Fattening Up? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-01-2011, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Australia
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Fattening Up?

I know there is already a thread about this but I can't reply to it because I am not 15 ._. only a year behind.


Today the farrier said Bella has lost weight and needs to put on some you can just see her ribs but Bella eats like a horse. (no pun intended)

She grazes all the time and her feed contains:
1 Jug of Easi Result (Which is like a muesli for those who don't know)
1 Jug of Pollard (To put on weight)
1 Small cup of Equilax (To help digest the sand so she does not get colic)
4-5 Jugs of Wheat and Chaff.

She has a hay in the morning for breakfast, grazes all through the day unless I am down there to ride her. Then she gets biscuit of hay and her hard feed when she comes into the stable at night.

Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-01-2011, 08:26 AM
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How much is a "jug" 4-5 "jugs" of wheat and chat along with everything else seems like a lot on a horses stomach keeping in mind their digestive system is designed for small quantities continulously through the day. My goal would be to feed small very nutritious grain.
Check out this website.
Horse Nutrition Explained
It has a LOT of good information. Enough to make you confident your horse is getting 100% of they nutrients.
It's more quality over quanitity.
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-01-2011, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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A jug is probably a bit bigger then those 500ml cooking jugs it's probably a big taller and a bit wider. I will have a look at that site and yes I agree she does have a lot to eat so it might just be the cold weather because she gets plump in the summer.
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-02-2011, 01:42 AM
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Yeah, as we don't know what your 'jugs' are like, and also different feeds are more or less dense, it's best to weigh it rather than go on volume.

Firstly, just because you can see a horse's ribs doesn't mean they're necessarily underweight. It may be that your farrier is right, that she's in need of more, or he's just one of those who can't stand seeing ribs in any case. Check out 'body condition scoring' for looking at the whole horse to tell if she's good, bad or indifferent. It's also OK for horses to lose a bit of condition over winter, particularly if they were overweight in the first place. It's not good for them to be 'mud fat' all year & this is what can cause insulin resistance.

As Kymba said, it's important to understand how horses' digestion works, what is natural for them & what is not healthy. One good site on this is safergrass.org and there is also a fair bit in the articles section on diet as it relates to health on hoofrehab.com There are also programs such as FeedXL.com which I personally subscribe to, which will help you work out what feed is really what, work out a good diet specifically for your horse & situation and answer all questions.

One thing about horse's digestive systems, they don't deal really well with rich, starchy, sugary feeds. What you're feeding - Easi Result being high grain including corn & molasses, pollard(what type?) & wheaten chaff(I presume that's what you meant, not wheat AND chaff?) is quite rich & also unless you're feeding a suitable supplement to 'fill the gaps', it is likely to be quite imbalanced. Especially if you're going to feed rich feeds, it's very important to feed little & often, so I'd want to divide that into at least 3 feeds daily. But frankly, I'd be changing her diet to ingredients which are low 'GI' and adding a good complete supplement anyway. If you do need her to gain weight, I'd start out adding grass hay & a bit of alfalfa.

Other considerations you may not have thought of are that she needs her teeth done, that she needs worming, that she has ulcers or such or she's losing weight because of insulin resistance or such.
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-02-2011, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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(No, Actually it is Wheat and Chaff it says that on the bag of food. Back to the point)

The diet Bella has she has had since her previous owners bought her I do not know about her first owners, but it is what my instructor told me to give her so I have just been sticking with it. I'm going to ask my instructor about it on Tuesday because I am not the best with feeds.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-02-2011, 03:22 AM
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I'd ditch the wheat then too, in favour of a straight(unmolassed) chaff.

I'm guessing it's a fair bet your instructor's not 'the best' with feeds either then. By all means, don't take my word for it, but I would suggest you do your homework - the links I & Kymba provided will be a good start - and consult an equine nutritionist, rather than an instructor.

As mentioned, FeedXL is one source of great advice & help on diet & nutrition. It's also easily affordable & the resident nutritionists who are there to answer questions are independent of feed co's, so not trying to sell you something. (BTW, to those that have heard me go on about them, I'm not working for them, but a subscriber myself & happy to rave about prods/services I reckon are great )
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