Mare ate half a fence post

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by MonicaR, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. MonicaR

    MonicaR New Member


    I was wondering if anyone knew what it means when my mare is eating wooden fence post rails? Is there something she is lacking in her diet?

    She actually brought the fence down and went for a walk around the area. Nobody could catch her - she made her own way back into the paddock which was a surprise - the electric fencing at the time didn't work, which has now been fixed. Hopefully she can't do it again.

    Any help would be appreciated, thank you.
  2. LisaJ

    LisaJ Well-known Member

    Not sure if it means there is anything lacking in her diet. What is she being fed & is she getting a good all round vitamin supp? Is she perhaps bored or lonely? Has she got good grazing or a hayroll to occupy her time? My vet once told me horses are supposed to graze for 18 hrs a day, but probably not on lush green grass or good quality hay though!

    My mare used eat fence posts & rails when she was between 1 - 2 yrs old. She will still eat the occasional object - fly screens, car bonnet protectors, wooden posts if she can find them..... She is naturally a curious creature & as she doesn't have hands to touch with she uses her mouth..... I figure it is just her and that is why I have plasmar fence posts as they can't be eaten by curious little Arabs!!!!
  3. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    Mares seem to go for woody fibre. Dumps some tree rounds with bark on them in her paddock for her. All the mares I have had and have all love fibre.
  4. TahliaMatches

    TahliaMatches New Member

    could she be windsucking/cribbiting realy bad? if so get her a windsucking collar from say horseland or something. they do work as there was a horse where i once rode who was a really bad cribbiter and the collor stopped it.
  5. blitzen

    blitzen Gold Member

    Yeah I've seen a few horses over the years really get into the copper log diet.

    For mine, he had a colic issue as well. I added salt on top of the mineral mix, fed hay in nets to slow down eating and made sure my pony was actively involved in something. Be it work, lunging, a good groom or massage, a walk etc. I think he chewed a lot when he was gassy, so I also fed whey and slippery elm.
  6. citygirl

    citygirl Gold Member

    if they're getting into the Copper logs- that usually means they need Copper in their diet..[ so the Vet told me} I find my lot eat the trees at certain times of the year..I just ad a pinch of Copper sulphate into their feed {was told this by an old timer horseman} once every couple of days for a couple of weeks and it seems to work ';' or its a coincident ;)

  7. Etonfarmer

    Etonfarmer New Member

    the arsenic in treated pine copper logs is an appetite stimulant and is known to become addictive.
    This is an additional reason than those given above, which are correct, as to why horses chew on posts and rails.
    They chew on hardwood too, and the trunks of gumtrees.
    If you value the trees in your property as we do (we have a few rows of 100yr+) wrap some chicken wire on just a little bit of the trunk- so that they cannot 'ringbark' the tree and kill it.
    SUMP OIL is free from any mechanic. They can't wait to get rid of it- its something they always have so much of. Pain the oil on your posts and the horses will not go anywhere near them, let alone chew them. This has worked at our place- and was a hint given to me by the manager of a very large racehorse stud.
    Sometimes if you get a fairly clean batch, it makes a great stain look on your poles. If you prefer black posts without the cost of painting them- you will also be pleased with the dirtier oil.

    Cheers **)
  8. ArBeeBar

    ArBeeBar Active Member

    Out of curiosity over what length of period did your mare take to get through half a fence post?

    Sorry, not much help here, don't have any horses that crib. Our big boy has had the occasion chew on his favorite tree which we promptly wrapped the tree with chicken wire.
  9. luckyboy22

    luckyboy22 Well-known Member

    Could it be Wind-sucking????
    She may be Upset, and stressed.
    Is she stabled??
    Horses that are stabled, can get really Bored and Stressed, and then start doing that.
  10. fishiz3434

    fishiz3434 Active Member

    I love my mares but this is the exact reason i now have steel fence posts everywhere, they just like wood, like GTD said, give her a freashly cut tree to chew on, mine have chewed the bark off all the trees in their paddock, i don;t kow how the tree's survive but they do.
  11. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    What Citygirl said. Copper, a pinch a day keeps the wood chewers away.:)*
  12. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    A pinch a day makes absolutely no difference. Just ask my termites *#)
    Functioning electric fencing is the easiest answer. :p
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2012
  13. JP Red

    JP Red New Member

    Yeah I have heard of certain things lacking in their diet. My boys used to do it and I changed supplements and they don't do it anymore. Also if you paint th posts with sump oil they'll never chew it and it actually looks quite nice
  14. nklpark

    nklpark Well-known Member

    i'm painting my fences with sump oil.... i found a lot outside mare love to chew the fences when they arrive it has stopped all but the worst windsuckers and fence chewers
  15. theherd22

    theherd22 New Member

    Lol I'm glad it's not just me!!!

    Mum's standy gelding has eaten ALL of my wooden jump poles, wood parts of the fence and half a in the leaves and branches but has completely ignored the trunk. The only reason he syopped is because he couldnt reach any higher. He is a strange boy.

    We tried feed supplements, extra stimulation, locking him in the (2acre) paddock, locking him out of the paddock, painting the wood with Tabasco ( discovered he loves spicy food) ...everything except motor oil (thanks for that :) ) in the end we gave up and he seems to have stopped doing it but that may be because there is nothing left. I now have a lovely set of half poles.

    Good luck sorry I'm not much help but if you do find something that works Pls let me know ;) ....gotta love em right?
  16. katers93

    katers93 Well-known Member

    I can't see any nutritional reason why horses would want to eat wood since they can't digest if she is only eating posts but not trees, perhaps it is from treatment of the fencing as others suggested. Even when my mare was on a well balanced diet with a hay roll she still used to do it. It is not the same as wind sucking but wood chewing IS still a stereotypical mechanism for coping with stress and is the most likely reason for this behaviour generally.
  17. crave

    crave Well-known Member

    Can sometimes also mean they have an ulcer .
  18. erilyn

    erilyn Well-known Member

    Wish sump oil stopped mine!!!!!#(

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