As some of you know, I have two orphaned foals. They are doing great and their training is going well . . . Though some days are better than other. So, they have been chewing on the wooden boards of their fence and it was driving me nuts. I tried everything I could think of: eggs and garlic mixture, clove oil, hot chile pepper oil, Vaseline . . . Nothing worked, they just kept chewing. So, I put metal strips on the top of the boards and now, they have started chewing on the boards in their shed! I don't want to have to cover every stinkin' inch of wood in metal. And I can reprimand all I want or try to divert their attention. It lasts of a little while, but then they are right back to it. Help please!
How old are they now? Did you own the dams, who both died or refused their foals?
Young orphaned animals, or animals taken from their dams too soon, often replace their sucking instinct, with something else. For example, puppies will often suck on drapes or the corners of pillows etc. This can wear off or go on for their entire lives.
I think it helps to give them lots to do. Divert their attention. Give them toys. Interact with them away from their chewing places. If they are old enough, spend lots of time with their early training. Tire them out.
Older horses who start to chew, most usually are bored and/or have pent up energy. Not enough exercise or work.
You can also try Vicks on places they chew. That has helped with foals who chew their dams' manes and tails.
What size pen are they in? They may be bored and need some entertainment.
Get some hay nets and place them around the pasture.
Get a big ball they can play with. There are also toys they can roll around, or a large peppermint flavored block. Any trees around? Hang empty milk jugs from limbs so they can play with them. Get creative!
Im curious to know their age as well?
What does their diet consist of? Could they be missing something? Try getting a mineral/salt block for them to lick. Posted via Mobile Device
One is three months the other is four months. They were weaned off their milk replacer about a week ago since it was giving them the runs. They were taken away from their mothers and the dams were taken to nurse other foals (nurse mares.) They have free choice hay, a Redmount salt lick and they get Highland Big Sky Minerals. They have a jolly ball that they play with and a pasture about 3 acres, they also get turned out every evening for three hours to graze in their roundpen which they love. :) I have been doing basic training with them: leading (inside and outside the fence), backing-up, responding to pressure, walking over object, etc. hahah . . . I think I answered all of your questions! Thanks for the tips!