Wisconsin 1 year old TWH

Question: We have a colt that likes to chew on other horse's tails!  He chewed a gelding's.... and helped himself to part of 2 fillies tails, also.   We have tried using hot sauce, which helps for a day or so....  but, not a permanent cure.  He has a good diet.  He also has a mineral and salt block.  Any suggestions? He is wonderful otherwise!!

From Panelist Erica

There are some commercial products used to prevent the chewing of tails available. Also, you could try using a muzzle (although not something I like to do, but if you absolutely must save their tails - shows - then it would be a worthwhile tactic). Also, try keeping things in the pasture for them to play with and that they stay interested in. Boredom can brew up all sorts of problems - one being chewing, whether its tails or wood. Antoher thing to be sure of is that the other babies aren't rubbing their tails or breaking them off themselves. Good luck!

Erica Frei

From Panelist Liz

 Oh I know how frustrating this can be. Here is what I use with great success. I take a tube sock and make 2 cuts at the top about 3 inches long. I then braid the non-chewing horse tails. Slip the braided tail in the sock run the 2 cut top pieces through the braid at the base of the tail bone and tie it on. Then I put the hot sauce on the tube sock. Works great and last much longer.

Good luck!!

From Panelist Stella

You may want to run a blood profile anyway, because even if he is getting a good balanced diet for a "normal" horse his age, there may be something that his particular system is just not absorbing adequately; or, his metabolism requires higher amounts of something in particular. Do remember, if you have mostly older horses, that a youngster's diet needs to be much higher in many nutrients as you are feeding for growth AND maintenence, not just maintenence. A blood profile would reveal what nutrient he may need to be supplemented for. 

Also remember that even if a feed says it has a certain percentage of "crude protein," for instance, that doesnt mean the sources are something that can ALL be absorbed by a horse's system.Meantime, you may try giving a probiotic to increase microflora in the stomach, which help digest the food so it can be absorbed properly. In young horses especially, its good to do after worming(on all, and old ones too), as often this reduces the microflora in their stomachs as well as the worms, and sometimes especially young and old horses have problems regenerating sufficient amounts for efficient digestion(so lots of the nturients just pass on through). If using only after worming, a paste is good; older horses, or ones with problems keeping good levels, there are daily dry supplements that can be added to feed(senior feeds are formulated including it).

You dont want to just stop the symptom, but find the cause...stop him from feeling he NEEDS to do it, not just stop him from doing it.


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