horse not eating all of his grain - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-11-2008, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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horse not eating all of his grain

I have a 5 year old miniature horse stallion that is an extremely hard keeper. Right now he looks ok but he still needs to gain 25-30 pounds. He has always been this way ever since I got him as a yearling. Right not he is eating 2lbs of omolene 200 twice a day and at night I am adding in 1 ounce of weight builder, 1 ounce of cocosoya, and 2 scoops of farnam super 14 just to keep him where he is at. We use him as a roadster horse (basically miniature horse harness racing) and so that means he had long hard workouts. If we do not work him he still will not hold weight and we still have to feed him just as much. To make matters worse he usually only eats 1/2 to 3/4 of his feed and it takes him forever! I mean about 1 hour to eat this much. He has no teeth problems, they were just floated here about 3 months ago because I thought that was what his problem was but the guy who did it said he teeth really were not needing floated but I had him do it anyway just to make sure. I have wondered about ulcers but I am not sure that is what it is or if he is just picky. He always eats all of his hay and when he decides he is done with his feed he runs for the hay. I do not want to give up on this horse because we have never seen a miniature that looks like he just floats across the ground when driving. If we add to much of one supplement or another he will not eat anything. I am getting ready to take him to the vet and just tell them I don't know what to do anymore and see if there is anything they know of that might help him out. If anyone has any ideas PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, I am desperate. I want to see him at the proper weight at some point in his life. All I have ever seen out of him has been a slightly underweight horse with his flanks all sunken in and i can not fix it. I NEED IDEAS!!! :(

You know how to make a miniature horse even smaller? Leave them in the dryer a little longer!
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-11-2008, 12:37 AM
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Try another feed, and add some calf manna--that stuff smells great, and my picky, picky horse is gobbling it up this week (just added it to his Strategy).
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-11-2008, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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I have tried calf manna and he will not eat it. i have tried other feeds and I am about out of the higher protein and higher fat feeds to choose from, this is the one he has eaten the best. I even tried strategy because a friend of mine is feeding it and all her horses love it, but he won't eat it either.

You know how to make a miniature horse even smaller? Leave them in the dryer a little longer!
"Don't ever regret something that once made you smile"
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-11-2008, 08:17 AM
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Look for a GRAIN free formula

I know of one that did this and his sugar was though the roof!!

Depending on what brand of feed you get they are most likely making aration balancer low NSC, most are no grain, high nutrition in a small amount... low calorie but don't let that fool ya I have watched hard keepers become easy keepers on it
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-11-2008, 12:09 PM
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I had that issue with one of my older horses. Tim had suggested giving him grass because it stimulates .... something...anyway, I tried it, turned him out in the yard with the healthy grass and It worked. You might want to try that....

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post #6 of 6 Old 08-11-2008, 12:31 PM
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First, get rid of the grain based and sweet feeds for two reasons:
a. not eating supplemental feed eagerly is a sign of possible gastric ulcers and grains and sweet feeds increase the discomfort associated with ulcers.

b. Pony breeds are more prone to insulin resistance which makes them more prone to laminitis/founder and starchy, sugary feeds like sweet feeds or grain based feeds increase the risks.

Put him on a forage based diet---grass hay and a ration balancer would be the best choice. Ration balancers are concentrated sources of vitamins and minerals designed to balance out the nutrient profile of hays to meet your horses needs while being fed in small quantities.You should contact the company that makes the ration balancer you choose and ask about the appropriate amount for a mini as bag labels are for larger horses. Free choice hay is also important because if he has ulcers, having forage in his GI tract helps buffer the acidity. Then if you feel like you want more calories in his diet you can add a fat source--oil, weight builder product, etc. Whether or not he has ulcers, these diet changes will have you feeding a better diet for a mini to help minimize the risk of laminitis.

Have a talk with your vet about both gastric ulcers and insulin resistance. Diagnosis of ulcers can be made via endoscopy, but your vet may also choose to try treating and see if he responds without scoping him.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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