getting mare back underweight need feeding advice please
   

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getting mare back underweight need feeding advice please

This is a discussion on getting mare back underweight need feeding advice please within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • How to get a broodmare back in condition
  • What do I feed a underweight mare?

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    09-04-2011, 03:24 PM
  #1
Weanling
getting mare back underweight need feeding advice please

I sold a standardbred mare last year as she was just a pasture ornament and I felt she deserved better as heartbreaking as it was. She was in good condition when she left although obviously lacked muscle definition from not being ridden. So I was contacted this week to ask if I would take her on loan over winter as the owner is starting uni next week and won't have a lot of time for her and I have a friend who will exercise her. We collected her today and was shocked to see that she is thin and has lost all condition and looks very poor compared to when she left. The owner informed me that she had developed a really bad gum infection and had been on penicillin and that's why she had lost alot of condition which i'm not criticising because I totally believe she wasn't eating because of infection. Please could you advise me on feed to help her gain weight and condition but that won't heat her. She apparently has been on calm and condition pony nuts, chaff and hay and very poor grass. Hard meals 3 times a day. Now i'm not sure how long this has been given but I would have thought that from 3 meals aday and hay she should be in better condition. I have put her in a 6 acre field with a lot of good quality grass tonight and i'm going to give her unlimited hay and a multivit. Should I be still feeding her 3 hard feeds a day as i'm inclined to think that on plenty of grass and hay she should get what she needs. I have pictures of her before she left but didn't manage to take a picture of her tonight when she arrived. I will take one first thing in morning and post before and now shots just wanted to get this post on here so that if needs be I can go get feed tomorrow.
     
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    09-04-2011, 04:30 PM
  #2
Started
If she really has been getting the meals you described, I would be concerned about her ability to utilize feed. I would consult a vet to have her teeth examined, and maybe get a blood analysis. If the grass you have is good quality, that should be a big help. You might also look into a low-starch, high-fat feed to help her gain weight. I'm not familiar with the term "hard meal", unless you mean that the feed she was getting is physically hard. If that's the case, she might need a softer feed, or feed that has been soaked.

Good luck, and keep us posted.
     
    09-05-2011, 03:20 AM
  #3
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by aforred    
If she really has been getting the meals you described, I would be concerned about her ability to utilize feed. I would consult a vet to have her teeth examined, and maybe get a blood analysis. If the grass you have is good quality, that should be a big help. You might also look into a low-starch, high-fat feed to help her gain weight. I'm not familiar with the term "hard meal", unless you mean that the feed she was getting is physically hard. If that's the case, she might need a softer feed, or feed that has been soaked.

Good luck, and keep us posted.

Thanks for your response, she has been under the vet for a gum infection and has had her teeth done as she was dropping food. Her teeth need doing again at Christmas and the infection was treated but i'm not sure whether this is totally sorted as she can shake her head slightly when being ridden. Sorry for the confusion hard feed just means grain or anything other than forage. She is not going to be ridden until we have got a little more weight on her and hopefully by leaving her out at grass she hopefully will start to pick up a little. I'm don't really know anything about grain as I have always had horses who keep weight very well actually maybe slightly too well so I have never had to build a mare up with weight and also condition.
     
    09-05-2011, 03:22 AM
  #4
Weanling
Should I be letting her gain weight before trying to turn it to muscle and condition or should I be trying to do it both together?
     
    09-11-2011, 08:45 AM
  #5
Weanling
I am a big fan of rice bran oil. It helps with weight gain, improves coat shine, and can really make a difference quickly. Another thing that may help is adding pre/probiotics to her diet to help her assimilate feed better. I use Optizyme for my hard keeper, but Probios is used by a lot of people, too. That will help her digestive draw more nutrients.

Good luck!
     
    09-11-2011, 01:18 PM
  #6
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by netty83    
Should I be letting her gain weight before trying to turn it to muscle and condition or should I be trying to do it both together?
Since I don't know what type of concentrates (grain or hard feed) you have available in the UK I'll pass on answering that part of your question. Depending on just HOW underweight she is would determine whether I fed her up first and conditioned later or did both simultaneously.

If she's a body condition score of 3 or less I'd feed her up quite a bit before I tried any conditioning as that burns calories and she needs everything she can get if she's down this far.

From 3-5, I'd start conditioning her right along with the weight gain, but slowly and light exercise only. Once she's up to 4-5, then you could start to ride her lightly (5-7 considered optimal condition) and build as she builds up stamina and muscle.
     
    09-11-2011, 09:02 PM
  #7
Green Broke
An easy thing to feed that helps my old senior horses gain and keep weight is corn oil. A big glurp of oil on the senior feed helps them. Free feed hay, I feed alfalfa. If you feed other forms of hay you will need to make sure the horse is getting a good calcium ratio 2:1. A simple way is to feed alfalfa pellets, and if need be you can soak them prior to feeding. To see if she will eat the oil or soaked feed, try a small amt first. Nothing more irritating then having to dump a bucket of feed.:) also shredded beet pulp with molasses, soak a good hour prior to feeding. Remove any wet feed after about an hour if the horse does not eat it. The corn oil ads more fat less sugar which is why I prefer the oil.
     
    09-12-2011, 05:02 AM
  #8
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians    
Since I don't know what type of concentrates (grain or hard feed) you have available in the UK I'll pass on answering that part of your question. Depending on just HOW underweight she is would determine whether I fed her up first and conditioned later or did both simultaneously.

If she's a body condition score of 3 or less I'd feed her up quite a bit before I tried any conditioning as that burns calories and she needs everything she can get if she's down this far.

From 3-5, I'd start conditioning her right along with the weight gain, but slowly and light exercise only. Once she's up to 4-5, then you could start to ride her lightly (5-7 considered optimal condition) and build as she builds up stamina and muscle.
this is a great guideline thanks. I will try and score her if I could get some advice on doing this from yoursef or anyone I would be grateful i've never had to do this before. My plan was to get pics on here of her but it's been severe high winds and driving rain over the last week and she isn't liking being handled much in the conditions, she doesn't like wind at the best of time.
     
    09-22-2011, 05:38 PM
  #9
Foal
If her score is very low be careful about feeding her up too quickly, there is a condition called re-feeding syndrome, she probably doesn't fall into this catergory but just in case
REFEEDING SYNDROME
If she's just under weight or a bit light I would put her on 2-3 small feeds a day with ad-lib hay/forage, you'll then be able to see quite quickly if she has in fact been being fed what you have been told, and you can easily add oil etc also I'm not sure what the weather is like in Cumbria I'm guessing it's a bit colder than Kent so maybe even a light/medium weight rug at night so that she isn't using so much energy to keep warm. I hope she picks up soon.
     
    09-22-2011, 06:02 PM
  #10
Foal
Pics would be great as impossible to give advice without knowing severity. Some brill advice above and I must be honest id take with a pinch of salt what they said theyve been feeding her sorry but something you need to consider. Soya oil fab for weight gain, very important about re-feeding syndrome and also a very thinnhorse should defo not be ridden until its at an acceptable weight as can't affford cal loss and just needs to recover! Looking forward to pics can give proper advice then x
     

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