Wood chewing is common in many horses for a number of different reasons. Some horse owners may find that wood chewing is actually more common for their horse in the winter. Studies show, cold and wet winter weather actually cause some horses to be more prone to chewing on wood. This could perhaps be because of their instinctive urge for more roughage as temperatures drop.
If you find that your horse is chewing on wood more during the winter, have your veterinarian perform a complete checkup on your horse to rule out any nutritional deficiencies. If your vet finds no problems, it could just be a behavior issue. Here are some ways to discourage wood chewing:
1. Provide more forage – Providing your horse with more hay during the winter is the most effective way to stop wood chewing. This will keep them from boredom. Use a slow feeder to make the meals last longer.
2. Get rid of the wood – If your fences or trees are wood you cannot just eliminate them. Try covering them with PVC or string an electric wire along the inside of your fence line to keep your horse off of it.
3. Treat the wood – Treat the wood surface with an unappetizing substance. There are plenty of commercial formulas available.
4. Work your horse more – Regular workouts provide an outlet for excess energy that could lead to chewing.
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