There are a few issues to consider, and yes boredom may play a part. Of course, maximizing turn-out time if possible would help with the boredom. Secondly, horses have a chew urge, and if he is stalled full time he may not be able to satisfy it , especially if he is only fed two or three times a day. One solution is to provide him with hay at all times, best accomplished using a slow-feeder, such as a hay net with small holes. SmartPak carries one, and there are several other retail sources as well. Third, ulcers can cause horses to eat odd things. Saliva produced by chewing helps ease the pain in their stomach. It is not uncommon for horses with ulcers to eat bedding and manure when hay was not present in their stall. In addition, feeding a balanced diet is essential for the horse’s health. Lack of a balanced diet has been known to cause horses to eat manure as well. Studies have found that horses with pica–a propensity for consuming non-food items like manure or wood–have lower iron and copper blood levels than horses who restricted themselves to food items only. By making a few management changes you should be able to resolve the underlying cause. Some try to prevent the behavior such as by cross tying a horse in their stall, but this doesn’t address the underlying issue. By treating the possible causes you should be able to stop the behavior all together.
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