Fattening up a skinny pony

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Fattening up a skinny pony

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    12-07-2011, 01:17 AM
Fattening up a skinny pony

Hi everyone. The miniature we just bought is a little on the skinny side and I need some advice on how to fatten him up safely without the risk of laminitis. He is on a 1/4 acre paddock, and since he's been here its now all been pretty much eaten off. I would like to let him out on the rest of the property, which is another 1 and a half acres, but our grass is looking really lush at the moment. Its not that long, but its spring here so its all booming. I've heard the safer times are to let them on it before 10am and then late in the afternoon? But im terrified of him getting laminitis and I was thinking keeping him in his nearly bare paddock and feeding hay would be the better idea. I've heard if you soak lucerne in warm water for 60 minutes it greatly reduces the sugar content. If I were to give him say half a biscuit morning and night, would this be safe? I've also heard adding oil to their feed is a good way to fatten them up aswell. Can anyone confirm on that? What type of oil is the best?

Thanks so much for any advice, we are new to this, so any advice is gold to us!
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    12-07-2011, 09:31 PM
I wouldnt be while sure what oil to tell you to use but iv found that beet pulp helped get weight on a horse of mine, feed him it twice a day mixed with garlic chaff and general (non heating) hard feed with some molasses mixed in, when it comes to the grazing just let him on the rich stuff for a few hours and then back onto his usual paddock, if they get to much sweet grass it can make them colic to... feed him hay/hayledge whilst he's in his usual paddock.. make sure youv a good worming routine aswell, itl probably take a few weeks for you to see a real difference in him, a bit of light excerise during this time could help to, you want him to build good muscle aswell and not just end up a wee fat pony. Good luck
    12-09-2011, 10:17 PM
Canola Oil is good for fattening up. I would wait to use the grass pasture until the grass isn't so short and rich. (I'm not an expert though when it comes to grass richness, so someone might tell you different.) I would feed him grass hay in the dry lot until then.

If he really is quite thin, giving him some grain won't hurt. But if he's just a little ribby, I'd just give him an extra flake of hay every time you feed.
    12-10-2011, 12:43 AM
1) Make sure your horse gets a good worming, and have a vet check the teeth to see if they need to be filed down.

2) Get your horse on a high fat/fiber diet, but not high sugar diet, such as oats or something like sweetfeed. I would recommend rice bran (fat) and beet pulp (fiber), maybe some alfalfa pellets or hay if no improvement shows.
    12-11-2011, 03:25 AM
Thanks so much for the advice everyone! I have started him on the hay, and will see how he goes for now
    12-11-2011, 04:24 AM
I actually thought (from what I've been told) that it's better to just let them out onto the grass in the afternoon, because by that time the sun has burnt the sugars out of the grass (to a certain extent) and during night time the sugars regenerate I guess you could say.

My tb is on extruded Barley, and he was on vegetable oil and that worked a charm (I've now taken him off it as he's getting to be a bit of a porker for now.. Not in work though)
Apparently the best oil to use is rice bran oil.

If you put him on the grass just watch his poop, as when I put my boy on rich grass his system didn't handle it well, and because his poop became loose (extremely) he lost more weight than he put on, so I had to combat that.. I halved his grass ration and did the rest with hay, and I also fed him soaked palm kernel(like copra meal I think) and that's all fiber so that worked too.
    12-12-2011, 03:27 AM
Thanks so much for info. So far that's what I've been doing. Just giving him a few hours in the afternoon on the richer stuff. Hi paddock is practically bare now
    12-12-2011, 03:34 AM
Fattening up a mini shouldn't be too hard either, I have one who can live off the smell of grass, she just gets a handful of meadow hay chaff if she doesnt come out of her bare paddock.. But when we got her she was obese and we're lucky she didn't die!
She did get laminitis though, but because she was already on a diet by that time and we caught it early she is still here and sound to tell the tale! Even rideable.

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