra-2
with his Fibergy mixed in.

I also give him Feedmark http://www.feedmark.com/Product.asp?Product=settelex
Very powdery so best mixed with water into a paste then added to food. Mine won't eat just his chaff with settlex added though, but the addition of the coolstance works well in disguising the taste of the settlex.

I find this works well with mine.

19-05-11, 03:14 PM
My lad windsucks, I've watched him to see if I can figure out why, he looks quite bright and breezy while he's hnnking away, so I'm assuming it's not pain or discomfort, and more boredom ... ?

He's in pretty good condition (even if I do say so myself!) nice shiny coat, keeps his weight consistent, happy in his work...

19-05-11, 04:51 PM
I gave mine 10 Renies and he stopped cribbing...or go straight to scoping.

I'm probably reading this wrong but are you saying 10 cured your horse's ulcers?

It calmed his stomach and he stopped cribbing for a short time.

They can have ulcers and not show any signs or like mine, behave badly and crib.

By treating his acid stomach it proved he had a problem...cheaper and less distressful than scoping but and indication that its the likely problem.

After this I treated through the vet and changed the feed so he chewed for longer. Now its managed.

19-05-11, 07:19 PM
Thanks for the replies.

vikkiandmonica - Wings looks fab, do you just feed fast fibre itself? I've heard about limestone flour for windsucking, do you think it makes a big difference?

FYC - I've never heard about Coligone can you give me somew more info on it please?


One of these days I am going to get told off for telling everyone about Coligone. But I am nothing to do with the company, just an extremely happy customer. It is a supplement from Bradshaws. Not too expensive and works, unlike some other supplements.

Hope this link gives you some info.

19-05-11, 09:13 PM
I think we should start a club too! lol

Thanks for all the suggestions, you have given me loads to look into and loads to consider and think about.

With regards to having Bally scoped, I have discussed this with my vet as we both feel she windsucks due to gastric ulcers, but we both agreed that with her windsucking reducing and being managed well we wont scoped her just now. If at anytime I feel her windsucking gets worse and she becomes uncomfortable I will get her scoped and treated for ulcders.


19-05-11, 09:32 PM
Feedmark settelex worked for a very bad cribbing stallion - no teeth left. Took prob 2-3 weeks to take effect. Coligone also very good just not tasty for my boys :(

21-05-11, 11:04 PM
My mare used to only windsuck on her haynets so we got her a hay rack and took the nets out. (was having to buy nets on a regular basis as she was basically chewing her way through them) thought that we had solved the problem.

Untill she realised that if she pressed her chin on the outside of her stable door she could windsuck without biting down on anything!!! she is in good condition and is generally relaxed and only does it when she is fradging over the door (waiting for her dinner or to be tacked up) so i have just left her to it.

21-05-11, 11:29 PM
The only way in my experience to stop one wind sucking is with a miracle collar. Obviously as much grazing type eating as poss is the best natural help. However, if your horse is healthy and happy the occasional wind suck shouldn't bother you too much. A vice like that is for life hence why you have to declare them at point of sale. Good management can only minimise vices not eliminate them from the horses make up.

22-05-11, 05:50 AM
Its a symptom. Better to treat the cause than resort to gadgets

22-05-11, 07:40 AM
Miracle collars do nothing but cause mores distress.

My gelding cringed and windsuckef when I first got him / result if restricted turn out and cereal based diet in previous competition home - he also came with a collar.

I dumped the collar and cereals, he is fed a high fibre diet - has a bg Stubbs scoop of alfalfa before any work to reduce acid splashing, is turned out 24:7 for as long as possible and everyday in the winter regardless of the weather. Fast Fibre is great for him as well because it contains linseed which helps the production of mucus which protects the gut from the acid. He no longer has any specific supplements as after nearly 3 years he rarely cribs it windsucks anymore - if he was having a flare up he would get either Coligone, Global Herbs Acid-X, aloe Vera juice and Manuka honey.

Ulcers or EGS is like having really bad heartburn - a collar doesn't help in anyway other than to stop the one action that is giving them a little bit of relief.

22-05-11, 07:48 AM
Interesting article here:


on feeding for ulcers, which is usually linked to windsucking.

There is some evidence that alfalfa can help buffer acid in the gut and so prevent ulcers:


22-05-11, 08:48 PM
I'm not keen on the collars either I have to say. Much better to treat the cause instead on stressing them out more with a collar, well I believe so anyway.

TGM - Thanks for the links, intresting reading.