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How to put/keep weight in a 25 y/o retired race horse
My gelding Cecil is 25 and he did well during the summer keeping weight on, but I would like to add like 25-50 more pounds for winter. Right now he gets about a pound of senior feed and a pound of sweet feed a day and ge is on 45 acres of pasture.
But him and Romeo lose weight in the winter.. We have decided we are going to get round bales so they have food infront of them at all times, but is there anything else I can do to make sure he stays fat and happy this winter?
I would ditch the sweet feed - that stuff is garbage IMO. There is no nutritional value given in that feed, it's like giving your children coco puffs for their meals....
I would definately up the senior feed, my 22 year old gets fed 4 to 5lbs of feed, 3x a day. I would also add Beat Pulp, or Rice Bran.
What senior feed are you giving? If you can get access to Tripple Crown Senior, that is your best bet. That has everything in it, beat pulp, rice bran, all needed vits and mins. When I had my fellow on T.C.S he was getting 5lbs per feeding.
I think the introduction of Round Bales is fabulous! Horses digestive systems require consistant roughage. Their digestive system needs that rougage to run smoothly and "up to par". Without that consistancy, troubles start to arise - stress, ulcers, weight loss, etc, etc.
My fellow is not only out in a pasture *but the pasture offers no nutritional value anymore due to time of year* and round bales. He is turned out 24/7 and has his face stuffed in those bales constantly. He also gets brought in 3x a day to eat his feed and supplements.
He went from a 48" girth, to a 54" girth.
Of course, ensure teeth are up to par, and there are no other health issues going on.
If your horse isn't gaining weight after these changes, I would look into a digestive aid supplement like SmartDigest Ultra from SmartPak.
I have been thinking about just stopping the sweet feed after it is all gone... I don't wanna waste it since money was spent on it haha. The senior feed I have is not really the best, I have been trying to find feed stores around here, all we have that I know of is farm and fleet and they just have like knock off feeds.
I am going to call vets and see where some good food like T.C.S. is around here.
We do need to get his teeth floated so that should help hopefully.
Would giving him oil like corn oil or something help also??
On 45 acres of pasture doesn't sound like you necessarily need to get a round bale, but if it snows where you are, then yes, free choice hay/pasture is important for horses.
I too would ditch the sweet feed & avoid any high starch/sugar feeds generally. It is 'junk food' for horses and depending on how often you feed it and the state of his digestive tract & possible metabolic issues already, it could be doing more harm. Depends what is in the 'senior feed' as to whether that's in the same class as sweets.
Any hard feed, but particularly if it is starchy/sugary/grainy needs to be fed little & often, over a minimum of 2-3 meals daily. The more frequently you can feed, the more they'll get out of it, to a large degree.
I would consider scoping/treating him for ulcers &/or feeding a probiotic. I would also look at his nutrition, making sure it's well balanced.
I live in Minnesota so we get snow haha. I will find the name of the senior feed we have and post it here, I can't remember the name of it.
Agreed, get rid of the sweet feed :-)
Is he wormed regularly? Have his teeth recently been checked? The first two things I would do is have a vet do a fecal egg sample, even if you regularly worm, and have a vet check his teeth.
Get something(s) that are high in fat and fiber. I would recommend beet pulp, good amount of fiber, and if it has molasses in it even better for gaining weight, and rice bran, it has a good amount of fat, and as a bonus, gets their coats shiny and dappled. In your case, I would probably recommend about 2 lbs of Rice Bran, and maybe 3/4 - 1 lb of beet pulp, at least if you would get the shredded kind, but it is be a good idea to talk to your vet and see how much he feed she/he recommends and to what amount.
I would definatly recommend keeping hay 24/7 in front of all horses, especially hard keepers, but if you have good pasture, you probably won't need the hay until it starts raining/snowing.
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