Do foals go through a teething stage?

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Do foals go through a teething stage?

This is a discussion on Do foals go through a teething stage? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • 18 mth colt teething
  • Foals/weanlings - teething

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    01-20-2011, 09:19 PM
Green Broke
Do foals go through a teething stage?

Do foals go through a teething stage?

My colt is 6 months old now. He was gelded in December. He was always very mouthy and things really aren't getting any better.

He has learned that he will get punished for nipping, but he still tries to put EVERYTHING in his mouth. Tack, clothes, ropes, bags, tree bark, you name it, if it will fit, it goes in his mouth.

I used to think it was some sort of curious behavior on his part, like his way of exploring the world.

But now I am wondering if it isn't his teeth? Sometimes, whether loose in his pen or when I have him haltered, he will open his mouth really wide (almost like his is yawning) and lolls his tongue around in his mouth like his teeth bother him. When my vet came out to geld him, I asked when he would need his teeth floated for the first time, and he said not until he was a 3 yr old.

So I don't know if my foals mouthy, chewing on everything behavior is normal? Do they "teethe" or is this the sign that somethings not right?

He has no problem eating hay and grain pellets. Nothing drops from his mouth when he eats.

I have been trying to correct him for the mouthy behavior, especially if he wants to chew on ME, but I am wondering now if it is a physical problem that he can't help. It's like he HAS to chew on things. Any thoughts?
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    01-20-2011, 09:41 PM
Super Moderator
I read somewhere that the DO loose their baby teeth, just like humans, and grow adult ones, but I don't know the timetable on this .
HOpe he doesnt' accidentally ingest something bad.
    01-20-2011, 09:51 PM
I can tell you from experience with 3 babies at our barn that the mouthy thing seems to be VERY normal.

The baby baby is about 6 months old and will make baby mouth face at you at all times and maw on anything that gets near her if she's allowed to... its the EXACT same with the two 18 month olds. In fact, the 18 month olds are much worse about it and have to be *constantly* repremanded.

Part of the problem is they're being handled very minimally right now (not my horses)... so the discipline isn't constant at all right now.

Anyhow... I think it's something that just has to be worked through and for them to be taught not to do.

I can tell you when I handle the 18 month olds they get in trouble for it and after a few reprimands they stop (with the occasional test).
    01-20-2011, 11:25 PM
Green Broke
Thank you both!

It is especially helpful to know that this is pretty normal. Sometimes I just want to muzzle him or give him a pacifier or something!

I did a little research on the internet and found these pretty good articles, in case anybody else was curious on the subject.

The Horse | Baby Teeth

Apparently the baby teeth are still coming in until he is nine months old. And then all the permanent teeth aren't in until he is closer to 5-6 years.

So I guess I have quite a bit of mouthy behavior to look forward to in the future.

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