Feeding a very underweight draft - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-17-2012, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Feeding a very underweight draft

I just gained a 18h 16 year old shire gelding as a husband horse. I have owned show hunters for 15 years but never had one of this size and condition.. I just wanted to share what I have been feeding to see if anyone had any thoughts on if they thought it was too much, too little, or just right

May be a little confusing since I have different scoops for different things... I just gave in and ordered a hanging scale this morning. (Legends Performance Pellets feed is a 12/10/18)


He gets this AM, Lunch, and PM

2 qts Legends Performance
2 cups (when dry) alfalfa pellets (AM & PM only)
2 cups (when dry) beet pulp shreds
2 cups Max-E-Glo Rice Bran

He is turned out with two other horses on a 3 acre grass field with a round bale.
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-17-2012, 12:44 PM
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You probably need to start with a good dental exam and deworming. Floats must have extensions on them to reach the back molars and drafts tend to be extreemly sensitive to sedation so make sure you run these past your vet before you start.

Without knowing what your cups and scoops are, you're probably giving him enough to start. You can add 1/2 C oil to each meal, making it more of a EPMS diet and bump his caloric intake 6 Mcals. Adding a pre/probiotic never hurts. I use Diamond V prebiotic. It's cheap ($36/50#) and does a good job.
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-17-2012, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand Percherons View Post
You probably need to start with a good dental exam and deworming. Floats must have extensions on them to reach the back molars and drafts tend to be extreemly sensitive to sedation so make sure you run these past your vet before you start.

Without knowing what your cups and scoops are, you're probably giving him enough to start. You can add 1/2 C oil to each meal, making it more of a EPMS diet and bump his caloric intake 6 Mcals. Adding a pre/probiotic never hurts. I use Diamond V prebiotic. It's cheap ($36/50#) and does a good job.
Thanks!

I did forget to add that the vet is coming out this week to float his teeth.

And the cups are exactly what they say.. Which is a 2 cup measuring scoop. Once my scale gets here I will be able to give a more exact idea.
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-17-2012, 11:01 PM
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While 1/2 cup of oil isn't a huge amount, it's best to build up very gradually with fats, as horses don't naturally have the enzymes to digest them. I'd start with tiny amounts & build up to that over a couple of weeks. Especially if you just got the horse & have also added all those other things to his diet, I'd probably also give it a bit before adding oil or anything else(except a probiotic). While he may be poor, you still don't want to 'beef him up' quickly either, so perhaps see how he gains on what he's getting first.
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-17-2012, 11:08 PM
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One key to remember is alot of drafts cannot handle Carbs very well and one must watch for EPSM. What you say you are feeding him and him being 18 hands that doesnt sound like alot for his size. Do you have any pictures? Would love to see him.
How ever you go about it gaining slower is by far better then drastic gain.
I would see about putting him on a carb Watch diet.

TRR
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-18-2012, 07:39 AM
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Most drafts are very easy keepers. Go real slow putting weight on. Most do just fine on good grass hay unless you have them logging or hitched to a plow all day. They will even gain weight on just grass hay.

I've had 3. They had free choice hay. Beet pulp and a couple qts of Blue Seal's trotter. They were obese on it. None were worked much. Light riding and an occasional log to twitch out of the way and in the case of my mare a few stupid kids to pull out of a ditch.
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-24-2012, 08:45 PM
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I would agree with the above posts, check that his deworming is up to date and his teeth are in good condition.

I would give him beet bulp and drizzle vegtable oil on it, maybe a weight supplement as well.

Good luck!


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