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Ivory Annie

Help Please, Chewing Trees

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We rent, the landlord has started pointing out that hes not pleased that the horses are chewing the bark off some of the trees....I'm not sure which horse is doing it though in thinking its either the pony or drews horse bc I've had annie 13yrs and can't ever remember her chewing trees or wood of any kind....

What can we do, the pasture is in the woods, no way around that bc the part of the barn we have the horses in is just a run in and the opening is in the woods. In the summer we can move them to another pasture with no trees but we can't put them out there now with how wet it is, we've had so much rain recently its like a swamp....

Drew suggested wrapping chicken wire around the trees..... But theres alot of trees.....

Any ideas why they do this and what I can do to prevent that?

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Wht kind of trees?? Mine love the Birch especially in the spring when the Sweet sap starts to flow. Try putting hay out 24/7 as well.. They are grazers and need the ability to keep their mouths busy..Horses will also do this when they are hungry... and bored.

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Edited by Alaskandraft

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One, sap's rising and some trees taste good. Two, lack of green forage (grass). Free choice hay can help, and keep them off the pasture for a while. Vitamin A might help too.

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Get some liquid injectible at your farm store, and just squirt it in the mouth. Don't inject it.

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You can have your vet do a blood draw to see if your horse need mineral supplements.

There are bitter or spicy hot paints that you can buy at feed stores and some home improvement stores. You just roll it on the trees. Stay away from the ones that are oily or have tar like contents. It's really hard to get it off of your horse's hide & hair. It also does the same thing to humans. Some of them need to be repainted after rain or snow.

You can cover the trees with loose plastic mesh fencing it's cheaper than metal. A zip-tie at the top, middle and bottom should do it.

Farnam has some stuff called Quitt that has a 7 day fix or your money back guarantee. I've heard mixed reviews on how it works that boils down to works on some, doesn't work with others.

We hung a leather ball for a bored horse on stall rest.

Edited by dondie

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My horses chew on trees all the time. Mostly the poplar. They have been chewing my wooden round pen rails, too. I just throw some pieces of firewood in the pasture (poplar) so they can chew on those instead. They chew all the bark off, then I just bring them into the garage to use as firewood, and put more out.

I really think it's a winter grazing thing. They need to chew, and often the hay doesn't give enough chew time.

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Well so far I guess ther are just chewing the small "junk" trees and the.land lord.is ok with that, he doesn't want them chewing the really big/old oaks....he doesn't mind if they kill off the small ones......

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The place I boarded before wrapped all the trees with the orange snow fence, he said he had issues at first with tree chewing and the horses killed a few trees in the process, but after he put the snow fence around them he never had an issue again. It was up probably 6-7 feet, 2 rows overlapping wrapped a few times around so not much bark was showing. If you don't like the neon orange it does come in green lol.

Wood chewing can be a sign of mineral deficiency and not only boredom chewing, so after you protect your trees you can look that too.

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Every Spring mine strip the bark off trees... mostly smooth bark treas... they get hay, have 24/7 access to mineral and salt block... I think they A) Like the taste of the sap and B) I think they like to peel the bark for kicks and giggles... maybe they like the way it feels when they strip it off a tree...does not matter how much hay mine have in front of them... they still strip the bark.... I have noticed that certain horses tend to like certain types of trees... Syc

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My mare used to LOVE chewing the bark off of maples and birch trees when I used to keep her with friends. It was partially out of boredom and out of need to chew during the spring before grass grew.

We tried squirting tabasco and other hot sauce on the trees, but she liked it, and would lick it off and resume chewing! :twitch: Bagbam and vasaline worked better.

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We have cottonwoods down along the creek. One of them fell down over the fence, and shorted out the hot wire in the stud pen. The stud was happily eating the whole thing up, but the neighbor wanted the wood, so he removed it. Now all the top boards on the fence are showing bright wood and not much paint. It looks like a beaver is going around the fence. His run in is about a foot deep in hay, he never poops in there, so it's not a grazing thing. I think it's just boredom, and maybe if he chews it down he can get closer to the mare's pasture.

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