beet pulp,calf manna, cool cal, OH MY! what to pick?!
am going crazy! AND BROKE! Lol. am sure horse owners feel my pain.here is a bit of history on me. i rescued a horse dec 19th she is 20 years old, and her past was basically no one fed her. just left her out in a field for 6+ months....here is a photo i got from the last owner from who i got her from... to get a idea of shape.
So when she got here we gave her food by the handfuls, everything went very well, she is now on 6 pounds Purina senior (2 feedings of 3 pounds), fresh pasture, grass hay, and a pound of soak alfalfa in the mid-afternoon's. she also gets sho-glo and 3 scoops of "cool calorie"
this is her as of yesterday. i know she is Gaining weight, but only 30 pounds? first she was like at the 650 mark a few weeks ago and now she is at 633 pounds from my weight tape, i don't understand, she LOOKS better. i have been fussing with this weight tape and now its coming back 630.
i talked to a equine dentist, she said she isn't Acting like she is having any problems, not rolling hay, not head shy, she drops feed but VERY little. am going to have her looked at next month. still doesn't seem like a dental problem......
i do soak her feed because i just don't know the state of her teeth and i want to be safe....so am thinking Bump up her feed? but how much? am thinking of adding in beet pulp, where should i start? calf manna? more senior? more alfalfa?
3 pounds AM < supplements added
1 flake grass hay
1 Pound soaked alfalfa afternoon
3 pounds PM <supplements added
1 flake grass hay
Just out of curiosity, how tall is she?
She /looks/ healthy, and good... Has she been seen by a vet? Maybe she's wormy?
I have had great success with beet pulp and stabilized rice bran. Inexpensive as well as a great weight builder. A bag of beet pulp in my area is $14 and lasts my two hard keepers two weeks. Rice bran is pricier at $30 but they only eat 1 1/2 chips per feeding so it lasts.
The best thing for her would be grass or hay in front of her 24/7.
IMO, the next best thing is beet pulp. Some horses don't like it at first, but once they acquire a taste for it, they love it. Just be careful to get it with little or no molasses. They can eat it dry but it is better if it is soaked.
We had one mare the wouldn't touch it. We mixed a little into some sweet feed. Each day we increased the beet pulp and decreased the sweet feed until it was at a ratio of 4 parts beet pulp and one part sweet feed. We never weighed how much we gave them. It was measured out by scoops. Usually, is was 2 scoops which are 2 quarts each.
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If a vet has not seen this horse, I'd do that before anything else. It's the best starting point.
Since she is looking better I'd keep doing what you are doing, at least until you get the opinion of a vet. My feeling is that more supplements are not always better. Get a fecal exam, check the teeth and do blood work if the vet thinks that is needed. Also, horses can have tooth problems and only dribble a little bit of food so some of the most common signs aren't always there.
If she is an average size horse she doesn't look like she only 630 pounds in that last photo.
Good luck to you both. She is fortunate to have you!
we have mostly ottb's on the farm I board at(some very hard keepers), two which are in their 20's, and all look incredible. You would never guess the older ones were a day over 15, and the broodmares are all at a perfect weight.
They get free choice great quality grass hay, available 24/7, whole oats, flax and beet pulp in the evening. quantity depends on the horse. sometimes if one comes to the farm looking thin and doesn't start gaining weight, they go on step 8 for a month or two, which is a high fat pellet. I think adding oil to the feed would do something similar.
check her teeth first. any thin, older horse needs a vet check first and foremost, to make sure there are no underlying problems or teeth issues.
I tried all of the things you listed, and the thing that finally worked for my hard keepers was switching from purina senior to Purina Senior ACTIVE. Higher fat, designed to be fed WITH hay, not in place of it, so less is required to meet nutritional needs (vitamins/minerals). My two boys look better now than I've ever seen them at this time of year and they're each getting just 5 pounds of that per day along with 24/7 pasture (what's left of it this time of year) and 18 pounds of orchard/alfalfa mix. And yes, I weigh it. I think that's also been a big help.
I agree with the other posters. :)
Another thing to keep in mind is that weight tapes are notoriously inaccurate. They can be good for a ballpark measurement, but I've heard it recommended that you shouldn't rely on them for changes under 100lbs.
Other though: how long has she been eating the full amount you're feeding her? I feel like it was maybe only a couple of weeks ago tht you started feeding her handfuls?
I'd venture to guess that, once her teeth are looked at/done, you're looking at maybe 2 months of the diet you described to get a "good" weight on her. Of course, I'm not experienced with rehabbing - just my gut feeling.
I'd almost garantee that once her teeth are done, you'll see her weight pick up. Some horses are very sensitive to very little. Also, she could have a missing or loose tooth - wouldn't necessarily cause her to quid or drop grain, but something like that could discourage her from chewing well and eating enough hay.
yes, she is making progress i was recommended that she should be seen by a Equine dentist just to know where she is at with her teeth and if anything needs to be looked after, Also keep it soaked, (better be safe then sorry) Purina senior was pointed out to me as well, which i could make a Complete feed if i wanted too but because she CAN have hay, its better to feed the senior and offer her grass hay 24/7. and about the worms, the day the last owner brought her here she wormed her right in-front of me...however most if it went ALL OVER THE PLACE.. she spit it right out, which i was like "umm....great" because i didn't want to over worm her or re-worm her, she did it SO fast i couldn't even tell how much she used but it looked like a old bottle? half used?... so yesterday i dewormed her myself with safeguard. she did fine. took the dosage no problems
the vet would Like it if i can add in more alfalfa, but the price of alfalfa is CRAZY! right now am trying to do my best with soaked alfalfa cubes.
all the supplements in tractor supply isn't going to help me if she has a tooth problem, so she will be seen mid February..she JUST under/at 14 hands.
am now more then willing to try beet pulp, but how much should i add into feed? my vet is out most of this week so if i call the office they can only leave a message.
i will see if i cant make the appointment sooner for the Equine dentist, i live about a hour out of her way, and she doesn't normally come out this far out of town. hence why am booked mid month when she has a few other people near me to do.
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