Lizzy's weight gain plus advice welcome
So a quick background for those who may not have followed my endless threads on Lizzy. She was seized from a breeding farm in August of 2011, went to the UofM immediately, coggins was pulled and given a low dose of dewormer as she was infested and they could not kill off to many at once. In less than 48 hours she was transported to foster, which is the same barn she remains at. When seized she was a body score of 1.5/9.
From what I've gathered in the time of foster (Sept 2011-Jan 7,2012) she had her teeth floated and given regular dewormer with rest of herd.
I adopted her in January 2012 and am told she's healthy and just needs more weight.
Fast forward to June 2012, I discover nothing is true and vet comes out. She is now at a 3/9 and is anemic and full of worms. I do everything the vet instructs.
Vet was out last night for followup blood work and exam. She is now a 4/9, so we are getting close. Bloodwork comes back tomorrow so I'm hoping everything is clear. In the meantime I've been given permission from the vet to go ahead and start trial and error to find the best feed combination for her. So far the best has been 1/2 cup of flax seed oil a day. I would like to cut back on her complete feed as it costs too much and start replacing some of it with rice bran or something. Beet pulp would be difficult because of the need to soak it.
So any advice is welcome and her pictures are below. I'm going to attach them in timeline order, I hope they stay that way.
You can see a big improvement in her actually especially with all her worm problems to deal with - not just underweight.
Its a shame you can't afford to keep up with one of the complete feeds - I know they're expensive but they are balanced & with all the vitamins and minerals too. Also a shame that sugar beet can't be an option as its high fibre, calcium, has moisture content from soaking and not going to cause any sugar rush/insulin problems. Combined with some rice bran, chaff and maybe grass pellets you might make it work but you would have to see how the nutritional balance works out re. ratios. Can you not buy a small lidded bucket to keep it in and if its in a cool place you can do enough for a whole day.
Turn out daily on some good clean grazing would do her the world of good
You've taken on a real challenge, Good luck and keep us up to date with progress
I got a QH mare in April with a tight 3 BCS and exactly one month later she was a 5. Free choice hay, daily dewormer, flake of alfalfa morning and evening and less than 4 lbs of sweetfeed. Daily, not o'er feeding:-)
I used Nutrena life design senior. Have since changed to life design prime. She needed 3 bags of the senior feed.
If I knew how to get pics up here I'd show you......
My strong belief is that with sweetfeed/grain alone horses won't gain, period. Good hay does the trick, and plenty of it.
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She is not a pasture horse, paddock only. She can get about 1-2 hours of grazing a day when I'm there and let her out to graze around the barnyard.
She always has hay in front of her. She has been on 8lbs of Safechoice a day. She might stay on the Red Cell to use as a multivitamin but the bloodwork will determine that. Safechoice went up $3 a bag and with the high quantities that is a huge jump. I might be able to get beet pulp in a feeding a night as I could have it soak at home while I'm at work then bring it to barn after. Impossible for morning feeding as I'm not there for that one. And in winter it would freeze if I left it to soak overnight.
Oh and did I mention she is 19 years old. Makes this a little tougher to get weight on. Oh and she hates alfalfa :( tried mixing cubes in with her feed but she would spit them out. And I'm not paying for her paddock buddy to eat her alfalfa hay so no flakes :)
feeding for weight gain
You can't afford to feed someone elses horse but does that mean she has nothing all the time she's out on the (dirt?) paddock?
I've changed to Sentinel Senior complete feed, not sure how the price compares but seems to be liked better
You can get timothy hay grass pellets, maybe she would like them better but if she's fussy it would help if you could get samples first from a company - they will often do that.
I see what you mean :-)
I have a Quarterhorse in excellent weight and a fat Arab...:-)
If you'd try alfalfa pellets soaked? I used them, together with bran, grains and oil on my always skinny TB years ago, way before all these high speed feeds came out, with great success.
With the safe choice I wasn't too pleased, neither were they. The life design instead is very much liked.
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I just did the math between safe choice and life design senior. Based on tractor supply prices. You'd be much cheaper with the life design, feeding less.
About 40$ less a month based on 8lbs safe choice vs. 4lbs of life design. And provided she wouldn't need the Red Cell anymore for blood building you'd be good to go with minerals and vitamins too. And have added probiotics.
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Hehe oh no she always has hay. It's just that if I want different hay (pure alfalfa) then I have to buy it.
What about rabbit pellets? I've been told that they have a higher fat content? I looked at the label and it didn't look higher than my feed but maybe I wasn't looking at the right ingredient? I forgot to ask the vet about that yesterday.
When buying complete feed I compare the percentages of fat/protein and if it has pre/probiotics based on the quantity fed. Safechoice orginal was the cheapest based on those numbers.
She's not usually fussy at all, she loves her grain. But the soaked alfalfa cubes, mashed up, she did not like.
I would keep the safechoice but not as much. I was thinking about 1-2lbs per feeding (2 feedings per day max) plus rice bran plus the flax oil in the night feeding. Possibly having rice bran in morning feeding and beet pulp in night feeding? Would that work?
I looked at the Life design and she would still need 8lbs. She is in pretty good work.
Not sure about rabbits - I mean they aren't horses, I'd clear that one with the vet
I can't say that mine are crazy about alfalfa pellets and they aren't that fussy but Looby actually ate all around them and left them in her manger - OK with the Timothy pellets though
I'm not feeding the stated amount of Sentinel to mine, they all work out expensive so I add chaff, sugar beet, grass pellets and wheat bran to bulk it up with some added rice bran in the winter if I think they need it - gets very cold here.
Before they brought out all these complete feeds we used to feed boiled barley and boiled oats with added oil to put weight on. It works and is cheaper but involves the effort of cooking - we used a pressure cooker
I used to do that too, boil barley....what a mess:-)
But they loved it!
I'd like into the life design prime then. Its cheaper than the safe choice and equal if not better than the safe choice.
I had also great results with adding omega horseshine. Cheapest, by far, at tractor supply. You could eliminate ricebran and flaxoil with that. Maybe morning the sweetfeed and evening soaked beetpulp with the add ins.
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