Balanced Feeds with Low NSH, Higher Fat
So I have been looking into different feeds for horses that I know/own that are hard keepers. I will try to be to the point :) and hopefully I don't sound unintelligent, haha. I'm always into learning more, and will actually soon be taking an equine nutrition course.
Has anyone used Omegatin? In what situation (amount, what else were you feeding, age of horse, horse's overall condition)? With what results? Anyone have any other ideas to help put weight on a horse without adding more sugar/starch to their diet? I've kind of limited my feed search to what I know is readily available around us and I'd love to hear what other people feed and do some research into it.
We have an older horse that we care for and he started to become harder to keep when he came out of the winter this year. He was probably right at a 5 on the Henneke Scale, but now is borderline 4-5. I don't want to see him lose anymore weight, and would like him to gain some back! We tried adding hay with a higher nutrition content (he wouldn't eat it). Our normal hay is a grass/legume mix that is excellent in quality and maintains all of our other horses fantastically. We tried adding second cut (as opposed to 1st) and he wouldn't eat it, he'd pick out what he wanted then leave the rest. We tried going back to the first cut and adding an additional flake, but he wouldn't eat more... we tried taking out a flake of first and replacing it with alfalfa, he wouldn't eat it. He will eat only the first cut, and only what he wants! So, in addition to 4lbs of Dynasty Senior 2x a day, and 16-18lbs of day regularly, we added alfalfa pellets (which he eats, I think he thinks it is more grain, haha). He didn't gain weight, but he stopped losing. I don't want to add more Dynasty because it's got over 20% sugar/starch... he's already eating more of that than we'd like to see. I don't want to switch him to anything with a higher sugar/starch content than that, either.
From my research I've gleaned that more fat in his diet might help him gain, if I can find it in a form that he'll eat. I'm thinking that since he eats pellets already, perhaps switching out a portion of his normal grain with Omegatin (with sugar/starch content of just over 13%, so much lower than what he's already getting) might help fatten this guy up? The owner is supposed to be having his teeth floated soon (he is overdue and her vet did tell her he needs it every 6months, it is going on a year), and aside from that, we think that the horse's problem is mainly just because his age is catching up to him. We can't tell his digestion from his stools because his "grain" is in pelleted form, sooooooo... yeah. I do know that having his teeth done will help him get more benefit from his hay! He is also a regular wormer rotation.
My first thought was to switch him to Triple Crown Senior, but, alas, nobody around us carries it since they switched distributors (BOOOO!), even though their website claims several distributors will carry it: I called, they don't/won't. I figured the higher fat/lower starch would help him. BTW - her vet won't call us back and because I'm new to the whole equine nutrition in-detail thing (we've always just fed what our own vets recommended) I don't want to switch him and be incorrect. I've put in a call to her vet to see what he'd recommend, but he hasn't called back.
So, in addition to the Omegatin inquiery, what feeds do you guys give to your more aged, harder keepers. We do feed Omegatin to a young horse at our farm, but she came in on it, and so I don't know how well it works in general because before her, I hadn't heard anything about it.
Sorry for the uber-long post! Thanks everyone!
Last edited by leonalee; 09-28-2010 at 11:50 AM.