And since you’re making this investment to protect your horses we wanted to take a moment to talk about ways to solve this common problem. Its quite common at this time of year and even horses in a herd in a big paddock will eat wood. While painting and staining increase the life of the fence, they also add to upkeep because the fence will need to be repainted or restained from time to time. Vinyl Post and Rail. The post on the front porch has been chewed on at the top and bottom as well. Understanding why horses chew wood and incorporating strategic management practices into your routine can help eliminate the problem. Cows need several vital minerals to keep their bodies functioning properly. Winter is the worst time for most horses and wood chewing, I expect some of it is due to the fact that there is no grass to graze so they "graze" on the fence! Second, the horse may have developed a behavioral issue caused by boredom or frustration or, lastl the horse may simply have developed a taste for wood. These blocks can be purchased at your every day feed store and you can sit them flat on the ground near a water source or feeding location. Be sure the horse gets plenty of exercise, with time out on pasture if possible. Here's what causes it and how to prevent it. Stops horses from chewing wood, blankets and bandages in most cases. Some horses when given access to lush spring grass will continue to want dry hay or will start to chew wood. Dogs are natural-born chewers. Add Metal Fence Caps . best. It's not unusual for horses with too much free time on their hands to start chewing wood. Horse eating wood. Licking and chewing on metal would indicate the need for a salt block and chewing/eating wood would indicate the need for a mineral block. so ya she is hyper maybe thats why cus she started chewing like a month after going lame . Typically when they chew on wood and lick/chew metal it is because they are in need of a salt and mineral block. It is thought that the drop in temperature causes horses to … Why do some horses eat wood fences and barns, destroy trees for the consumption of bark, gobble up dirt, feast upon feces of other horses, lap at urine puddles or prefer one bale of hay and not another? With this, horses will not choose to bite and chew those fences considering the very sensitivity of their mouth and tongue. The second reason is that something in the horse’s environment is a source of frustration. It is treated with a combination of chromium, copper, and arsenic. Sort by. Even if it's just a post or a fence a horse is tied to, or a wooden box stall, a horse may chew it instinctively, because of the smell and the texture, as he knows that's one way of getting what his body needs. … Nutritional Deficiency. by Kendra Helfter. Horses that don’t have enough grass or hay available will turn to whatever else they can get their teeth on. Never noticed until my boss told while at a job out of town. It is also very safe for those horses that chew on their fence. However, if the family pet is chewing on valuable or potentially dangerous items, you must address the situation. Wood chewing can be an annoying and destructive behavior in horses. Now I don't mean they have just nibbled it, they have at some point completely made holes in the fence in large areas. Oak is the traditional horse fencing wood because of its durability. Just spray on all wood surfaces -- indoors and out, plastic and other non-metallic surfaces, such as feed troughs. A horse cribbing on a wooden fence, note anti-cribbing collar intended to reduce this behavior and tension in neck muscles . Researchers have documented an increased incidence of wood chewing in cold, wet weather (Jackson et al., 1994). We have had to put metal gates in the place so that they don't get out! 5 comments. Why horses eat the bark off of trees can be explained by one of three reasons. Wind sucking: The horse will suck in a big gulp of air without chewing on a wooden surface. This is because lush grass is a poor source of structural carbohydrates (fibre). Horses are more prone to wood chewing in cold, wet weather so even if your horse has never chewed on fences or trees it is a good idea to keep an eye on their behavior during winter. The top of my privacy fence is all chewed up. Farmers sometimes discover that their cows are chewing fence posts or barn wood. Why do horses chew wood and how do you stop them from chewing? You can do this by covering the wood with sturdy metal edging or use electric fence to keep the horse away from the fence rails altogether. Wood chewing is thought to be caused by three things – boredom, a lack of minerals in the diet and the fact that your horse has acquired a taste for wood. Now, he might just do it for the reward of chewing itself, which can release natural endorphins (hormones from the morphine family). Hunger is one obvious answer. There a few main reasons why cows begin chewing on wood around your farm or eating tree bark. Looking back on that makes me wonder, why do horses crib on wood. After all, it has all day to move around the paddock and interact with the other horses. The horse would be there every morning. Horses do have a tendancy to want to rub on fences and if you wrap the entire fence from top to bottom instead of each individual board, they will bend and ruin it, not to mention tear or pull out whatever you are using to secure it (fencing staples i would suggest if you do go this route). Halt chewing and cribbing habits with Chew Stop™ chew deterrent. Protect all wood that the horse comes in contact with. Horse Chewing Wood: Why Do Horses Crib? Some horses just absolutely love to chew wood. Determine why your horse chews before correcting his need to chew. Author: Equisearch Updated: May 8, 2017 Original: Apr 30, 2006. Many horses chew wood - especially when they're bored, so I expect donkeys are the same. share. They’ll defoliate shrubs and trees, munch down weeds that aren’t good for them and eat splinters of wood to satisfy their appetite. Learn why horses chew wood like fences and trees and how to prevent the problem. I believe you can thin it down a bit with linseed oil if necessary for brushing. If you do notice the behavior it may be an idea to get your veterinarian to look into it to rule out any health problems. Horses usually don’t swallow wood although they do chew on it, and they would have to ingest large quantities of treated wood to be harmed by the chemicals it contains. save hide report. RSS. The reason they crib on wood is that it’s pliable and readily available. Cribbing: A horse with this habit will grasp a solid, wooden object (like a stable door or fence) with its top incisor teeth. Boards damaged by weather, horses, or other means will need to be replaced. Horses typically chew on the wood parts of barns, fences, etc. This thread is archived. So why do horses still chew wood? Nearly 1,700 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "Do your horses chew on your fences, stalls, barn, etc.?" When they confine their gnawing endeavors to approved toys, the behavior is harmless and adorable. “Horses possess digestive tracts designed to process lots of fiber, but fencing materials offer the wrong kind, because it is virtually indigestible.” A dietary change might help alleviate the need to chew wood, according to Crandell. Without chewing on wood fencing, damaging the fence post is the part of the fence that horses have easiest! 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