How Much Feed?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-15-2009, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Northern NY
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Question How Much Feed??

I have my 9yr old appy gelding who is slightly underwieght due to his last lovely home!!!! (hope you see saracism) Anyways... I have a round bale out in the pasture and he has a run in as well as a stall with hay nets in the run-in and stall that I am strict on constantly being filled with our small square bales! He isn't emaciated, but I see 4 ribs, his hindquarters are angled and he has a thin wither. I have 2 minis and one is a 19yr old who is FAT! haha and I have a mini stallion who is pudgy as well, and I want Glyder, the appy, to be pudgy for winter as well because I don't like seeing them thin with winter basically knocking at the door! So my question is what kind of grain should I start him on and how much? I'm thinking he is about 800 - 900lbs and with a constant supply of hay, do I need grain and what kind? I was thinking 16% sweet feed or Pellets. He's VERY laid-back and relaxed so I don't want too much sweet feed to give him too much energy, but a little bit wouldn't hurt cuz he has to deal with a mini stallion who likes to bit, and kick at Glyder occasionally. So any ideas?

OH! I have a blanket to put on him but I prefer to wait awhile because I was him to get a winter coat of fur first but if he shivers I put it on him but he use to shiver alot but he hasn't shivered at all this week. I've only had him 2wks so I think the hay is working for him so I keep the blanket off. Is this wise?
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-15-2009, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Northern NY
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This is Glyder, The Appy in Question! You can see the high withers, angled hindquarters and thin belly. From this angle you can't see his ribs but I can see 4 in person on both sides. This is him 2days after he arrived, I wish I had a pic of him when he got here! He was covered in green/brown manure that took 3hrs of grooming to get most of it off! He has a cut above the eye which is all healed up and rain rot which is being treated successfully!
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-15-2009, 04:13 PM
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I'm not seeing ribs in that picture.... maybe one closer would show him better.

What I do see is an out of shape horse with either a hay belly or wormy belly. I think I can see a bit of his back bone but the picture is too far away to really comment.

Pretty face !!
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-15-2009, 04:19 PM
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its sounds more like your horse is lacking muscle, not weight. hes really cute though =]

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post #5 of 10 Old 10-15-2009, 08:34 PM
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I would give unlimited hay access, as it seems he has, Rice Bran added to a non sweet feed like Dumore's Stable Engery or the Purnia Strategy (I believe) and some Alfalfa pellets. I would give about 6-8lbs of the mix a day with Alfalfa pellets being 20-30% of the mix, rice bran about 10-20%.
He looks pretty good, but I think he could use a little weight and muscle for sure.
Of course, worm him with Quest Plus or Zimectrin Gold if they haven't recently - I 'd say they haven't, and have his teeth checked ;)
Also, though I know this isn't what you asked, I would honestly try my best to get the excess weight off the minis - I would ONLY feed hay, nothing more.

Good Luck!
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-15-2009, 10:00 PM
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Get a good feed with at least 5% fat content, mix in some alfalfa pellets. Probiotics to make sure he uses the food he eats. Keep him standing in grass hay as you are.

Alfalfa pellets are generally 17% protein, so you really don't need to high of protein feed. You do however need a higher fat content to start with

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Last edited by qtrhrsecrazy; 10-15-2009 at 10:03 PM.
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-15-2009, 10:56 PM
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He looks fine. He only needs about 50-75 lbs. He should gain just fine on the hay you have for him. Make sure his teeth are floated and you have him dewormed well.

If you want to give him something extra, I would use alfalfa pellets and some corn oil. Feed him 1 scoop (3qt feed scoop, about 3.5 lbs) of the alfalfa pellets and 1/2 cup of oil. That will put the weight on him quickly and won't make him hot or hyper.

Sweet feed, pelleted feeds, and even senior feeds can change a horse's personality and temperment, negatively. I prefer a natural forage based diet, using hay pellets and vitamin supplements to round out nutritional requirements.

Alfalfa pellets put on weight better than most feeds. They are high in protein, but they are also high in amino acids, which puts on MUSCLE. An underwieght horse needs quality protein and amino acids to put on good muscle weight, not just fluff. 3-5 lbs of Alfalfa a day, by pellet or hay, will not provide "too much" protein for a horse.
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-16-2009, 03:50 PM
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16% protein is VERY high and would probably colic him. Always start feeding an underweight horse with little (about 1 cup a day then gradually increasing it) with unlimited coastal (or coastal like) hay. Never make dramatic changes in diet - including alfalfa hay.

I also never feed sweet feed - a high fat pellet like Purina Strategy is one of the best things you can feed him. Higher fat puts on / keeps weight and is healthier than all the sugar from the Molasses.

ASAP get his teeth floated because if he has sharp points in his mouth he'll drop the feed and need more to keep the weight.

Worm only after you've had him for a couple of weeks and gotten him on solid feed. Wormers are poison so an animal needs some weight on them for the muscles to absorb the poison instead of their internal organs and skin.

Yes - keeping the blanket off as much as possible til he gets a winter coat is wise. The hay will help keep him from shivering since it will help generate the body heat he needs. Only blanket if it gets really cold or if he shivers (again).
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-16-2009, 11:14 PM
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He does look thin and sunken in. I am a huge fan of senior feed (Equine Senior, Triple Crown Senior...) work him up to one 3qt scoop AM and PM. Beet pulp also does quite well but free with free choice hay its not necessary. Free choice hay is the best thing for him coupled with salt block and Senior feed.
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-17-2009, 06:54 AM
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Before deciding what to do, I would first see how underweight he is by doing a body condition scoring. You can find many in the internet, an example is at Body Condition Scoring of Horses

We always keep it simple, high quality free choice hay to add weight, feed (we use Nutreena SafeChoice 14%) and work to build muscle.

...and be takes a lot longer to add weight than to lose it.

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On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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