Rescue Horse

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Rescue Horse

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  • Is last years second cut alphala still good to feed horses with
  • Green grass for emaciated horses

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    08-25-2012, 03:00 AM
Rescue Horse

This is my horse Thor. My friend rescued him in April and he looked ten times worse then how he does in this picture. He was emaciated, covered in pasture rot, and his hooves looked like they hadn't been touched in a year or two. He seems to have plateaued in his recovery. He is on green grass all day and he gets grain and alfalfa cubes. I am about to start him on some type of oil. Haven't been able to figure out which brand(some type of fish oil). I was hoping some people on here with experience with rehabilitating horses would have some suggestions. His teeth are good.
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    08-25-2012, 03:19 AM
No fish oil. Corn, Canola or Olive oil. Deworm him, if you have already done it, use a different type of dewormer.. ivermectin, fenbedazole, pyrantal pamoate.. Sometimes the worms get resistant and are hard to kill. Start slow with the oil or you can cause stomach problems. Try cool calories (brand name of the stuff) Also how old is the horse? Or did I miss that in the post. Make sure he has a mineral salt lick. You may try increasing the amount of hay cubes, forage is the best way to add weight. He may need some vitamin supplements to give him a little boost. It takes a while to get the pounds on them when they get emaciated. The grass area looks sparce in the pic, if that is how the entire pasture looks, then you will need to add more hay/cubes /pellets . Overall it looks like you are doing a good job
Army wife likes this.
    08-25-2012, 06:46 AM

Looks like you've done well with him then. He's still a little underweight, definitely undermuscled. So if he's still gaining any at all, I'd consider leaving the diet alone or possibly even cutting down slightly.

If you haven't done so, get his teeth done & get him wormed *effectively*. I'd also consider treating him for ulcers or at least adding a probiotic to his feed & I'd consider getting the vet to check for other issues - take bloods, nutrition, metabolic, etc.

Originally Posted by Lealoni25    
He is on green grass all day and he gets grain and alfalfa cubes. I am about to start him on some type of oil. Haven't been able to figure out which brand(some type of fish oil).
Some considerations... Depending on what sort of grass, etc, it might be that it's too much for him. Grass can be high in sugars & lead to metabolic & gut problems. If it's lush & not very stemmy, maybe he could do with some stemmy hay or such too. What sort of grain does he get & how much? Grain is not necessarily bad, but it is high starch & not easily digestible for horses, which means it's often not the best option where more energy is required. I would probably opt for a healthier low starch/sugar, high fibre alternative such as beet pulp. Especially if you can't feed the grain/starchy feed little & often over at least a few small meals daily.

Alfalfa/lucerne is a great horse feed generally. It's high in energy & low in sugar. Stemmy stuff(1st cut) is also extra high fibre. It's high in protein, calcium & many other nutrients. So it's usually too high in energy for 'easy keepers', the high protein can be a prob for some horses, particularly aged, and it should be fed as part of a balanced diet to ensure a good Ca/Phos balance & such.

So re diet, I'd consider changing the grain to a healthier alternative, do a diet analysis(I like online to work out a balanced diet and consider feeding more roughage. Horses can fail to thrive due to imbalanced nutrition rather than insufficient calories too. If you're going to feed oil, start with tiny quantities & feed it little & often. He won't need much. Especially if you're going to feed grain or other high omega 6 food, I'd definitely avoid corn oil & go with something high in omega 3 such as fresh ground flax/linseed. I wouldn't be inclined to feed fish oil to a horse though.
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    08-25-2012, 02:57 PM
Alfalfa hay is not fed to horses on First cutting nor second. It is far to high in proteins and can cause founder and liver and kidney damage will are not reversible. Alfalfa fed 3rd, 4th and later is a great feed, which I have fed for years. I also feed a good quality Oat top (less stem ) hay which is fantastic feed for horses,k Check with your Vet. Always change feed over a course of time to prevent colic. Since your horse is on the grass and gets cubes this is a great way to fatten and maintain a horse. Grazing is the natural way a horse eats, and balancing with the cubes gives more fiber. Grain will give him some energy, but there are many other supplemental feeds that coudll help, the cool calories, being one of them.
Please do not feed first or second cutting alfalfa to your horse. This time of year there really is not much of it around, unless it has been stored for sale in the winter months.
    08-25-2012, 02:59 PM
Oh on the beet pulp, be sure to soak it thouroughly before feeding! It is a good feed, but it does need to be soaked.
    08-25-2012, 05:37 PM
Green Broke
Protein levels in alfalfa depend on the stage of bloom/flowering when cut.
Sugar levels depend on the time of day & weather conditions both the day before & the day of cutting, regardless of which cutting it is. At least that's how it is in the Midwest. Western drier States may be different.
    08-25-2012, 05:49 PM
I heard not to feed corn oil?
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    08-25-2012, 08:10 PM
Pros and cons to Corn oil. I feed it to my old horses, aged mid twenties to thirties. My vet does not have a problem with it. Again Moderation is the key. In California if you feed first and second cutting to a horse , you are just asking for trouble. Make sure your pasture/grass is not toxic. Google toxic plants to livestock, many Universities have a site, and you can see plants that are common to your area.
    08-26-2012, 11:14 PM
I've never before heard that 1st or 2nd cut shouldn't be fed to horses, but it doesn't sound right to me, because the bulk of the protein is in the leaves and 1st cut is stemmier, 3rd cut very leafy & therefore higher in protein, lower in fibre. I'd like to see any studies that show this. While high protein diets have been blamed for a lot of stuff, there's little to no evidence it is actually the culprit. Never heard of protein induced laminitis either, although it can be a suitable forage for laminitics, because of it's low sugar & high protein, ca & mg.

It depends on a range of factors re nutrient content of plants, including area(soil) and climate, as well as what stage of growth they're harvested.

Can't seem to find the online report that I wanted to show on different nutrients in different cuts, but check out & also attached is an article about feeding lucerne/alfalfa by FeedXL.... too big a file to attach sorry, so here's the link; & also a 'too much protein? One; Hope they work for you!
natisha and PunksTank like this.
    08-27-2012, 02:51 AM
In CA , first cutting hay is never fed for horses. It has to high of protien level, is can be weedy. Second cutting is also high protien. 17% protien is high for horses, and lots of the third cutting hay Here is still at 17%. You can research this , and unless the hay is tested you wont know what protien level it is. The longer the hay grows the thicker the stem, the older the field is , the stemmier . No field is the same. No reputible grower here sells first cutting for horses. I don't know where you are located. Things are done diff in other states, and No Ca is diff than SO CA . And the Central Valley is diff . It also depends on how often the field was fertilized . All plants produce 'sugars' fructose. UC Davis california should have some articles and there are many if you just search hay and forages. Also, you should research on the nutritional needs of horses, grazing animals, which do better on a lower protien 12 or 14 % high fiber diet.

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