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February 20, 2008

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Transylvanianhorseman

Every now and again, my horses target a tree. Probably it is because of the taste, though I do wonder whether they are missing out on something despite the salt lick, good hay, etc. I've noticed that, when I've left a salt block in a feeding trough and salt has leached into the wood, that wood tends to get chewed.

Callie

Could be out of boredom as well.

Lori Schmidt (LoriProPhoto)

Hi Anne
I know that just about every tree in my pasture has been chomped and the vast majority have died as a result. I personally put it down to boredom especially during the winter when there is not much grazing, similar to the reason they eat their stables (wood) I dont really think it is a deficiency, just something to keep them occupied. JMHO.

Lori

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Grey Horse Matters

I have no idea why horses eat tree bark, but we had one horse who would eat tree bark and the leaves. None of the others do it, and he did it year round not just in the winter. It was always a little embarrassing being at a show and here you were waiting to go into the ring and Lifeguard would be chowing down on the leaves or bark of a nearby tree. We had to walk him away.

Grey Horse Matters

I have no idea why horses eat tree bark, but we had one horse who would eat tree bark and the leaves. None of the others do it, and he did it year round not just in the winter. It was always a little embarrassing being at a show and here you were waiting to go into the ring and Lifeguard would be chowing down on the leaves or bark of a nearby tree. We had to walk him away.

Strawberry Lane

We had one horse a few years ago that could have timbered the Redwood forest!
I associated it with boredom, so kept that boy really busy. Didn't change much.

We finally wrapped the trunks of all our trees with wire. That at least slowed him down and the trees survived.

Roxy

I want to plant a dozen 15-gallon redwood trees in my pasture for screening. Will the horses eat the trees down before they get a chance to grow enough to survive?

Anne

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m not an expert on what trees are poisonous or trees that are tasty. My horses are killing large, fully-established hardwood trees. They eat the bark all the way around the tree as far as they can reach and that kills the tree.

They don’t touch pine trees because the bark is nasty tasting. It depends on whether or not the trees you are planting appeal to them. We nailed sheet metal around one tree and the horses peeled it off and were playing with the sharp pieces of metal! We had to take it down and take it away so they would cut themselves.

I know someone who has fenced off the trees in her pasture with small fences around each tree. That’s the only way to be sure.

Good luck!

PonyGirl23

Actually, it turns out that horses, millions of years ago, used to live in woodland areas and survived on the bark of trees. It is only because of evolution that horses became grass eaters and ventured out into the wide open plains. I know that there are quite a few poisonous varities, but there are also a few which horses do enjoy and are perfectly safe for them to eat. I was given this advice at a seminar held by a very well known veterinary practice in my area.

Ajf 6

I like your blog, because we have similar outlook and outlook on life!

Lydia Holley

Horses eat tree bark from bordem or from lack of nutrients, minerals, etc. (especially in the winter) So to make up for that, you may want to try some supplements and/or salt block to see if the change in their diet makes their need for tree bark subside.

sherrie owens

what can we do to stop the horses from eating the bark off trees

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