is this enough - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-27-2012, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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is this enough

trying to get my tb gelding to gain about another 100lbs.

Here is what he gets


Am

1.5 lbs strategy gx
6lbs alfalfa
1 scoop cool calories 100
turnout on 2 foot grass from 8am-5pm

Pm 1.5 lbs strategy gx
6lbs alfalfa
1 scoop cool calories 100
6-6.25lbs filler grass hay.

is there anything you would do differant? and why? im trying to learn more about horse nutrition. Hes worm free (well as worm free as a horse can be) teeth are floated and vet gave him a overall good health in september) about how long should it take him to gain about 100 lbs?
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-27-2012, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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oh by the way goal weight is 1200-1250 hes taping in at about 1158 but to me still looks kinda skinny. can barely feel his ribs through his winter coat but his hip bones stick out.

would oats help for extra burnable energy during the winter (we average out at about 42 degrees as a high and 25 degrees as a low where i am)
Oh and he also gets about 2 lbs soaked beet pulp in the evening with his grain and fat sup.

Last edited by TbLover; 01-27-2012 at 05:35 PM.
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-27-2012, 08:36 PM
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Oats are not going to help keep him warm at night. Horses generate heat by fermentation of long stem fibers (hay). Is he eating every last bit of hay? Filler grass hay is great for most horses but if you're trying to put weight on, I'd find a higher quality hay that has more calories (DE, digestable energy). This time of year, eventhough the pasture is long, it's not much more than fill hay. If he'll eat it, up the alfalfa first. That's the cheapest fix.
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-27-2012, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand Percherons View Post
Oats are not going to help keep him warm at night. Horses generate heat by fermentation of long stem fibers (hay). Is he eating every last bit of hay? Filler grass hay is great for most horses but if you're trying to put weight on, I'd find a higher quality hay that has more calories (DE, digestable energy). This time of year, eventhough the pasture is long, it's not much more than fill hay. If he'll eat it, up the alfalfa first. That's the cheapest fix.

its about 600 cals per pound. What would be considered a high quality hay. how would i know by looking at it? some of my hay is very fine, green and sweet smelling where is some is dull, stemy, and little to no smell. My horses always eats his alfalfa first and eats all of his hay every little bit. my boy will find his alfalfa even if its at the bottom of the stack of hay lol.

So you are thinking feeding him his full forage need in alfalfa and than just add grass hay as needed?
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 03:11 AM
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At .6 Mcals, the hay is moderately low quality. Good grasses will be around .8. Looks can be deceiving but normally fine stem, sweet smelling, no seed heads, more leaf than stem hay will be higher quality thus have a higher DE. The grass hay at night keeps him busy and warm so don't cut it out but add another flake of alfalfa (normally 1.0 Mcal/#) and as long as he's cleaning it up you'll make some gains.
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand Percherons View Post
At .6 Mcals, the hay is moderately low quality. Good grasses will be around .8. Looks can be deceiving but normally fine stem, sweet smelling, no seed heads, more leaf than stem hay will be higher quality thus have a higher DE. The grass hay at night keeps him busy and warm so don't cut it out but add another flake of alfalfa (normally 1.0 Mcal/#) and as long as he's cleaning it up you'll make some gains.

ok. thank you very much
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post #7 of 16 Old 02-03-2012, 01:06 AM
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I'd tend to go with something like LHP suggests - add a bit more alfalfa. Or beet pulp or soy hulls or such are also good fibrous feeds for weightgain. I wouldn't feed only alfalfa, as that can create probs due to excess protein, etc, but as a portion of a balanced diet it's generally very good. I'd split the hard feeds up into as many meals as you can manage, which will allow the horse to get more from it & if you can only manage the 2, I'd be sticking to low NSC/starch feeds & avoid grains & such.

But I have to comment that if you can barely feel his ribs, perhaps he's far from underweight?? If his hips are sticking out but the rest of him looks OK, it could be muscle wastage or such on the hips. Also a weight tape is not very accurate at working out condition - look up 'condition scoring' & consider the whole horse.
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post #8 of 16 Old 02-03-2012, 01:55 AM
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I believe that alfalfa should be no more than 10% of the diet. It ups the calcium and makes magnesium and phosphorus deficient and balance is everything. Beet pulp is definitely a winner for safe weight gain. (molasses-free, soaked and rinsed and the shreds not pellets for better delivery of fiber.) Slow feeders are also great regulators, avoiding ulcers and boredom and insuring that it last longer and keeps them warm at 5am in the morning. Thin horses gain and fat horses lose, they regulate so well.
Sounds like the protein is going to be adequate, but it depends on his workload. I agree with Loosie about knowing what skinny really is and also that low grade pain is not involved as well as worms.

I've found that I can get a better visual weight idea if a winter blanket has just been pulled off and the hair is still laying flat.

Last edited by missyclare; 02-03-2012 at 01:57 AM.
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post #9 of 16 Old 02-03-2012, 10:32 AM
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I would increase his diet by 10% to 15% across the board.

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post #10 of 16 Old 02-03-2012, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
I'd tend to go with something like LHP suggests - add a bit more alfalfa. Or beet pulp or soy hulls or such are also good fibrous feeds for weightgain. I wouldn't feed only alfalfa, as that can create probs due to excess protein, etc, but as a portion of a balanced diet it's generally very good. I'd split the hard feeds up into as many meals as you can manage, which will allow the horse to get more from it & if you can only manage the 2, I'd be sticking to low NSC/starch feeds & avoid grains & such.

But I have to comment that if you can barely feel his ribs, perhaps he's far from underweight?? If his hips are sticking out but the rest of him looks OK, it could be muscle wastage or such on the hips. Also a weight tape is not very accurate at working out condition - look up 'condition scoring' & consider the whole horse.
would hill work help with gaining muscle in the hip/back area? ill try to get pictures of him to show what i am talking about.
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