Underweight appendix mare- feeding advice please?
   

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Underweight appendix mare- feeding advice please?

This is a discussion on Underweight appendix mare- feeding advice please? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Best feed for appendix horse
  • Feeding appendix horses

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  • 2 Post By themacpack
  • 2 Post By SaddleStrings
  • 1 Post By verona1016
  • 1 Post By loosie

 
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    06-17-2012, 08:56 PM
  #1
Foal
Underweight appendix mare- feeding advice please?

I bought my mare May 6th. She was underweight at the time (you could see her ribs easily), but she was only getting hay and was at the bottom of the pecking order, so I didn't think it would be too much trouble to put weight on her. The vet also noted in the prepurchase exam that she would need her teeth done soon.
Picture at the time (it's hard to see the ribs in that one since she still has winter coat, but anyways...):


She got her teeth done (plus all her shots) on June 2nd (that was the earliest I could get for an appointment). I had the vet do a fecal egg count too and she advised me of what wormer to use based on that (I wormed her on June 9th-> I have to take a second sample in a few days to confirm it was effective).

I've worked her up to getting in grain: 5 lbs (wet weight) of beet pulp and 2 lbs of Matrix Fat smart pellets (although the feed store was out so I replaced it with 2lbs of Matrix MV balancer for this week) per day.

The barn owner gives her pretty much as much hay as she'll eat (it's hard to tell how exactly how much she eats since one of her favourite activities is pulling it out of her tub, walking it into the mud, and then eating it ). It's rare to not have some avaliable to her though. As is typical for the area, the hay is low in protien.


I thought she would have gained the weight she needs by now, but she hasn't, you can still see her ribs just as easily. She is otherwise happy, healthy and energetic.
I measured her today at 15.1 hands and 900 lbs.
Pictures from today:



She is in light work (20-30 minutes per day, a few days a week). Mostly walking and trotting to try to build up her topline.

I've tried giving her more beet pulp but she doesn't really like it and won't finish much more than I give her now. I might be able to convince her to eat a bit more though if I mix in more pellets with it though.

Any advice to what she's missing? Do I just need to wait a little longer? Should I up the amount of pellets? How much more weight do you think she needs ? ????
     
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    06-17-2012, 09:00 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Considering her teeth were only done two weeks ago and she was only de-wormed about a week ago (not to mention only in your possession for a little over a month), I think you need to keep things as you are and set your eyes on slow and steady weight gain, that is the healthy way of putting weight on a horse.
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    06-17-2012, 09:04 PM
  #3
Weanling
I don't think she looks too bad. Like MacPack said, just go slow. What about asking your barn owner to give your mare free choice hay? That way she can eat all she wants when she wants. It's better to add more hay and roughage the pan more grain.
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    06-17-2012, 09:04 PM
  #4
Green Broke
I'd up her feed.

To start with, weigh the beet pulp dry. Chances are a lot of that 5 lbs you're feeding is just water.

The Matrix Fat Smart doesn't look to be a complete feed, and is also not being fed in sufficient quantity. It recommends 0.5-1 kg per 100 kg of (ideal) body weight, so assuming she should be at least 1000 lb (450 kg), she should get at least 2.2 kg (5 lb) of the Fat Smart per day, and I'd probably aim for the higher end (4.5 kg/9.9 lb) since you're trying to put on weight. If you're going to continue the Fat Smart, I'd also recommend adding either a ration balancer or a vitamin.
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    06-17-2012, 09:23 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by themacpack    
Considering her teeth were only done two weeks ago and she was only de-wormed about a week ago (not to mention only in your possession for a little over a month), I think you need to keep things as you are and set your eyes on slow and steady weight gain, that is the healthy way of putting weight on a horse.
Yeah, patience is good. I think I'm just a little embarassed by owning a skinny horse even though I wasn't the one who let her get skinny.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaddleStrings    
I don't think she looks too bad. Like MacPack said, just go slow. What about asking your barn owner to give your mare free choice hay? That way she can eat all she wants when she wants. It's better to add more hay and roughage the pan more grain.
She seems to just waste it if given too much at once, I can see if she'll give her a bit more so she always has the option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by verona1016    
I'd up her feed.

To start with, weigh the beet pulp dry. Chances are a lot of that 5 lbs you're feeding is just water.

The Matrix Fat Smart doesn't look to be a complete feed, and is also not being fed in sufficient quantity. It recommends 0.5-1 kg per 100 kg of (ideal) body weight, so assuming she should be at least 1000 lb (450 kg), she should get at least 2.2 kg (5 lb) of the Fat Smart per day, and I'd probably aim for the higher end (4.5 kg/9.9 lb) since you're trying to put on weight. If you're going to continue the Fat Smart, I'd also recommend adding either a ration balancer or a vitamin.
The woman at the feed store said I could feed up to ten lbs a day, it just seems like a scary amount of grain to me for a horse in light work, but I guess it's best to follow the instructions. I'll try adding a bit more to get her up to the 5lbs at least.

The ration balancer is a good idea, thanks
     
    06-18-2012, 12:50 AM
  #6
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kootenay    
Yeah, patience is good. I think I'm just a little embarassed by owning a skinny horse even though I wasn't the one who let her get skinny.
She's not skinny! Yes, she appears to need to gain some, but not to an unhealthy degree. Agree with others, slow & steady is best, so I'd wait a bit & be inclined to add more forage type feed than grain. Such as a biscuit or 2 of alfalfa/lucerne hay for eg.
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    06-18-2012, 02:17 AM
  #7
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kootenay    
The woman at the feed store said I could feed up to ten lbs a day, it just seems like a scary amount of grain to me for a horse in light work, but I guess it's best to follow the instructions. I'll try adding a bit more to get her up to the 5lbs at least.
It's a good thing that you think 10 lbs is a lot of feed, because it is

TB's do have tendency toward being hard keepers, and with a TB cross you never know if they inherited that tendency or not. I leased a TB/WB cross a while ago, and he got about 8 lbs of senior feed plus 2 lbs of rice bran daily to maintain his weight in light/moderate work.

I've learned a lot more about equine nutrition since then and I'd have tried decreasing the amount of grain he got (replacing with beet pulp and alfalfa pellets) if I knew back then what I know now.

The horse I have now is an easy keeper and I don't feed him any grain- he gets a ration balancer, a little bit of rice bran, and as much hay as I can convince the BM to let me give him
     
    06-18-2012, 09:05 AM
  #8
Foal
Definitely agree with what has already been said. Although she still needs some rib coverage, she's by no means 'skinny'. She overall looks healthier in the updated photos you posted, and you've cleaned her up nicely!

It's always a hit or miss with an appendix, you either get the TB metabolism or the QH metabolism
     
    06-18-2012, 09:32 AM
  #9
Green Broke
Maybe tie a full hay bag to the fence above the tub? That way she can't drag it around & anything that falls out will be in the tub. The bag would be out of the way so little chance of her getting caught in it.
I've had the best luck in putting weight on with adding alfalfa, especially with TB's.
     
    06-24-2012, 08:47 PM
  #10
Weanling
I agree with the above posts, you just got her everything she needs, so that should help. Just be patient and slowly up her hay/grain if she needs weight in the coming months
     

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