Senior feed contains beet pulp and extra oils. It is balanced as a complete feed for the senior horse. I've never had a problem getting weight on a horse by feeding about a cup of oats to start to get it used to them and gradually working that up to a pound (small marg. Container) 2x daily. I'm going to suggest you start with 2lbs of senior's 2x daily along with the oats. The best way to help him gain weight is to slow down how fast he eats to improve digestion. Even adding a second feed pan and dividing the feed helps. Also a slow mesh hay net puts weight on them but who ever is doing the feeding may not want to take the time to stuff the net. If you over supplement it will wind up on the ground as expensive manure.
Thanks! Picked up beet pulp today so will start adding that. I like the idea of a flax supplement. I almost bought a 50# bag of flax seed at the feed store but wasn't sure if I could feed it whole? Or how I'd keep it from disappearing into his food unless I were to add lots of oil. Will look at Omega Horseshine and still need to find a joint supplement. :)
I think I might switch his senior feed to Triple Crown next time I buy it.
Some say you can feed the flax whole, I tried and had a bunch of little birds happily picking the little seeds out of the manure. So I grind it fresh with a coffee grinder.
Fresh is necessary, once ground it goes rancid quickly. So, with one horse, boarded, it might make more sense getting the Omega Horseshine. I personally find it gives best results.
Flax seed should be cooked at without high heat it contains arsenates. Bring it to a boil then simmer for about 10 min. Then let it cool. The seeds will plump and the water will look like thick mucous. I cooked 1/2 cup of sees in the evening with about 3 cups of water and this gave me enough for two feedings. It doesn't keep very long even if refrigerated so it was a new batch every evening. Just mix the mucous water and seeds in the the feed with a tsp of salt.
Our 28 year old pony had a bad winter and needed to be stalled and penned seperately from other horses so she wouldn't be bullied and could eat all day(hay).
We put her on corn oil, Vitamin E, Senior feed, Equishine, Rice Bran, and weight gain.
I highly suggest making an exact list of what you feed him and submitting it to your vet. Most vets can measure how much you are feeding the horse by their weight and can tell if they will gain weight from that food or if you need to feed more. I hope this helps!
I am planning on switching from Purina's Senior to Triple Crown once I run out of my 100# supply, but that's probably not going to make a big difference on its own, I'm sure.
The barn assistant feels his poop is too hard/dry and that he's getting "hay belly" so they've recommended that I add oil right away. I got corn oil to use until the Cocasoya I bought arrives.
They are concerned that he doesn't finish his 4 flakes of alfalfa. They recommended switching to half grass hay to see if he'll eat more. Of course the Equine Sr. Has forage in it and he prefers that, so it doesn't surprise me he's not eating all his hay.
They also recommended more deworming since he hadn't been dewormed in ages when I got him. I got some deworming pellets and another tube of wormer to give him.
So we're now doing the 2# Purina Equine Senior twice a day with a 1/2 cup corn oil, 1/2 cup extra beet pulp and 2oz of Vitality supplement. I will gladly pick up some oats and grind some flax seeds for him as well if it will help.
The barn manager thought I could ride him but his assistant really thinks we need to get weight muscle on him first before I ride him. They showed me how to lunge him for exercise, which was simpler than I anticipated. I walk him on the lead with my 85# kid on him too. I'm ~200# and I'm afraid of hurting his bony back!
He might be just tired of the same kind of hay. Mixing the alfalfa with some other kind might help.
Dry poop is usually a sign of lack of water. Does he have salt available?
I would give him more beetpulp, soaked of course, to get some extra water in him. Add a teaspoon of salt to his feed.
Have his teeth been checked?
Dewormer: best would be to do a fecal test and deworm him for what he actually has. Then a dose of Equimax/ Zimecterin Gold, to catch eventual tapeworm.
ETA- normally for every two lbs of hay you can take away one lb of senior feed, if you feed the recommended amount without hay( does that make sense lol).
He does have water but I've not personally seen him actually drink. The water was hot all the time, but he moved barns so hopefully it will be a little better. He was off in an empty barn for the first week and no matter how long I tried to get the water to run it wouldn't run cool. Now that he's in a populated barn, I'm hopeful that the water will be cooler since he won't be the only one using it. I've seen him pee so I've got to assume he's drinking something...just not enough? He does have salt but again not sure he uses it. I added a Himalayan salt on a rope near his water...hoping he'll try it out. I like the idea of adding salt to his food in the meantime!
I know for sure I need to do ivermectin because we've had cases of summer sores in the barns and that one is recommended for that particular parasite. It's a different kind than was in the feed through wormer. I have a tube of it and will give it to him tomorrow.
I do think I need to have his teeth checked. The vet said they would need floating 'pretty soon.' They were floated in the past few years due to feeding issues but I don't know exactly how long ago it was. The vet said his teeth look like he's 30...and the former owner and her family insist he's 18.
I'm not sure if I should call the same vet or try a different one. I liked her but she was very vague about several things and that sort of bothered me.