I have owned horses for six years, I am only 18. I have studied feeding, and when I was younger I thought I knew all there was to know about feeding. However, now, as I look at my horses that are loosing weight, I realize I am not as wise as I once thought. I am about to switch them to a new feed, and off of their basic once a day feed of stock feed. What I am asking is what would be a good feed and supplement to feed for three horses wh ocould stand to gain some weight, have no health issues, and have little to no pasture. I looked at the Triple Crown Feeds, but what would you feed and why?
I am not clued up on feeding (going to learn soon) but if they are not getting much grazing then they definately need good hay. They need the forage/fibre.
As for the hard feed, I can't help, sorry.
assuming they are already getting sufficient good quality grass hay (i always try to stick with grass of some sort and add alfalfa for those that need it), i'd suggest going with something like strategy healthy edge (Purina Horse Feeds - STRATEGY). it's done wonders for my TB who needed the extra fat and protein without the "hot" energy to put some healthy weight on. you may also look into a pre/probiotic to help utilize all of the food their eating. should you not want to give a "grain" you can look into a super supplement. i'm not sure where you are located but around here the best thing of that category that i would feed is LMF Super Supplement found here: L M F Feeds - Super Sup Feed
While we feed Purina Strategy Health Edge, I was thinking that maybe you're horses might need a worming.
I mean, are you sure your weight loss is due to a feed issue rather than something like parasites (worms)?
There on a routine alternated worming schedule, it is getting time to worm them again, but the progression of weight loss is too long to be due to that I think.
You didn't mention how much hay they are getting...they should have free choice hay if they aren't already getting it. You also didn't mention minerals. Like the probiotics crimsonsky mentioned, minerals help in the digestion process...
Like gunslinger said, has your vet done a FEC (fecal egg count)? Even if they have been wormed doesn't mean they don't have worms. And what about their teeth? I did see your "healthy" part of the post, but those are always good things to check when they start loosing weight. First thing I do when horses loose weight is I add more hay. A lot cheaper and healthier for horses. You can add up to 3% of their body weight healthily, but you just have to bring it up slowly.
ETA- Yes, totally agree Faceman. Free choice all the way.
I actually have had a test done for fecal count, as a part of an project. However, I haven't had their teeth floated. I am a bit worried becuase my older one is horrible about having anything near his mouth. Worming is a hassle every month, its horrible :shock:
oh and free choice, bermuda hay, as well as an all purpose mineral block. If that is of any use
Ahh, I think we've caught the flaw ;) I'd say to DEFINATLY get those teeth trimmed! Sharp teeth grow faster than you think, and wolf teeth are the worst. Pony might hate eating, which is why you see weight loss. As for your gelding being bad, the floater will have tools, and you should have a stud chain ;)
If you've had these exact horses for 6 years and have NEVER had them floated .... you are probably looking at big bucks. They are probably also in big pain. Get teeth floated, then see if you are still having weight issues.
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