Feeding pumpkin for sand removal

Discussion in 'Feeding Horses' started by Troppo, May 26, 2008.

  1. atlast

    atlast New Member

    The pumpkin sounds like a good idea as it obviously has moved the sand through. I think I will try it, I wonder if it would be worth putting some oil in the feed for the few days after the pumpkin to help it all move through?
  2. Happypaint

    Happypaint Well-known Member

    Obviously giving anything different has its risks as all horses react differently. I still do the odd bran mash with parafin just to keep things moving (old habits!). The horse people that put me onto pumpkin said that once we moved the bulk of the sand (ie: when we first gave the pumpkin but also drenched them as they had so much sand) then giving weekly pumpkin would keep the sand moving through rather than letting it build up causing sand colic.

    I actually wonder if giving cooked mashed carrots would do the same thing?
  3. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    just wondering,
    out of the odd parafin oil bran mash which is given, the drenching and the small amout of pumpkin you feed your horse. how do you work out what did what?
    why do horses eat sand in the first place considering they can sift out bute powders???
    how do you not know your feed diet is not lacking ?
    do you know what nutrition your horse requires on a daily bases to be able to satisfy his daily nutrition requirements?
    i feel, IF the horses daily nutition requirements are not met, then eating sand is one of the first signs that something is not quite right, 2nd sign is colic.
    hope this helps
  4. Happypaint

    Happypaint Well-known Member

    I agree totally with you Smash about the diet requirements issue. I am certainly no expert in knowing what the exact diet requirements of our horses are and I can only go on how they look and how happy they are. Our two (a 20 month old filly & an 8 yr old mare on minimal work) are fed a bale of hay between them each day and on Kike pasture for about 8 hours each day. Their night feed consists of a bucket of rough cut chaff 1x 2L container of horse grower & weanler pellets and 1/2 cup of ff soy. We have stopped giving lucern chaff while there is so much green grass. They also have a mineral block/lick. They are both of good weight with healthy, shiney soft coats, manes and tails and appear happy in temperament. They are also wormed regularly. Is there anything that you would recommend adding to this?

    In regards to knowing what has moved the sand the best..........I give the pumpkin in their nightly feed and then check their manure in the morning and you can see the sand there in clumps. I have seen the sand in their manure the morning after a bran/oil mash and it is no way near as obvious as after the pumpkin. When I tried the psyllium husk for 3 months, giving it for 5 days every 2-3 weeks, I didn't see any obvious sand passed and that was when my girls started to get collicky so switched to using the pumpkin and they passed heaps of sand in the 12 hours afterwards.

    It would be great if sand wasn't an issue but unfortunately being in the Jandakot area we have heaps of the bloomin stuff.
  5. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    hi happypaint
    ok, as you know kike binds calcium uptake, so by removing a good sorce of calcium uptake like lucerne is not good, so you may have to look at adding some sort of calcium, also a good vit & min. additive as mineral blocks are mainly salt and molasses (as the mineral perish very quickly when in the open)
    but other than that all looks good.

    as you will have notice, that these bouts of sand instances accurr at around the same time (autum, spring).
    so does this happen every year?
    as someone mentioned that pumkin is fibre, well yes (but you would need to feed a whole pumpkin to get a diuretic reaction) as bran is SOOO MUCH MORE HIGHER IN FIBRE than the poor little pumpkin, and hay is SOOOO MUCH MORE HIGHER IN FIBRE than bran. so we can kind of eliminate the pumpkin as being the one to add fiber to your babies diet.
    pumpkin can be the eliment to adding iron to your diet.
    so dont think i am by any means saying that pumpkin is bad or any thing, as i am only saying pumpkin just can not move sand on its own.
    now put your combination of bran, oil, pumpkin and dreanch together, well then yes, this COMBINATION could help immensely, and this is what i beleive is helping, not the pumpkin alone, not the bran alone, not the oil alone and not the dreanching alone, BUT THE COMBINATION you have put together is what is most likely working on removing the sand, so good on you for that LOL i would never of thought of that LOL LOL LOL
    my post is not about having a dig at your combination, as i think you just maybe onto something there, it is about how other people will read this and think, "oh pumpkin will move my horses sand" when it just wont on its own.
    thank you happypaint for replying with maturity and honesty, and not being defensive, I APPRECIATE IT
    hope all goes well cheers
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2008
  6. Happypaint

    Happypaint Well-known Member

    Hi Smash
    Thankyou for your fantastic reply. I have seen a lot of these type of threads get very heated as everyone has their own ideas on what should and shouldn't be given or done. I am one of these people that ask a lot of questions and store up info for when I may need it and decide what suits my situation best. I have no need for defensiveness as you have very valid points and have passed them on to me in such a helpful way with no attacking of what I have had to say. **) I just hope this also helps others out there dealing with sand removal.

    I think you may be right that we are on to something with the combination of things. Do you think the small amount of pumpkin (being a different food to their chaff/grain/hay etc) may irritate the gut just enough to get the sand lifted and moving along and the oil helps it to keep moving? Just a thought :) That is why I wonder if carrots cooked and mashed might do the same thing...........I know feeding carrots would sit better with most people than feeding pumpkin. As you say it is hard to pinpoint why pumpkin helps to move the sand.......but I have seen the results after feeding that small amount. Is it because of the consistency of the mash as I doubt that raw pumpkin would do this. What are your thoughts?

    PS- I keep having to go back and add the "P" in pumpkin also :D HeeHeeHee
  7. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    why not try swapping your pumpkin with your carrot idea ? see if you get the same result.
    you just never know.
    one would hope that he runs out of sand sooner or later LOL LOL LOL
    thanks happypaint, you have been a pleasure to chat with.
    now make sure IF you do try to experiment, please let me know how it goes. as i am NOW VERY INTERESTED the findings.
    give your boy a hug, and tell him that you are sorry to use him as a guinea pig, but SMASH wants to know LOL LOL LOL
    good luck
  8. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    whoops forgot to add,
    a irritated gut would have the opposite affect, they would eat more sand, to help move the irritation (bit like dogs that eat grass, you know that they are not feeling 100%, but arnt about to die either) hope that made sense LOL
    so i find it hard to assume that pumpkin would irritate anything (unless you gave them a whole bunch of pumpkins of course)
    it would be an imbalance of something, or a weed or something of that nature, that would start the eating of sand.
    if only horses could talk (mmmm maybe not LOL) it really is a guessing game for anyone, but the hardest thing for ANYONE to work out is what is a balance diet for YOUR horse, so much gabbly gooks info out their, that it is very hard to find the truth from the garbage so to speak.
  9. Horsetalk

    Horsetalk Well-known Member

    Would be great if the carrots would work lol. :)
    Smash, now I would like your opinion on the orange juice drench, as mentioned earlier in this thread lol.

    Happypaint, may I ask why do you feed weaner and grower pellets to your 8 year old? If you don't feed lucerne chaff or hay, it's best to add limestone for calcium and a good vit and mineral supp to your horses feed. :) :))
  10. Happypaint

    Happypaint Well-known Member

    I will let you know how it goes..........and others who are interested. **)

    I think our girls aren't worried about being guinea pigs as at least we are getting rid of the sand and they get yummy stuff in their feed :D And yes I do hope that they run out of sand soon too.......It has been a very frustrating last few months as our girls are our world and our home wouldn't be the same if we lost either of them.

    I will get some calcium supplements this week. In view of another thread on here about bran and calcium, do you think giving a weekly bran mash would have an effect on the calcium stores?

    Thankyou Smash for all your input here as your knowledge and advice has been awesome **)
  11. Happypaint

    Happypaint Well-known Member

    Happypaint, may I ask why do you feed weaner and grower pellets to your 8 year old? If you don't feed lucerne chaff or hay, it's best to add limestone for calcium and a good vit and mineral supp to your horses feed. :) :))[/QUOTE]

    Hi Horsetalk
    Thanks for that........will visit the feed store this week**)
    Last year I tried changing Niki's pellets around but had problems with her behaviour so went back to the weaner & grower pellets and she went back to her old calm self and she seems to do well on them. I guess it is a case of if it aint broke don't try and fix it situation :p
  12. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    orange juice = vit. C
    horses do not have a requirement for vit. C
    i hope that answers your question LOL LOL LOL

    ok, kike binds the calcium uptake, this means it is hard for the horses system to absorb calcium. so you will find that they could becoume calcium deficient.
    you will find your pellets will have a bran base. so you need to add a good calcium product to your diet, as well as a LITTLE bit of lucerne.
    lucerne is GOOD LOL LOL LOL has lots of vit & min. and good levels of calcium too. but lucerne alone is not enough calcium for horses on kike.
    you have been a pleasure to chat to, too happypaint. people just get so ummm offended when discussing ideas or theories, when there is just no need to get upset, if your answer is "i thought it was", they feel that the only correct answer is "god told me so" he he he
    "i thought i was rich"
    until i opened my purse LOL LOL
    "i thought i was rich"
    cause i have money in my purse.
    see there are many ways that i could be showen that i am far from rich, even if i have money in my purse LOL LOL LOL
    yes i am sure your babies will not mind being guinea pigs one bit LOL LOL LOL
  13. snoopydoo

    snoopydoo Well-known Member

    I also appreciate the good well mannered debate this issue has brought up. I don't know why it works, but pumpkin does work for my boy. I feel that as a neturally growing plant it is probably less harmful to a horses gut then drenching with an un-natural product - paraffin oil.
    I can only go by my experience. Toby got colic and was drenched and given the usual drugs. He was on a grassy paddock but being a vaccuum pony he had hoovered most of it up and the grass was only 1-2 cm high. I started him on psyllium and as I said even with that, regular as clockwork for a couple months, every 2nd Fri eve he came down with v mild colic. The lady I used to agist with suggessted the pumpkin and I thought what the hell - this can't go on. Poor Toby was not a happy boy. Once I started on the pumpkin the effect was obvious. He passed poos 50-60% sand. He was still on the psyllium and the vet had drenched him again about a month before this.

    As I said I don't know why, but pumpkin works for us. I now give him pumpkin once a week as a preventative and he has not suffered with colic since.:)
  14. Horsetalk

    Horsetalk Well-known Member

    Hi Horsetalk
    Thanks for that........will visit the feed store this week**)
    Last year I tried changing Niki's pellets around but had problems with her behaviour so went back to the weaner & grower pellets and she went back to her old calm self and she seems to do well on them. I guess it is a case of if it aint broke don't try and fix it situation :p[/QUOTE]

    Lol, ok Happypaint, I understand what you are saying. :) Those pellets are bran based, so I would go easy on bran mashes. With the kind of grass they are on and bran mashes, there calcium level would be low. Good on you, you are going to fix this. :) **)

    Smash, lol we can agree that orange juice does not shift sand than ? *#)
  15. Noelle

    Noelle Gold Member

    Well I might try the pumpkin. Being on the good old Gnangara sand, colic is always uppermost in my mind.

    Does anyone know how the sand works on horses' guts? How and why does it cause a horse to scour? Assuming it is the sand causing the horse to scour:confused: Could there be other reasons? Assuming that nothing else, diet wise, has changed.
  16. Happypaint

    Happypaint Well-known Member

    A good horseman friend told me to first go and find a picture or diagram of a horse's digestive tract so I understood the shape of the gut and then he explained to me about how the sand sits in the gut. When there is a lot of sand in the gut it sits in the lower pockets of the gut and food passes through over the sand not allowing for proper absorption. From what I can gather fermentation also occurs and a lot of gas is also produced as the gut is not able to work properly causing scouring.

    Can someone please correct me if I am wrong so that I too can get a better understanding of this :p
  17. Dudette

    Dudette New Member

    I use pumpkin too. Works really well and their coats come up fantastic. It does seem to assist with mud, our pony was prone to colic caused from the clay loam soil leaving mud in her guts. Parafin drenches just slid straight over the top so many dollars later phyllium got it out. However, if the fur family look a bit off I boil up a whole pumpkin, the variety that is on special, and feed them a cup a night for a week. They love it. It doesn't up set their gut and I would have thought the day they got into to the pumpkin patch and ate a pile would have been a prime time for an upset tummy!! Didn't happen though.
  18. Troppo

    Troppo Well-known Member


    This has been a great discussion. Thanks guys! I ended up feeding the pumpkin to the geegee's and surprisingly they loved it! I was really worried about them not liking the taste and having to disguise it, but I caught my big fella licking his bowl after his brekkie!

    His poo's are a little firmer too. I was away the next day so couldn't go following them around to check out their poo's but fingers crossed it works better than the psyllium did for me last year!
  19. citygirl

    citygirl Gold Member


    Mods....can we please have this as a Sticky thread ?

  20. snoopydoo

    snoopydoo Well-known Member

    Troppo - Toby passed the sandy -poos 2-4 days after the pumpkin was fed to him. It was bizarre. I get a fresh chunk of poo and split it otherwise it can be hard to see if there is any sand there. Toby's real sandy poos were v hard too so maybe yours did pass some sand??

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