Queen needs to gain weight - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 10 Old 08-10-2012, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Queen needs to gain weight

Like the title says Queen needs to gain a little weight. We just recently put her in quarantine so we can board her at the Fort Hood Hunt and Saddle Club. The vet gave her a bcs of a 3 out of 9. So, that tells me weight gain is in order. I have been trying to work on it, I've not been successful at it. My husband believes in the philosophy of the less grain the better. So, here is what we do. She gets about 2 lbs of a 10% horse/mule feed, about a pound of stabilized flax meal, and all the good quality grass hay she can stand. Here is what I am thinking about adding to her diet. Im thinking the 10% grain needs to be bumped up to a 12 or 14% grain. Im also thinking about adding soaked alfalfa cubes or beet pulp. We have very limited turn out, so will continue with the hay as is. Does anyone have any other suggestions? Oh, she is a 8 year old thoroughbred mare.

Donna

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post #2 of 10 Old 08-10-2012, 10:49 AM
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What is a 10% horse/mule feed? Is that a sweet feed? If so get rid of it. You want something with high fat calories. No added sugars/molasses.
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-10-2012, 11:09 AM
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start her on vegetable oil that will help with calories and weight gain
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-10-2012, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by poppy1356 View Post
What is a 10% horse/mule feed? Is that a sweet feed? If so get rid of it. You want something with high fat calories. No added sugars/molasses.
The horse and mule feed does have molasses in it. I didnt realize that until we opened the bag. I went to a feed store, asked for a 10% horse feed, and got a different bag than what we normally get. Ok, so no more of this food. Do you have any recommendations on a food with high fat calories? Im really lost on what to do. Do you think adding soaked alfalfa cubes or beet pulp would help out?

Donna

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post #5 of 10 Old 08-10-2012, 04:16 PM
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Yes alfalfa or beet pulp would help. I use nutrena safe choice but there are many complete feeds you can get. Have you talked with your vet on this? Mine recommends minimum 14% protein and 6% fat. No molasses or sugar.
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-10-2012, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Our vet recommended a 14% protien. Said that is what he uses for his thoroughbreds. Guess I should follow that advice. Thanks for the help. :)

Donna

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post #7 of 10 Old 08-10-2012, 04:28 PM
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Anything I've seen that says 10% or 12% horse feed is usually sweet feed. Stick with complete feeds or raw feeds like beet pulp or rice bran. I add a half cup flax seed oil to my horses feed and it has done wonders for her.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-15-2012, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by armydogs View Post
The vet gave her a bcs of a 3 out of 9. So, that tells me weight gain is in order.
There are a range of different scales for bcs, so it's a bit ambiguous, but I'm thinking a 3, especially if it took the vet to tell you that, means your horse is not much under at all?

I'm guessing if you've had the vet to her & he commented on weight, he's probably checked her teeth & discussed effective worming? Ulcers are another possibility which can cause weightloss/hard keeping despite adequate feed. Also you don't mention nutritional supplementation and imbalance/deficiencies can also mean horses with adequate feed still aren't healthy.

Quote:
husband believes in the philosophy of the less grain the better.
Tend to agree with that. I don't think grain is necessarily bad for horses, but the high starch content, along with not being easily digestible - unless it's cooked or otherwise processed well - mean that I think it's best avoided if possible. Instead of grain, beet pulp, soy hulls, lucerne/alfalfa, oil(very small amounts) can be added to other forage when more calories are needed.

Quote:
She gets about 2 lbs of a 10% horse/mule feed, about a pound of stabilized flax meal, and all the good quality grass hay she can stand.
Free choice hay/forage is great. If you would like a specific opinion on the horse/mule food, you need to tell us what it is. Starchy/sugary diets can actually cause weightloss, due to upsetting the gut. It's also important that feed is given little & often, so I'd be feeding that amount of hard feed over 3 or so meals daily if possible, which if high starch, will also help reduce the 'side effects'. A pound of flax sounds like a huge amount to me. Linseed/flax is great IMO, full of omega 3 & other essential fatties, but I think of a half cupful as a large amount. Might be worth checking that one with a nutritionist. Linseed also loses it's goodness very quickly with processing, so I feed whole seeds which I grind fresh daily. I don't know whether 'stabilised' means it keeps all it's nutrition, or it's just not so depleted as otherwise. Another question for a nutritionist.... feedxl.com is great.

Quote:
Im thinking the 10% grain needs to be bumped up to a 12 or 14% grain. Im also thinking about adding soaked alfalfa cubes or beet pulp.
I don't know about protein levels, but as above, I think if you do need it, it's best to find healthier sources than grain too, and we can't give you an opinion on the feed when you only give a protein % - could be anything. Alfalfa & beet pulp are both high in protein, along with calories & low in sugar/starch, so I think these are great choices.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-16-2012, 10:45 PM
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-17-2012, 10:04 AM
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Thanks loosie, that was helpful and made me feel better about giving my horse flaxseed oil. I need to subscribe to this feedxl.
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