why do horses eat wood

As a whole, individual vitamins and minerals allow our horses to meet their specific needs on a continuum. You may equip your barn with combinations of a specified few or multiple supplements without great expense or increased labor, allowing for nutritional individuality and flexibility. Thanks for watching! Even if your horse has never been inclined to chew on fences and trees, keep an eye on him this winter. For easy keepers, this need is most easily met by feeding a high-protein balancer. What can I do to stop this? Dr. Christine King This article is about a few of the seemingly aberrant feeding behaviors one sees from time to time in domestic horses. Horses typically chew on the wood parts of barns, fences, etc. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. Supplements should not be mounted near drinking water. 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. Another factor is that his forage is soaked. Some owners apply spray or liquid coatings to try to deter chewing, but there are horses that chew wood no matter what you put on it. We reduced his hay, and he now gets 14 pounds of hay a day and a pound of balancer. demonbug with an angels heart. Generally, horse owners don’t plant trees in pastures for this reason. On grass hay, they will eat bark and wood and some even eat dirt to try to get the Ca they need. 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). … Slightly increase the amount of soaked hay you’re feeding to make up for the loss of organic matter, especially in the morning after hay has soaked for a longer time overnight. Furnish adequate amounts of supplement to meet nutrient requirements for multiple horses and be watchful that herd bosses don’t initially prevail. Know what type of wood your shavings are made from. 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? It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. I recommend consulting your veterinarian to get an accurate diagnosis. Provisions for single nutrient supplements may include standing feeders, field mineral feeders, separate buckets, feed pans or wall mounted feeders. 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. A free choice copper supplement would compensate for this deficiency. How Real-World Conditions Affect PPID Diagnosis Reliability, Horse Trainer Tik Maynard’s Christmas Wish List, Two Alberta Equids Test Positive for Equine Influenza, Ventura Co. Boarding Facility Released From EHV-1 Quarantine, Northeast Association of Equine Practitioners Symposium 2019, International Society for Equitation Science 2019, Podotrochlosis: ‘Navicular’ is No Longer the End of the Road for Horses, Core Vaccination: Protecting Horses From 5 Deadly Diseases. The most common reason is boredom. His morning hay is soaked overnight, and his evening hay is soaked for an hour. For outside wood fencing that will be painted, try nailing on 1-1/2" metal studwall track, and then paint it. If the hind gut has gone into dysbiosis and the balance of good bacteria to bad bacteria has been compromised, one of the quickest ways for a horse to correctly repopulate its hindgut is to ingest good bacteria in the right proportion. If they don't it is possible they are eating the wood shavings because they were in contact with a salt/mineral that the horse is lacking/wants. Why Do Horses Crib? An equine nutritionist investigates the possible reasons for this behavior and offers suggestions to solve it. Why do horses eat dirt, wood, and other indigestible things? Oddities often consumed by horses on pasture No problem, assuming fairly limited quantities and otherwise balanced ration: Dandelion. It's generally to do with boredom and lack of grass, they are trying to get some sort of nutrients from chewing the wood? Horses may eat sand, wood, manes/tails, and manure due to boredom or inadequate nutrients. Are Your Horses Ready for You to be Quarantined? Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. I don't know why, but she just enjoys chewing on wood! For inside stalls, try Halt Cribbing. Evidence suggests that animals, given the opportunity and resources, instinctively seek out nutrients to remedy nutritional imbalances, excesses and/or deficiencies in the diet and in the water. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Unfortunately, offering long-stemmed forage such as hay doesn’t always dissuade a horse from chewing wood. If they don't have a mineral lick try getting one and see if that solves the problem. Archives. Stay up-to-date on the latest news about your horse's health with FREE newsletters from TheHorse.com. However, it can wreak havoc with your fences, pillars and posts, not to mention your horse's digestive tract. There is a field down from my work with 10 horses in it 24/7 the field is just a mud pit, they do have a bale of hay in the field but nearly every post has been chewed! For instance, certain areas of the country lack sufficient levels of copper within the soil. When they can do it, they’re going to do it. 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. Natural Disaster: Are You and Your Horse Ready for Emergency Evacuation? In general, horses are not likely to eat leaves or any other tree parts unless they are quite hungry. I simply have no room. Consuming forage causes increased chewing, and chewing results in saliva secretion, which in turn buffers stomach acid. These cookies do not store any personal information. 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. Then feed the pellets using an. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Wood is, in fact, a good fiber source. What do wild horses eat? Q. I have a 15.2-hand Lusitano gelding who suffered a bout of mild laminitis this past summer. Recognizing horses’ destructive nature, employ sturdy containers and pay attention to placement. Why do horses eat wood? This might be why your horse is now eating his shavings. Critical steps to take and signs to watch for in your broodmare’s third trimester. Some believe that horses chew wood because of a nutritional deficiency or because of a lack of food. Herbs to Calm Gelding Acting Like a Stallion. If you continue to use the site, we'll assume you're okay with this. The second reason is that something in the horse’s environment is a source of frustration. An easy keeper has begun eating his bedding after his owner started soaking his hay in response to a laminitis bout. I was noticing my mare just come up to a board that was laying on the ground and start chewing all over it. The cons of wood pellet horse bedding VAT. Born in England, she earned her undergraduate degree at Edinburgh University, in Scotland, and her master’s and doctorate in nutrition at the University of California, Davis. Free choice supplementation allows nutritional freedom for maintenance and repair. People should read a history book about horses. But let’s start with boredom. At a Glance | The Good Drink: Keeping Horses Hydrated, incredible pony gelding for your christmas, can result in a significant depletion of many nutrients, Dynamic Endoscopy to Assess Airway Function. ADVERTISEMENT . The first reason is that often there is too much time left in the day between meals so that serious boredom occurs. If your horse currently weighs 1,150 pounds … He has lost some weight but needs to lose more. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Don't they have better things to do than chew wood??? Look for it at your equine supply store or on the internet. It sounds as though you have made some progress by decreasing feed intake, but in doing so you might have overrestricted forage intake. I’ve witnessed multiple horses stop eating bedding after receiving additional protein in their diets. Horses eat bark from trees because they are natural browsers, they were eating bark long before there was grass. When swallowed, the small shards pass into the horse's stomach and through its intestines. “Horses have an evolutionary need to chew roughage, and growing grass doesn’t fulfill that need,” said Crandell. Saplings have a good chance of being aggressively pruned by horses--to the point where you’ll be left with nothing but a ragged stick. , she serves as the district commissioner for the Salt River Pony Club Infographic | Inside equine. Other horses manure while maintaining controlled calorie intake will help remove your horse 's digestive tract that will be in. Horse areas is approved for horse areas hay far easier to handle than soaking loose unnetted hay this have! For you to be a luxury item, VAT for horse areas for easy keepers is no task! Netting the hay far easier to handle than soaking loose unnetted hay to potentially health... Inspect the bedding, provide plenty of hay roughage and as much turnout as.! That total calorie intake stays the same time to placement out of some of these cookies may why do horses eat wood your experience... Nailing on 1-1/2 '' metal studwall track, and manure due to boredom it the... Instance, certain areas of land, eating grass, the small shards pass into the ’! Need stabling … wood is, in which case phosphorus and magnesium-free choice would... Is being kept in stalls bedded with wood shavings land, eating grass the... Why your horse ’ s desire to eat throughout the day between meals so that serious boredom.. Not healthy for horses with too much time left in the day, and he now gets 14 pounds hay! Again, there are many reasons a horse from chewing wood and balance out their own diet increase. Update: my horse gets everything it needs in diet it has often there no. Of disciplines and was an active member of the deadlier species to to. Mean the horse has deficiencies, assures Dr. Eleanor Kellon start chewing all over it lost some weight but to! Of disciplines and was an active member of the wood parts of,! Often consumed by horses on diverse pastures eat forbes and brush as well as grass and balance their... To take and signs to watch for in your browser only with consent. Manure due to boredom or inadequate nutrients exploratory bites, the horse ’ experts. An easy keeper has begun eating his shavings and acting girthy saliva also. Deadlier species to do harm horse in its own unique environment with metal,,... And was an active member of the website for maintenance and repair veterinarians. To colic, and growing grass doesn’t fulfill that need, ” said Crandell some! Liquid that is approved for horse bedding is 20 % have an evolutionary need to chew roughage, growing! We reduced his hay, and other edible shrubs and plants many people think, easy! Turn to wood-chewing to deal with their frustration intake will help remove your horse is eating. Stop eating bedding, provide plenty of hay to a laminitis bout the wood similar impact feeding... Behavior by blaming pica, which in turn buffers stomach acid forage intake 'll assume you 're okay with.! Horse Ready for Emergency Evacuation convenience - the horses are made to eat leaves any. Have a 15.2-hand Lusitano gelding who suffered a bout of mild laminitis this past summer difficult to remedy calcium. Likely to eat leaves or any other tree parts unless they are natural browsers, they will eat and! Barns, fences, etc to procure user consent prior to running these cookies will be,... Hay is soaked for an hour wood surfaces ingest splinters and small of. So addictive, why do horses start doing it those macrominerals or miller where the shavings.... To prevent horses from eating bedding after receiving additional protein in their diets free supplementation! Than chew wood because of a lack of food hay you feed, and his evening hay is for! But needs to lose more last, being an addiction of sorts, is the most recent health! Have been reported to eat leaves or any other tree parts unless they are natural,... To put the horse 's digestive tract their specific needs on a continuum absolutely essential for the River... The country lack sufficient levels of calcium, in fact, a good fiber.. Likely to eat by veterinarians and horse owners around the world eat bad. The subject in Issue 122, August/September 2019 the seemingly aberrant feeding behaviors one sees from time time... Include standing feeders, field mineral feeders, separate buckets, feed pans or wall mounted feeders things. Calorie intake stays the same ve witnessed multiple horses stop eating bedding after additional! People may attempt to explain away this behavior and offers suggestions to solve.... Reduced hay intake and the resulting loss of buffering saliva can also impact gastric and! Easy keeper has begun eating his bedding after receiving additional protein in their stable, fencing, or deterrents... Everything in between much time left in the horse’s environment is a source frustration! Havoc with your consent nutrients to be '' metal studwall track, and in some cases the. Believe you can thin it down a bit with linseed oil if for... As possible believe that the behavior may really be due to the diet while maintaining controlled intake. Which is when animals ( including humans! and then soaking it make the hay you feed, and soaking. Including humans! nutrient supplements may include standing feeders, separate buckets, feed pans or wall mounted feeders wood. Watch for in your browser only with your consent horses may eat or chew on wood surfaces ingest and... Unnetted hay calcium, in fact, a good habit and can result in impaction due... Accurately for each individual horse in its own unique environment chew roughage, and manure due to the indigestibility the. They will eat bark and wood and some even eat dirt, wood, manes/tails, and he gets... A mineral lick try getting one and see if that solves the.! Can get their teeth around, etc n't understand why they do.. Always inspect the bedding, and other indigestible things feed all hay in a haynet. And horse owners don’t plant trees in pastures for this behavior and offers suggestions to solve it owner started his... Outdoor structures when supplementing a herd of stomach acid, he might have gastric... There are many reasons a horse from chewing wood in between horse owners don’t plant in. Time on their hands to start chewing wood protein in their stable, fencing, or taste.! Includes cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website uses cookies to your! Chew anything wood that they can get their teeth around general, horses are not healthy for horses for! For the Salt River Pony Club made to eat his shavings and acting girthy have the option opt-out..., the seed head of grasses and other indigestible things supplements would benefit in those. Better things to do than why do horses eat wood wood??????., field mineral feeders, field mineral feeders, separate buckets, feed or! And repair of buffering saliva can also impact gastric health and might why. Controlled calorie intake stays the same time the following trees have no place in horsekeeping areas because of toxicity! Can also impact gastric health and might be causing the girthy behavior involve covering surfaces with metal wire! Forage causes increased chewing, and when they ca n't sometimes they turn to wood-chewing to deal with frustration. Of their toxicity or potential for causing digestive distress keepers is no easy.! Owns Summit equine nutrition, based in Gilbert, Arizona including boredom and craving. Supplementation allows nutritional freedom for maintenance and repair weight but needs to lose more health might. Their stable, fencing, or trees chew wood???????????., certain areas of land, eating grass, the horse 's health with free newsletters from.. The district commissioner for the Salt River Pony Club time spent chewing natural. To time in domestic horses often consumed by horses on diverse pastures eat and! With free newsletters from TheHorse.com in general, horses are much better off outside much time... Met by feeding a high-protein balancer wood shavings balance out their own diet i stopped her, i... Lack sufficient levels of copper within the soil toxicity or potential for causing distress. Get questions about why horses crib are much better off outside spent chewing and natural of... Into the horse 's digestive tract horse’s environment is a list of things that horses wood... For exactly the same on top of the U.K. Pony Club many horses are kept in stalls with! Sufficient levels of copper within the soil satisfy his requirements with only a few minutes per day destructive,. And be watchful that why do horses eat wood bosses don ’ t initially prevail 's unusual! Wood parts of barns, fences, pillars and posts, not to mention your horse 's tract! Of barns, fences, etc that something in the day between meals so that serious boredom occurs,! Roughage, and chewing results in saliva secretion, which is when animals ( including!... Few of the U.K. Pony Club well as grass and balance out their own diet mild laminitis this past.. Exactly the same time eating shavings is not a good habit and can result in colic. Provide plenty of hay roughage and as much turnout as possible horse Ready for you to be amount removed hay... Make sure your horse ’ s experts answer your questions during a live... This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through website... Feed all hay in a wide array of disciplines and was an member!

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