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Coprophagia caused by weight gain supplement?
So a while ago my horse dropped a ton of weight and wasn't seeming to gain anything despite my efforts so I consulted with my vet. We ran through his diet and she determined his diet was lacking fat so she reccommended Cool Calories. I wasn't sure about the product so I looked up reviews online and read that some horses didn't find it palatable. Knowing my horse to be the picky type, I decided to try it out anyway. Started him out on a low dose then gradually increased it. He gained weight quickly and had a healthy shine to his coat. It helped him maintain a healthy weight and gave him energy without making him hot. The product looks like sugar and smells like Bazooka bubblegum. He absolutely loved the stuff! Problem was he loved it too much...as did his pasturemate..and he wasn't even being fed the stuff!
Turns out the Cool Calories was coming out in his poop and making it very delectable for him and his pasturemate! Never in my life have I seen two horses get so excited over poop. As soon as the pile hit the ground he and his pasturemate would fight for it. WTF?! :-? Some of his poop piles would come out really sugary looking and these were the only piles he and his pasturemate would eat. We thought it was due to gut imbalances but they were already on probios and were very selective in the piles they would eat. The sugary ones of course! If it wasn't sugary then it wasn't disturbed. His pasturemate also got a healthy shine from it too I guess. Did this mean he was getting the product for free and my gelding was simply getting more bang for my buck?
I took him off the Cool Calories. Seriously felt like I had committed a crime or something. They would scan each pile for a trace of the stuff and walk off disappointed. They completely stopped though. I've never heard of anyone else's horse doing this on the same supplement. I think our horses are just weird. Anyway it seems my gelding is dropping off weight again and I'd like to find a substitute for the Cool Calories. I guess it's basically partially hydrogenated vegetable fat that's 99% crude fat. I really like what it's done for my gelding minus the coprophagia. He won't eat any kind of oil added to his food as he seems to hate the texture. Rice bran powder and pellets didn't seem to help at all in the past. Are there any other high-fat supplements similar to Cool Calories that will help maintain weight? Thanks!
A few horses at my barn get Cool Calories and I've never seen any of the horses interested in eating their poo :-P I can just imagine if they did, though... they get rotated between the dry lots and pastures for daily turn out, so I can just imagine each new group when they first get turned out searching frantically around the yard for tasty poo :lol:
There are a number of weight gain supplements on the market, though I haven't used any of them personally (rice bran did the trick for my horse).
Maybe you could try flax seed? There's some controversy over whether the horse gets all the benefits from it if fed whole, but I feed it to my horse whole and never see any left over in his manure. I only feed 2 oz. daily for a shiny coat, though.
You can also grind it just before feeding if you're able. If you buy pre-ground flax seed, make sure it's stabilized, as it loses its nutritional value very quickly otherwise.
Hmm thanks. I think I'm going to try out the flaxseed. I'm not sure if it's something my horse will find palatable but it's worth a shot. It doesn't contain as much fat as the Cool Calories does but it seems like a good alternative.
I don't know why he's so picky about certain foods yet he's willing to eat his own poop to recycle a weight gain supplement... :/
rice bran 22% fat
Empower Boost is an awesome fat supplement.
I have'nt used it myself, cuz my boy is a very easy keeper., but I've heard shredded beet pulp will put the weight on em.
Beet pulp is a good feed for weight gain without the hazards of too much sugar load into a horses system to upset insulin balance. I also like rice bran, both seem to be liked by all of my horses
Have you looked into why your horse is struggling to keep weight on though or do you just work him hard?
What else is he getting? How much hay? Honestly I have fed Cool Calories and it caused no such problems. I just like the pelleted rice bran better. I figured if I was going to feed a fat supplement it may as well have some other nutrition with it.
I don't know why he dropped weight so suddenly. He was out of work for about 2-3 weeks since I had been in an accident. I treated him for ulcers since he seemed so upset by the sudden change in his routine. I've had him on beet pulp before but he hated it and kept wasting it so I gave up on feeding it to him. Also hates soybean meal and powdered rice bran. Likes pelleted rice bran. Right now I have him on 2 qts soaked timothy pellets and 1lb lmf super g daily. He gets 5lbs alfalfa and 15lbs grass hay. My vet suggested Purina Amplify to try so I'm going to sample some and see if my horse will eat it. I've heard that some horses don't seem to like the taste of it though.
I had my old gelding on hard keeper solution by Vita-flex and that worked great for putting weight on. I had NO luck with cool calories, not to mention a few people warned me that partially hydrogenated vegetable fat is a very unhealthy source of fat(kinda like you eating fast food everyday). The only reason I stopped using hard keeper solution is that I couldn't afford it anymore and I keep him at my moms house with her horse and we take turns feeding but doesn't do supplements so it's not that effective when he's only getting it 3 days a week.
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