HELP! Horse being an idiot during feeding >.<
My horse gets a lot to eat. He gets bored when eating. He gets really distracted so it takes him literally HOURS to eat and rarely finishes. He has to eat out of a feeder as he dumps his food bowls. Even with a feeder, he takes his nose and pushes out the grain onto the floor and leaves it there. I know that he can eat all of the food. I have tried giving him just a little at a time but it is so time consuming and even then, he doesn't finish the little bit that I give him so I just give him the rest of his feed and he will start eating again. Its extremely frustrating. It is a nightly fight to get him to eat his food. Here I am right now as I am typing at 11:30 pm and he STILL hasn't finished his food. What the heck am I going to do?! I really need to get some more weight on him as he is a little on the thin side but he is always wasting his food! Please help before I start force feeding! LOL
What do you feed him? How much? How often? How much hay/grazing does he get? Has he had his teeth done recently? Is he stabled? Lives out with mates...?
Have you considered you may be just feeding him too much? Horses have relatively small stomachs and need little & often meals. With big meals, not only do they get full & lose interest, but food empties out of the stomach as it gets full, regardless of digestion, which can also cause hind gut problems, such as ulcers, colic, weighloss. Infrequent, esp if starchy meals can cause similar probs.
I feed all at night. He gets 4 cups of alfalfa pellets, 6 cups of oats, 2 cups of bran mash, and 6 cups of beet pulp pellets which are soaked so it is more than that.
Wow. I thought we fed ours a lot. I think you are feeding too much at one time. Remember, horses are grazers. They eat at a slow pace. They don't inhale their food, usually, like us, dogs, etc. When they do inhale, there is more of a chance of choke.
We feed our 6 horses 4 to 5 cups dry beet pulp combined. When we soak it, it makes up a 5 gallon bucket. We also give them each about 3 cups sweet feed. It ends up to be about 6 or 7 cups for each horse of food. I'm guessing about the number of cups because we take a feed scoop of beet pulp and soak it overnight. That makes about a 5 gallon bucket worth. To each horse we give 3/4 of a feed scoop of the sweet feed and the same of the soaked beet pulp. It fills their bowls full. And they also spill their bowls. So it leaves some for them to eat later.
Adding up what you said you give would equall 12 cups without the beet pulp. Soaking beet pulp will at least double the amount, probably more, so lets just say it's 12 cups. That's 24 cups of feed you are trying to get your horse to eat. If your horse has been eating hay or grass during the day, he wouldn't have an empty stomach. I would be surprised if he did eat all of what you feed him. No wonder he takes a long time to eat. He is not eating because his stomach is full.
Is that what a vet has recommended for him? I can't believe a vet would say that much for one feeding. If he IS to have that much in one day, it needs to be split up throughout the day.
Why is it necessary for you to be there until he finishes? Even if he spills it from his bowl, he would and could eat it later. It sounds to me that you are already trying to force feed your horse. The best thing you could do for him to put on weight is give smaller portions multiple times a day and make sure he can eat grass or hay 24/7.
If your horse needs that much grain to maintain weight, it should be divided into 2-3 feedings.
You're just asking for impaction colic with not feeding him all day, then loading him down with massive amounts of food all at one time.
At the very least he needs to eat twice a day. 3 to 4 times would be better, but 2 times is much preferable than only once.
I don't know what breed your horse is, but my TB doesn't get as much as yours, and they tend to be notoriously hard keepers due to their metabolism.
JJ gets 2 quarts of Blue Seal Trotter pellets and 2 quarts of soaked beet pulp twice a day, as well as hay. The Arabs get far less because they're easy keepers, but also get fed twice a day.
wow, that is ALOT of food. Everyone is right in saying that smaller, more frequent meals are better. Maybe if you arent able to feed him in the a.m., you can hire a student or someone to feed in the morning?
It's important to understand the basics of a horse's digestion and what they've evolved for. That is, 'trickle feeding' of high fibre, low 'cal' roughage. Their small stomachs are not built to cope with big & or infrequent meals and they don't cope well with starchy, rich feeds. If it may be necessary to feed ingredients such as that, it is all the more important to feed it little & often, or else there will be a flood of starch to the hind gut, which can cause real problems, including ulcers, colic, weightloss, laminitis, etc.
So I'd personally cut out the oats, for a start, especially if you can only feed once a day. Interested to know why you're feeding a bran mash & what kind of bran? If it's wheat & there's no specific nutritional reason he needs all that extra phosphorus(he'll be getting a lot from the oats too), I'd cut that out & feed an extra calcium supp for a bit to help correct the balance. Do you feed any nutritional supps?
For more info on feeding horses, safergrass.org, feedXL.com & hoofrehab.com are among some good places to start. I think it's a good idea to educate yourself & get specific advice from a nutritionist or such, rather than a feed merchant or just 'someone's' opinion... after all, there are acres of different opinions abounding & not all of them are suitable, regardless of the 'experience' of the person.
Yeah I am going to start feeding him breakfast, and lunch as well. will that need to be done gradually as well? wheat bran for his pooper because he got an impaction once. Vet told me to give it to him. He gets 2 ounces of CoMega supreme, 2 grams of bute, salt, stomach soother to keep the bute from destroying his stomach, and MSM
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