Want gelding to gain weight - a/t cubes - how much to feed?
   

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Want gelding to gain weight - a/t cubes - how much to feed?

This is a discussion on Want gelding to gain weight - a/t cubes - how much to feed? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    • 1 Post By deserthorsewoman

     
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        06-10-2013, 11:13 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Want gelding to gain weight - a/t cubes - how much to feed?

    Hello,

    I have a gelding that has lost some weight recently. I know that it is spring (or at least it is where I live - we get short summers and long winters), and with spring usually comes some weight loss. In the past few months my gelding's work has increased as well. I am now riding him around 5 times a week (2 of which are lessons, and one is a training ride that my coach does). I believe his recent weight loss is also connected to this. Currently he lives in a private paddock and gets fed hay three times a day (3 flakes each feeding). He doesn't get anything else on top of this other than his salt and mineral block. He has constant access to fresh water as well.

    I am considering feeding my gelding alfalfa/timothy hay cubes to help him gain a bit of weight. I don't want to give him too much, just enough to help him put back on a few pounds and get him back to a good weight. Adding more regular hay is not an option in this case. Do you think giving one feeding at the end of the day of a/t cubes will help, and if so how much would you give? He is a 15.3 TB.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks :)
         
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        06-10-2013, 11:37 PM
      #2
    Started
    First, I would suggest learning how to body condition score if you don't already. I can post a link to a great video later, if you would like.

    Second, the number of flakes of hay means nothing unless you know what kind it is and the average weight of a flake. The weight can vary dramatically from bale to bale, and the diet should be formulated by weight.

    Third, a horse should get 1.5-3% of their body weight in feed daily, with most of that coming from forage. A horse in work requires a fair amount of extra calories compared to a maintenance ration.

    Fourth, I don't know of any horses that actually lose weight in the spring-its usually over the winter that they drop weight. Even then, it is sometimes more that they lose muscle, especially over the topline.

    I would look at FeedXL.com as far as formulating a diet for a specific horse. It's not free, but is well worth the cost.
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        06-10-2013, 11:44 PM
      #3
    Started
    My horses all lose wieght in the spring too. I do believe its common in cold climate pastured horses.

    As far as upping hay, have you considered round bales with free access? They are way cheaper by the ton and he'll have constant forage. Another option to add constant forage is to buy small bales straight from the field and load and off load yourself. Usually saves us $2 a bale. Then you could feed a whole bale at a time, possibly in a water trough or????

    I'm a big fan of free access forage, wether that be hay or grass. Each has its drawbacks, but free access, as far as I can tell does not.
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        06-10-2013, 11:58 PM
      #4
    Foal
    Affored - Thank you for your advice. I will look into body condition scoring and figure it out for my gelding. Since I board at a barn, until recently I haven't looked as closely at his feed as I probably should have since the barn did that for me. I'm starting to learn more now - which is probably a bit late - but better now than later.

    Phly - Thanks for your response. I would love to have him on free access hay (I'm sure he would love it too), but unfortunately it's not an option because of his private paddock. At my barn it's either stalls (which my gelding absolutely hates) or private paddocks that don't have room for round bales. I would just pay for extra flakes of hay - but the hay right now isn't great quality (we had a really poor year last year for hay), and I'd prefer to give him something that I know is of good quality in addition to the regular hay that he gets.
         
        06-11-2013, 12:18 AM
      #5
    Started
    Phly - Thanks for your response. I would love to have him on free access hay (I'm sure he would love it too), but unfortunately it's not an option because of his private paddock. At my barn it's either stalls (which my gelding absolutely hates) or private paddocks that don't have room for round bales. I would just pay for extra flakes of hay - but the hay right now isn't great quality (we had a really poor year last year for hay), and I'd prefer to give him something that I know is of good quality in addition to the regular hay that he gets.[/QUOTE]

    You're preaching to the choir on last years hay! Lol. We got hit hard. And I actually helped load and haul CRP hay, in exchange for hay. And that's rough hay. Lol.

    I stick to it that more hay would be good, but I've recently looked into, and have begun with a RB, and well, I'm impressed.
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        06-11-2013, 02:06 AM
      #6
    Trained
    First figure out how much, by weight, he currently gets. If the current hay is low quality, I would seriously consider adding 1% of bodyweight in pellets. Him being a TB, alfalfa or alfalfa timothy pellets, maybe even with a ration balancer, and, if it's still not enough, a fat supplement....ricebran, Cool Calories, Purina Ultium, or the like.
    aforred likes this.
         
        06-15-2013, 10:47 AM
      #7
    Foal
    If he is a fairly easy keeper then adding a rational balancer and some alfalfa pellets or cubes would be good. If he needs more weight then you might want to look into a complete feed.
         

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