Diet for horse that colics - Page 3

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Diet for horse that colics

This is a discussion on Diet for horse that colics within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Is it a good idea to feed a senior feed to a horse that colics
  • Horse colics on oat hay

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    04-21-2010, 03:14 AM
We care for quite a few elderly equines, and have cared for many more in the past.

This is what our hard keepers/elderly horses are fed daily (or until weight is gained, and then maintained)
- Free fed hay.. or we make sure there is always hay in front of them, anyways. Some horses eat more slowly, and may eat 9 flakes of hay a day (3 at breakfast, lunch, and dinner), some horses get an entire bale if they need it. Or, soaked hay cubes depending on the horse.
- Beet pulp. Beet pulp is our best friend for our hard keepers, and I've never met a horse who doesn't like it. I'll usually feed a pound or 2 (before soaking), and then add things as needed. The extra water intake is a total bonus as well, high in fibre, and a great replacement forage. I feed it to every horse I've owned.
- Satin Finish (a bran product for weight gain and helps improve coat condition)
- Depending on the horse, usually a Tiz Wiz pellet.. some get the senior pellets, or performace depending on the horse getting fed.
- For the performance horses we'll add a few handfulls of 12% sweet feed for some texture and taste.
- Older horses will also get some oil if they need something more for weight gain.

I've never seen oats do anything but cause problems for horses needing weight that aren't being worked regularily (this is in my experience at the facilities I've worked or ridden at, I'm not implying it's what happens with every horse).. I would drop the oats completely, and look for feeds higher in fat and fibre, and lower in carbs and calories.. something that's easy to eat and digest.

We had a 27yr old thoroughbred stallion with horrible teeth (as in, barely any teeth left) that was not a big hay eater and didn't eat the soaked cubes fast enough (soaked cubes don't work as well when you have -30 degree winters), and we had to substitute his forage with beet pulp and alf-alfa pellets, senior pellets, and he only got a few handfuls of oats for taste.

ETA: after actually reading through some replies, I was kind of shocked to see no one else had mentioned Beet pulp lmao.
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    04-21-2010, 06:55 AM
^ Is no one reading my posts? I mentioned beet pulp/speedi-beet like three times!!!
    04-21-2010, 07:42 AM
Well thank you duckeh and wildspot...i think im going to look into getting her on SafeChoice...its a low starch feed that's easily digestible, not to mention has the added benefit of helping to prevent well as putting her on beet pulp!!! Im sure she could use the extra water and she definitely needs the weight gain.
    04-21-2010, 01:04 PM
The reason she has likely stopped colicing is the increase in hay rather than the removal of senior feed. Horses need an appropriate amount of forage in order for their GI tract to continue to function normally and to prevent GI ulcers and minimize the pain caused by GI ulcers. This is becuase they produce stomach acid all the time rather than just when they eat.

If she's on a good amount of hay, I would put her on a ration balancer rather than the oats. The ration balancers are designed to make up for the lack of protein and the nutrient imbalances that are common with hay alone. Oats are pretty well balanced, but they won't make up for the lack of certain nutrients in hay unless you are feeding alot of them.

Then for additional calories on top of an appropriate amount of hay (at least 1.5% of the horse's body weight per day though for weight gain you should increase it up to as much as 3%) and ration balancer you can add vegetable oil. Fat provides an abundance of easily digested calories. You can feed 1-2 cups a day but be sure to start slowly and understand that it takes a couple of weeks for the body to start making good use of the fat. (Increased fat content is one of the reasons senior feeds are so good at keeping weight on senior horses.)
    04-21-2010, 10:21 PM
Ok well heres an update!!!....I talked to the owner today and she IS on beet pulp, a handful of wheat bran, 12:12 mineral and corn oil as well as her oats as well....they don't know for sure that it was that particular senior feed that was causing her colic but I am going to get her a bag of Seminole Wellness Seior mix tomorrow and put her on that...

Seminole Wellness SENIOR MIXis a low-starch, complete feed with herbs, scientifically formulated for aged horses & ponies. Wellness SENIOR MIX is formulated with 10% fat, highly digestible fibers, natural grains and beneficial herbs to provide superior nutrition in an easy-to-chew form. This low-starch formula, aids in reducing the risk of metabolic disorders and digestive upset that can lead to colic and laminitis.

Low-Starch, High-Fat, Fixed-Formula:

Provides a consistent energy level from “cool” calories & superior nutrition to support the increased demands of the older horse.

Beet Pulp, Soybean Hulls & Alfalfa Meal:
Highly digestible fibers reduce the risk of health problems associated with diets high in starch

Flax Seed, Ultra BloomŪ Stabilized Rice Bran & Soybean Oil:
Supplies essential omega-3 & omega-6 fatty acids for overall health and coat condition.

Balm, Fenugreek, Garlic, Marjoram, Parsley, Sage, Spearmint, Red Clover, Rosemary:
Beneficial herbs are included for respiratory & digestive properties and flavor.

Biotin, Methionine & Zinc
Supports hoof growth & condition.

Vitamin E & Selenium yeast for healthy immune system function.

Mannan oligosaccharides (MOS):
Included to maintain intestinal health.

Mycotoxin Adsorbent:
Binds mycotoxins that can be present in hays & forages.

Yucca Schidigera:
Supports glandular function & has anti-inflammatory properties.

and she is going to be continued to be turned out as well as about 8 flakes of hay a day.
    04-21-2010, 10:42 PM
Sounds good to me!
    04-21-2010, 11:48 PM
Just an idea... I would consider upping her beet pulp (unless she's on a good amount of it already). Obviously it's not going to be the world of difference, but beet pulp is pretty cheap to purchase, and it will never hurt them for the added water intake and fibre etc. It's great for horses with ulcers as well.Something else.. does this mare have access to a salt and/or mineral block? Or is she given loose minerals at all?Is this mare a "hot" type of mare? Something else I thought of today (for hot, or not, horses.. it doesn't really matter, helps either way but thought I owuld ask), was Brewers Yeast. A friend of mine had a very spinny, hot, worry-some mare that was an incredibley hard keeper. Brewers yeast helped to calm her down a bit, and helped quite a bit with weight gain. Just another thing to maybe consider or even just read up on incase it may help :)Either way, good luck with her, and I hope you can find out a feed plan that will benefit you (or her owners), and her as well. That senior feed you posted sounds like a great feed to try as well. You'll have to let us know how she does on it! Hopefully it helps
    04-22-2010, 12:37 AM
Im not exactly sure how much beet pulp she is getting right now but when she gets on the senior feed, that has beet pulp in it, as well as we'll continue to give it to her as well..and yes, she's getting a complete 12:12 mineral right now...

She's an appy, so I don't think that's considered a "hot" breed of horse..

Heres a few pictures of her...

By the way..the scar on her left side was from when she was a baby..she got tangled up in barb wire...doesnt affect her now though...
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    04-22-2010, 01:19 AM
She looks like she has a sucked in flank with a hay belly, which could mean her intestines aren't in great shape. Live bacteria products such as Yea-sacc and clearing agents such as Psyllium would help keep her intestines flowing better.
    04-22-2010, 01:29 AM
Thanks roro...would fiberpsyll be good?

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