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An injurious habit of horses in which they bite at the edge of a feed trough or other object and swallow air at the same time.


A behavior disorder of horses in which the animal grasps the edge of an adjacent building fixture and presses down, raising the floor of its mouth, forcing the soft palate open, and sometimes swallowing air.
See: aerophagia
See also: wind-sucking


a rack or manger in a stable.

a neurosis or acquired habit in stabled horses characterized by stereotypic behavior. The horse grasps a solid object with its incisor teeth, arches the neck, pulls upwards and backwards and swallows air. The consequences are eroded teeth, occasionally gastric distention and severe weight loss. Called also wind-sucking, cribbing.
Enlarge picture
Incisor teeth of a crib biter. By permission from Knottenbelt DC, Pascoe RR, Diseases and Disorders of the Horse, Saunders, 2003
crib-biting operation
partial myectomy of the sternohyoideus muscle prevents ventral flexion of the head; not commonly performed. An alternative procedure involves neurectomy of the spinal accessory nerve.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the long term there is nothing to be gained by selling someone a horse and leaving them with a feeling of having been 'cheated' when they discover that it is a crib-biter or weaver, and that the vendor and the auctioneer knew that it was before the sale.
What a pity she isn't a crib-biter as well, then you could add a few more noughts for good measure.
Ellison said: "I put it in for horses who might be box-walkers and who don't like being confined in a stable, bleeders or others with respiratory problems who benefit from being in the open air, or crib-biters like Yesyoucan, who will always find something in a stable to grab and take in air.
The dynamics of the British racing industry are without question the best in the world, yet when we put together a plan to make our industry bigger, better and stronger, the cynics and the crib-biters came out of the woodwork to try to nitpick it to death.