i have a old horse that needs to gain weight
I have a old paint horse and we have tried everything we can think of to get him to fatten up but he just won't. He's lost so much weight and is now showing lameness in his front right leg. I have tried worming him for tapeworms multiple times and for regular worms. I have tried a molasses block changing his feed to sweet feed and corn and range cubes. I don't know what else to try so please help.
I didn't see you mention his teeth being floted, he's older. It may be hard for him to eat, get his teeth done, and soak his grain to make it easierr to eaat. Corn definantly doesn't have whaat he needs, sweet feed maaay help...I don't know what other feed to rrecomend. And good quality hay is important. He could be getting athritis in his leg, he needs an ovverall vet check IMO
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He needs calories, not sugar. Get his teeth done. Have a vet do bloodwork and evaluate him for underlying health problems. Put him on senior feed with an additional fat/caloric supplement, if the vet thinks his body can handle it. The feed you are giving now is very poor.
Soaked beet pulp and/or rice bran are also great for putting on weight and are easy for older horses who may not have the best of teeth. If you still need extra calories, you can add some oil to his feed as well.
Agree with Bubba & I would avoid molasses, sweets & other 'junk food'. Horses need high fibre, low carb type feeds, fed little & often. Depending on the state of his teeth, roughage may need to be chopped, such as chaff, and as verona suggested, beet pulp & rice bran(not wheat!) are good ingredients, along with soy hulls and alfalfa *tho alfalfa should be part of a balanced ration, not the bulk.
I have a 30 year old Tennessee Walker that had lost a considerable amount of weight since last winter. He's on a worming schedule and has good teeth, but I live in TX and the drought has done a number to our grazing fields. I was feeding him plenty of hay and 12% feed mill brand pellets but he was still progressively losing weight. Then I discovered beet pulp. I give him a total of about 3 lbs.dry weight and then soaked beet pulp pellets a day split into two meals and I also switched to Safechoice feed. He gets 2 quarts of that each meal twice a day mixed with his beet pulp. Look at your fat content. Sweet feed doesn't do you much good for weight gain when the fat is 2.5-3%. This works for easy keepers but not for serious weight gain. Anyway, I've had my guy on this new mix for about 2 months now and he's filling out beautifully. You can't go wrong with the beet pulp. It's a high calorie forage feed so you really can't over feed it like grains. I think I'm actually going to start cutting back some on the Safechoice because its pretty concentrated and they don't need that much of it once you have them at a desired weight. I have just recently started adding a little vegetable oil as well to give him a boost now with winter just around the corner. Not much. Only about 2-3oz. per feeding right now. I may increase it to half a cup per feeding in the next few weeks. And then of course a couple of flakes of hay with each meal. My boy is definitely not an easy keeper and these few simple changes have really worked for us. Hope that helped! :)
I definitely agree on the beet pulp. My young mare is on it and it has helped a lot.
Have you tried alfalfa pellets? They were the key to getting and keeping weight on my 30 yo. I wet them down a little and she likes them more than hay. She also gets some senior pellets and a multivitamin.
Have you had his stool checked for his worm status? Sometimes we are just using the wrong dewormer getting them tested can help.
Also, going to second Loosie's mention of probiotics. They are awesome and totally worth. If you don't want to scope for ulcers you could try a supplement with probiotics and an antacid to see if it helps. Not sure how much you want to spend to figure this out...
I have a 32 yr old Arabian who due to illness has dropped a lot of weight. His body score was at a 2.5-3 at 1 point. We can't put oils on his feed because he won't eat it so I've been experimenting with different feeds. Right now we are feeding him 3# Purina Sr, 1# Purina Jr and 1# Omlene 300 twice a day and he is gaining weight. Its a slow process but its working. He's gained maybe 40# in the last 2 months.
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