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 Post subject: Tail chewing (?!)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:59 pm 
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Maiden Special Weight
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Location: Illinois
Just wondering if you guys have come across this with any horses and if so, how did you correct it?

I sold a horse a couple of months ago to a lady to use for a hunter/jumper and she recently (as in last week) asked me if he usually chewed off other horses' tails. This came as a big surprise to me since this horse has never done that the entire seven months he was on my farm. She then asked how to correct it. The best solution I could think of is to spray the other horses tails with "Bitter Apple" or some other nasty tasting stuff and put a muzzle on him. I've never had this problem and was just wondering why he would do that all of a sudden if he had never done something like this at my farm. Would stress from moving cause this? (If that would be the case I would have thought it would have started shortly after he arrived at the new owners farm). Otherwise, they are very happy with him, but they would like this new habit to stop.

Any other suggestions will be greatly appreciated and I can pass them along to her. Thanks in advance! :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:35 pm 
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There are two causes for tail-chewing that come up again and again: one is insufficient roughage, and the other is insufficient protein. When you have a very young, growing horse turned out and fed with two mature horses, it's not always possible to ensure that each horse eats its own feed. You may need to separate them at meal-times, just to ensure that the filly gets the protein that her growing body requires. When they're together, you'll probably want to make more hay available. Feeding free-choice hay is much better for your horses' digestions. This doesn't mean offering them access to a ton of your best second-cutting alfalfa -- I'm talking about high-fiber grass hay, or even mixed hay, to provide them with the roughage that they need to stay healthy.


http://www.horse-sense.org/archives/chewing_tail.php


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:37 pm 
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http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/ ... b1657.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:59 am 
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Maiden Special Weight
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Location: Illinois
Thanks so much Shammy! I passed this along to his new owner. She has him on a grass round bale, he has pasture, a mineral block and gets Equine sr grain (so he does get a "complete" feed). I wonder if the grass hay isn't enough for him and maybe he'd do better with an alfalfa mix. I had him on a very high quality alfalfa mix when he was here and he never had issues. Horses can be so confusing sometimes. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:11 pm 
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Insufficient protein is the second reason. Alfalfa mix might be the answer as you had the horse w/no problems.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:24 pm 
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You might try the protein tubs that are available. When we were feeding grass Big bales this winter, we put protein tubs in the pasture and they got the protein they were missing from them. They come in 50# and 200# sizes. Be sure and get the ones that are for horses and do not contain urea. That is not good for horses. The ones containing urea are made only for cattle. They usually are available in 16% and 20% protein strength.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:00 pm 
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I'm unfamiliar with protein tubs. Are they safe to feed? Does one need to worry about health issues from the horse consuming too much protein? It sounds like it could be a good solution; I just need to learn more first. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:34 pm 
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Here is a link that will give you an idea of what they contain and how to use them. It is apparently a manufacturers PDF. Not a great deal of information on the protein tubs for horses in academic circles.

http://www.ohkruse.com/PDFs/Products/Ho ... _BLOCK.pdf

Joe Taylor in his COMPLETE GUIDE TO BREEDING AND RAISING RACEHORSES discourages the use of supplements.

I know that you really have to understand how higher than normal protein effects the physiology of horses before exposing them to high levels of free choice protein.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:46 pm 
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http://www.alfalfa.org/pdf/Alfalfa%20fo ... (low%20res).pdf


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:50 pm 
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http://jas.fass.org/cgi/reprint/61/1/187.pdf


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