Putting winter weight on - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 09-08-2013, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Putting winter weight on

What is the best way to do this?

I own an 18 year old palomino and as we come up on the winter months, he's much thinner than I'd like him to be.

This is due to certain issues with an agreement my family has set up with the other family who owns the other horse in our pasture. They're supposed to feed nights and my family feeds mornings.

I have been away at school for about a month and I came home this weekend to see my horse's ribs and just how thin he is. This is not good as we live in Michigan and it gets cold here in winter.

Turns out the other family had been neglecting to feed the horses every night for the month that I'd been gone.

Naturally, I'm rather furious. But what's the best way to put weight on them? They are supposed to be grained 2x a day and given hay 2x a day as well.

How much do I increase his feed by so he gains weight but does not get sick?
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-08-2013, 03:06 PM
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Well if he just begins getting what he should it will be doubling the feed. In the situation where you are I'd add cool calories or weight builder to his am feeding because then you KNOW he's getting it. I'd likely add some flax as well, because I like it a lot- about 1/2 a cup a day.
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post #3 of 11 Old 09-08-2013, 03:29 PM
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don't know what kind of grain your feeding but you could try getting senior feed for them. Or add beet pulp to what they get now.

I would be feeding hay free choice also not just two feedings a day. Could also add alfalfa hay into their diet that would also help.
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post #4 of 11 Old 09-08-2013, 03:50 PM
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In addition to what everyone above me said, I have used vegetable oil in my food, it adds some calories. Start with a small amount and work your way up from there to a half a cup to a cup, ish. I usually eye ball it and just watch their weight. Will make their coat nice too.

-Paula

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post #5 of 11 Old 09-08-2013, 04:10 PM
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Not sure about your horse, but I've put my own winter weight on with ice cream and beer ;)

"...and may your life be filled with good horses." — Buck Brannaman

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post #6 of 11 Old 09-08-2013, 04:14 PM
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you and I could get along well. Hahaha.

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Originally Posted by SammysMom View Post
Not sure about your horse, but I've put my own winter weight on with ice cream and beer ;)
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-Paula

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post #7 of 11 Old 09-08-2013, 06:46 PM
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I'm a believer in beet pulp. Boss has a mare that is sooo old she hardly has any teeth left. None in the front and just nubbins on the sides. I thought for sure he'd need to put her down as she was losing weight, and losing it fast. He had been feeding a good quality senior feed, but that wasn't enough.

He went to feeding beet pulp in the evening with her senior feed and even in two weeks she is looking better.

The amount needed is small. Sometime I'm going to waste some of it and find out just how much water it will absorb. For her I am following directions, of course.

She is also feeling better and her coat has improved. We'd checked for worms and she was quite free of them. I don't know how she will tolerate the winter. Wyoming can have tough winters, too. Not as awful as Michigan, but we do get cold periods and wind.
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-12-2013, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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We picked up a couple bags of fat and have added it to his feedings just to help him gain back the weight he has lost. He's not yet considered "underweight" just thinner than we'd like him to be going into winter. Plus it's not cold yet so I don't think it will be an issue. Thanks for your replies.
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-12-2013, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbeebs View Post
In addition to what everyone above me said, I have used vegetable oil in my food, it adds some calories. Start with a small amount and work your way up from there to a half a cup to a cup, ish. I usually eye ball it and just watch their weight. Will make their coat nice too.

I thought the same thing -- made me think of nutrition stuff I learned a few years ago

Calories = energy and unused energy goes to fat stores

1 gram of sugar is 4 calories
1 gram of protein is 4 calories
1 gram of fat is 9 calories
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-16-2013, 11:56 AM
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Cool Calories and Farnam Weight Builder

My two cents:
I used Farnam Weight Builder first and had "OK" results. I switched to Cool Calories after using WB for two months. Cool Calories has done absolutely nothing for neither one of my horses. One is a 17 year old QH gelding and the other is a 7 year old Paint mare. They are both on Nutrena SafeChoice (the one that was called LifeDesign) and free choice bahia. They are on pasture 24/7 as well but the pasture is scrubby. I was really disappointed with CC, especially after I read about other who have had great success with it. Boooo!

~And God took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it and created the horse.~
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