Very Skinny Companion Horse
 
 

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Very Skinny Companion Horse

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  • Dry lot companion horse

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    03-27-2013, 02:17 AM
  #1
Foal
Very Skinny Companion Horse

I recently aquired a beautiful QH from my brother in law and planned on my goats being her company but unfortunatly my goats want nothing to do with her, lol. She seemed really lonely so desperate that she'd spend all day standing by the chicken coop and not move at all. My husband and I discussed it and decided to look into purchasing another horse solely for companionships. I was talking to my neighbor and she filled me in on a 20 yr. Old mare that a friend of hers had so I went to take a look. As I arrived to see the poor girl it was very clear that this horse was in need of some TLC. The woman ended up giving the horse to me so I couldnt just leave her there. So this is where I am now....I've been doing some reading and I would say she is a 3 on the scale of body build (I forgot what the actual scale is called...sorry). I have been feeding her 1lb of feed 2x a day. I have been feeding a mix of cracked corn, oats, molasses from my feed store. I have about 25lbs left and when this is gone I plan to buy Riegn and Saddle 12% instead. She is also getting about 10lbs of grass hay 2x a day as well. She is also allowed free pasture all day and I have been considering letting her out at night as well. I have purchased a round of wormer for her but am afraid to give it just yet. I have arranged for the farrier to come out tomorrow to take care of her hooves. Vet check shows everything is ok, teeth, blood work, etc. I purchased a bag of beet pulp but am unsure how to or if I should even feed it. Just wondering what everyone thinks about my regimen. Thanks!
     
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    03-27-2013, 02:46 AM
  #2
Started
Hmm, sounds to me like she might be getting too little. I like to see horses getting at least 25lbs of forage a day, and if she's underweight then the grazing might not cut it. I'd up her hay to free choice and up her grain as well, depending on her size 2 lbs a day isn't a lot, you could go up to 6 - 10 lbs of a good quality grain, look up what is the safe amount of the feeds you have and do some good hard research.
     
    03-27-2013, 03:52 AM
  #3
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by PenelopesMom    
I would say she is a 3 on the scale
The Henneke scale perhaps? If she's a 3 on that, she obviously needs to gain some, but I wouldn't call that 'very skinny'. But either way, it's also not great to try to 'bulk them up' too quickly, even if they're extremely poor - gradual weight gain is healthiest.

Quote:
feeding her 1lb of feed 2x a day. I have been feeding a mix of cracked corn, oats, molasses from my feed store.
What was the previous owner feeding her? Did you build up to that? It's always best to change/add/remove different ingredients gradually.

Please learn more about equine digestion & feeding & seriously reconsider feeding this sort of 'junk food'. Horses don't do well on high starch/sugar feeds, so grain is generally not the best option. If deemed necessary, oats are a good grain, easily digested & (relatively) low in starch, but corn is about the worst - very high starch & indigestible in the horse's stomach. Molasses is high sugar & low anything else. The problems of indigestible and high starch feeds are exacerbated when they're fed infrequently rather than little & often. Small, high fibre, frequent meals are best. Not that 1lb is much, but...

With that diet, especially if that's what she has been fed long term, I wouldn't be surprised she's not doing well & I'd also be considering an ulcer treatment &/or probiotic. I'd be feeding her a healthy alternative

Quote:
getting about 10lbs of grass hay 2x a day as well. She is also allowed free pasture all day and I have been considering letting her out at night as well.
Yep, 20lb daily should be a good maintenance amount for a 1000lb horse & if she's also getting grass, that should probably be OK. The guideline is that horses need an absolute minimum of 1.5% bwt daily in forage, at least 2.5-3% or free choice for maintenance or weight gain. Their system doesn't cope well with periods of hunger - they're built for little & near constant feeding - so I'd ensure she had adequate hay over night especially, &/or don't lock her up. It's not good to coop horses up for a number of health(& wellbeing) reasons, including digestive issues from lack of free movement &/or stress.

Quote:
I have purchased a round of wormer for her but am afraid to give it just yet. I have arranged for the farrier to come out tomorrow to take care of her hooves. Vet check shows everything is ok, teeth, blood work, etc. I purchased a bag of beet pulp but am unsure how to or if I should even feed it.
Yes, effective worming & teeth maintenance are very important to enable horses to get the most from their feed too. Why are you frightened to give the wormer? Are you inexperienced, never done it before? If so, I'd suggest finding someone experienced to help & teach you(if you need the vet again, get him to give it, while you're paying him for being there anyway).

Beet pulp is a good high energy feed, being also low sugar & high fibre. As mentioned, start anything like this gradually - you could start with a cup(dry, before soaking) per day divided over the meals, increasing every couple of days until you get to about 4-6 cups daily(will make 8-12 cups soaked). Other high energy options are alfalfa chaff or hay, rice bran, soy hulls, etc.

The other thing to consider is her nutrition. If her diet is imbalanced/lacking in certain nutrients - which they almost invariably are in something or other - she may be failing to thrive due to nutrition rather than lack of calories.
toto likes this.
     
    03-27-2013, 04:00 AM
  #4
Green Broke
I would pass on the corn . Beet pulp after soaking it for 2 hrs or as recommended on the bag. Molasses would give her some fat and energy. I like oil for added fat calories. Hay , hay and more hay. Pasture is good. Go ahead and deworm , but watch her for colic she may have a huge load of worms that can cause blockage , are you using ivermectin or ?? IF she is full of worms, after the worming program , and she is in a shared pasture, deworm the other horses , the life cycle can range from 30 days..
     
    03-27-2013, 04:03 AM
  #5
Started
Well said, loosie! I didn't want to touch too much on the junk food because I don't know the levels of everything in the feed she's giving, just that they're not good. I didn't even notice that you said you'd bought a bag of beet pulp OP, but I'm glad you did. I really like it for getting weight on, as for the how: soak 1 part beet pulp with 2 parts water, hot water will absorb quite quickly (I let mine sit for 15 minutes before feeding) and you can really feed as much as you want unlike other grains that have a 'dangerous' level.
     
    03-27-2013, 05:42 AM
  #6
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexischristina    
soak 1 part beet pulp with 2 parts water, ...and you can really feed as much as you want unlike other grains that have a 'dangerous' level.
I'd just soak it 1 to up to 1 of water. You don't need it watery, just softened. You don't absolutely have to soak it at all - there is debate about dry beet possibly causing horses to choke, so I'd err on the side of caution though. It's also not correct that you can't over feed it - or virtually anything for that matter. NSC levels aren't the only thing to consider regarding feeds & amounts by a long shot! It's high in calcium & potassium, can be quite high in iron, among other stuff, so it's absolutely important to ensure an appropriate amount is fed, considering balanced nutrients. Iron & calcium can be particularly problematic when overdosed for eg.

Re 'dangerous levels' not sure if you're talking NSC, starch, sugars, indigestible ingredients... but it depends on how, why & what sort of lifestyle the horse has as to what may be considered 'dangerous' or some such.
     
    03-27-2013, 04:45 PM
  #7
Foal
The previous owner was feeding only grass hay. I have been feeding her the grain slowly adding a little each day. As far as the concern goes with the feed I am feeding I plan on switching feed as soon as I'm finished with this bag...I've got about 20lbs left and plan to buy a better peletized feed then. I was just worried about overloading her with the wormer...I'll give it to her today and start the beet pulp regimen as well. I think I'll start out with 1 cup of beet pulp at each feeding and gradually increase her to about 6cups. I guess she probably isnt as skinny as I'm making her out to be but I've never seen an unhealthy horse until now...makes me so sad! The farrier was out today and we played h*** trying to get her hooves done, lol, but with time and consistancy the job was completed! He said her hooves were very uneven and had some damage from moisture (I'm assuming from the previous owners dry/mud lot as that is all she had for pasture) but overall he seemed hopeful that everything would turn out alright. Thanks for all the input!
     
    03-27-2013, 06:15 PM
  #8
Trained
Especially if there's no burning desire to feed her that stuff(you don't want her to be a racehorse! ) & you plan on switching anyway, stop feeding it. I personally wouldn't use pelleted feed as a general feed(tho as a small dose supplement...), but prefer more natural feeds that allow the horse more chewing - an important part of digestion too.
PenelopesMom likes this.
     
    03-27-2013, 08:52 PM
  #9
Foal
Loosie may I ask what exactly you would recommend for feeding and in what amount? I'm gladly open to any suggestions...I am happy to report that Grandma horse (I have been calling her Granny, lol and with me and the kids it has stuck) ate all of her beet pulp with her added grain. I measured 2 cups presoaked and she loved it. I'll be feeding it again supper time and I'm sure she'll just love it!
     
    03-27-2013, 10:18 PM
  #10
Trained
I agree with Loosie -- get rid of all the sweet junk. However, I would not limit her hay: give her free choice hay - hay in front of her all the time. The beet pulp twice a day: two smaller feedings are better than one big one. Free choice minerals, salt and water of course ;)
     

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