Food Aggression or Aggression towards each other ? - The Horse Forum

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  • 1 Post By Calming Melody
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-06-2013, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: East , TN
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Food Aggression or Aggression towards each other ?

OK , so everyday when I got out and feed the pigs , I will give the horses a loaf of two or bread . I just throw it out in the field and the animals eat it (horses, donkey,goat , and a dog) They have never really fought before just little nips here and there . I have had my newest Comanche for about a month now and he is the main aggressor , I think.....I was feeding them by hand a few pieces and he was pinning his ears back biting my other boys and then they were all trying to kick each other ....I don't know what the deal is , Cash and Scooter have never done that , bucked , kicked ,reared nothing . Then to top it off , my dog wanted in on the action and went to chase Cash away from a piece of bread and was barking at him and Cash went to rear up on her...thought she would get the hint , but no , she did it to Comanche as well and he almost crushed her to !
I am thinking this is some sort of food aggression , and dominance issues . I told my hubby that we are going to have to start feeding them in their own buckets or containers separately so maybe they won't fight . They are all gelded , except for the donkey .....Anyone else have this same problem or have any remedies ?
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-06-2013, 08:08 PM
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Yeah. Haha. I would definitely say it is food aggression! They have decided they really like what you're tossing out there and that there isn't enough to satisfy their "sweet tooth" for it, so they are fighting over it. Putting it in separate buckets might help a little, but there are still going to be issues if one finishes before another.

Why feed them bread loaves at all? It's not particularly healthy for them, and if it's just for a treat (which is what it appears from your post), you can already see the problem it's causing. Just stop it doing it and the behavior will go away.
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-06-2013, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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I've thought about stopping it , but I don't think it's bad for them . The horse rescue where I live will feed it to the underweight horses to help them gain some weight . I get the the all grain bread and they really like it ...may just have to do it every once in while though , I don't want any of my boys getting hurt .
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-06-2013, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Oh , and it's not just the bread , it's the hay I throw out as well...but I'm getting some round bales and hopefully that will clear that mess us as well to .
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-06-2013, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calming Melody View Post
I've thought about stopping it , but I don't think it's bad for them . The horse rescue where I live will feed it to the underweight horses to help them gain some weight . I get the the all grain bread and they really like it ...may just have to do it every once in while though , I don't want any of my boys getting hurt .
Yep, feeding them bread will definitely put weight on a horse. It's like straight candy for them. It's all carbs and very little anything else and they love it. It will fatten up a horse, but it's not what they ought to be eating. Tossing it to them "every once in a while" will just get them fighting again. It's like tossing a bag of coins on the floor of a shopping mall.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-06-2013, 08:24 PM
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The only time our horses get really food aggressive is over their pellets. We have the feeders spread out and always have one more feeder than we do horses. It seems to cut down on the fighting.

So in lies the madness, the pursuit of the impossible in the face of the complete assurance that you will fail, and yet still you chase.
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-06-2013, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm , guess I didn't think they would love it so much ...I give my old boy Scooter some , to help him keep weight on ...maybe I should just go back to what I was doing and bring him out of the pasture and just let him have some ...Better then them fighting like that and getting themselves or someone else hurt !
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-06-2013, 11:13 PM
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I have 4 horses of my own and 1 boarded here, I do not allow pushing/pinning ears/shoving/kicking/biting/rearing while I am out in the pasture whether I come out to feed or just to pet or brush them.
When I take out hay for them they know they are not allowed to take off the sled or they get a whack by the buggy whip which I carry out there while feeding. They all walk along nicely, they stop to eat by the pecking order, the lowest one has to wait till the last pile is thrown down. If there is any rough housing going on while I am out there the one(s) who is causing it is chased away. I used to have 3 more horses here and I never had a problem of them misbehaving while I was out there. Two of them were sold once we trained them and the other was a boarder who was asked to leave.
The horses/donkey have to look at you as the leader, not them and they need to know if one is being bad that you will take care of it.......it didn't take long for our's to learn the rule and stand nicely waiting for their pile of hay.......

My horses are the joy in my life.....
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