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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 21419
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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We have two pet sheep that live in a fenced garden. The are

Resolved Question:

We have two pet sheep that live in a fenced garden. The are inexorably chewing at the fences. They will nibble away for hours, ripping off bits of wood. The wood is preserved.
Is there a foul tasting liquid that can be applied, preferably by spray? It would also need to be waterproof.
Paul Albright
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, Paul. I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

Now whatever treatments we would use on a fence, they will likely need period re-treatment if the fences are subject to regular wet weather like we have here in the UK. This is because waterpoofing chew deterrants would likely prevent effectiveness of the deterrant. Therefore, if you are keen to just treat this situation as a one-off, then metal coverings over the vulnerable fencing sites would be the best point of call here.

Otherwise, this is a behavior very common with pet livestock (ie goats, sheep), and horses. Since sheep are in the minority for pets compared to the other species, we tend to find the best deterrant products in the equine market. Just to note fence chewing in horses is known as "cribbing". Considering your needs here, I would note that Lincoln makes a "Stop Cribbing" Grease (LINK) that is water resistant and could address this for you. Otherwise there are some sprays like NAF Crib Spray (LINK) that would be at least partially water resistant and is a spray solution that you could use. Finally, while you would need to have your vet speak to their local Virbac representative, there is a good product from that company known as Stop Crib (More Info) which only requires monthly reapplications to prevent chewing. And as these are all horse safe, they should be fine for WInston and Clementine as well.

Overall, this is a very common issue with pets of this nature. If you are keen to only have to address this situation once, metal fencing or fencing covers would be the best fool proof and durable option. Otherwise, the above would at least protect the fence, deter their chewing, but would require occasional reapplication to remain effective (should they be stubborn and not realize the fence isn't very nice tasting anymore).

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you! : )

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, my research followed me to cribbing, Cribex and various products. As you say, I assume equine products will work. It is a garden, so metal is not really an option, and I don't mind spraying it one once a month or so, it was more that I did not want it to wash off every time it rained. Also, I did not want a sticky paste or something like that, occasional spraying is fine. What is the actual chemical? It is probably more cost effective to buy the chemical than little bottles.



Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hi again Paul,

Fair enough if the garden isn't amenable to metal fencing. Otherwise, in regards ***** ***** different anti-chew products, most contain Capsicum oleoresin +/ Denatonium Benzoate. The first is the ingreient in chillies that make them taste hot (and is also the active ingredient in pepper spray). The latter is a synthetic chemical that is very bitter (and was used in studies on children as a taste deterrant additive to toxic substances). So, these would be the two chemicals that one could use to make a similar product. Of course, you will need to find a carrier oil or similar material to ensure that these terrible tasting chemicals don't just wash away when it rains. But those would be the ones we'd aim for to safely deter their chewing.

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you ! : )
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