At wits end! Horse started dunking hay!

_EVS_

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 March 2010
Messages
425
Location
Worcester
Visit site
Hi all, My horse has suddenly started dunking his hay and its driving me insane! We moved yards about 6 months ago and he now has an automatic drinker. About 4 weeks ago he started dunking every single mouthful of hay in it with the result that every morning his stable is completely drenched. Its literally puddling outside the stable as its seeping between the rubber mats and coming out the front and between joints further back in the stable soaking his bedding. I tried to put a bucket between the hay and drinker to catch the dripping water but its not really helping - he either knocks the bucket over or misses it. I tried soaking his hay myself - he didn't eat it! My YO is going to freak soon at the state of the stable and area outside it! I dread to think what its like under the mats. I've spoken to the dentist who doesn't think its tooth related as he is done every 6 months with no issues. I'm at a loss!! Any thoughts would be really appreciated :)
 

Damnation

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 February 2008
Messages
9,663
Location
North Cumbria
Visit site
Soak his hay and put a bucket under it to catch the water.

My mare dunks her hay (thankfully well practiced and doesn't make the place a swimming pool!) and when she starts dunking it at every mouthful I just soak it and put a bucket under the haynet. This seems to appease her.
 

LCH611

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 March 2009
Messages
629
Visit site
Turn the water off and give him a big trug of water instead. I have a dunker, but it keeps him happy! There is a suggestion that it can be linked to ulcers, but mine loves playing with water and is always slurping & splashing!
 

Equi

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 October 2010
Messages
13,562
Visit site
My wee one used to do this and stopped as soon as he got his teeth done. Not sure that's the reason in this case cause it seems to have come on suddenly. Can you try a bucket of water and turn the auto one off?
 

Doormouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 February 2009
Messages
1,680
Location
The West Country
Visit site
Give him a bucket of water to dunk in! My horse dunks his hay and so he has 2 water buckets, one near the hay for dunking and one over the other side of the stable to drink from!
 

Jazmyn101

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 August 2012
Messages
238
Visit site
This is exactly what happened to my friends horse when me and my friend moved our horses a few months ago. Old yard didn't have automatic drinkers and new yard does, her horse would dunk his hay and in the morning his stable would be awful, he had puddles of water sitting on top and underneath his mats and also she would have to throw away the majority of his woodchip as it would be sodden. His haynet was tied up on the ring right next to his water to she moved the ring to the back of the stable and he has stopped completely now.
 

Deltic Blue

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 March 2013
Messages
337
Visit site
I'd turn the automatic drinker off and put a bucket in, much less mess then as it shouldn't flood once he's ran out of water to dunk it in.
 

glamourpuss

Well-Known Member
Joined
18 January 2006
Messages
2,836
Visit site
I have a prolific dunker. He has 2 buckets of water, one right next to his hay for dunking, another on the other side of the stable for drinking.
Move his haynet away from the automatic waterer, & tie it right up next to a water bucket. It's far less messy.
Also my first job as soon as I've chucked in feeds is to take out both the haynet & dunk bucket & give the area a really good sweep. This helps any wet on the floor to dry.
 

applecart14

Well-Known Member
Joined
12 March 2010
Messages
6,269
Location
Solihull, West Mids
Visit site
Hi all, My horse has suddenly started dunking his hay and its driving me insane! We moved yards about 6 months ago and he now has an automatic drinker. About 4 weeks ago he started dunking every single mouthful of hay in it with the result that every morning his stable is completely drenched. Its literally puddling outside the stable as its seeping between the rubber mats and coming out the front and between joints further back in the stable soaking his bedding. I tried to put a bucket between the hay and drinker to catch the dripping water but its not really helping - he either knocks the bucket over or misses it. I tried soaking his hay myself - he didn't eat it! My YO is going to freak soon at the state of the stable and area outside it! I dread to think what its like under the mats. I've spoken to the dentist who doesn't think its tooth related as he is done every 6 months with no issues. I'm at a loss!! Any thoughts would be really appreciated :)

We have automatic waterers in our stables and whilst they are efficient they don't release water very fast and thirsty horses like to drink a large amount. It takes ours a while to refill and my horse gets bored with waiting. A large bucket in the corner should do it (put a tub on the floor with bricks in and a tub inside that and fill with water and it won't get tipped over).
 

stormox

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 May 2012
Messages
3,324
Location
midlands
Visit site
Mines a dunker too- carefully empties his hay from his hay-bar, pushes it with his nose over to his automatic waterer, and dunks every mouthful! Even does it with moist haylage.............if its what he wants to do,why shouldn't he? Like us putting ketchup on our chips I suppose :D
 

Micropony

Well-Known Member
Joined
31 May 2015
Messages
1,360
Location
NW London
Visit site
Mine has a bucket as well as a drinker, I don't think a drinker enables them to have a good deep drink, and they seem to appreciate it, especially in summer. It also acts as insurance against one of the water sources being pooed in. Also I keep a big skip bucket underneath the drinker to catch dribbles, which does help to save the bed.
I am guessing it's not possible to move the bed to a different area of the stable away from the water and hay?
 

_EVS_

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 March 2010
Messages
425
Location
Worcester
Visit site
Thanks for all your help - the automatic drinker isn't flooding - its the dribble of dunking the hay then it all dripping everywhere while he chews it! Not sure what giving him a bucket of water instead would do but I guess I'll have to try it - gutted to turn of the drinker - it saves me so much time not filling buckets!

Micropony - His bed is well away from the water (bed at the back, drinker at the front) the water is under all the mats and seeping through the gaps in to the bedding so it slowly gets damper!
 

Regandal

Well-Known Member
Joined
5 August 2011
Messages
3,387
Location
Perthshire
Visit site
I had to turn off the automatic drinker in one stable. It was constantly choked with hay. He now gets a big trug away from his hay and a smaller bucket next to it. Hardened dunker.
 

Wagtail

Horse servant
Joined
2 December 2010
Messages
14,816
Location
Lincs
Visit site
Simplest action is to move where he has his hay so that he has to walk across the stable and turn right round. This stopped a hay dunker I had here, or at least reduced it a great deal so it was no longer a problem.
 

criso

Coming over here & taking your jobs since 1900
Joined
18 September 2008
Messages
12,164
Location
London but horse is in Herts
Visit site
I have a prolific dunker. He has 2 buckets of water, one right next to his hay for dunking, another on the other side of the stable for drinking.

I did the same with a horse I had on loan who liked to dunk. I did try soaking/wetting hay but apparently I didn't do it right and he preferred to do it himself. The dunking bucket was extra large and not filled right up.
 

LCH611

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 March 2009
Messages
629
Visit site
Mines a dunker too- carefully empties his hay from his hay-bar, pushes it with his nose over to his automatic waterer, and dunks every mouthful! Even does it with moist haylage.............if its what he wants to do,why shouldn't he? Like us putting ketchup on our chips I suppose :D
I agree. Mine is very contented munching and dunking. He has his hay bar in the corner and a large trug inside a tyre which he never tips over. The floor between the tyre & the hay bar is usually wet, but his bed and rubber mats start 1/2way back so it doesn't affect his bed at all - in fact he makes more mess when he walks to the back of his stable for a poo and takes hay with him.

He is a thirsty horse that really enjoys playing with water so an automatic waterer simply wouldn't work for him. I would rather he splashed about keeping himself amused than box walked, weaved or cribbed
 

_EVS_

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 March 2010
Messages
425
Location
Worcester
Visit site
Thanks Criso - I also had the same issue. I wet it myself and he refused to eat most of it! I'll try a really big bucket with a smallish amount of water in the bottom and maybe that will catch it!
 

_EVS_

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 March 2010
Messages
425
Location
Worcester
Visit site
I agree. Mine is very contented munching and dunking. He has his hay bar in the corner and a large trug inside a tyre which he never tips over. The floor between the tyre & the hay bar is usually wet, but his bed and rubber mats start 1/2way back so it doesn't affect his bed at all - in fact he makes more mess when he walks to the back of his stable for a poo and takes hay with him.

He is a thirsty horse that really enjoys playing with water so an automatic waterer simply wouldn't work for him. I would rather he splashed about keeping himself amused than box walked, weaved or cribbed

LCH611 - I don't want to inhibit him but its a nightmare with the amount of water everywhere and up until a few weeks ago he never did it (I've had him nearly 6 yrs!) which concerns me!
 

Sheep

Well-Known Member
Joined
31 August 2011
Messages
5,624
Location
Northern Ireland
Visit site
Simplest action is to move where he has his hay so that he has to walk across the stable and turn right round. This stopped a hay dunker I had here, or at least reduced it a great deal so it was no longer a problem.

This is what I do - if I tie the net up on same side as drinker, our mare likes to flood her stable. If the net is on the other side, she doesn't bother!
 

smja

Well-Known Member
Joined
8 October 2013
Messages
1,310
Visit site
We turned the bed round, so there was bedding under the automatic drinker (plus extra bucket) to catch any drips. Hay now on other side of the stable to the drinker, he can't be bothered moving to dunk it so problem solved :)
 

LCH611

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 March 2009
Messages
629
Visit site
in which case I would be looking for a reason why he has started. It could be that he has just discovered that it is fun, but equally he may have a sore mouth, or be having an issue with ulcers - or have you changed on to a different batch of hay?
 

_EVS_

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 March 2010
Messages
425
Location
Worcester
Visit site
in which case I would be looking for a reason why he has started. It could be that he has just discovered that it is fun, but equally he may have a sore mouth, or be having an issue with ulcers - or have you changed on to a different batch of hay?

I think its just fun! Nothing else seems amiss. Spoke to dentist who thinks its unlikely to be teeth - he is done every 6 months but she is due next month so she can check then. I've seen other comments re ulcers - again nothing amiss to suggest it but I would happily put him on a supplement to see if it helps but I don't know where to start with what to try! Started mid way through a batch of hay - just had new batch and no change.
 

Luci07

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 October 2009
Messages
9,382
Location
Dorking
Visit site
Mine started doing that - a friend advised that she found the horses did it sometimes if the haylage was too sweet or the hay was a little dusty. New batch and he doesn't do it anymore.
 

GermanyJo

Well-Known Member
Joined
19 March 2008
Messages
901
Location
Germany
Visit site
One of my old horses always used to do this and I never thought anything of it .. we had a bad case of ulcers which we tried treating with a number of things (usual Gastroguard etc) .. he made some improvements but ulcers kept coming back.
I used one product (if anyone wants to know, please PM me .. last time i mentioned it I got slated and accused of belonging to the company!) and within 24 hours the hay dunking which he had done without fail for 7 years .. stopped. He was a different horse and the ulcers healed. I had him another 2 years after this and if he ever started dunking hay again, I knew he was getting ulcers again , (when we were competing alot , or he was having to be kept in) .. started treatment and again , the dunking stopped.
I am not so complacent now when I see a horse dunking hay, not saying it is always due to this , but I would have a big question mark in my mind if one of mine started to do this again
 

Goldenstar

Well-Known Member
Joined
28 March 2011
Messages
46,507
Visit site
Nothing stopped my dunker until we discovered he had ulcers now the only time he does it is after a long days hunting which I assume makes his tummy a bit sore .
I feel your pain OP the mess was epic .
I put a bucket right next to his forage and embraced it .
 

ester

Not slacking multitasking
Joined
31 December 2008
Messages
60,602
Location
Cambridge
Visit site
I think if he has a bucket the hope is that he will then eat it over the bucket and not get quite so much water everywhere.
 
Top