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Rescue horse, 8 months later....still thin...advice on quantity of supplemental feed

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  • Rehabilition of thin draft horse
  • What to feed my draft cross with equine kidney disease

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    06-12-2012, 10:17 PM
  #21
Super Moderator
Before I offer any recommendations, I would like to know what her breeding is.

You call her a big gentle giant. Is she a draft or part draft?

Is she more TB in type?

I would feed a Thoroughbred or 'TB type' horse completely different than a draft or a draft cross. They have totally different kinds of metabolisms.

I have rehabilitated several emaciated horses and they have gained 2 to 3 pounds a day on dry feed and even more on good pasture. It is really a simple matter of more calories. The kind of horse you have determines the safest way to add those extra calories.

You can add fat to any kind of horse's dies, but those are 'empty' calories with no other nutritive value.

If you are wanting to build red meat (muscle), you have to have enough protein in the diet to supply those essential amino acids needed. This is best done with a pound or so of soybean meal. Most horses can tolerate this just fine. The exception would be a horse with limited kidney function like you see in some 'Senior" horses.

Calories can be added with grains, but this is what is tricky for horses with the kind of breeding that does not tolerate sugar or starch in their diets. TBs and TB types can usually eat large amounts grains with no problems at all. Many race horses eat 25 pounds of grain a day (some eat more) while they are in race training. Many drafts and some other horses can only sniff grain and have problems.

So, one thing is for sure. Your horse is not ingesting enough calories. We need more information to give any advise on what those calories should come from.

I hope this all makes some sense. People new to horse ownership can be overwhelmed by all of the details they never knew about.
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    06-13-2012, 12:14 AM
  #22
Foal
Again....thanks all for the awesome info. I got some great info from SafeHaven Horse rescue here in Northern california. They gave me a Recipie....I'll share it here below. In addition to that, I've purchased an additional 2 bales of Alfalfa per week for additional feeding at the ranch. I'm sure she'll be looking great in no time.

As for her pre-purchase exam results, they let me know she's free of ulcers or any digestive issues...she's got a nice healthy gut.

Her teeth are in pretty good condition, a couple of points on the back molars that will be filed down in the next month. The vet advised me to give her time to settle at her new home before throwing dental work at her that could get her worked up and stressed out. The folks at the rescue also confirmed this info, but yes we have some upcoming dental work. She really has settled in nicely in her new home.

Here's the recipe I was given by the horse rescue for hard keepers:

2 cups of Triumph (purple and white bag) pellets **this is the one ingredient that goes up as she adjusts)
2 cups of senior horse feed
1 cup regular rice bran pellets -- she said stabilized pellets were not necessary for this feed to do it's job
2 cups shredded beet pulp, soaked in water first before adding the other ingredients

This is given 2 x a day, within a week the Triumph can go to 3 cups, a week later to 4 cups----up to 8 cups of triumph plus the same AS LISTED ABOVE of everything else. She said if she's a hard keeper, she might need this to keep weight and if I'm lucky she'll gain it and I can go back to her **Quality hay** rations. Here in Northern California the hay is looking quite good.

As for her breeding, I'm not sure. I did purchase her knowing she had no papers or really an inkling of what her breeding is. She is a red dun paint. 16 hands, will have a pretty muscular build, pretty long legs. Perhaps a racing type horse? I think she was purchased from Barrel racing people....
     
    06-13-2012, 01:01 AM
  #23
Foal


Any thoughts on Breeding/Paint type? Again, no history on her before the last 8-9 months. I purchased her 1 month before moving her over. Have had her at my local ranch 2 months and I didn't (like a dork) take measurements 60 days ago. She does seem to have gained some slight weight, but I was not supplementing and really just took her weight (via tape) a couple of days ago. Her #'s shocked me--so here I am
     
    06-13-2012, 01:28 AM
  #24
Foal




((Better??)) but current photos. She's shed out her winter coat and is shiny due to the biotin plus 50mg/day
     
    06-13-2012, 02:37 AM
  #25
Weanling
Smile

Ok the phone ate my first attempt so this one will be short., feed the coastal bermuda free feed, like everyone said 24 hrs a day. It's safe, she can't overeat or founder on it. I also fed beet pulp twice a day and a pelleted senior feed twice a day, alfalfa\oat cubes once day plus 1or 2 apples every day. My rescue mare is a 20yr old standardbred and she did great on this. Slow and safe is what I prefer.
PS I'm jealous of that big paint girl, she's going to be gorgeous.
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    06-13-2012, 10:54 AM
  #26
Foal
Are their any donkeys in his pasture. I ask this because 3 years ago my old mare got first broncitis from me then she lost around 300lbs and we had aroumd 6 or 7 ultrasounds done on her. Turns out she had lung worms from the donkey. The vet wormed her and the donkey for limg worm and she had to live in our basement for a couple of months with the heat on. She had a slow recovery but I gave her to a friend and she is currently fat as a pig! Hope you figure out whats wrong
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    06-13-2012, 12:49 PM
  #27
Yearling
I would guess a saddlebred cross possibly. Maybe some thoroughbred blood in there. She's pretty that's for sure.
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    06-13-2012, 01:29 PM
  #28
Weanling
She is very nice! A little bit of extra weight and muscle and I think I may come and take her off your hands ! (Just kidding) Please keep us updated on how she does !
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    06-13-2012, 02:22 PM
  #29
Green Broke
Does she have any breathing/coughing problems?

I ask because in the last picture you posted of her, it looks suspiciously like she has a "heaves line"

(From Google image search)
     
    06-13-2012, 02:29 PM
  #30
Foal
No breathing, coughing or wheezing. Could just be her hair lying a certain way. I have not seen this line. She is otherwise healthy.....I have only had her two months. 8 months ago I was told she was at a 1-2 on the health scale. She was started on her rehab for about 6 months with the lady who saved her.

I just want to get her nice and FAT before winter ; ) I do however have a couple blankets for her (I actually do hope she gains the weight and outgrows her blankets though!!) That would be pretty awesome
     

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rescue horse, thin horse, underweight, weight gain

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