So I have a 2 year old Egyptian Arabian and he's kinda thin, his ribs don't show much, but he's still too thin. He's on grass all day everyday, we have a supply of hay but its for winter and we don't have enough to start feeding it to him right now as we also have cattle to feed. So I had him on sweet feed about every other day, and I recently bought Rolling Acres Complete Horse as my sister suggested it and it went moldy a few days after I had bought it because its textured like sweet feed, and no one had told me it would go moldy that quick. I've looked through almost all the feed TSC has and its mostly textured or its for performance, and I just want something to help him gain a little weight. Any suggestions on what I could do? My sister helps me out a lot with my horse and she had said that oats isn't a good idea for him just yet. I also have access to plenty of feed mills, I just want an opinion before I even go to look.
He's a growing youngster, so needs some extra calories. However, too much protein at a young age can cause health issues such as OCD. What you want is slow and steady weight gain, not a quick plumping up.
You also don't want a senior or even a complete feed, but something more legume based, like Blue Seal Trotter. Get him completely OFF sweet feed as it does nothing but put far too much sugar in his system.
Instead of a textured feed, I'd suggest a dry pellet instead. However, there's no reason other than you must have gotten a bad batch, that even the sweet feed should have gone moldy so quickly.
If you really want to use TSC's line of products, stay away from Producer's Pride. It's bottom of the barrel quality wise, although I have used their haystretcher in a pinch. If you have feed mills around you, you might even want to consider a custom mixed blend.
Forage is always the foundation of a healthy horse, so if he's out on grass that's a good start.
Assuming he is properly wormed and otherwise healthy:
In the long run, it's probably going to be much cheaper and healthier to buy a few extra bales of hay a month to give him then to try to add weight with concentrates.
If that's really not a possibility for you, I would look for a ration balancer or pelleted vitamin/mineral supplement and add alfalfa cubes/pellets or beet pulp for extra weight.
So when you say custom mixed blend, what would you suggest to put in it?
There are a few things you need to establish first.... How much grain are you feeding (by the lbs, not scoops), what is the protein and fat content of the grain you are offering, is he able to eat without being harrassed, what is the quality and quantity of the grass he is being fed? Grass may not be enough to maintain him, so supplementing with hay is most likely necessary.
Protein and fat from grains are necessary for horses to build bone and muscle. it used to be recommended that growths horses be fed less protein, but that can cause issues in itself. Growing horses can be LEAN but should not have muscle wasting on their top lines. I don't mind seeing some ribs if the back is round, but is the back is wasted, the horse needs to be fed more.
I have fed growth feeds, as well as high protein ration balances. If I have the choice for babies I like the ration balancer that puts a high amount of protein and a good vitamin and mineral package in a 2lbs daily ration to balance out the deficiencies in your grass/hay forage. Various options are buckeye's grow n win, poulin's MVP and Purina's Enrich 32, but other brands will have similar ration balances.
If you want something inexpensive, we use beet pulp. We get ours from a feed mill and is cheaper than from a store. The ones from the stores usually have more molasses.
Some horses don't take to it right away so you may need to mix another feed with it at first.
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I'm thinking beet pulp or alfalfa cubes. Will all that alfalfa make him hyper?
I'm not into all those fancy feeds, whatever I can get from a feedmill or TSC is what I'll go with and i can get both beet pulp and alfalfa cubes at our feedmills so. If i was to go with beet pulp or alfalfa cubes, how much would be enough?
That is going to vary widely, start with maybe a couple of pounds (dry weight, both of these items are recommended to be fed soaked, but you measure it dry first). Give him a couple weeks and see how he does. If he starts to go up in weight slowly, keep him there, if he starts to get thinner, up the amount your feeding. If he starts to balloon, reduce the amount.
What would be better do you think? And 2 pounds would be good? And I'm assuming every day or every other?
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