Diet Critique/Questions...Suggestions? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-21-2009, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Holiday,FL
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Diet Critique/Questions...Suggestions?

I wanted to see if any of you had also had experience with neglect cases and could share some of your insight

As you guys know, Heidi my rescue mare was pretty much a bag of bones when I got her so I am slowly working in getting weight back on her. The Animal Services that I got her from were just giving her 2scoops of pellets 2x a day...didn't do much for weight gain :/ For the first 2 weeks that I had her this is what she was getting:

1 Scoop 12% Pellets
1 Scoop Soaked Beet Pulp
1/3 Scoop Wheat Bran
1/2 Steamed Barley (the pressed flake kind)

1 Scoop 12% Pellets
1 Scoop Soaked Beet Pulp
1/3 Scoop Wheat Bran
1/2 Scoop Barley
1 Cup Corn Oil
1 Cup Max-E-Glo (Rice Bran)

Same as AM feed :)

Now that she has gained some weight we switched her to 2x a day and she is getting:

1 1/4 Scoop 12% Pellets
3/4 Scoop Soaked Beet Pulp
1/2 Scoop Bran
3/4 Scoop Barley
1/2 Cup Corn Oil
1/2 Cup Max-E-Glo

And that is 2x a day and she has gotten free choice Tifton hay this whole time and also a Mineral block...

My main questions is when is the RIGHT time to start slowly switching her over to a "normal" diet? Obviously she still has quite a bit of weight gain to do...but when should I start cutting some of the above ingredients out? and when should I start adding others?
Also, any recommendations as to what kind of feed would work best would behighly appreciated :)

She also gets turn out for a few hours a day on grass...and if she goes into the 'dirt' pasture she gets hay to munch on off of a mat (FL= Sand Colic, LOL)

Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated!

If you have any other questions that need to be known in regards to her diet, etc don't hesitate to ask!

Thank you
Underfire05 is offline  
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-21-2009, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: N. Indiana
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I have had a few rescues and this is what I've done with them every time and have been very successful, Nutrena even did a report on one of my horses because she rebounded so well.

(I copied from my post over on HGS)

Best bet is small amounts and often. I took in a mare that had a body condition score of 2. She weighed about 800lbs and was 16.2hh. After two months she was a more respectable 5. After exercise she was even prettier!

Anyway ~ this is what I have done successfully with the rescues I've taken in:

4 times per day:
1/2 scoop Nutrena Vitality Ultra
1/2 scoop BOSS
1/2 scoop shredded beet pulp

For best results soak with water for a while before you feed. I haven't had a horse choke on dry beet pulp but some people have concerns so.. err on the side of caution.

Then you also need to give her free access to good quality hay. I prefer orchard grass/alfalfa mix. I like a 70/30 mix with less alfalfa.

I also feed two scoops of Gleam & Gain (I get it premeasured through SmartPak) a day.

Fresh water 24/7.

Good luck!! Remember - smaller meals frequently.

In regard to your question about when to stop feeding like this, I keep this regime in place until the horse has been at a very good weight and stable.
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-21-2009, 11:49 AM
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ive always heard soaking beet pulp for several hours before feeding is a MUST. because theres a high change horses can choke
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-21-2009, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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My beet pulp is always soaked. It is soaked overnight for the morning feed and then from morning till afternoon for the PM feed...I never feed dry beet many risks IMHO!
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-21-2009, 11:58 AM
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I'm not saying that it doesn't happen. In my 20 years of horse ownership and feeding beet pulp I haven't ever had a horse choke. I do soak but only for about fifteen minutes before feeding.
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post #6 of 10 Old 12-21-2009, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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JumpingTheMoon, As for the BOSS, would the Max-E-Glo be fine instead of that? The M-E-G has I think it was 20% fat, etc and it also helps with coats, etc with all of the other oils and stuff it has in it...will hav eto look up the exact ingredients again. I can get BOSS, btu not as easily as the max-e-glo around here, at least not quantity wise.
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-21-2009, 12:10 PM
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Yeh I think the Mx-E-Glo should be fine. I just buy the big bags of BOSS at the Tractor Supply or Rural King. Not sure what garden type store you have in FL. Through them I can get a 20lb bag for about $11 but I know that's not everywhere.
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-21-2009, 12:38 PM
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you can get beat pulp that you only have to soak for 15 minutes but the majority of it you soak overnight. horses get colic with unsoaked beat pulp becuase it swells up in their stomach.

is all that feed the OP says not a bit much? my horse was a rescue and like yours a bag of bones but i gave him 1 scoop of mix 1/2 scoop of beat pulp and half scoop of chaff 3 times a day..
if you give too much in one feed it can cause colic and they dont obsorb all the nutrients from it.

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post #9 of 10 Old 12-23-2009, 12:42 AM
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Wheat bran is not as good for horses as people once thought. I would switch her to rice bran or flax, for added fat and calories. Be sure to get stabilized rice bran or flax, for a balanced Ca:P ratio and added preservatives (to extend the shelf life). (NVMD, I see that you feed the Max-E-Glo. Just nix the wheat bran completely)

You should also not soak beet pulp more than 4 hours, as you risk it going rancid (especially in warm weather). Shredded beet pulp only needs to be soaked 15-30 minutes before freeding. And, having to soak beet pulp is a myth. It will not swell up in the stomach or throat, and only horses that are prone to choke in general will choke on it. I have fed both pelleted and shredded BP dry without any problems.

As long as she's gaining weight nicely, then just stick to what you're doing. Once she's up to a good weight, take out the beet pulp and corn oil for a couple of weeks. If she stays at a good weight, then leave her diet as-is. If she gains, take out the barley and reduce your grain. You just need to play with things until you figure out what works for her.

Personally, I don't like feeding horse feeds or grains. My horses do better on a more natural forage based diet that is grain-free. I use my own mix of Alfalfa pellets, flax, and a custom vitamin supplement with added amino acids from For weight gain, I feed 1-2 scoops of alfalfa pellets (3qt scoops) and 1 scoop of plain whole oats, along with my flax and vitamin supplement. We feed free choice mixed grass hay and limited pasture grazzing. I find that I can feed a lot less feed this way. Even my "hard keeper" only gets 1/2 scoop of alfalfa pellets a day, with nothing extra, and he stays nice and "plump"!!
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-23-2009, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input guys :) I really appreciate it!

I will go ahead and take out the bran then and save it for a nice "warm mush" day :)

She is steadily gaining weight (not too quickly or slowly though!) and looks better and better every week! She still has a bit to go...but I think in a month or so she should be at a good "weight" fat wise...then we just have to work on muscles, etc.

Thanks again guys! Great insight and it's always apprecia
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