Dilemma - Hard Keeper - Page 2

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Dilemma - Hard Keeper

This is a discussion on Dilemma - Hard Keeper within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    11-08-2010, 11:29 PM
Some horses get a little loopy on straight alfalfa. With your horse's stomach, it would be best to start off slowly regardless. They do sell Timothy-Alfalfa cubes which might be better to start with. I was feeding my horse about 5lbs of cubes per day. It's 2 oversize handfuls. You'll need to soak them a good 45 minutes to get them nice and mushy. Just pour the excess water out and mix in a few cups of rice bran. Most horses will jump over the moon to get to rice bran, so hopefully she'll be more interested in eating it than looking for her buddies. It only took my slow eater about 15 minutes to eat his snack, so you won't have to stand there all day. Combine it with a grooming session and you won't waste any time. Good luck.
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    11-08-2010, 11:32 PM
I worked at a barn with a TB with a similar problem. The only thing that worked was putting up a new paddock where he could see everyone and had unlimited hay while turned out. He got a pelleted 14% grain (easier to digest so he got more out of it), rice brain, and soybean oil on top feed 3 times a day. We found that breaking up his food into 3 mid size meals worked better because he could actually finish it all as opposed to 2 large meals.

Of course this was the BO's horse, it would take some convincing to get someone to go to these lengths for a boarder would be hard to do.
    11-09-2010, 07:47 AM
Green Broke
Like puck said go slow with the cubes and start to increase. I don't think that 15% is all that much in a round bale considering an average round bale weighs 800lbs or so. So Puck, about 2.5 lbs am/pm Pellets? Hopefully this helps!
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    11-09-2010, 07:53 AM
My hard keeper has kept weight for the first time ever this year by adding a full cup of veg oil mixed with beetpulp and grass nuts she is still at turn out now. Normally had to come in during the winter. I also have her fully rugged all day and night so she wates no energy trying to keep warm.
Is there anyway that you can put out a few piles away from the main herd for her and a buddy?
    11-09-2010, 08:07 AM
Beet pulp is your friend for putting weight on.

It sounds like you simply need to change her situation. Either you or someone has to get there to get more extra food in her, have the BO feed her more when they feed or move her to a place where her turn out is not so difficult for her.

It is frustrating, I realize. But the situation that works for us is not always the situation that works best for them.

And for the record, changing hands, etc probably has nothing to do with her being herd bound. One I have owned for almost 14 years and the other I have had for 3 (since she was a yearling). Some horses are just herd bound.
    11-09-2010, 08:44 AM
MaggiStar what are grass nuts? I have never heard of that before.
    11-09-2010, 11:15 AM
Of my 10 horses I have 3 horses into their 30s. One is almost impossible to keep weight on ,Cookie ,the other ,Babe, is difficult and the last ,W.A.R., is not too bad. I bring in the older horses everyday and give them Equilizer(vitamins), senior and omelene 200 with athelete(high in fat). I add corn oil and give them 2hours to eat and relax in their stalls with hay. If there is company for the other horse they usually are content with being inside. It takes consistency- If I an inconstent It shows.
The rest of the time they share free choice hay with the other horses. Maybe your BO could put out an extra bale for the quieter horses to get a chance to eat. It may not be an answer as the 2 most dominant sometimes each take a bale.
    11-09-2010, 02:21 PM
Green Broke
Can you put her in the paddock with a friend, and their own round bale?

For feed, I would probably go with senior feed and add 1-2 cups of flax meal. Start with just 1 scoop of senior feed a day with 1 cup of flax, then after a week increase it to 2 scoops of senior and 1.5 cups of flax. For the third week, increase it to 3 scoops of senior and 2 cups of flax. If she won't eat all the senior feed, feed her as much as she will eat.

I'd have her teeth checked too. Senior horses often need more frequent dental care.

Yes, I know I just poo-poo'ed senior feed on another thread, but to keep things simple for this owner and horse, senior feed is probably the best way to go .

If the senior feed doesn't seem to be helping after 30-days, I would switch to alfalfa pellets, flax, and a vit/min supplement, like GrandVite or NutriPlus++. You might need to add some water to the alfalfa pellets if she has a hard time chewing.

You could also add alfalfa pellets to the senior feed for extra calories and protein. They're easier to eat/chew that hay cubes.

Also, adding a winter blanket will help her keep her weight up. Just a medium weight blanket with a waterproof outer shell should be enough if she has a good winter coat already.
    11-09-2010, 06:48 PM
Grass nuts are grass taken in at its best and preserved .They have approx 16% protein content and a fibre content of 25%, oil is about 3.5%.
There essentialy like giving your horse summer grass in his hard feed I find them great to keep weight on when used in combination with beetpulp.

To use them I soak a 1kg scoop of both beetpulp and grassnuts for 12hours mix it up throw in a cup of oil and my missus slurps it down quite happy
    11-09-2010, 10:23 PM
Originally Posted by MaggiStar    
Grass nuts are grass taken in at its best and preserved .They have approx 16% protein content and a fibre content of 25%, oil is about 3.5%.
There essentialy like giving your horse summer grass in his hard feed I find them great to keep weight on when used in combination with beetpulp.

To use them I soak a 1kg scoop of both beetpulp and grassnuts for 12hours mix it up throw in a cup of oil and my missus slurps it down quite happy
Ok, yeah I just always called that pelleted grass. That is what I feed in winter for my older mare who always losses some in the winter. I mix it with beet pulp and soak it over night. I pour the rest of the kettle of hot water from my tea in the morning to make it a nice warm treat.

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