Has your barn been attacked by wood chewers? Is it termites or your horse? There’s nothing worse than a destructive horse that takes to chewing up your fences, stalls, and barn siding. The reasoning can sometimes be easy to figure out, while other times long-term observation may be needed.
Many horses chew out of boredom, habit, or nutritional deficiency. Those that suck up air when they latch onto the wood are considered cribbers, which is another issue entirely.
Often when a horse is kept alone or locked in a stall for extended periods of time they will chew the wood. In addition if their hay source runs out, they may begin looking for another source of entertainment.
Wood chewing can become a habit if not corrected. It can be used as anxiety relief or some sort of stimulation. Sometimes horse can even pick it up from their neighbors.
Once in a while a horse will have some sort of deficiency that leads him to crave unusual foods like wood or bark.
After you determine why this destructive vice is happening you can work toward resolving it. You may begin by having your veterarian draw blood to check for deficiencies. If the results are negative, consider his living arrnagements. Try giving him more turnout and a slow-feeder hay net to slow the rate he consumes his food. There are sprays and washes to coat the wood in to discourage chewing. Metals caps, plastic mesh, and electric fencing help to eliminate this nasty problem, as well.
No one wants to see their barn destroyed, but it is important to figure out why it’s happening. Products can help, but they also mask a larger problem. Evaluate your situation and ensure your horse’s happiness is considered!