New Horse Owner Needs Nutrition Advice
 
 

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New Horse Owner Needs Nutrition Advice

This is a discussion on New Horse Owner Needs Nutrition Advice within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • New horse owner forums
  • Tips on feed for a new horse owner

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  • 1 Post By Left Hand Percherons
  • 2 Post By Joe4d

 
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    10-01-2012, 09:53 PM
  #1
Foal
New Horse Owner Needs Nutrition Advice

I've recently purchased my first horse, Preacher. A little on his back ground: He was shipped in to his first owner from somewhere out west as at most a yearling and then sent off to be trained as a trail horse. I suppose he did fine for the first 11 years of his life, but 2-3 years ago he was turned out in (what I'm guessing) was either a dry lot or a very scrubby pasture with a pushy, greedy pony. My boy is the lowest man on the totem pole, so he starved. When his current owner rescued him, he was skin and bones. He's been steadily gaining weight over the last year, but is still very ribby and of course out of shape.

I'm bringing him to my barn Saturday and have purchased SafeChoice feed for him but am looking for a weight builder. He will be turned out on pasture 24/7 with other gentle horses and be fed grain alone. What else do I need to get for him to get another 50 lbs on my boy?

     
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    10-02-2012, 11:35 AM
  #2
Started
There are as many opinions of how to get weight on a horse as there horse owner. The key is not magical. Keep forage (hay and pasture) in front of him 24/7 as much as possible. It will help with health and behavior issues that resulted from the deprivation as well as keep him warm. Adding a concentrate or hay with a good protein content is important to build muscle. I've never used a weight builder instead using oils to boost the caloric content at a cheaper price.
Work him regularly for both mind and body. He'll be where you want him by Christmas.
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    10-02-2012, 11:46 AM
  #3
Showing
Unless you know what he was fed before, feed hay along with pasture only for the first week as the move is stressful. Gradually introduce the Safe Choice starting with a coffee cup once daily as his gut needs time to adjust. Then every five days increase it. Feed a cup now twice daily. Be sure to have his teeth checked as sharp points can cause weight loss. About every 5 days you can up the Safe Choice. You might find him getting frisky with the good feed. Don't try to rush getting weight on him. You will see a noticeable improvement by 6 weeks. Since he's 11 he'd do well on a senior feed which has extra oils, probiotics, beet pulp for weight gain, etc. and is very safe to feed. I like the bloom it puts on the coat.In the pic he seems quite relaxed. Has anyone checked to see how his teeth line up?
     
    10-02-2012, 12:29 PM
  #4
Super Moderator
You don't say which Safe Choice you are using but the Life Design Senior would work well for your horse
As mentioned all new feeds should be introduced gradually
If you need some extra you can add sugar beet, rice bran and hay stretcher pellets to this or a good quality chop
The grass is losing feed value now so make sure he has access to good hay
Have his teeth checked out and a fecal worm count and blood test done for encysted worms and tapeworm if you havent already done that
Good luck, he's going to look a real handsome horse in no time at all
     
    10-02-2012, 02:13 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
Unless you know what he was fed before, feed hay along with pasture only for the first week as the move is stressful. Gradually introduce the Safe Choice starting with a coffee cup once daily as his gut needs time to adjust. Then every five days increase it. Feed a cup now twice daily. Be sure to have his teeth checked as sharp points can cause weight loss. About every 5 days you can up the Safe Choice. You might find him getting frisky with the good feed. Don't try to rush getting weight on him. You will see a noticeable improvement by 6 weeks. Since he's 11 he'd do well on a senior feed which has extra oils, probiotics, beet pulp for weight gain, etc. and is very safe to feed. I like the bloom it puts on the coat.In the pic he seems quite relaxed. Has anyone checked to see how his teeth line up?
Yes, he just had his teeth floated last year, which was part of the problem with his weight loss. He's 13, I had thought about a senior feed, but I'm so new to this I just wasn't sure. The feed has 14% protein.

What oils would you recommend?
     
    10-02-2012, 02:57 PM
  #6
Trained
I second the life design senior, together with free choice good hay, maybe even a bit alfalfa. All new feeds need to be introduced slowly, over about two weeks.
As an example how the above suggestion worked, check out my album "my critters" and see Snipper before and after. One month between the two pics with only 3lbs life design senior daily.
     
    10-09-2012, 10:37 PM
  #7
Trained
Ditto what others have said, tho I don't know much about Safe Choice feeds.

Without knowing what he's been on before, who knows whether he needs different/more. Sudden weightgain isn't great for health. If he was on just hay & pasture & gaining already, he may not need much if any more than that. If he does, I personally wouldn't feed grain if there's a healthier, low starch alternative available, such as beet pulp, rice bran, alfalfa, suy hulls, etc. Balanced nutrition is also important & horses that are deficient or imbalanced in some minerals can be 'hard keepers' despite getting enough calories. Little & often feeding is also important - at least a few small meals daily if you can, rather than only 1-2 larger ones. Especially important with feeds like grain.
     
    10-10-2012, 12:44 AM
  #8
Foal
He got about 1 gallon of feed 2x day at his old farm. Approx 1/2 gallon of all stock 13% pellets (6% fat) and 1/2 gallon of Alfalfa pellets with oil. He was on beet pulp too, which seems like a MASSIVE amount of feed. Her pasture was kind of scrubby (everyones is going to crap since winter is coming in) and she had him stalled for the last few weeks to help put on weight. But he honestly seems happier to be out in a big pasture with his buddies.

Now he's getting hay twice a day, on pasture 25/7, unless I go visit. I have him on 14% protein, 7% fat Safechoice feeds. I am adding Cool Calories 100 to his feed, but we are taking it easy on the feed to avoid colic, etc.

I plan to deworm him ASAP, since his last one was mid September and have the vet look at his teeth and probably float them. Once we get all of that taken care of, we will work on him gaining weight.

He's under the experienced and watchful eyes of my barn managers and her staff, who has been giving us excellent advice. I'm not a massive fan of beet pulp and am trying to find an additional source of calories without it being a big filler.
     
    10-10-2012, 09:00 AM
  #9
Green Broke
Have the vet do a fecal count, will give you the real deal on worms, best thing is just all day grass a basic feed and time.
Whils cool calories is calories it is Omega 6's fats which are an inflamatory. I wouldnt waste the money, grass and a balanced feed with a multivitamin. He'll pick it up it just takes time.
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    10-10-2012, 09:33 AM
  #10
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by cedarane    
He got about 1 gallon of feed 2x day at his old farm. Approx 1/2 gallon of all stock 13% pellets (6% fat) and 1/2 gallon of Alfalfa pellets with oil. He was on beet pulp too, which seems like a MASSIVE amount of feed. Her pasture was kind of scrubby (everyones is going to crap since winter is coming in) and she had him stalled for the last few weeks to help put on weight. But he honestly seems happier to be out in a big pasture with his buddies.

Now he's getting hay twice a day, on pasture 25/7, unless I go visit. I have him on 14% protein, 7% fat Safechoice feeds. I am adding Cool Calories 100 to his feed, but we are taking it easy on the feed to avoid colic, etc.

I plan to deworm him ASAP, since his last one was mid September and have the vet look at his teeth and probably float them. Once we get all of that taken care of, we will work on him gaining weight.

He's under the experienced and watchful eyes of my barn managers and her staff, who has been giving us excellent advice. I'm not a massive fan of beet pulp and am trying to find an additional source of calories without it being a big filler.
I'm glad you have your horse settled on a good barn and though I do stable my horses at night or in the day in the summer as part of their management plan I really think that they need access to acreage as much as possible
I agree with Joe re the Cool Calories - its not something I see as a healthy feed supplement as the wrong omega oils - save your money, if you want to add extra fat then add some rice bran. Sugar beet is an excellent feed for horses - avoid the type that has added molasses - its high in fibre and calcium, adds essential moisture content and is a safe slow release energy source so I would stick with it
The biggest cause of colic is horses going for long periods without feed and then getting large amounts in one go. Its why horses out at grass or on ad lib hay are less at risk.
Get that fecal worm count done and a blood test for encysted worms - that will give you a good idea of what you're up against. Its worth the cost
Be nice to see some pics as he improves
     

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