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OTTB not gaining weight

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  • Putting weight on my ottb
  • Best cool calories for OTTB

 
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    06-24-2011, 01:26 PM
  #11
Started
If she does have ulcers, the strategy and sweet feed are only going to make them worse, both of those are high NSC. I had my OTTB mare, who has ulcers on strategy, which made the problem 100x worse. I switched her to triple crown senior and she started gaining weight, and after a round of ranitidine(gastro guard is best,but I couldn't afford it), and daily Ulc-r-aid supplement, she has no more problems with ulcers.
     
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    06-24-2011, 03:04 PM
  #12
Weanling
Oh, and maybe try probiotics :) These may help too, especially as it's stressful for her, new home and all this, and deworming too. Some horses really gain weight easily after probiotics.
Vegetable oil helped my mare a lot too. A cup or a bit less for a day.
     
    06-24-2011, 10:49 PM
  #13
Banned
My OTTB had a body score of two when we bought him.....his is now a fat pig!! Seriously, he is developing a crease down his back....oink.


He's been steadily gaining weight in the year we've had him.. and now I'm trying to get him to stop!! AND, most amazingly of all, he gained this weight...ON DRY LOT. No kidding. AND he only got 3 lbs of Strategy once a day.


We fiddled around with weight supplements, food additives, etc....but he did not put on weight in any substantial amount until we switched him to Cool Calories and added a probiotic. Probiotics can definitely make a huge difference and are worth every penny you spend on them.

Like MIEVenter, we use SmartDigest from SmartPak.

The diet that made him fat was:

Free choice timothy hay
3 lbs strategy once a day
1 lb of alfalfa cubes (shredded because he is choke prone)
SmartDigest probiotic supplement
2 scoops cool calories
1 hour of grass time once a day


Since moving to a new farm and becoming almost as fat as our draft, we have cut out the cool calories and are waiting to see if that helps. If not, the alfalfa cubes are next to go......

If THAT doesn't help with weight loss, he will have his grass time cut.....at the new farm, he and Epona get 6 hours. Pending a consultation and exam with our vet on wednesday, if she reccomends a cut in grazing time, so be it.

I NEVER thought I'd have two porky pigs for horses, especially since one is a 6 yr. Old OTTB. Who ever heard of a fat pig OTTB?????

I swear by probiotics.

Our ex BO also reccomends a round of daily dewormer for skinny horses.....things like Continuex or Strongid. Just to break the life cycle of the worms.
     
    06-25-2011, 02:20 AM
  #14
Weanling
thanks for all the sugestions

I may have forgot to put this in the first post but she's getting a daily wormer
(Diatamaceous (sp) earth) and she's also getting about 1/2 cup of olive oil in her feed twice daily. I bought her and adpoted two others all were body score of 3 coming here to my place and both of the other big horses are doing well i'd say they are now a 4. Gaining weight pretty quickly on less feed than she gets. (i got 2 OTTBs the other is a warm blood OTTB cross) the rescue they came from was giving them NO concentrates and a flake of alfalfa and a flake of timothy grass a day they were stabled in stalls 24/7. They said they were doing great on that but I thought they were ALARMINGLY THIN.
I'm totally open to switching to another feed I HATE Purina products (gp pout opf my way not to feed them to my dogs) but that seems to be the "better" grade of feed everyone has around here. I've been putting in the sweet feed to make the feed go a little farther and to give them something to eat... it just seems with the concentrated feeds give them so little I was afraid of boredom??.
The coffee can I use is the standard BIG can and when I weighed it with the sweet feed it held 3 lbs. And it held 4lbs of the strategy,so the horse that i'm having problems gaining weight is getting 4lbs of strategy 2 times (8lbs total so we are clear) daily PLUS about 2 to 3 pounds of sweet feed 2 times daily (5 to 6 pounds) PLUS 1/2 cup olive oil for the extra calories all of this 2 times daily. All the other horses are gaining weight and looking good except this one little filly. Her coat looks dull and not healthy. She does not drop feed out of her mouth like she needs her teeth floated she is only four but I did have my farrier look at her teeth and he said they are fine....
The hay I'm feeding looks really good green and leafy fresh, no dust, the horses love it and have been eating about a 100 pound bale every day between 4 horses. (they are HUGE heavy bales) long and it takes two ppl to carry them. If I see when I feed at night that they are about out of hay I put out another bale. I have stood out there and watched to make sure she is not getting run off the feed and she is not. So......
I think I will try the senior feed and some of the supplements that you all have suggested. I really appreciate your help and will totally keep you posted on what happens.
Thanks so very very much I know a lot of you have gone through the same thing. I'm really new to thoroughbreds and this little filly is right off the race track so possibly her metabolism is just really high. :)
     
    06-25-2011, 02:52 AM
  #15
Trained
1. Teeth.
2. Check for Ulcers/Treat for Ulcers.
3. Worming (Which you mentioned you had under control).
4. Probiotics.
5. A diet high in fat! Not too much starch/carbohydrates as they just burn them off as energy.

So, in regards to diet - I personally would use a balancer pellet or something similar, relatively low dose, to make sure they are getting all their vits/mins/mino acids. I would then add a forage base, so beet pulp/hay pellets. Then add calories! Oil, Lupins, Soy meal, Rice bran, Copra, Linseed/Flaxseed. As much as I steer away from grains, boiled barley seems to get a lot of glowing reviews for putting weight on.

This means you can keep the vit/min levels fairly constant but make changes to the diet if they are losing/gaining or reacting badly to your calorie source.

This is in addition to as much forage as they can eat, so either 24/7 pasture or free choice hay (Which you are doing).
     
    06-25-2011, 03:17 AM
  #16
Yearling
TBs need nutrient dense feed. Grass hay typically just doesnt have enough calories or protien to it to sustain a TB with a high metabolism. Since the horse can only eat so much a day, you need to make sure what he is getting has as much calories and nutrition in it as possible. You will just have to feed a better quality feed and feed more of it if you want to get this horse back to weight.

If you have to use Purina, feed Ultium. Its got twice as much calories per scoop (nearly 1800 calories per lb) as a typical feed and the calories come from "cool" scources. IMO it's Purinas best feed. Feed by weight as has already been said.

Im also going to ditto adding in Cool Calories. Its cheap and can help ypou get over the hump and get some weight on the horse. Rice bran works well also. Max E Glow is pretty cheap and easy.

A daily probiotic will make sure the horse is utilizing its food well. Teeth are a given. Make sure they are in good shape too but I doubt that is the problem here.

Id also for sure add in some form of alfalfa, be it hay or pellets. Remember to feed by weight. Alfalfa has about 800 to 1K calories per lb and can add extra calories easily in a smaller amount of hay along with quality protein which is just as important to weight gain as fat calories are. Just 10 lbs (approx 2 good flakes of a good solid 2 string bale of alfalfa) is 8 to 10 thousand extra calories. Also, alfalfa is proven to have a very positive impact on horses with ulcer/acid issues. You definitely should add this IMO and let the other hay just be acid reducing filler in between feedings. Make sure this horse is eating 24-7 as much as it will.

You need to do some math and get this TBs daily calorie intake up to about 30 thousand calories a day I would guess. Make sure to split up feedings and give no more than 5 lb of feed at one time. If you have to, feed 3 times a day vs 2 giant meals.

Also, don't forget that a little excercise within reason can help stimulate a horse to eat better, feel better and build a little muscle also. If the horse is in good enough shape to wear a saddle and carry a rider, some light riding in the ring or on easy short trails would be good. If not, just some easy lunging or going for some leadline walks can help.
     
    06-25-2011, 11:21 AM
  #17
Banned
Wow...you've gotten some great tips here!! Keep us posted on how she's doing.

And don't forget the probiotics!! You won't regret it, I promise. They are amazing.


When we bought our boy off the track and he was so pitifully thin, I knew we would have our work cut out for us in trying to get him to gain weight. I had heard so much about TB metabolism and how they are hard keepers. But I suspect that our boy was starved rather than being a hard keeper....because as I said, he is now a fat pig. He is developing a crease down his back.....so now we are on the other side of the road....trying to get weight OFF him (and Epona).

I have to say, it's easier to get weight ON than OFF.....so I would rather be in your position again.
     
    06-26-2011, 07:26 PM
  #18
Foal
Good Bacteria

Great advice posted here. I would suspect the probiotics will help a lot in your case.
Many horses that are heavy training (like the track) are often fed more concentrates than roughage (hay and grass). Horses are made to eat roughage and a diet without or very little will do harm.
Their stomachs, unlike ours, produces stomach acid for digestion 24 hours a day. If it's empty acid builds up until it gets to the sensitive lining of the stomach and causes ulcers over time. Ulcers are sore and the horse might not want to eat like it did before.
Another dilemma is that the horse's stomach can only hold so much, and when overloaded the food is pushed further though without getting properly digested. So now the concentrates are in the cecum, which is designed for the digestion of roughage only. Some concentrates are high in starch (corn is very starchy) and this kills the good bacteria that live in the cecum. Without this bacteria the horse cannot digest very well the hay/grass/beet pulp it is fed.
Also keep in mind that different types of hay require different types of bacteria, so even if your horse was eating hay, if it's been switched it suddenly, the bacteria still need time to populate. Many people believe switching grains over a period of time is good, it is definitely true with hay.
I would try probiotics (along with the other suggestions posted here). This will help boost your horse's good bacteria population and help gain weight.
     
    06-27-2011, 12:05 PM
  #19
Foal
I have a skinny Thoroughbred too! Not off the track, though someone asked me once (not sure they meant I did a good job for an OTTB either lol)!
Rule out ulcers or bad teeth first...she might just not be able to eat a lot.
Definitely little to no sweetfeed. It won't put weight on, it'll just make her hyper/hot. The answer: hay and tons of it! I also found getting her on grass and hand grazing her as much as possible worked too. I've been told putting Vegetable oil in her feed should help put weight on. Fehrie is 5 and is just putting weight on..it'll take a while but if you keep giving her food that would make a normal horse a round ball with hooves, she should eventually get bigger. If she is just off the track, she may just need some adjusting time. As she relaxing and settles in she should start to look better. Good luck with her!
     
    06-27-2011, 07:09 PM
  #20
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry Lynn    
Another dilemma is that the horse's stomach can only hold so much, and when overloaded the food is pushed further though without getting properly digested. So now the concentrates are in the cecum, which is designed for the digestion of roughage only. Some concentrates are high in starch (corn is very starchy) and this kills the good bacteria that live in the cecum. Without this bacteria the horse cannot digest very well the hay/grass/beet pulp it is fed.
Also keep in mind that different types of hay require different types of bacteria, so even if your horse was eating hay, if it's been switched it suddenly, the bacteria still need time to populate. Many people believe switching grains over a period of time is good, it is definitely true with hay.
I would try probiotics (along with the other suggestions posted here). This will help boost your horse's good bacteria population and help gain weight.
Felt this bore repeating. Small frequent meals, not giant ones is certainly best.
     

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