Nineteen young horses that had recently started to perform the stereotypy of crib-biting were compared with 16 non-stereotypic horses for 14 weeks. After initial observations of their behaviour and an endoscopic examination of the condition of their stomachs, the horses were randomly allocated to a control or an antacid diet. At the start of the trial, the stomachs of the crib-biting foals were significantly more ulcerated and inflamed than the stomachs of the normal foals. In addition, the faecal pH of the crib-biting foals (6.05) was significantly lower than that of the normal foals (6.58). The antacid diet resulted in a significant improvement in the condition of the horses' stomachs. The crib-biting behaviour declined in most of the foals, regardless of their diet, but tended to decline to a greater extent in the foals on the antacid diet.
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