Rescue horse, 8 months later....still thin...advice on quantity of supplemental feed
Hello and Happy Tuesday Ponyland,
So thank you for taking the time to read my thread in advance. So many knowledgeable people here, I know I'll get some great advice.
For starters, I'm a first time horse owner had been leasing for about a year and decided to jump in full hearted. Found a horse for sale that had been rescued from terrible condition. That being said, I felt comfortable picking up a horse that had 6 months of rehab under her belt. (She had been terribly emaciated and her feet are still growing out some terribly splayed hooves. Had some hoof wall separation but I'm cleaning daily and using coppertox to keep them from getting thrushy). All in all, she's a health and happy mare. She's 11 years old, so was able to bounce back well with good care.
She's had her first worming with me, started with Ivermectrin and found a rotational deworming chart online:
Deworming Rotation Schedule and Worm Facts
I'll be deworming with Safeguard next (I've had GREAT success with this one on my dogs--same active ingredients)
Anyways, she's 15.3 1/2 hands, just under 16 hands high. A big gentle giant. She is (per my weight tape) about 916lbs. Very thin still. I didn't get her weight when I got her two months ago, totally should have. My understanding is that she should be in the ballpark of 1100-1200 lbs.
The barn has her on 2 flakes alfalfa in the morning and 2 flakes of oat in the evening I believe. I've been doing one big scoop (not a lot, didn't want to make her hot or initiate other health issues) of all in one (alfalfa shredded with molasses) with her one big scoop of biotin plus for her feet. I don't think this is going to help her weight and I've spoken to the barn about adding STABLE FEED (Mix of forage grasses, vitamins and a well balanced feed without molasses) to her diet and taking out the all in one.
My question is this. I would like her to gain at least those 200lbs.
1. How much time should she gain this weight? I'm hoping to get it on her before the winter comes--or is that too fast?
2. How many pounds per day (of low sugar feed) should I add to her current morning and evening ration of hay? I don't want to overfeed her and make her sick--which is why I'm staying away from heavy grains and alfalfa and molasses.
Thank you all, this is a fine, fine community of knowledgeable horse people!!
I'd try upping her hay intake, if possible I like to see a horse on hay 24/7 well.. Not when they are turned out grass but in a stall, yeah always with hay. Unless it gets overweight easy but it doesn't sound like yours has that problem right now
The 1st thing I would do is increase the oat hay. My horses are not thin and smaller and get at least 6 flakes of hay per day. If you have a type of horse like a TB they need more feed than say a Morgan might. I have seen very thin horses get to a nice wieght in just a few months. I feed safe choice and a horse in light work and avearge weight should get approx. 3 pds of grain per day. A thin horse could get double that easily. Do you have a nutritionist in your area? They usually come out and make feed recomendations at no charge. YOur vet should be able to suggest someone.
Thanks for the reply!!
How much weight is too much weight, too fast? Is 200 lbs in 3-4 months a reasonable augmentation? I'm all about adding MORE natural food into her diet.
She is stalled as she's such a gentle giant, the other mares in the mare pasture would probably run her into the wire--at the very least kick her butt. Very dominant females, but I do get out every day to round pen her and get her out. :D
What type of hay would you recommend? Grass or more Oat? or is there some thing better for free feed option?
I would ask people that know about hay in your area, i'm in Texas and I feed coastal hay, tifton,.or Timothy. Sometimes a mix. But I always have mine on it 24/7.
I don't know what kinds are availably to you, or about the kinds that we don't have here..
I supplement with alfalfa, also so you may be able to up these. I like to hold back on upping feed or anything till it looks like just upping hay isn't good enough.
Thanks for the speedy replies!! I'll confirm with the ranch to see how many flakes she is getting for sure!! and good call on the nutritionist! This is a good place to start ;)
Also make sure she gets plenty of exercise.
As said, good amount of exercise. I had rescue that, gained weight but stopped after a few months. I startedworking him and he then filled out the rest of the way
I live in Sunny California where Alfalfa, Grass and Oat are pretty common so we're lucky in that sense. I've uploaded some photos of her. The fuzzy ones are the pre purchase photos, the photo of her trotting in the round pen was taken last week. Less furry and less ribby so I know there's been improvement.
Ricochet Rosie pictures by pgboogie - Photobucket
I ride her at least 2-3 hours on Sunday during lesson time, and she gets taken out daily and I walk her around the barn on halter and lead and 4-5 days a week round penned for about 30 minutes. getting her good work, but not so much to burn off all her food.
Let me know what you think!! Thanks tons
It wouldn't even hurt to maybe get in touch with a local rescue and ask for advice. They are usually experts in trying to put weight on horses in any and every condition. And they should be a great resource in the future if you're ever needing additional help.
And welcome to the forum! =)
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