Stopping Your Horse From Eating Their Shavings Or Sawdust

Stopping Your Horse From Eating Their Shavings Or Sawdust

By on Apr 21, 2022 in Blog, Shavings |

Any owner of a horse will probably have clean and well kept equine bedding which enables their horse to lie down and get a sufficient night sleep. Therefore, many owners will probably populate the flooring with our industry leading sawdust or shavings as this is one of the comfiest bedding options

While this form of bedding has many benefits; one potential problem is the fact that your horse might want to eat their bedding. This might at first just seem like a mild annoyance as you will have to keep replacing the previously eaten sawdust or shavings. However, letting your horse snack out on their bedding can actually have dire consequences. Especially if this is not kept in check over time.

One such issue is the fact that your horse can develop intestinal obstruction and colic if they consume large amounts of their own bedding. Accompanying this is the fact that naturally, sawdust and shavings can become dusty overtime, the dust attracts unwanted bacteria which means that when your horse eats a of their bedding; they are putting themselves at danger of developing a nasty cough or becoming ill. 

At P.H.Winterton, we provide high quality horse shavings from Staffordshire and, in our time, we have learnt a thing or two about good bedding practices. Therefore, allow us to detail ways to stop your horse from eating their bedding

Quick and Easy Techniques 

An old fashioned way of thinking is to believe that because a technique is quick and easy, the technique is subsequently less effective. There are many quick and easy ways you can use to stop your horse from eating their bedding. Some of them include: 

Keep Your Horse Busy

A great way to take your mind off of something is to keep busy. This also rings true for horses. On average, it is estimated horses spend 16 hours a day eating. Much of this statistic is attributed to the fact the horse could be eating due to boredom. 

If you keep them busy, such as getting them to go out on rides, they will feel less of a need to pig out on their bedding. 

Mix In The Old, With The New

When putting new shavings or sawdust into your horse’s equine bedding; try to mix in the new and clean bedding with the bedding already there. A lot of horses will see the new clean shavings or sawdust and not want to eat it. 

Give Them Plenty of Hay

Many horses might turn to eating their bedding because they have run out of hay and are still hungry. It is no secret, horses eat quite a lot. Because of this, you will want to make sure they are sufficiently fed. It is highly recommended that horses are not left without food for longer than an hour at a time.

However, if your horse is getting through their hay exceptionally quickly, you might want to consider using smaller holed nets or multiple nets. This will make their hay last longer. 

Change Their Bedding More Often

Surprisingly, one of the most effective techniques includes just simply changing your horse’s bedding more often. Not only does changing the bedding more often lead to a brilliantly kept equine bedding on the whole; it deters your horse from snacking on their sawdust or shavings. 

The Harder Way 

What if you enact these techniques and it does not work? Luckily, there are many more tips and tricks for the more persistent horses amongst us. 

One such way is to cover the bedding in a watered down vinegar or a general disinfectant. While most horses will not even go near bedding that has been dosed in disinfectant; the more eager or greedy horses will not be deterred by some minor disinfectant. As such, it is a safer option to put watered down vinegar over the bedding. 

Additionally, the smell of lavender and carbolic powder can discourage horses from eating. It is advised that; because carbolic powder is used to absorb the smell of ammonia from the floor, the powder can be purchased in most equine bedding stores. Likewise, lavender scented products can be purchased in a lot of shops.  

You will want to use these smells to detract your horse from eating their sawdust or shavings. 

Encourage Eating Of Other Things

Potentially the most friendly way to stop your horse from eating their bedding; is just encouraging them to eat other things, such as hay, instead. One way to do this is by putting the hay on the floor creating a hay bar. This makes it much easier for your horse to snack on.  Another way to make the hay seem more appealing is by simply investing in better quality hay.