Adopted an underweight horse

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Adopted an underweight horse

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    11-06-2013, 02:02 PM
Adopted an underweight horse

Background: We adopted a morgan mare and a paint mare from a man whose wife suddenly collapsed and died one day. She was the horse person in the relationship and therefore after her death they went without proper treatment.
We got them about a month after her passing. They were on about 2 acres of pasture with two individual stalls they ate in once a day. He was feeding 3 qrts nutrena pellets 12% and a flake each.
We had them vetted day 1, both had upper respiratory infections. We wormed them. And the vet checked their teeth and said they were fine. So heres where I want to hear an opinion.
The morgan is fine. She's 18 and is a overall healthy horse.
The paint is not fine. She is 9 and the vet said she needs about 200 lbs of weight.
Here is the paints feeding schedule.
1 1/2 qrts grain 14% twice a day
1 cup rice bran twice a day
About a cup of unmedicated hog feed (per the vets recomendation) once a day
A flake of hay at each meal
She is in pasture with the morgan on four acres.

I know weight takes time. I just want to do it the best way possible. We also bought some corn oil and may start putting it over her feed.

What do yall think of her new diet and adding corn oil
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    11-06-2013, 02:16 PM
Green Broke
I find it odd that there would be such a drastic difference between the two horses. There are many different kinds of grain.. "14%" doesn't say too much.
Follow the vets recommendations.
You could work her up to a lunch with a little bit of grain and maybe pellets.
I've never heard of hog feed... that seems very odd to me, but trust the vet. What's in it?
Corn oil may work. How much grass is in the pasture? It's important that she has free choice hay in front of her at all times. Only give her a flake if she won't eat it or there is plenty of pasture. Free choice hay is very important. Don't rely on extras for weight if she's not getting enough of the basics.
    11-06-2013, 02:58 PM
The hog feed is corn meal. The vet recommended the grain. The vet is very "old school" as he calls it and doesn't recommend pellets. The entire pasture is green and about 2inch blades. But I'm sure we will start to loose that as it is getting cooler. Thinking of putting a round bale out for her in the pasture. We also have light and heavy blankets ready for cold nights
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    11-06-2013, 03:49 PM
I'd be scared to death to feed corn meal. Granted, corn puts on weight, but I'd feed it cracked, not in meal firm, if at all. It's loaded with starch, so not a good feed, period.
Roundtable, good quality grass hay, is good. No stuffed in the world will put weight on if the roughage base is not covered.
Rice bran is good, you can feed a couple of lbs of that. I would add some alfalfa, either hay, or soaked pellets. Good protein and safe calories. A vit/ min supplement, maybe a probiotic, to help utilize the feed, or a ration balancer which contains all what's needed.
Have they been dewormed, especially for tape worm?
Nutrena has better feeds than the 12% and 14%, which are from the Triumph line, I assume. Try their SafeChoice, either the Senior or the Maintenance, if you want to feed a pellet.
I personally would go with the alfalfa pellets, rice bran, vit/min or RB, maybe add a handful of oats, and for the other one only a little of that, minus the rice bran.
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    11-06-2013, 04:06 PM
Yes we dewormed them both with zimecterin gold. I was thinking of doing soaked alfalfa cubes, but how much is too much? We switched them from safe choice to equine x-treme because we have other horses on it.
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    11-06-2013, 04:16 PM
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I would get the paint fecal tested and blood tested for worms, Its possible that he is carrying tapeworm or encysted worms and they will need a different worming regime - those things will also cause bad stomach ulcers and anemia which will also give problems with his ability to gain weight
I am not a fan of corn oil - and there is a limit to how much oil a horse can use anyway so you might do as well to just stick with the rice bran.
I don't like the sound of feeding hog meal to horses - they are a different type of animal and have a different metabolism. Sugar beet without added molasses is a safer feed choice and its good for weight gain
Alfalfa pellets are also a good feed.
The least complicated method is to go for a good quality pelleted complete feed - the Triple Crown range is excellent and that way you know your horse is getting the correct balance of vitamins, oils and minerals.
Lastly - not sure how much grass you have or what the quality of it is like but if its not great at this time of year an underweight horse will do better with access to good hay all the time rather than just feeding it by the flake a few times a day
    11-06-2013, 05:54 PM
You are going to kill them with corn meal. Corn is very hard on their digestion. Horses aren't pigs and they aren't cows. Corn is not good horse food. Too much starch, overloads the gut and then poof! Sick horse.

If they haven't been getting enough your best bet is free choice grass hay and start slowly giving them a concentrate horse feed. Something low carb and high fat like a senior feed.
What were they being fed at the other place for grain? Switch them slowly to another feed.
Alfalfa pellets are fine. Good horse food.
Any changes you make should be done slowly. You risk founder or colic if you don't.

The morgan could have been running the paint of the feed if there wasn't enough to go around.
    11-06-2013, 06:04 PM
Originally Posted by eht101591    
Yes we dewormed them both with zimecterin gold. I was thinking of doing soaked alfalfa cubes, but how much is too much? We switched them from safe choice to equine x-treme because we have other horses on it.
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Start out with a couple of handfuls, dry, and mix their current feed in, and up the alfalfa a handful per day, until you're at the desired amount. Several small meals is always better than one big one, the largest meal given in the evening.
    11-06-2013, 10:46 PM
Green Broke
No, OP said the horses were shut in for feeding.
Did the vet say why there may be such a difference? Or just a harder keeper?
    11-07-2013, 07:59 AM
He thought there could have been some weight loss due to depression and maybe worms. I asked for a fecal he said "no point in spending the money, just worm them". I already called a different vet and am taking them stool samples tomorrow.
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