Hello. I just got my first horse and she has problems with choke, well the first time she did it, I did not know she has any problems and it scared me to death, anyway we got it under control now and know how to prevent it and everything. Since then, (about 2 months ago) she has been losing a little weight at first but now will not gain any. I just wanted to know what I should to do put weight back on her? She is a Thoroughbred mixed with Arabian, 19 years old, and about 15.5hh.
First things to check are for worms and the teeth. After that, feed the best quality hay possible 24/7. You don't want to feed straight alfalfa but you also don't want to feed brown, weedy nasty hay. A good grass hay would be good. Some may say to feed a senior feed. Personally, I like beet pulp.
What are you feeding her? Does she inhale her feed? What caused the choke? How many times a day do you feed her? All this needs to be known before we can advise.
Like I said, I like to feed beet pulp. I don't care for the shreds. We use rolled beet pulp. I'm not sure if it was shreds or pellets that were rolled to break them up. They're similar in size to oatmeal but thicker. We get it from a local feed mill. You only need to soak it for about 1/2 hour in hot water. They won't colic on it no matter how much you feed them. Just becareful about how much molasses it added to it. Less is better.
It may take a little time for them to get used to eating it. One of our mares wouldn't touch it at first. We had to add it to sweet feed for her to eat it. After a little while of slowly increasing the pulp and decreasing the sweet feed, she attacked an unopen bag of the pulp.
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I can't really feed her hay because she does get choked on that, i have been feeding her Standlee Alfalfa Pellets, she does great on that. I was also thinking of switching her to DuMOR EquiStages or DuMOR® Senior. I feed her 2 scoops, (each 1 pound) in the morning and the same at night. I might try a good grass hay, and dampen it a touch, maybe that will be good for her. All the grass in the field has died, so she doesn't have much to munch on.
just be careful with to much hot feed.
Wait so she only gets a few pounds per day?!? She needs hay if she's choking on that she probably needs her teeth done. Get a vet out to asses her asap.
If your only feeding 2 pounds a day no wonder shes losing weight. They need at least 2% of their body weight in forage a day. If i fed mine only 1 pound twice a day theyd eat down the wooden corral. Hay cubes soaked will replace hay.
Oh i see its 4 pounds still not enough forage a day way under what she needs.
Has the horse been fully vetted - FEC, teeth checked (and floated if needed), etc?
Yep, definitely need to up the forage. Getting a vet to assess her teeth and discuss what types of forage would be easiest for her to handle would be a good start. You can soak cubes or pellets, but if she can handle long stem hay that's usually better for them. Perhaps she'd be OK with soaked or steamed hay? You don't say how much she should weigh, but I'd guess that 15 lbs of forage a day would be a minimum based on her height.
beet pulp & hay pellets are great if she has trouble chewing. With any horse that has trouble with choke, it can be helpful to wet the food first, especially fiber products like beet pulp & hay pellets.
If you can get her fiber intake up and she still has trouble with her weight, look into senior feeds or a pelleted high fat & fiber performance feed.
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