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They're eating my stalls!

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They're eating my stalls!
  • I'm new to the forum and to horses so please forgive if this question has been asked and answered. I recently bought a place that has a 4 horse wooden stall. I've got 4 in it and they are literally eating there way through 2x6 timbers. They're eating the 4x4 posts, the top rails and right through the sides. These aren't cribbers slowly wearing down the tops, I mean they are literally eating holes through the wood. What can I do to stop this?
  •   Distructive wood chewing can often be caused by a nutrient deficiency notably Ca.  Before painting the boards or covering them with metal, try putting out a loose vitamin/mineral supplement.  The larger feed manufacturers have 12:12 (12% Ca and 12% P) products but look for one with a higher % Ca (20%)  I like the Progressive Grass Mineral (19:6).Put about 2# in a bucket and let them have at it.  They might power through that initial amount.  Don't worry about it.  Refill it until they drop down to a few ounces a day.  You can also mix it 50% salt.
      Limit the amount of time they are confined to the stall.  That's the biggest cause of wood chewing.
  • They get a teaspoon of Moorman's horse minerals with their feed twice a day. Boredom could definitely be part of the issue The two worst offenders are off-the-track race horses. The other two didn't do it until they met them. I'm feeding them Strategy, which shows 1 - 1.3% Ca and .6% P.
  •   A t or an ounce?  I'd still try it free choice.  If they go for it, they need more.  If they leave it alone, they're fine.
      It is a easily learned behavior.  How long have the OTTB been off the track?  My OTTB needed over one year to mellow out.  He still cribs 17 years later on 24/7 turnout.  You could also be dealing with ulcers that they are soothing with the chewing.  Leave them out or leave their doors open.  You would also do well to feed more of a lesser quality hay that will keep them occupied for a longer period of time.  Put it in a hay bag even double it up so they have to work to eat.
  • Hi and welcome to the chat! Sky has eaten threw a board also and yes he is a retired race horse' I'm thinking he is bored.  I'll also try what ever to get him to stop.
    hope all is haveing a good weekend!
  • When I was kid, we used creosote but that's not available now (will probably develop some strange cancer from the amount I've been exposed to!  Mom used to hand us the bucket and a brush and send us out there to paint boards [:@]) 
    There are probably other products to reduce chewing out there but I just keep my guys on 24/7 turnout with a buddy and they are very happy.  I feed Strategy too and love it, plus a mineral block.
    You could also try a Lick-it or something like that to keep them busy.
  • I have a white board fence all around my front pasture that faces the road.  To keep the horses from making lunch of it, I tack on dry wall corner bead.  Paint over it and I have never had a problem since! 
  • Other than being bored or lacking something, if it is just a bad habit there is a simple and cheap solution. A bar of Ivory soap. Yes, sounds strange, but many people I know swear by it and I have used it myself. They do not like the taste. You of course have to reapply every couple of days, but it's much cheaper than replacing the wood.
  • Another way to keep horses from cribbing is mix up hot sauce (hot, not medium or mild, but HOT) and vinager. Spray it on the boards and they should stop. It's worked every time I've used except for once. For some odd reason, the gelding quit chewing and started sucking and licking off the mixture, he'd go get a drink then come back and do it again. It was the weirdest thing I've ever seen. Hope that helps!
  • LOL, hey Spots, I'll bet that Gelding would like Mexican or Thai food, LOL![':D']  Yeah, the world's largest termites have manes and tails![':D'][';)']  I've found that putting in inch-thick plywood with drywall trim all round on the facing side is the best solution.   Then again, the hot-sauce sounds cheaper, LOL![':D']  Problem is, every time I'd go into the stable I'd smell it and get hungry.  I'm getting fat enough now that I'm old.  No help needed there![';)']
    LOL, I LOVE the hot-sauce solution.[':D']  So, what kind of sauce did you use?  Then again, that's why Creosote was used.  It would coat their mouths and burn.  Kind of like hot sauce, without the good flavour or smell.
  • sounds like you have part donk!!
    my donks ATE almost every piece of wood they could get their lips around. Of course they have the excuse of being more of 'foragers' and eating lots of twigs & such in the wild. I tried commercial products, didn't work, I made up a super spicy spray of tabasco, hot chili flakes and wasabi, didn't work, in fact they liked it. I ended up having to cover every piece of wood they had access to in metal or hot tape. 

    def reduced the amount of options for building shelters & such!!
  • I have had the same problem for the past year or two. I rescued a pretty little gaited mare that had been starved nearly to death. Her body condition score was about a 2 -2.5 when I got her. I was giving her all the hay she could stuff in her but as she got stronger she started eating the walls and when the others were gone to the vet or on a ride she'd kick off the boards. I'd come home and find boards laying everywhere. Leaving her out was'nt an option while I was gone either since she'd panis and crash through the fence as well.  She finally settled in and became much calmer but her chewing never stopped regardless of what I concocted to spray or paint on the wood. I sold the mare a few months ago (yep, I told them her problem) but  now my other mare and my stallion have started chewing some . I guess they'll be getting some hot sauce and vinegar mixture cause I'm kinda tired of rebuilding walls ! 
  • I tried the cayenne pepper paste to stop my husky from eating our porch swing when she was a puppy.... as I was spreading it, she was following along, licking it up!  Never did find anything aversive enough and she ate thru the seat......  Luckily wwe don't have any wood for our big beavers.....
  • Im late to this thread, but couldnt help but post. sounds like lots of good advice here, but i sure had a great laugh over this, no offense, i know how frusterating that can be, Iv been there myself,  but the way that was worded was quite commicle, sounds like carpenter horses "ants" lol =)  I hope you got some great info here and the problems been stopped ..??