Weight gain/maintaining

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Weight gain/maintaining

This is a discussion on Weight gain/maintaining within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Maintaining weight gain
  • Thoroughbred with pot belly and ribs showing

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    09-16-2011, 03:28 PM
Weight gain/maintaining

Hey guys :) I own a 14yo ex-racer who I find rather hard to keep weight on!

He currently lives out 24/7 & has a full neck rug. He gets Olympic Cool Mix (if you're not UK/Irish it would be the equivalant of Cool & Cooked, that kind of thing) in the evening (7 cupfulls) & it's the only feed that doesn't put him do-lally He carries most of his weight around his stomach with the ribs not covered. He's up-to-date with worming, vaccines etc but he does crib so would this be a reason?

Any tips on feeding & keeping would be greatly appreciated :) I was also wondering about adding oil, which one would be best?

Amy & Across the Border
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    09-16-2011, 04:52 PM
There are many oils you can use. I personally like Rice Bran Oil. My hard keeper eats it well and looks fantastic; very shiny and sleek. I've gotten so many compliments on his coat in recent months - he's never looked so shiny gold!
    09-18-2011, 10:48 AM
I would love to know that answer to this as well. I have a 6 year old ex racer. I have a hard time keeping weight on him. He carries it in his stomach and his ribs show. He is also a cribber and I've tried nearly everything to stop that also. He has had a colic problem this summer. I live in Louisiana and have had extreme drought..... Record breaking temps over a hundred everyday. There is NO grass and hay is high but he gets it twice a day.

I have recently switched to a out and corn mixture. He is not worked for anything other than for pleasure for me and is a wonderul horse all around. A friend of mine bought him from another friend of mine. He was turned out and pasture fed only. The guy that bought him didn't have good pastures andput big rolled bales in the pasture where he ate all day and also gave a feed mixture as well. He became EXTREMELY overweight. Then he had to get rid of him so I took him and he had slacked off on the hay and feed and he was the thinnest I had seen him. I've had a hard time err since maintaining his weight and have had colic issues, one real bad time and a few times he was very constipated and just miserable bloated acting.

Any insight on this would be great...
    09-18-2011, 12:32 PM
Typically, the big belly with ribs showing is an indication of too little protein and or too high fiber forages. Adding 1-2 C of oil a day will help add a layer of fat but it will not add meat to his bones. I'm not familiar with either feed but what he needs is a good quality protein source. You could add soybeans, alfalfa or a commercial feed (30% protein). The amount of feed you are feeding is also very little (about 1K) so unless it is a concentrated source of nutrients, you probably aren't getting much value out of it. If the belly is a result of high fiber hay adding a pre/probiotic daily will help break down the long stem fibers. He also needs work to build up the muscles on his topline and prevent the sagging belly.
    09-18-2011, 01:01 PM
Originally Posted by Christiannhorserider    

I have recently switched to a out and corn mixture...... I've had a hard time err since maintaining his weight and have had colic issues, one real bad time and a few times he was very constipated and just miserable bloated acting.

Any insight on this would be great...
On a horse that colics rather easily, I would first eliminate any simple grains. They are all high in starch and any undigested starch will overflow to the large intestine and alter the microbial/bacterial environment potentially leading to increased risk of colic. Provide easily digested feeds such as senior or other complete feeds. Horses can't colic on oils so those are always safe. Adding a meal with alfalfa pellets/cubes with oil (wet them down if you want) will help stretch the hay and keep something in his belly. It will also add some protein to the diet. Good chance he has ulcers and the added Ca of the alfalfa will sooth those as well.
    09-19-2011, 03:31 PM
Thanks guys!
    09-20-2011, 04:28 PM
Please don't think that I am an idiot, but could someone tell me what cribbing is? I am new to ownership and I am learning as much as possible as quick as possible and at the same time trying to save a rescue horse.
    09-21-2011, 03:19 AM
I give my 16 hand TB beet pulp and mixed in grain. I add a fat supplement which is a little more expensive but as much as a ride him he need lots of calories. He is hard to keep weight on let me tell you. Anyways you soak the beet pulp in water let it get soft and mix into the grain. It an easily digestible fiber source and it seems to help him get more of the fat supplement. Start with small amount first work it in slowly so you horse can get used to it if you wanna try it. This seems to be the only thing I can keep weight on him with.
    09-21-2011, 04:40 AM
Hi FLAKA and welcome to the forum. I think cribbing is a stable vice, common in racehorses, where the horse bites at their stall with their teeth. I'm really not sure, my horses are out 24/7 on pature and forest. Someone on here will know though I'm sure.

Dang now I've forgotten what the OP was about. Oh well, I'll be back.
    09-21-2011, 04:53 AM
Ah yes, weight gain for TB that's right. I've used Beet Pulp and more recently soy bean husks with good results. It keeps water up to them too which is a good thing for healthy gut action.

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