"Hay Belly" Dilemma
 
 

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"Hay Belly" Dilemma

This is a discussion on "Hay Belly" Dilemma within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Older horse is ribby but large belly
  • Hay belly and ribby horse

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  • 1 Post By deserthorsewoman
  • 1 Post By spirit88
  • 1 Post By spirit88
  • 1 Post By verona1016
  • 1 Post By verona1016

 
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    06-28-2013, 12:53 PM
  #1
Foal
"Hay Belly" Dilemma

I all, I was wondering if perhaps you might be able to help shed some light on a situation that I’ve recently encountered. There is a horse that I work with in which the owners claim he displays a “hay belly”. The horse is a 5 year old Standardbred gelding who was just recently purchased this year. When bought, the owners claim that he was in excellent body condition and health. After owning this horse for about 5 months, however, they started to notice a lack of rib coverage and an extended “hay belly”. They also mentioned that they had had a previous horse, though much older, who displayed similar symptoms.

Horse Overview:
I have personally seen this horse and he appears to be in decent body condition (roughly a 4 BCS). His coat appears healthy and with shine to it. He is routinely de-wormed with Ivermectin and safeguard de-wormers. They are uncertain if the horse had ever raced or not (still awaiting a little more background history)

Feedstuffs:
He receives 2 flakes of grass hay morning and evening (approximately 4 flakes total) of which quality we are unsure of. The hay appears dust and mold free, but is considerably bleached on the outside. The inside of the bales do appear to be a dull green with some leaf but do contain a considerable amount of stem (I’d speculate roughly 8 – 10% protein). He does have some access to a small 1 ˝ acre pasture, but for only a few hours each week when not working. He also receives a scoop full of 11% grain (a majority of crimped oats, supplement pellet, 4% fat from soybean oil, and some flaked corn) morning and evening. His water bowl is clean and his water intake appears fine, though someone apparently had suggested to them to have their water tested for bacteria since that may be the reason why?

Ideas:
Typically a horse that is healthy otherwise, but that is both ribby and has a hay belly, is most likely receiving large amounts of forage that is not quite meeting caloric and/or protein needs, so could it be possible that this horse is just receiving too low quality forage? What suggestions might one make in correcting this dilemma?

Thank you in advance for your suggestions, advice, and ideas!
     
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    06-28-2013, 12:57 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Low quality forage or worms or lack of exercise
     
    06-28-2013, 01:12 PM
  #3
Trained
Good hay doesn't give a hay belly. Period. So, better hay, the deworming not " routinely" but rather according to what the horse actually has, after a fecal test.
The hardfeed could be better. What about a vit/ min supplement?

The standies I've had myself, and all the others I've known, were all easy keepers and would thrive on good hay and pasture alone. Soooo, best guess...crappy hay, as you already suspected
nickers103 likes this.
     
    06-28-2013, 01:13 PM
  #4
Banned
Poor quailty hay and worms just because he's wormed routinely doesn't mean there's not a worm problem. Body score of 4 isn't that thin of a horse I have a horse who's body score is 4.

Need to get a fecal egg count done to find out what worms he has them worm with proper wormer. Better on the thin side then to fat id rather see some ribs then have them fat.

Ditch the corn and oats neither are good to feed to horses to high in NSC.
nickers103 likes this.
     
    06-28-2013, 01:17 PM
  #5
Foal
So if the forage quality is too low, would you recommend finding a better quality grass hay and sticking to the same feeding amounts, etc. or would you suggest something with a bit more protein to it, such as a legume mixture?

Presently the vitamin / mineral supplement is being fed in conjunction with the grain mix the owner is providing.

I agree in that a fecal count would be ideal and something worth pursuing.

(If you haven't already guessed it yet, the horse is Amish owned and used for driving purposes)
     
    06-28-2013, 01:26 PM
  #6
Banned
Yes a good quailty hay would be good. You can give the vit/min supplement with out a huge amount of grain. I feed vit/min supplement along with other supps with timothy pellets only use a cup of pellets.

Most horses don't need grain of any kind unless being worked hard every day.
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    06-28-2013, 01:35 PM
  #7
Green Broke
The first thing I think of when I see a ribby horse with a hay belly is worms. Neither ivermectin nor Safeguard (fenbendazole) are effective against tapeworms, and tapeworms don't show up in a fecal egg count, so that's a possibility. The recommendation is usually to de-worm with a product that kills tapeworms once or twice a year. The other possibility is that the horse has other worms that have become resistant to the two dewormers being used. In that case, eggs would show up in a FEC before and after worming.
nickers103 likes this.
     
    06-28-2013, 01:36 PM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by verona1016    
The first thing I think of when I see a ribby horse with a hay belly is worms. Neither ivermectin nor Safeguard (fenbendazole) are effective against tapeworms, and tapeworms don't show up in a fecal egg count, so that's a possibility. The recommendation is usually to de-worm with a product that kills tapeworms once or twice a year. The other possibility is that the horse has other worms that have become resistant to the two dewormers being used. In that case, eggs would show up in a FEC before and after worming.
Is there some brand name de-wormers you might recommend?
     
    06-28-2013, 01:38 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Zimectrin Gold, Equimax, and Quest Plus are the ones I know of that kill tapeworms.
nickers103 likes this.
     

Tags
hay belly, horse nutrition

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