Adding supplements - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-01-2010, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Indiana
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Question Adding supplements

So, I just got my new horse on Thursday, (yay!) and he has always been a hard keeper, especially in the winter. I'm going to put him on a weight building supplement once we finish switching his feed over to Strategy.

So, my question is... When Adding a supplement, should you have to increase it slowly for a few days like when switching feed? Or can you just give them the full dose right off the bat? I've seen people do it both ways, but never asked and thought I should get some better opinions. Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-01-2010, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
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How much hay is he getting? The most important part to adding weight to a horse, is upping their hay intake.

With suppliments, you can add the whole dose.

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post #3 of 6 Old 11-01-2010, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Indiana
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He is getting two flakes of really nice quality hay right now, but will be upped to three during the winter. If he stays in because of weather he'll probably get a third feeding during the day too.
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-01-2010, 02:18 PM
Green Broke
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2 flakes? How heavy are these flakes? A normal (not skinny) horse should be getting 20-30 lbs of hay everyday. For our bales, grass hay that weighs 55-65 lbs, that's 5-7 flakes a fay, or half of the bale. When I have a horse that needs weight, I give a whole bale everyday, or as much as the horse will eat.

For a weght gain supplement, look for a good digestive aid (pro/prebiotic) and have the horse's teeth checked/floated. I like flax meal for adding fat. It's more easily digested and absorbed than oils or dehydrated fats.
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-01-2010, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Indiana
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They're pretty hefty flakes. I should have stated he gets two flakes per feeding then is outside on grass all day. I wish I could give him a whole bale per day right now, but honestly at 5 dollars a bale and having to pay for most of his stuff on my own (I'm 17) I just can't afford it right now. :(

He's not such a hard keeper than he is completely ribby in the winter, he just drops a some weight. I'm hoping instead of feeding him a ton more than he's getting now, getting a nice warm blanket and adding this supplement will help just enough. Of course, if that isn't the case I will add more hay, feed, or what ever it needs to be, to his diet.

The supplement I was looking at does have a good digestive aid in it as well.
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-02-2010, 07:49 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
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Extra hay is the best way to keep a horse warm and up to weight during the winter, and it's usually cheaper than feeding a supplement if you do the math. Which supplement is it? Adding one extra flake (5 lb or heavier flakes) per feeding, or just one in the evning, will often be enough to keep weight on a horse during the winter.

If he's in his own paddock/pasture, or his paddock/pasture mate's owner is willing to go in with you, a round bale of grass hay is a great way to provide free choice hay and they are usually more affordable than square bales. If you can find a 700-800 lb round bale for $50 or less delivered, then it will be cheaper per-pound than a $5 60 lb grass hay bale. Just roll it under his shelter and it will stay nice! A big 4x5 round bale will usually last one horse about 4 weeks to a month if they have access to it 24/7.
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