Appendix QH not gaining weight, ideas?
I purchased a 7 yr old Appendix QH gelding, Drambuie, at the begining of December. Over two months later and he doesn't seem to be putting on any weight.
He also doesn't have a lot of energy and breathes heavy after a couple of miles of moderate work.
I heard once that TB sometimes need blood-builder suppliments. I am looking for information on suppliments or feed changes to improve his condition, but need ways that don't cost a fortune!
I have been working on Dressage training with him and plan to compete in Dressage & endurance so he needs to be fit, but not much hotter.
Current feed schedule:
2 flakes good mixed grass hay
turnout in pasture with limited grazing.
3-4 flakes good mixed grass hay
2 quarts of 12% Nutrena pellets
2 quarts of Purina Strategy
1st 2 pictures are the day I brought him home, 2nd 2 pictures were taken last week
In the picture, your hay doesn't look all that nutritional. The last two pictures does look like he is putting on some weight. His breathing could be due to lack of conditioning and or feedstuff but also, maybe there could be some allergies/copd issues. Adding fat helps with weight gain. Why aren't you evenly dividing the feed portions for the day? Just curious...he's nice looking.
I have to give him most of his feed at night in his stall because of the other horses. I have two very easy keepers that get half of what I feed Drambuie, and one older horse that I give extra too at night also. the easy keepers are more dominant and would take his feed.
Plus my work schedule, they are stalled 14 hrs on work days, 3-4 days per weeks, so it is a longer time to eat. I pack their hay in slow feed hay nets so it lasts longer.
Drambuie has no difficulty eating and is constantly looking for food!
Oh, the hay quality is what I would call good for the area. The "best" quality available is very fine and tends to ball up and cause colic in horses that don't drink enough.
He does look like he's gained a little weight, but it's definitely slow. Giving him one big grain meal a day can be counterproductive. Strategy (& probably the Nutrena pellets... not sure exactly which one that is) is very high in NSC (sugar/starch) which horses don't process well. When you feed a lot of it at once, it gets through the small intestine undigested (and very acidic!) and results in hindgut ulcers.
If you can't feed in 2 meals (3 or more would be even better) then you might consider dumping the Nutrena & Strategy and switching to grain free alternatives- soaked beet pulp, rice bran, alfalfa hay/cubes/pellets, and/or oil (flaxseed if you can get it, canola if not). It's still ideal to feed these in at least 2 meals, but at least you won't be getting the influx of sugar/starch. Since the hay in your area is on the poor side, I'd also consider adding a ration balancer or multivitamin in to the mix.
teeth check.. dewormed.. alfalfa pellets over grain.. brewers yeast is claimed to help. i am going to try it on some of my sr horses.
Verona thanks for the suggestions. Nutrena is very low in sugar, not like the Strategy, but I added the Strategy to add some energy and gloss to the coat. I usually give a little extra Strategy to any horse that is worked.
I had an old horse that really did so much better on the Nutrena pellets that I changed all the horses to it. The pellets just melt in the mouth so even horses without teeth can eat it.
I can try alfalfa in pellets I think might be available, and bran is available, but not the other stuff.
The hay really is pretty good, all the horses have put on weight since I changed to this supplier. It is not anything like northern hay though.
Thanks for the ideas Stevenson, I don't know about the yeast, pretty expensive & I'm not sure of the value.
I give my 22 yr old probiotics to keep him in good health. I tried adding some to Drambuie's food, but didn't see a real big difference.
Try giving him more hay. He eats the pellets too quickly to draw max. nutrition from them. The faster they go in, the faster they make expensive manure. He needs fiber and needs to be eating it 18 hrs day. Do you offer loose salt? It's been proven that horses don't ingest enough salt from licks (sore tongue). Coarse pickling salt mixed with iodized (household) works well.
I also have sheets & blankets so he does not get too cold.
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