View Full Version : Horse started dipping his haylage in his water?

30-12-12, 01:02 AM

Just wondered if anyone would know why he has started doing this? He normally has an automatic drinker but I have covered this up as he dips so much haylage in it the floor ends up soaking and his water is filthy! He does do it with a water bucket too, but not as much.

No changes recently to his management other than he had mild colic on Christmas Eve, so associated changes for 2 or 3 days regarding that and we are back to normal now. He has been doing this now for approx 2 weeks.

Any help would be great, thank you.

30-12-12, 01:42 AM
iam really not sure but mine does this too with dry hay, steamed hay and hayledge but wont eat soaked hay so will watch this thread

30-12-12, 02:01 AM
iam really not sure but mine does this too with dry hay, steamed hay and hayledge but wont eat soaked hay so will watch this thread

My two TBs are exactly the same; the connie eats his nornally. The two TBs only started doing this about 2-3 years ago when I changed them to auto waterers - before that they didnt do it with a water bucket, but now if they were given a water bucket they would dunk their hay.

30-12-12, 02:54 AM
We have a horse at work that sometimes will drag his under his electric water and then splash about so.he wets it. Random days. Even of hay from same bale as last haynet. That was super fun to muck out when he was on paper! Was like paper mache in the corner!

30-12-12, 08:39 AM
Mine does this with his dry hay. I don't have auto waterers so he dunks it in his water bucket. He wont eat soaked hay though! He dunks so much hay in his bucket that I now provide him with a separate dunking water bucket!

30-12-12, 08:50 AM
My oldie has been doing it for years. Mainly in winter.

My theories include poor quality haylage, not wanting to drink, poor teeth and knowing whats good for themselves.

The poor quality haylage doesn't really work as it doesn't seem to matter.

He certainly is less likely to drink in the winter when the water is cold so possibly getting moisture in other ways.

He is 36 now and his teeth are poor but they were not when he started doing this

Knowing whats good for himself has to be relevant. If he's off colour he will eat weeds instead of grass, I believe they do know what will help them.

I encourage it, not try to stop him. He pulls it out of nets and carries it to a big water tub I have given him. This stop him messing up his automatic waterer.

30-12-12, 08:53 AM
My boy does it aswell, his buckets were full of hay this morning. He has it well soaked anyway. Having teeth done in next couple of weeks.

30-12-12, 09:34 AM
My old boy did it and it turned out he had big teeth issues going on, I would get them checked just in case x

30-12-12, 10:08 AM
Most of my liveries and my own horses do this - perfectly normal. If he has only just started doing it though, I agree with the above and would suggest you get his teeth looked at.

30-12-12, 10:45 AM
As others have said, this is quite normal. Horses in stables that are fed hay and hard feed typically do most of their drinking within a few minutes after eating their hard feed and within an hour or so after they are given hay/haylage. A lot of stabled horses also exhibit hay wetting behaviour, in which a horse dips each mouthful of hay or places a flake of hay in its water before eating it.

30-12-12, 10:51 AM
There's a horse who does this at our yard and always has... and equally I know of horses who've stopped doing it once they've had ulcers treated. The fact he's started it one week and had a bit of colic the next may or may not be relevant, but I would consider looking for other ulcery signs if he's just started doing it..?

30-12-12, 04:10 PM
my boy did exactly the same, had to clean out his water bucket (as in scrub it down) every day as it stinks!

30-12-12, 04:13 PM
Was like paper mache in the corner!


Spit That Out
30-12-12, 04:17 PM
My lad dunks his hay or haylage if fed off the floor but doesn't bother if in his net, he's done it for years and there is nothing wrong with his teeth, stomach or any other part of him, just an annoying habit!
Only health risk was when he did it a couple of winters ago when we had that big freeze and the dripping water made the floor slippy!!

30-12-12, 05:04 PM
I've got a 2 year old warmblood who does it too. She takes the water in her mouth to the haybar and soaks her hay, the floor and all her bedding. I think she does it for fun, just to make a mess.

30-12-12, 05:14 PM
I have known several horse which have done this - I do not think it is indicative of much, just how they like their fodder!! The horse that did it in a bucket had 2 in her stable, one next to her haynet the other across the other side of the box to try and ensure sher had clean water to drink.

30-12-12, 11:29 PM
Thank you for all your replies!

He has been known to windsuck/crib bite but since moving him to another stable away from the only other horse on the yard who does the same, he has stopped.

The haylage is pretty good quality considering the horrible summer we have had up here. His teeth were done 9 weeks ago so no concerns there.

I think I will just monitor him and see what happens.

Thank you everyone.

30-12-12, 11:33 PM
My horse always did this , never thought anything of it , in fact had read some where that it demonstrated intelligence (?) ... he had some problems with ulcers, treated him and the day after he started treatment he stopped dunking the hay ...... he had one relapse and the first thing I noticed was that the hay dunking started again , once we got him sorted, it stopped , so I am very careful when I see horses doing this now