They may even catch them eating the bark off trees. save hide report. Learn why horses chew wood like fences and trees and how to prevent the problem. This is an excellent choice for posts. Oak is the traditional horse fencing wood because of its durability. Horses that don’t have enough grass or hay available will turn to whatever else they can get their teeth on. Why do horses chew the wooden fences? 1. Never noticed until my boss told while at a job out of town. If horses are not given enough fibre they will seek other sources of fibre. 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. 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. Horse’s crib to release dopamine and endorphins, chemicals in the brain that reduces anxiety and increases pleasure. Help put an end to your horse's unwanted chewing habits with No Chew™ chew deterrent. This thread is archived. When a horse cribs, he t ypically cribs all the time, and on anything he can reach. Its quite common at this time of year and even horses in a herd in a big paddock will eat wood. Horses will chew anything wood that they can get their teeth around. Some horses when given access to lush spring grass will continue to want dry hay or will start to chew wood. After all, it has all day to move around the paddock and interact with the other horses. share. When they can do it, they’re going to do it. Farmers sometimes discover that their cows are chewing fence posts or barn wood. Look for it at your equine supply store or on the internet. Locust is another hardwood that is environmentally safe and does not require treating. I personally know a horse that will crib on cross ties if he can. The top of my privacy fence is all chewed up. We have had to put metal gates in the place so that they don't get out! The last, being an addiction of sorts, is the most difficult to remedy. Update: she is not cribbing she is chewing on wood and sometimes she also eats wood chips off the ground... Update 2: she is recovering from lameness so i cant lunge her or ride her i can only trot for 5 mins every day. Jul 6, 2015 - To the consternation of many a stable owner, some horses chew wood, like fences and trees. 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. There a few main reasons why cows begin chewing on wood around your farm or eating tree bark. Cribbing: A horse with this habit will grasp a solid, wooden object (like a stable door or fence) with its top incisor teeth. Wind sucking: The horse will suck in a big gulp of air without chewing on a wooden surface. Horses are smart animals and they can "feel" the electricity when their noses are near the fence line;however, most horses take their chances when they get close to the More information #horses tend to chew on wooden fences; and that is why it's best to use electric fencing on pastures for horse security. Think of it as a bad habit, like someone that chews their nails. 5 comments. 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. The post on the front porch has been chewed on at the top and bottom as well. Now I don't mean they have just nibbled it, they have at some point completely made holes in the fence in large areas. Protect all wood that the horse comes in contact with. Print × Expand. On our way to school, we would pass a horse biting the top of a wood fence posts. Cows need several vital minerals to keep their bodies functioning properly. Treated wood is found in many places on a farm because over time it holds up to weather elements and prevents damage from insects remarkably well. Nearly 1,700 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "Do your horses chew on your fences, stalls, barn, etc.?" These give your horse a natural 'high' that rewards the chewing behavior. 100% Upvoted. For inside stalls, try Halt Cribbing. Hunger is one obvious answer. Add Metal Fence Caps . Why do horses chew wood and how do you stop them from chewing? by Kendra Helfter. Horse eating wood. A good start is plenty of the coarser variety of hay rather than the really fine or green stuff. Probably they need more fibre in their diet. Halt chewing and cribbing habits with Chew Stop™ chew deterrent. This does not mean the horse has deficiencies, assures Dr. Eleanor Kellon. As a result, wood chewing is simply something to do to pass the time. Why horses eat the bark off of trees can be explained by one of three reasons. 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. Well, it's at least one of the reasons, if we cross out boredom/stress or sometimes teeth problems. Horses need fibre in their diet for proper digestive function. Horses who are satiated with roughage are much less likely to chew wood. for 3 reasons. Many horses chew wood - especially when they're bored, so I expect donkeys are the same. The first reason is that often there is too much time left in the day between meals so that serious boredom occurs. Sort by. This is because lush grass is a poor source of structural carbohydrates (fibre). Stereotypies are repetitive, unwavering behaviours that cease to obtain a goal and lack function. Wood chewing can be an annoying and destructive behavior in horses. best. Thus, wolmanized or treated wood may also be referred to as CCA treated wood. 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). Now, he might just do it for the reward of chewing itself, which can release natural endorphins (hormones from the morphine family). Most wood fences are painted white or black, or are stained to help protect the wood from drying out and to look attractive. The reason they crib on wood is that it’s pliable and readily available. A relatively new type of fencing, PVC vinyl post and rail fencing combines the good looks and visibility of traditional wood without many of wood’s drawbacks. For horses that are cribbers or wood chewers, posts treated with copper naphthenate (Cu-nap) are the safest if horses actually ingest the wood. However, if the family pet is chewing on valuable or potentially dangerous items, you must address the situation. Boards damaged by weather, horses, or other means will need to be replaced. Author: Equisearch Updated: May 8, 2017 Original: Apr 30, 2006. I believe you can thin it down a bit with linseed oil if necessary for brushing. Hot cinnamon taste helps stop horses from wood chewing and cribbing ; Won't stain white fences or discolor other painted surfaces* Easy-to-apply, clear liquid formula; Simply spray, roll or brush it on surfaces 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. Oak, locust, pine, spruce and hemlock are other options for wood horse fencing. 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. The second reason is that something in the horse’s environment is a source of frustration. 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. It is treated with a combination of chromium, copper, and arsenic. It's not unusual for horses with too much free time on their hands to start chewing wood. It is thought that the drop in temperature causes horses to … Nutritional Deficiency. 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. Typically when they chew on wood and lick/chew metal it is because they are in need of a salt and mineral block. For outside wood fencing that will be painted, try nailing on 1-1/2" metal studwall track, and then paint it. 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! How can a horse be bored? Be sure the horse gets plenty of exercise, with time out on pasture if possible. 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? Here's what causes it and how to prevent it. Horses typically chew on the wood parts of barns, fences, etc. First, the horse may be lacking something in their diet, usually as a vitamin or mineral, which they are finding in the wood. Why do my horses eat the fence? RSS. so ya she is hyper maybe thats why cus she started chewing like a month after going lame . Stops horses from chewing wood, blankets and bandages in most cases. Why Do Cows Chew Wood or Eat Bark off Trees? Wooden post and rail and split rail have always been the traditional fences of choice for horse owners. Researchers have documented an increased incidence of wood chewing in cold, wet weather (Jackson et al., 1994). Determine why your horse chews before correcting his need to chew. One of the most common stereotypies in horses is equine oral stereotypic behaviour, otherwise known as cribbing, wind sucking or crib-biting. “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. Eating wood. Some horses just absolutely love to chew wood. The horse would be there every morning. We have 2 Ex racehorses and 1 Palomino, about a month into them coming down to us they just started eating the wooden fence panels. Dogs are natural-born chewers. But let’s start with boredom. They’ll defoliate shrubs and trees, munch down weeds that aren’t good for them and eat splinters of wood to satisfy their appetite. A horse cribbing on a wooden fence, note anti-cribbing collar intended to reduce this behavior and tension in neck muscles . Horse Chewing Wood: Why Do Horses Crib? New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. 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. So why do horses still chew wood? They chew on sticks etc and even fence posts sometimes but you don't notice as much as when they are in a smaller area. Looking back on that makes me wonder, why do horses crib on wood. … With this, horses will not choose to bite and chew those fences considering the very sensitivity of their mouth and tongue. Just spray on all wood surfaces -- indoors and out, plastic and other non-metallic surfaces, such as feed troughs. Horses often chew and rub on wood fencing, damaging the fence. When a horse desires fiber, it heads to the fenceline when no hay is available,” she said. 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. When they confine their gnawing endeavors to approved toys, the behavior is harmless and adorable. Then he will flex his neck muscles and suck in a big gulp of air, often making a distinctive grunting sound. However, this method should be maintained and be done regularly especially during times when they have been already washed off by rain, and the bitter taste of the wood comes off naturally. Understanding why horses chew wood and incorporating strategic management practices into your routine can help eliminate the problem. It is also very safe for those horses that chew on their fence. The fence post is the part of the fence that horses have the easiest time reaching. 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