Recovery for young rescues after starvation
I am adopting a young horse who is recovering from several years of malnourishment. He is stunted, but has made it past the dangers of refeeding and is starting to put on weight. He is likely around a body score of 3 but headed towards a 4 on the body rating scale after four months of being fed. He is just now three.
He is currently on a 14% protein feed with open access to pasture.
Honestly, without the consulting a vet anything anyone suggests is likely to be a shot in the dark. The best thing to do for underweight horses is just free choice feed. Pumping horses full of high cal stuff usually comes with a lot of sugar too.
I wouldn't waste a ton of money on supplements that promise everything and the kitchen sink it's 9/10 times just flash in the pan.
I'm very sure that a competent vet would be able to tell you how well your horse has faired given his poor previous situation. I would say it really depends on how long/when he was starved, and if his dam was starving when he was being developed... I know you said it was a long time but, I would say the most important time for the foal is when it's developing in the dam and if she's being at least fed you have a much better chance in these situation. That's not to say she could be emaciated and foal a perfectly healthy foal but, the odds are just against it more, IMO.
I believe a long time ago I read a peer reviewed article on the benefits of adding glucosamine to a horses diet even in the younger ages being beneficial. I would start researching there and maybe have a chat with your vet because if I were in your situation I would be most worried about early onset of arthritis/osteoporosis.
Honestly I'd put him on alfalfa pellets and mare and foal feed, with fast track as a supplement. Then if stick him out in front of as much hay as he wants and let him grown.
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Call the vet and have them pull blood and check his electrolyte levels.
My friend mare was 250 pounds under weight when she bought her. She was gaining weight SLOWLY, despite being on plenty of feed. Turns out she was deficient in vitamin E. It was so depleted what ever she could take in her body was using so her body couldn't make a store of it. After two weeks of intense vitamin E supps she was actually getting some muscle definition in her shoulders, her croup and top line filled in. It was amazing!
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