Why do horses chew the wooden fences? 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. Why do horses chew wood and how do you stop them from chewing? Some horses when given access to lush spring grass will continue to want dry hay or will start to chew 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. This does not mean the horse has deficiencies, assures Dr. Eleanor Kellon. The reason they crib on wood is that it’s pliable and readily available. Looking back on that makes me wonder, why do horses crib on wood. 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. Understanding why horses chew wood and incorporating strategic management practices into your routine can help eliminate the problem. Horses need fibre in their diet for proper digestive function. save hide report. Learn why horses chew wood like fences and trees and how to prevent the problem. These give your horse a natural 'high' that rewards the chewing behavior. So why do horses still chew wood? Why do my horses eat the fence? For outside wood fencing that will be painted, try nailing on 1-1/2" metal studwall track, and then paint it. Sort by. One of the most common stereotypies in horses is equine oral stereotypic behaviour, otherwise known as cribbing, wind sucking or crib-biting. As a result, wood chewing is simply something to do to pass the time. Wooden post and rail and split rail have always been the traditional fences of choice for horse owners. How can a horse be bored? 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. Now I don't mean they have just nibbled it, they have at some point completely made holes in the fence in large areas. I believe you can thin it down a bit with linseed oil if necessary for brushing. so ya she is hyper maybe thats why cus she started chewing like a month after going lame . This is because lush grass is a poor source of structural carbohydrates (fibre). Eating wood. The second reason is that something in the horse’s environment is a source of frustration. Horse Chewing Wood: Why Do Horses Crib? I personally know a horse that will crib on cross ties if he can. For inside stalls, try Halt Cribbing. The first reason is that often there is too much time left in the day between meals so that serious boredom occurs. Now, he might just do it for the reward of chewing itself, which can release natural endorphins (hormones from the morphine family). Typically when they chew on wood and lick/chew metal it is because they are in need of a salt and mineral block. 5 comments. Horse’s crib to release dopamine and endorphins, chemicals in the brain that reduces anxiety and increases pleasure. However, if the family pet is chewing on valuable or potentially dangerous items, you must address the situation. 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. 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. 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. We have had to put metal gates in the place so that they don't get out! Jul 6, 2015 - To the consternation of many a stable owner, some horses chew wood, like fences and trees. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. Hunger is one obvious answer. 1. Here's what causes it and how to prevent it. 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. It is treated with a combination of chromium, copper, and arsenic. Halt chewing and cribbing habits with Chew Stop™ chew deterrent. Stops horses from chewing wood, blankets and bandages in most cases. Horses often chew and rub on wood fencing, damaging the fence. When a horse cribs, he t ypically cribs all the time, and on anything he can reach. 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. Print × Expand. Then he will flex his neck muscles and suck in a big gulp of air, often making a distinctive grunting sound. Think of it as a bad habit, like someone that chews their nails. Nearly 1,700 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "Do your horses chew on your fences, stalls, barn, etc.?" Be sure the horse gets plenty of exercise, with time out on pasture if possible. Wind sucking: The horse will suck in a big gulp of air without chewing on a wooden surface. If horses are not given enough fibre they will seek other sources of fibre. When they can do it, they’re going to do it. Add Metal Fence Caps . Cribbing: A horse with this habit will grasp a solid, wooden object (like a stable door or fence) with its top incisor teeth. The top of my privacy fence is all chewed up. This is an excellent choice for posts. 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. Dogs are natural-born chewers. Wood chewing can be an annoying and destructive behavior in horses. There a few main reasons why cows begin chewing on wood around your farm or eating tree bark. “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. Stereotypies are repetitive, unwavering behaviours that cease to obtain a goal and lack function. Horses typically chew on the wood parts of barns, fences, etc. share. Boards damaged by weather, horses, or other means will need to be replaced. For horses that are cribbers or wood chewers, posts treated with copper naphthenate (Cu-nap) are the safest if horses actually ingest the wood. Protect all wood that the horse comes in contact with. 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. Nutritional Deficiency. Its quite common at this time of year and even horses in a herd in a big paddock will eat wood. This thread is archived. The fence post is the part of the fence that horses have the easiest time reaching. Farmers sometimes discover that their cows are chewing fence posts or barn wood. 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. Many horses chew wood - especially when they're bored, so I expect donkeys are the same. But let’s start with boredom. Horses who are satiated with roughage are much less likely to chew wood. 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