Needs help putting on weight
 
 

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Needs help putting on weight

This is a discussion on Needs help putting on weight within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Rice bran or beet pulp
  • How much weight should a 16 hand TB gelding have?

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    02-12-2012, 07:44 PM
  #1
Foal
Needs help putting on weight

So, I posted not too long ago about my horse Hermes who coliced and was very close to death. He was off of food and water for a week, and had to be put on an IV and Glucose. Needless to say he lost a substantial amount of weight. You can see most of his ribs and his top line is horrible. He is currently getting 2-2.5 cups of senior and 2 flakes of grass hay twice a day. If it is cold enough he may get an additional flake or two of hay. Just wondering if there is anything I can add to his feed that could help him put some weight on steadily and that is low in calcium (he's prone to have bladder stones)?
     
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    02-12-2012, 08:02 PM
  #2
Foal
Before my tb gelding passed a while back, he had a horrible time keeping weight on. I'm not sure if it'd help your guy (not sure on calcium levels on these things, so you might have to look that up) but along with senior feed I was giving my guy stabilized rice bran and beet pulp pellets.

The beet pulp has to be soaked and I believe the maximum you can give on both of those things are 2lbs of each. My guy was on a total of 10lbs of senior feed, 2lbs rice bran, 2lbs beet pulp along with pro bios, various supplements, soaked alfalfa and timothy pellets and free choice grass hay.

I've heard that there's a supplement called 'cool calories' that is a calorie supplement as the name suggests. Another thing you might try/add in are oils. I've heard soy bean oil is very good, but I just used vegetable oil and it seemed to work okay. My vet mentioned some people also use corn oil, but that it's not very good for their joints or something like that. On the oils you have to gradually up the amount to the amount you want, around 2 cups is what my guy was getting each day.

Not sure if any of these things would help, but they seemed to work decent on my hard-keeper tb. :3
     
    02-13-2012, 06:55 AM
  #3
Trained
I'd get onto an equine nutritionist or service such as FeedXL at least. I'd also speak to an equine vet about it & probably add probiotics to his feed. How old is he, how long since the colic?

I'm presuming if that's all the hay he's getting, he's either on grass or he's a pony? If he needs weight, I'd be feeding the hay free choice for a start, or if he's too old & his teeth don't manage well, feed 'chop' or 'chaff' instead. Agree that some alfalfa may be good, but again, depending on his age & health of his liver & such(it IS high in calcium too), I'd check with a nutritionist/knowledgeable vet first.

I would favour low starch feeds such as beet pulp or soy hulls over senior feed, to be safer on his gut, especially if you can only feed twice daily. Why is he getting so little of it though? Is that due to the colic & you're building up? Any change of feed needs to be done gradually, over a couple of weeks preferrably.
     
    02-15-2012, 01:15 AM
  #4
Weanling
Just remember whatever changes you do, do them very slowly. I'm not saying this will work for your guy or you should feed him this much as my horse's are a 17 hand thoroughbred gelding and a underweight 16 hand thoroughbred gelding. This is what I feed them

AM
6-7 lbs alfalfa
1.5 lbs strategy healthy edge
6lbs orchard/timothy grass hay
1 scoop cool calories 100

PM
6-7 lbs alfalfa
1.5 lbs strategy
2lbs beet pulp (unsoaked weight)
1 cup vegtable oil
6 lbs local grass hay
1 scoop cool calories 100.

Keeps weight on my 17 hand tb and has my 16 hand tb gaining weight nicely.
also try talking with your vet about what they recommend for him.

Good luck!
     
    02-15-2012, 08:11 AM
  #5
Foal
Thanks every one! My vet is coming out this afternoon to remove the staples from his colic surgery, so I think I will ask him what is recommended.
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    02-16-2012, 11:00 AM
  #6
Weanling
Low grain with the highest amount of calories.

Has he been checked for ulcers?

This is my weight gain remedy
1.check for ulcers
2.treat with omaprazole paste and equishure then switch to Animal Element to keep from re occuring
3.high fat low starch diet
4.Low NSC feed such as Ultium...Startegy HE...TC Senior..Powerglo with 1 lb of Nutrena Empower added for fat.
5.Hay 24/7 with 2 flakes of alfalfa per day.

I've never hadf a horse NOT gain weight from this regimen. Barrel horses to OTTBs to trail horses to rescue horses.
loosie and TbLover like this.
     
    02-21-2012, 06:38 PM
  #7
Foal
I used have a TB that is a really hard keeper. He was under 150lbs when I first got him. It took me a year to finally figure out what to feed him, but now his ribs are completely covered.
1. Senior feed: I saw that you are already feeding this, so just keep doing it. I feed Duke 2 lbs a day, but you can feed more if you need to.
2. Rice Bran or Wheat Bran: This is what did it for my Duke. Even with the Senior feed he still wasn't getting quite where I wanted. When I added the bran, I really noticed a difference. It also helps their coat and helps them digest food easier. Rice and wheat both work, but wheat is generally cheaper.
3. Alfalfa hay: Even if your horse needs some grass, you should still add alfalfa to the diet. Hard-keeper horses just can't get enough out of the grass to add weight. My TB has to be on straight Alfalfa or he gets too skinny, but plenty of horses can go with a mix.
4. Supplement: I used weight-builder until he got to the correct weight, and then dropped it. There are many supplements you can use.
Hope I helped :)
     
    02-21-2012, 10:53 PM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by farlo4    
2. Rice Bran or Wheat Bran: This is what did it for my Duke. ....
3. Alfalfa hay: Even if your horse needs some grass, you should still add alfalfa to the diet. Hard-keeper horses just can't get enough out of the grass to add weight. My TB has to be on straight Alfalfa or he gets too skinny, but plenty of horses can go with a mix.
Sorry to pick farlo, but as you're advising someone what 'should' be fed & these 2 points above rang alarm bells, thought I'd elaborate...

Rice bran is generally thought to be a good additive, but wheat, with the ultra high phosphorus should NOT be fed IMO, unless you're balancing a deficiency/calcuim overdose.

Alfalfa/lucerne is generally a pretty good feed for horses **as PART of a balanced diet**. It is very high in protein, which can be problematic for a lot of horses though. Also calcium & some other nutrients are quite high, so it's important to carefully balance nutrition & supplements based on what's in it. Horses should NOT be fed solely on alfalfa IMO & generally it shouldn't be more than around 1/3 of the forage ration, unless under vet's & nutritionist's supervision.
     
    02-22-2012, 12:07 PM
  #9
Foal
I'm just saying what's worked for my guy. He's managed by a vet, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Also, I never said he needed to eat straight Alfalfa. I actually avoid straight alfalfa with all my horses except the TB, because it does have high nutriants. The only reason he eats it is because it is the ONLY hay that keeps his weight. I was just saying that if you want to add weight, you should have at least some alfalfa, because some horses can't get enough out of the hay. My Paso gets away with eating only grass and no grain, whereas my TB has to have the diet that I specified. He is vet regulated, and my vet knows he eats wheat bran. The wheat bran has made all the difference in his weight. I have used rice bran before, but they seemed to work the same for him, and as the wheat is cheaper, that's what I use.
     
    02-22-2012, 12:19 PM
  #10
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by aly429    
So, I posted not too long ago about my horse Hermes who coliced and was very close to death. He was off of food and water for a week, and had to be put on an IV and Glucose. Needless to say he lost a substantial amount of weight. You can see most of his ribs and his top line is horrible. He is currently getting 2-2.5 cups of senior and 2 flakes of grass hay twice a day. If it is cold enough he may get an additional flake or two of hay. Just wondering if there is anything I can add to his feed that could help him put some weight on steadily and that is low in calcium (he's prone to have bladder stones)?
Cups or pounds? The correct amount of senior feed will make a huge difference!

He should have free choice hay to he can eat when he is hungry.
     

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