How to stop gelding chewing the wooden posts?

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by Pedrolapaz1961, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Pedrolapaz1961

    Pedrolapaz1961 Registered

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    We recently bought a 5 year old gelding quarter horse and he's adjusting to his new surroundings but we have noticed he loves to chew on his stall door and posts in his field.

    Any tips as to how we get him out of the habit?

    Some have said he's anxious and just getting used to his new barn but we've had him 3 weeks and he's chewed away half the top plank of his stall door.

    Your advice would be appreciated,

    Thank you
     
  2. jojozwiebel

    jojozwiebel Full Member

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    Stall toys
    More turn out
    Spray wood with “No Chew” products
    Add a feed supplement specifically for cribbers
    Use a cribbing collar
    Play a radio in the barn
    Feed hay in slow feed hay nets so he is occupied longer
     
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  3. DocsLglyBlonde

    DocsLglyBlonde Senior Member

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    While I think wood chewing is typically out of boredom, gastric ulcers can also make them chew wood. When my gelding had ulcers he was chewing wood like a beaver - just absolutely obsessively. It produces excess saliva which buffers the stomach, and I think most wood is more alkaline which also buffers stomach acid. With a recent move and such, it may be worth looking into. Otherwise, try to keep forage in front of him as much as possible. If he overeats with free choice hay, I'd recommend a slow feed hay net to make hay last long get for him.
     
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  4. Pedrolapaz1961

    Pedrolapaz1961 Registered

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    Thank you,
    Some useful tips there.
    He gets turned out every day for about 8-9 hours.
    He's full of energy, has no weight loss and hasn't lost any appetite so don't think he has ulcers.
    Toys are a good idea, also the radio.
    Will look into getting a 'no chew' spray.
     
  5. WP Blue

    WP Blue Senior Member

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    Agreed ^. It's been my personal experience that horses chew wood when they aren't getting enough forage (i.e. hay) and/or vitamins and minerals.
     
  6. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    What they said. ^^^^

    I will also suggest purchasing Cribox. It is a sticky paste that you smear on the area. It is the only thing that has deterred cribbers for me in the past. I tried soap, hot sauce, manure, you name it, and none of it worked except for the Cribox. I got it from SmartPak. It is a mess when it gets into their hair though.
     
  7. Kristal H

    Kristal H Senior Member

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    Along with the diet, ulcers, and boredom some horses chew because they have an identity crisi and think they are a beaver.... for these using cribox paste in areas they go to chew or install a pentameter if hot wire...a horse beaver can do thousands of dollars of damage in a very short period of time.
     
  8. Preppy_Ponies

    Preppy_Ponies Senior Member

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    I tried a lot of the chew stop type sprays/cribox paste but had the best luck with “Halt Cribbing”. It goes on like a paint and is dark brown. It soaks into the wood and last for years. It’s a bit of a mess to apply but is way more effective and longer lasting than any of the others I tried.

    The grey in my avatar was a weirdo that actually seemed to like the pepper/bitter type sprays! Halt cribbing worked for him and for things like blankets, lead ropes, etc i used orvus. It’s a shampoo paste and when you spread a thin layer on things most horses leave it alone and it stays on until you wash it.
     
  9. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    You can put 'Chew Stop' product on the fence and stall doors. There is also another orange-oil based product, but we can't use it because it aggravates my asthma. Any product like Chew Stop has to be re-applied frequently, and usually metal edging is a more permanent and less 'labor intensive' solution. But metal edging has to be inspected periodically to be sure it's not getting pried up and the horses exposed to nails and sharp edges.

    Some people put a 'standoff' electric fence wire, rope or braided product in a position that prevents the horse from getting to the edge of wood. That line has to be electrified of course or the animal will ignore it. This can work well, but I have also seen horses very badly injured if they accidentally get a leg in between the wire(or rope or whatever) and the fence.

    So in fact chewing on wood is a very common behavior. Especially pine, horses love to chew on. And for many reasons, soft woods and plywoods are not good construction materials for construction exposed to horses.

    All horses chew on wood to SOME degree. Many people put metal caps on wood fence posts and wooden door edges because of this.

    So it can be prevented. However, it would be good to understand, if he is chewing much more than normal for horses, why he's chewing wood so much. Usually horses don't do this so much, if they get enough pasture grass or hay to eat.

    He may simply be an anxious horse that chews on wood no matter what, but most horses that chew severely on wood, do so because they don't have enough other things to chew on.

    He also may be bored. If it's a long time between meal times, if he isn't fed enough, if he isn't getting enough exercise, if he is an 'only horse' (he's by himself), if he's confined to a small area, he may chew wood much more than usual.
     
  10. Pedrolapaz1961

    Pedrolapaz1961 Registered

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    That's very useful information, Thank you.
     

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