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Continues to drop weight

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    • 2 Post By Sharpie
    • 1 Post By SueNH

     
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        02-17-2014, 01:29 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Continues to drop weight

    I have a 6 year old quarter horse rescue. When I got him he was malnourished. I brought him out to my father's farm until I could get him up to date on his shots to bring him to a stable in the town where I go to college. While he was out on my father's farm, he was eating grass and about two cups of 12% sweet feed. He filled out really well and was in great shape. This was for October and the beginning of November. At the end of November I moved him to a boarding stable and he started to drop weight. I expected this because it was a new place and he was back with horses again. Two weeks ago I moved him to the boarding center at my college because a spot opened up and he has been dropping weight like crazy. I put him on more feed with a higher carb count and liquid vitamins that I mix in with his feed. The hay at the stable is very low quality and finding hay around here is difficult. I don't know what to feed him but I need to put weight back on him because he looks worse than he did when I originally got him. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can give him to help him out weight back on?
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        02-17-2014, 02:04 PM
      #2
    Yearling
    First has he been wormed and had his teeth done recently?

    I would get the horse off of the sweet feed, onto good quality hay (even if it means buying your own), perhaps some alfalfa, and on a senior feed.
         
        02-17-2014, 02:06 PM
      #3
    Started
    First things first, you need hay or another forage substitute. Hay is step one of putting weight on a horse. If you can't find anything high quality, at least give him all he can eat of the lower quality stuff. Then consider adding other forage options like hay or alfalfa pellets and/or beet pulp or senior feed in the range of several pounds a day, especially if you can't give him free choice (aka, all he can eat) hay. If that STILL isn't enough, adding in things like rice bran, oil and fat sources is the next safe step.

    If he is getting all the forage he can eat and a reasonable of fat and still not gaining weight, he needs a vet checkup to make sure there are no dietary deficiencies, medical problems or ulcers preventing him from gaining weight.

    High starch diets (like most sweet feeds) predispose horses to laminitis, are terrible for insulin resistant horses, and will aggravate ulcers if present, leading to more weight loss in addition to making some horses hot or spooky.
    loosie and Missy May like this.
         
        02-17-2014, 07:45 PM
      #4
    Weanling
    You can Triple Crown Safe Starch forage to help supplement your hay. Horses love it. Can be bought where Triple crown products are sold. Comes in 50 bales/bags.
         
        02-23-2014, 04:57 PM
      #5
    Trained
    Agree basically with others. Horses don't need 'rich' hay, but they do need forage almost constantly, so first thing first, make sure he has it available to him free choice.

    I like copra & beet pulp as good additives to provide more calories when necessary, although beet pulp is also high Ca so may be problematic. Re nutrition, that can also play a part in how well or not the horse thrives, and I wonder about your vitamin mix - how did you decide that was the appropriate supp for him & his diet?

    I would get his teeth checked/floated if they haven't been attended already. I would also feed a probiotic & consider ulcer treatment, especially given previous malnutrition & then sweet feed/high carb. I would also be giving him extra magnesium & keeping calcium & potassium levels in the diet in check(so alfalfa maybe not so good), especially considering recent stresses of moving.

    Now that he's where he'll be staying, has he settled in? Part of a herd? What's his management & lifestyle? Because being cooped up/lack of movement & other stress can absolutely effect digestion, among other problems.
         
        02-24-2014, 03:16 AM
      #6
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by amgross22    
    I have a 6 year old quarter horse rescue. When I got him he was malnourished. I brought him out to my father's farm until I could get him up to date on his shots to bring him to a stable in the town where I go to college. While he was out on my father's farm, he was eating grass and about two cups of 12% sweet feed. He filled out really well and was in great shape. This was for October and the beginning of November. At the end of November I moved him to a boarding stable and he started to drop weight. I expected this because it was a new place and he was back with horses again. Two weeks ago I moved him to the boarding center at my college because a spot opened up and he has been dropping weight like crazy. I put him on more feed with a higher carb count and liquid vitamins that I mix in with his feed. The hay at the stable is very low quality and finding hay around here is difficult. I don't know what to feed him but I need to put weight back on him because he looks worse than he did when I originally got him. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can give him to help him out weight back on?
    Posted via Mobile Device
    where to start with this?

    Hay.

    If you can't get good hay, I would add some beet pulp *and* some grass hay pellets, both soaked before feeding.

    You can also get grass hay cubes, soak them, and put them in a bucket in your horse's stall, so he can "graze" on them, while stalled, in place of hay pellets and beet pulp.

    Feed.

    Change the sweet feed to a complete feed that is high in fat and fiber. I personally feed purina ultium competition. My vet actually had me switch my hard keeper to that feed. It's really good stuff! But it is an expensive feed. If money is tight, you can feed 50/50 of ultium and either senior feed or omolene 200 (has slightly higher fat), to help put his weight back on.

    Stress.

    Please consider adding some probiotics, if you aren't already. The probiotics will help his digestive tract, while he's moving around and getting settled. This will also help him to use his feed and hay to the fullest.

    Hope this helps. Best of luck.
         
        02-24-2014, 09:14 AM
      #7
    Super Moderator
    I can see that it might be hard to find good hay - and horses will often turn their noses up at poor quality stuff - and if its really bad then it might do more harm than good
    If you can't get better hay then I would buy a slow feeder or a small hole net and give him something like Triple Crown Grass Forage in it - I like the quality of their forages better than others and this one has no added molasses. Damp it slightly before feeding
    Feed The Horse: Triple Crown Premium Chopped Grass Forage Blends | Triple Crown Nutrition
    I would avoid sweet feeds and get him on 2 or 3 feeds a day of Triple Crown Safe Starch Forage, Triple Crown low starch pellets (high in fats but low in starch/sugar) alfalfa pellets and sugar beet.
    Use the manufacturers guidelines and measure things rather than going by the cup or scoopful
         
        02-24-2014, 10:24 AM
      #8
    Yearling
    It doesn't have to be fancy, high test hay from fertilized fields, just clean and dry. The concentrates should make up for whatever is lacking in the hay. That was the original purpose of feeds, vitamin, mineral and calorie insurance.

    That said hay is the most important part of a meal. They should have it in front of them nearly all the time if not 24/7. Air ferns are slowed down with slow feeder nets or muzzle but should still have hay to munch most of the time.

    If you can't swing more hay then most feed stores sell some sort of hay pellet or cubes.

    Are you in a cold weather area? My hay consumption rises greatly as the thermometer drops. Nearly double when the nights are subzero. Horses aren't called hayburners for nothing. It's what keeps them warm.

    Sweet feed is largely junk food. There are better choices out there. Feeds have come a long way over the last 40 yrs. Used to be you had the choice of some sort of sweet feed or whole grain to feed the horse along with their hay. Now horses are living nearly double the lifespan they did because of changes in the way we feed.

    No way around it. You are going to have to start reading feed labels and figure out something better. Look at a lot of the senior feeds. They tend to be high fiber, high fat and tend to be the go to professional rescues use when they take in a skinny.
    AFull99 likes this.
         

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