Getting him to eat - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 44 Old 07-12-2009, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Getting him to eat

I'm a bit annoyed with my gelding... He won't eat his feed! He tries to avoid it, won't look at it, won't take it out of my hand (and this is a horse who is a greedy little sucker... he almost takes my hand off any other time I feed him out of hand)... and goes over to my maresfeed pan and sees that she has the same thing and just stands there and looks depressed.

It's not really a problem, considering he's on pasture grass 24/7... but I want him to eat his grain! It's not that he's sick or anything, he just doesn't like corn and alfalfa... and that's all I have right now.

If I keep giving it to him, will he eventually eat it?

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (1994 TWH mare), Dakota (2006 TWH gelding), Jo (2012 TWH filly) & Minnie (1992 Paint mare)
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post #2 of 44 Old 07-12-2009, 05:07 PM
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He'll eat it eventually if he gets hungry enough, but I would look into other causes.

Have his teeth checked, something might be wrong with them that makes it painful for him to chew.

And if nothing is wrong with them I would just try a different type of grain, like a complete feed or something more appetizing to him.

-Melanie
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post #3 of 44 Old 07-12-2009, 05:14 PM
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^I agree with getting him health checked. ESP if he is usually eating everything.

Would you want to go to dinner and order something you don't like, then everyday for the rest of your life eat that food you detest? Just like people, if they don't like food, they won't eat it.
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post #4 of 44 Old 07-12-2009, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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I am going to get him and my mares teeth done as soon as I get the money. I've fed corn before once, and he refused to eat it... but I've never fed alfalfa. I may just try him on the alfalfa tomorrow, and see how he likes it... maybe it's just the corn he doesn't like...

I am saving up to get his teeth done, though.

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (1994 TWH mare), Dakota (2006 TWH gelding), Jo (2012 TWH filly) & Minnie (1992 Paint mare)
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post #5 of 44 Old 07-12-2009, 06:40 PM
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Horses don't really need corn, and it's not very good for them anyway. Just try the alfalfa pellets and see how he likes that. If he still balks, try wetting them down just a little.
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post #6 of 44 Old 07-12-2009, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equestriun View Post
Would you want to go to dinner and order something you don't like, then everyday for the rest of your life eat that food you detest? Just like people, if they don't like food, they won't eat it.
Very true indeed. We often forget horse are individuals!

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #7 of 44 Old 07-12-2009, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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Horses don't really need corn, and it's not very good for them anyway. Just try the alfalfa pellets and see how he likes that. If he still balks, try wetting them down just a little.
Corn isn't very good for them? Why not? I've always heard that corn is great for horses...? I will try the plain alfalfa tomorrow... then if he doesn't want them, I'll try soaking them. For the record, at least my mare likes it.

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (1994 TWH mare), Dakota (2006 TWH gelding), Jo (2012 TWH filly) & Minnie (1992 Paint mare)
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post #8 of 44 Old 07-12-2009, 09:57 PM
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Corn is okay for horses, but it gives them a lot of energy, since it is extremely high in starches. Some up to 40% in starch. Starch causes lactic acid in the hind gut and is never fully digested. This leads to small problems such as being 'mareish' and more severe problems that we believe is training, when in fact it is what we are feeding. The culprit is the high starch levelsIf I had to feed it I would mix it with some other grain - oats or something.

Also make sure it is very high quality corn - if you feed moldy/bad corn it can lead to “Equine Leukoecephalomalacia,” or ELEM. It is a fatal illness that leads to an aberration in the consistency of the brain-matter brought on by the chemicals in the mold. Or it may contain Aflatoxins which are molds and will cause liver damage in horses and other animals that consume the contaminated feed. Most mills check for it - make sure yours does.

-Melanie
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post #9 of 44 Old 07-12-2009, 10:04 PM
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Has he always been on this feed? What do you mean this is all you have?

Nancy
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post #10 of 44 Old 07-12-2009, 10:14 PM
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I'm really not trying to be mean... but, if you have to save up money to have your horse's teeth floated, maybe you shouldn't have horses. Part of ownership is being able to provide care in an emergency, and if you don't have money for the vet, what are you going to do?

-Melanie
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