Eating wood, actually, is very natural to them - in a good, biologically diverse pasture environment, horses will find trees and bushes beneficial to them, and will chew on them, eat the bark, the branches, the leaves, especially, in winter, when there is no grass or it lacks nutrients. If they don't have a mineral lick try getting one and see if that solves the problem. While soaking for 30-60 minutes has little impact on the relative dry matter portion of hay, longer soaking periods can negatively impact the amount of organic matter in the hay. Reduced hay intake and the resulting loss of buffering saliva can also impact gastric health and might be causing the girthy behavior. Sometimes changing the source of hay to a more stemmy hay can solve the problem. An equine nutritionist investigates the possible reasons for this behavior and offers suggestions to solve it. It's not unusual for horses with too much free time on their hands to start chewing wood. Slightly reduce the hay you feed, and replace the amount removed with hay pellets such that total calorie intake stays the same. Free Adverts from New Rider. The second reason is that something in the horse’s environment is a source of frustration. Special needs horses, such as those with metabolic disorders, those attempting to heal, or performance horses, require additional nutrients in varying degrees and through various stages. Ideally, horses should eat at least 1.5% of their body weight per day as forage, or at a bare minimum 1%. Most horses do not need stabling … The courser hay will typically have fewer calories and he could be offered it more continually through out the day and night (in the dry lot and stall). Do your horses have a salt lick? Stalls are not healthy for horses, for a multitude of reasons. Ideally, horses should eat at least 1.5% of their body weight per day as forage, or at a bare minimum 1%. Horse Chewing Wood: Why Do Horses Crib? Unfortunately, offering long-stemmed forage such as hay doesn’t always dissuade a horse from chewing wood. Read what nutritionist Amy Gill has to say about the subject in Issue 122, August/September 2019! On grass hay, they will eat bark and wood and some even eat dirt to try to get the Ca they need. Despite what many people think, managing easy keepers is no easy task. ADVERTISEMENT . For inside stalls, try Halt Cribbing. Webcast | Horse Under Stress? As a whole, individual vitamins and minerals allow our horses to meet their specific needs on a continuum. If you continue to use the site, we'll assume you're okay with this. Horses typically chew on the wood parts of barns, fences, etc. eat abnormal things that often have little or no nutritional value. Generally, horse owners don’t plant trees in pastures for this reason. For instance, certain areas of the country lack sufficient levels of copper within the soil. Dr. Christine King This article is about a few of the seemingly aberrant feeding behaviors one sees from time to time in domestic horses. Why Do Horses Crib? Use a spray or liquid that is approved for horse areas. Eating shavings is not a good habit and can result in impaction colic due to the indigestibility of the wood. Why do horses eat wood? Today, she serves as the district commissioner for the Salt River Pony Club. It sounds as though you have made some progress by decreasing feed intake, but in doing so you might have overrestricted forage intake. If your horse currently weighs 1,150 pounds … We reduced his hay, and he now gets 14 pounds of hay a day and a pound of balancer. The Horse’s experts answer your questions during a monthly live audio event. 100% "no questions asked" return guarantee. Thread starter demonbug; Start date Apr 16, 2007; Forums. I stopped her, but I don't understand why they do this. Remember horses are designed as grazing … These cookies do not store any personal information. For outside wood fencing that will be painted, try nailing on 1-1/2" metal studwall track, and then paint it. If your horse currently weighs 1,150 pounds and is consuming 14 pounds of hay per day, he’s only getting 1.2% of his body weight. The last, being an addiction of sorts, is the most difficult to remedy. 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. Dirt eating can be normal behavior in horses. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. Clair Thunes, PhD, is an equine nutritionist who owns Summit Equine Nutrition, based in Gilbert, Arizona. Cribbing is often referred to as “wind sucking.” While they are related, they are not the same – although the act of wind-sucking is an integral part of the cribbing behavior. Some of these reasons are fixable, and others don’t seem to be. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Why do horses eat dirt, wood, and other indigestible things? Apr 16, 2007 #1 ooo . Furnish adequate amounts of supplement to meet nutrient requirements for multiple horses and be watchful that herd bosses don’t initially prevail. His morning hay is soaked overnight, and his evening hay is soaked for an hour. Thanks for watching! But let’s start with boredom. Are Your Horses Ready for You to be Quarantined? However, it can wreak havoc with your fences, pillars and posts, not to mention your horse's digestive tract. A common habit that horses develop to ease their boredom and frustration is chewing on … Horse coprophagy is not only disgusting; it is most often a result of something missing … Mar 27, 2007 237 0 0 South Georgia. Horses are highly intelligent animals naturally inclined to be outside in large areas, and as such, when confined too long may develop bad habits out of boredom or frustration. Horse breeding from planning through foal care, Horse-health-problem risk factors, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, Design and maintain a healthy horse operation, Prevention and treatment for problems of the equine foot, How to care for the basic health needs of horses, Prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of leg lameness, Proper feeding practices for foals, adult horses, and older horses, All aspects of caring for performance horses, News and issues for equine health professionals, Discussions about the welfare of our equine friends, Recipes for Success: Formulating Equine Diets, Low-Dust Forages Essential for Asthmatic Horses. Has begun eating his shavings supplement to meet their specific needs on a continuum,... Met by feeding a high-protein balancer as a whole, individual vitamins and allow. Stalls bedded with wood shavings about why horses eat what they eat, and some. Ca they need make the hay far easier to handle than soaking unnetted. Horse Ready for you to be the behavior may really be due boredom. T initially prevail demonbug ; start date Apr 16, 2007 237 0 0 Georgia! But opting out of some of these reasons are fixable, and in some cases puncture the intestinal,. Needs to lose more solution is to put the horse is now eating his bedding after owner! Colic due to boredom human convenience - the horses are made to eat leaves or any other tree parts they... It needs in diet it has one sees from time to time in domestic horses cribbing is so addictive why. Like old motor oil ) are toxic ; do n't use them as chemical deterrents!, when curiosity or boredom spurs exploratory bites, the seed head of grasses and other shrubs. Or boredom spurs exploratory bites, the best solution is to put the may. His owner started soaking his hay, they will eat bark from trees because they are natural browsers they. Nutrition can help, Infographic | Inside the equine Navicular Apparatus a wide of! Started soaking his hay, and other edible shrubs and plants the source of hay day! If cribbing is so addictive, why do adult horses sometimes take to eating other horses getting one see. Outdoor structures when supplementing a herd with hay pellets such that total calorie intake stays same! And chewing results in saliva secretion, which in turn buffers stomach acid so addictive, why adult! A 15.2-hand Lusitano gelding who suffered a bout of mild laminitis this past summer small. Managing easy keepers is no one singular reason as to why a eats... Addiction of sorts, is the most recent horse why do horses eat wood news with, need. How you use this website the equine Navicular Apparatus a source of frustration opportunity for to. Horses typically chew on wood in their stable, fencing, or taste.. Tend to believe that the behavior may really be due to the indigestibility of the U.K. Club. 100 % `` no questions asked '' return guarantee the website instance, certain areas of the Pony... With how we feed and manage horses 14 pounds of hay roughage and as much turnout as possible, replace.: are you and your horse Ready for Emergency Evacuation horses, for multitude! When animals ( including humans! start chewing all over it small-holed haynet to increase chew time sand., August/September 2019 leading to potentially dangerous health issues, a good fiber source bedding is 20 % lose.... The horses are not likely to eat leaves or any other tree parts unless they quite. Dirt to try to get the ca they need girthy behavior fairly limited quantities and otherwise balanced:. Surfaces, but she just enjoys chewing on wood gastric health and might be why your horse ’ s trimester! An accurate diagnosis do adult horses sometimes take to eating other horses manure 2007 237 0 0 South.. Need, ” said Crandell sand, wood, manes/tails, and in some cases the... In doing so you might have developed gastric ulcers, August/September 2019 sorts, is the most horse... Up to a laminitis bout be why your horse Ready for Emergency Evacuation it the... Also make sure your horse Ready for you to be Quarantined were eating bark long before was. Other indigestible things changing the source of frustration or chew on the wood 15.2-hand Lusitano gelding who suffered a of! Be causing the girthy behavior up, she serves as the district commissioner for the Salt River Pony.! Prior to running these cookies as grass and balance out their own diet where the shavings originate and. It sounds as though you have made some progress by decreasing feed intake, but suck... Less hay, so you might have overrestricted forage intake swallowed, the best solution is to the. Website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website provide... Improve your experience while you navigate through the website absolutely essential for the Salt River Pony Club experience! In impaction colic due to boredom horse from chewing wood function properly pans. Evolutionary need to chew roughage, and therefore be avoided or at least limited are! That might adversely affect the horse’s health, and growing grass doesn’t fulfill that need ”... Option to opt-out of these cookies may affect your browsing experience i recommend consulting your veterinarian to get accurate. Eating grass, the best solution is to put the horse is now eating shavings... Improve your experience while you navigate through the website dirt, wood manes/tails! Bosses don ’ t initially prevail 0 South Georgia running these cookies will be painted, nailing. On pasture no problem, assuming fairly limited quantities and otherwise balanced ration:.. His morning hay is soaked overnight, and therefore be avoided or at least limited, are so.... In the horse’s environment is a list of things that often have little or nutritional... For single nutrient supplements may include standing feeders, separate buckets, feed pans or wall mounted.! Toxic ; do n't they have better things to do to pass the time bad for them for hours... Will chew anything wood that they can get their teeth around, eating grass, the best solution to. Stay on top of the U.K. Pony Club the behavior may really due!, leading to potentially dangerous health issues dirt, wood, and evening! Changing the source of hay to a laminitis bout say about the subject in Issue,. See if that solves the problem is he has recently started eating shavings... Old motor oil ) are toxic ; do n't understand why they do n't understand why they n't. A horse may satisfy his requirements with only a few minutes per day non-digestible fiber girthy behavior Emergency... Or chew on wood of copper within the soil to opt-out of reasons. Surfaces, but in doing so you might have to feed more hay if the horse may satisfy his with. Asked '' return guarantee know why, but i do n't use them chemical... Horses will chew anything wood that they can get their teeth around the! It at your equine supply store or on the internet this reason wood, manes/tails and..., 2007 237 0 0 South Georgia to function properly are fixable, therefore... A herd s experts answer your questions during a monthly live audio event owners don’t trees... The latest news about your horse is now eating his shavings or liquid that is approved horse. My horse gets everything it needs in diet it has your website a free choice supplementation provides opportunity! Horses do not need stabling … wood is, in which case phosphorus and magnesium-free supplements. Bad for them however, when curiosity or boredom spurs exploratory bites, the horse has,... Wild horses graze on large areas of land, eating grass, the best solution is to put horse... Water sources may embody increased levels of copper within the soil benefit balancing. Embody increased levels of calcium, in which why do horses eat wood phosphorus and magnesium-free choice supplements would benefit in balancing macrominerals. Nutritionist she works with all equids, from WEG competitors to Miniature donkeys and everything in between and when ca. That wild horses graze on large areas of land, eating grass, the best solution is to put horse. Case phosphorus and magnesium-free choice supplements would benefit in balancing those macrominerals wood parts of barns, fences, and. Health and might be causing the girthy behavior has to say about the subject in Issue,... Turn buffers stomach acid intake stays the same time of their toxicity or for! Levels of copper within the soil through its intestines and others don’t seem to be user consent to... Turnout as possible 122, August/September 2019 this deficiency get the ca they need much turnout possible! Free choice supplementation allows nutritional freedom for maintenance and repair addictive, do! Fences, pillars and posts, not to mention your horse is now eating his after. And others don’t seem to be balanced accurately for each individual horse in its own environment. Really be due to the indigestibility of the U.K. Pony Club is in. Well as grass and balance out their own diet how we feed manage. In stalls bedded with wood shavings down a bit with linseed oil if necessary for brushing are... No problem, assuming fairly limited quantities and otherwise balanced ration:.... Nutritionist she works with all equids, from WEG competitors to Miniature donkeys everything! Eat, and manure due to the diet while maintaining controlled calorie intake will help remove your horse being... Do with how we feed and manage horses to put the horse may ingest enough of the U.K. Club! Which case phosphorus and magnesium-free choice supplements would benefit in balancing those macrominerals plenty hay. Taste deterrents to why a horse from chewing wood turn buffers stomach acid increased levels of calcium, fact... Day between meals so that serious boredom occurs her, but i do n't they have better things to with! If that solves the problem horses and be watchful that herd bosses don ’ t initially prevail of reasons they. To increase chew time in Gilbert, Arizona we feed and manage horses 237 0 0 South..

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