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OTTB Won't Gain Weight

This is a discussion on OTTB Won't Gain Weight within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Manna pro hi fiber hay
  • Ottb wont eat

 
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    05-18-2010, 08:11 AM
  #31
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by justsambam08    
In our area, that's not practical. I don't know anywhere around our area that has facilities AND provides grass/round bales, and I've been looking since I bought Ice! Round bales way too expensive to come by in the summer, and hay is also pretty costly. My board shot up a whopping 75 dollars just because I added an extra 1 flake onto his meal!
Practical or not, leaving a horse out for "most of the day and night" in an area where no food is provided is not in the best interest of the horse, period.
     
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    05-18-2010, 08:28 AM
  #32
Green Broke
Bear in mind that racehorses have a daily calorie intake of around 35,000 which usually drops sharply when they come off the track, causing rapid weight loss.

When I take a TB off the track I usually like to ease them gradually off the high grain high energy diet so that their digestive system can adjust. Forage is very very important as this can provide some of the bulk without the calories and the weight loss will not be as sharp. Usually I like to ease them back to a very basic diet of mostly hay and grass (plenty of it and high quality) and allow them at least a few months to work out any nasty additives that may have been in their food, similar to a detox for humans! (I often turn them out for this period to give them a break after track life before I do anything with them, but that's just me).

Then I begin introducing more food according to how I like to feed and what I have planned for their work schedule. I aim for around 25,000 calories although this will vary from horse to horse and how much work you plan to use them for. Avoid sweet feeds but you need to use a quality (around 15%) protein feed and things like rice bran and beet pulp can help with weight gain without making them too fizzy. Always have plenty of hay/grass available for a horse that is struggling to gain weight as it keeps their digestive system active by constantly processing all that fibre! Feeding three times a day helps encourage a healthy metabolism also.

Finally, I agree with your BO in that work will help put conditioning on him. Racehorses are used to a very heavy work schedule and one of the other reasons they lose weight when they come off the track can be attributed to muscle loss. TB's do well in hard work, they thrive! Even if you only do a little trail riding and some dressage, your boy will enjoy regular, hard workouts.

Good luck!
     
    05-18-2010, 11:25 AM
  #33
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by justsambam08    
Where are you boarding? I'm right outside Plant City in Dover. Ice is also on a dry lot :/

ETA: Looking at your pictures, I've seen that stall before haha...are you at Hidden Meadows?

When I'm all finished working out his new diet plan, here's what it will look like:

AM:
-3 flakes T&A
-3/4 scoop (about 2 1/2 pounds) Manna Senior
-1/4 scoop Max E Glo (stabilized rice bran)

PM:
-2 flakes T&A
-3/4 scoop Manna Senior
-1/4 scoop Max E Glo

I might add in some alfalfa cubes, but he's doing really well on the extra flake, so if I can add in the extra work and he keeps well enough, I won't push it!

Switch over to whatever feed you choose gradually over about a week, mixing in 3/4 sweet feed, 1/4 new feed, then 1/2 and 1/2, and so on. Anything that's high in fat, and maybe if you're working him a lot, some protien for stamina and to help him build muscle.
That looks like a great menu to me. Very similar to what my horse is getting and it's working out great. The only addition to that is my mare gets psyllium once a week to help prevent sand colic and 1/2 scoop of Accell daily. Oh, and I don't use a seinor feed, just a complete feed.
     
    05-18-2010, 03:47 PM
  #34
Foal
  • Thanks for all the help, y'all!
    So, the general consensus is: I need to change his grain and cut it back, and up his forrage and add flax. I forgot to mention that he's also on rice bran pellets...I'd like to cintinue these. How will that impact the flax? What feed? A Sr? Something with more protein? Should I keep him on the alfalfa? I don't want to take him totally off the sweet b/c he'll actually eat it. He came to me on Seminole Plantation 10 All Grain and he hated it. Plus, it only had 4% fat. I moved him to to Manna Pro Sweet 10 High Fat w/ Beet Pulp (I don't see it on the Manna Pro site...possibly a custom blend for my dealer?). It has 10% fat, with 10% protein, and beet pulp pellets in it. He doesn't like wet food, so I can't get him to eat bran mashes or soaked beet pulp (which is what I used for my Hanno 7 years ago that I rescued...got weight on him quickly).
    Should I switch him to this? Manna Pro Products, LLC This has high protein, high fiber, but has less fat..6% vs. the 10% he's on now.
    I also am going to keep him in his stall during the day, w/ coastal hay available to him and a flake of alfalfa at lunch (at least, that's what I did today). Does this sound good? 3 flakes of Alfalfa a day?
     
    05-18-2010, 07:53 PM
  #35
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by devildogtigress    
  • Thanks for all the help, y'all!
    So, the general consensus is: I need to change his grain and cut it back, and up his forrage and add flax. I forgot to mention that he's also on rice bran pellets...I'd like to cintinue these. How will that impact the flax? What feed? A Sr? Something with more protein? Should I keep him on the alfalfa? I don't want to take him totally off the sweet b/c he'll actually eat it. He came to me on Seminole Plantation 10 All Grain and he hated it. Plus, it only had 4% fat. I moved him to to Manna Pro Sweet 10 High Fat w/ Beet Pulp (I don't see it on the Manna Pro site...possibly a custom blend for my dealer?). It has 10% fat, with 10% protein, and beet pulp pellets in it. He doesn't like wet food, so I can't get him to eat bran mashes or soaked beet pulp (which is what I used for my Hanno 7 years ago that I rescued...got weight on him quickly).
    Should I switch him to this? Manna Pro Products, LLC This has high protein, high fiber, but has less fat..6% vs. the 10% he's on now.
    I also am going to keep him in his stall during the day, w/ coastal hay available to him and a flake of alfalfa at lunch (at least, that's what I did today). Does this sound good? 3 flakes of Alfalfa a day?
I've found that although "safe" (aka low starch) foods are okay for some horses to eat, they're made for the ones who get fat on air. Not OTTBs! You DEFINITELY want to get something high in fat, high in fiber, and high in protein, in that order....so if it meets the first two but not the third, that's ok. I've heard some good things about Purina Ultium, which they carry at Antioch Feed and Supply (if that's where you guys get your feed from). You can probably add some sweet feed for taste, but I would not make it his main source of hard feed. But again, you could just try using whatever senior feed you guys currently use and save yourself the trouble of having to buy something yourself.

I would see how he does on the extra alfalfa, but be prepared to up it more if he doesn't gain the weight totally. Also keep in mind all that alfalfa will make him pee a lot, and might make him a little loopy.How much of the rice bran is he on now? 1 to 1 1/2 lb daily should be more than enough to be putting weight on him.
     
    05-18-2010, 08:04 PM
  #36
Foal
Well, I'm partial boarding so I'm buying his feed myself. Thus, trying something new isn't an issue. I have full control over his feed. I've been buying at The Hay Exchange on 92.

Yea, that's kind of why I have him on what he's on...it's high in all 3. But, it has the blasted molasses in it. *sigh*

He's getting MaxEGlo 1/4 scoop AM and 1/4 scoop PM I just started it a week ago.
     
    05-18-2010, 08:14 PM
  #37
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by devildogtigress    
Well, I'm partial boarding so I'm buying his feed myself. Thus, trying something new isn't an issue. I have full control over his feed. I've been buying at The Hay Exchange on 92.

Yea, that's kind of why I have him on what he's on...it's high in all 3. But, it has the blasted molasses in it. *sigh*

He's getting MaxEGlo 1/4 scoop AM and 1/4 scoop PM I just started it a week ago.
I would wait to see if he puts on wait with the Max E Glo before adding in anything extra like flax seed. I would just call The Hay Exchange and ask, most places around here carry Purina and Manna Pro products so you should be alright. As a general rule, I would say get a performance feed, as long as it doesn't have oats and molasses in it, you won't be picking up "hot" calories. Look for the main ingredient to be alfalfa meal or something like that.

Is the 1/4 scoop like 1/4 of a 3 quart scoop? That might actually be too much, depending on what your quarter looks like....I'm feeding Ice 1/2 pound at each feeding, so my mark is under the 1 quart line.
     
    05-18-2010, 08:31 PM
  #38
Foal
Here are some pics of him to give y'all perspective.

One month ago today (the day I bought him):


About 2 weeks later:


Today (he was wet from his bath):



Thanks again for all the input/help/advice! I appreciate it!
     
    05-18-2010, 08:50 PM
  #39
Trained
No matter how much feed you give him and how much forrage you give him, nothing is going to come of it if he has digestive issues and ulcers.

Majority of TB's lead highly stressed lives while on the track, and end up with digestive issues. I would highly suggest that you get him scoped by your Vet, in both his stomache and his GI tract to ensure that you aren't dealing with Ulcers.

And I would look into a digestive aid, that has Probiotics and Prebiotics to help your horses digestive system to absorb all the nutrients needed to keep him healthy weight wise.

You can stuff all the feed down his throat all you want, but you're flushing your money down the toilet if your horse has digestive issues, because all that feed will go in and out without your horse absorbing any of the importancies.

Horses are designed to be continuos grazers, that is who they are. That is how their systems are set up - to have forrage in their stomaches 24/7. If they are left for the majority of the day with no food in their tummies, they will end up with digestive issues - because their stomach's lining isn't being protected from the acids.

So for a horse that only gets a little amount of hay in the A.M and a little amount in the P.M - is not sufficient enough for your horses health, his stomach, nor his digestive system.

I would look at SmartPak's suppliments to help your horses digestive system, such as Smart Digest Ultra, and Smart Gut.

If the barn that you are currently at cannot provide your horse with the forrage needed to ensure digestive health and productivity - I would move.
     
    05-18-2010, 09:07 PM
  #40
Trained
Quote:
I've found that although "safe" (aka low starch) foods are okay for some horses to eat, they're made for the ones who get fat on air. Not OTTBs! You DEFINITELY want to get something high in fat, high in fiber, and high in protein, in that order....so if it meets the first two but not the third, that's ok. I've heard some good things about Purina Ultium, which they carry at Antioch Feed and Supply (if that's where you guys get your feed from). You can probably add some sweet feed for taste, but I would not make it his main source of hard feed. But again, you could just try using whatever senior feed you guys currently use and save yourself the trouble of having to buy something yourself.
Low starch does not equal low fat. Feeds such as Copra are extremely high in fat and yet are low in starch, sugar and NSC's.

The fact is, horses are not designed to process large amounts of starch and sugar - Bad things happen when they are made to. Horses are designed to be constantly taking in forage - bad thigns happen when they can't.

It has always boggled my mind that the majority of horses in the US aren't on grass, ever. I have never met a single person who keeps a horse off grass here in AUS, and it is rare to find anyone who has their horse stalled any more than just nights. My own horses are on grass 24/7.
     

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