Any suggestions on weight gain? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 17 Old 06-08-2010, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Any suggestions on weight gain?

I have a friend that I would like to help but don't have a clue as to do. I personally own quarter horses and they are very easy keepers. She owns thourobreds and standardbreds and most of which are slightly under weight. I know that she feeds them good quality hay and supplements them something (not sure what), but they never seem to gain any weight. Is there anyone else out there that has experienced this same issue and is there anything that I could suggest to her that might make a more significant change in their weight gain? Any information that you can suggest would be greatly appreciated!

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post #2 of 17 Old 06-08-2010, 05:47 PM
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You would need to be more specific about the details of what they're being fed to really get helpful suggestions. How much hay are they getting, and what kind? What kind of hard feed, and how much? Are they turned out on grass or not? Are they on 24/7 turn out, or do they get stalled at night?

I have a TB and he's off the track....so he has a very fast metabolism and a big appetite. He currently gets 5 flakes of second cut T&A, 4 lbs of Nutrena Senior, 1 lb of Max E Glo rice bran, and he's just been put on 2 lbs of shredded beet pulp daily. He should be getting more hay, but 5 flakes is about as much as I can afford at this point. The general consensus is that lots of hay should be a fist priority when trying to encourage weight gain. Then, feeding a hard feed that's high in fat, but stay away from sweet feeds. Some weight builders work, we have an appendix mare that's done really well on Farnam weight builder, but things of that nature (vegetable oil, weight supplements, etc) are sort of a last resort.
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post #3 of 17 Old 06-08-2010, 07:13 PM
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Even if she if feeding good quality hay - how much? Sometimes more hay is all that is needed. I do know for the yearling I have right now I have added soaked alfalfa pellets in addition to his normal hay/pasture to help with his weight gain. It has more protein and higher calories than other hays. Plus 1 cup of black oil sunflower seeds to add fat. I tend to avoid sweet feeds.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #4 of 17 Old 06-08-2010, 08:25 PM
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I would also look to what could be going on internally.

I would get Pre and Pro Biodics into their systems, and have them scoped to be sure that there are no ulcers in the horses tummies or digestive tracts.

Many TB's are prone to digestive ulcers without the knowledge of the owner - so scoping is a great way to ensure that if there are ulcers, then you can treat them, and if there aren't ulcers then you know what other steps to take to get weight gain.

My 21 year old OTTB has always been a hard keeper. Even when his face is stuffed infront of a round bale 24/7, and gets 10lbs of feed a day *that is devided between two feedings* and a fat gain suppliment - until I had him scoped, to discover that he had stomache ulcers and ulcers beyond his tummy, in his digestive tracts - so by treating his ulcers, he's been able to put on weight beautifully, and much easier than it was without the ulcer and digestive treatments.

I put my guy on 2 of SmartPaks products. 1) Smart Digest Ultra and 2) SmartGut

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post #5 of 17 Old 06-08-2010, 09:44 PM
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Good thinking MI. Also - when was the last time teeth were checked?

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #6 of 17 Old 06-09-2010, 05:11 AM
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I understand from your post that the horses are only on hay. If that's the case, your friend can consider putting the horses on some hard feed, particularly something that contains a bit of barley, as it's good for fattening up underweight horses. If you tell us how much work the horses are doing, and their sizes, I can tell you approximately what/how much they should be eating.

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post #7 of 17 Old 06-09-2010, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the info, I will pass it on. And sorry about the lack of details but I really don't know the specifics of the amounts that she feeds. They are not on grass I do know that as all of our paddocks are all dirt. I will encourage her to up the amount of hay that she is feeding and pass on the hard feed advice. Again, thank you very much!
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post #8 of 17 Old 06-10-2010, 01:54 AM
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...Also, is 'slightly underweight' perhaps just your perception, based on your horses? I find that generally speaking, people keep their horses too fat for health & worry when they get down to a healthy weight. Also if you're used to looking at QHs, TBs will naturally look on the thin side to you. They aren't meant to be the same shape. The Henneke body score is a good guage to 'weigh' them by.

BTW, not assuming anything, just asking, for Justin.
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post #9 of 17 Old 06-10-2010, 03:42 AM
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My Mum Has, with our old tb he gets chaff bran gumnuts celery seeds(for joints) and garlic (for allergies) but I have heard boiled barley is good.
Also bran and pollard is a very fatning mix but if anyone says feed oil DONT! It will heat the horses and builds fat around there heart causing problems.
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post #10 of 17 Old 06-10-2010, 04:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
...Also, is 'slightly underweight' perhaps just your perception, based on your horses? I find that generally speaking, people keep their horses too fat for health & worry when they get down to a healthy weight. Also if you're used to looking at QHs, TBs will naturally look on the thin side to you. They aren't meant to be the same shape. The Henneke body score is a good guage to 'weigh' them by.

BTW, not assuming anything, just asking, for Justin.
yep totally agree with this statement. It also happens with people used to show horses compared to racehorses. You didnt mention how long her horses have been off the track either, remember racehorses are alot leaner and when they retire alot "come down". I have 2 standies 1 is so fat....been retired 5 yrs the other retired in nov 09 gets 3times the food and is still alot leaner. But my friends have quater horses and they had trouble with the different body shapes and the volume of food required particulary for my just retired boy.
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