Trying to put weight on my horses
I am trying to put weight on my horses, because both are skinnier then I would like them. You can see their ribs a little, and as soon as they are worked again they will loose weight. Both are in little to no work because my mare had her hoof trimmed funny to fix a problem so she needs a few weeks rest and my gelding is mostly trail ridden currently, but thats only once a week... Anyways, they are currently on about 6 flakes of grass hay (which I think ends up being 15-20 lbs a day, I dont weigh anything) and 3 scoops (my scoop is a 16 oz plastic cup) of beet pulp that I soak a day. They are currently on a dry lot and will be moved to my pasture once the weather is drier, probably around May. They are usually easy keepers but I think my hay that I got last summer was a little lower quality and I dont want to buy more when I have atleast another ton in my loft.
What should I do to put some weight on them? I really don't want to put them on any other grains, because that is really too much for them. Even alfalfa gives them too much energy. Should I just increase the beet pulp? If I feed them more hay they dont eat it.
More beet pulp will not put weight on them, it's mainly just fiber. Little, if any, fat.
Have they had their teeth done recently? Are the up to date on their deworming?
Just as My Beau said, make sure your vet examins both horses to ensure there aren't any inside issues going on. Ulcers, Digestive Problems, Worms etc, etc.
My TB is a hard keeper, and he does well when he gets to be infront of a round bale 24/7. Especially in a dry lot.
Horses are grazers, they have to have roughage in their bellies all the time, that is how they are designed, so they do better when they are able to have that access.
Have you looked into a complete feed? I personally really like Purina Senior, where it is designed for horses who are hard keepers, being senior horses where they cannot digest properly, chew or process their feed like younger horses can - I know people who have their 5 year olds on in, their 9 year old and so on and so on. It isn't just for senior horses, and where it is great in the fact that it is a complete feed with extruded nuggets, it is great for all ages of horses.
I say, increase your horses hay intake, greatly - and see where it goes from there. Roughage is the first and most important ingredient in weight gain. If your horse doesn't gain weight from that, then I would look to up something else or add something else.
Of course, after your vet has examined both thoroughly - teeth, scoping for ulcers and digestive issues, stress, etc etc.
I have heard Purina Strategy works wonders, but I have not tried it myself. I also just increased my horses hay intake to help him gain wieght and I make sure he has some in front of him 24/7. I don't like alot of grain because it makes him too hot. But I suggest you give him alot of hay, round bale is best so he can have it 24/7, also worm him, this time of year all the eggs are being laid and he can eat them as he eats the new grass and they hatch in his stomach. I worm my horses every 8wks 3 times this time of year just to make sure they are clean, otherwise all your food you are giving him is going to the worms. When you worm him, he may actually loose wieght the first week or two and that's because of the worms. Check his gums, if they are pale pink or white, he has heavy worm infestation. Be advised though, horse coat color is a factor as well so that's not fool-proof. But I suggest getting a vet come out, he can tell you exactly what's going on and take a fecal for his worms as well as blood to see what else could be wrong, rather than waste money on tons of stuff that it 'might be'.
I am feeding my horses as much as they will eat every day. I was feeding them more at one point but they were leaving, spreading, and wasting a large amount of hay.
They were wormed last month, had their teeth done in september and were given a clean bill of health at that time. Yes, I know a lot can change in that amount of time and I will try to get a vet out soon. I am going to go take some pictures of them in a bit, and I will post them here.
Add some fat in there - The hay and beet pulp is all forage, no fat. You don't have to go to grains for fat.
A few things to try:
Copra - Coconut meal high in coconut oil which equals high in fat. It can be fed soaked or dry, so can just be added to the beet pulp when soaking, easy peasy!
Oils - Vegetable or specially formulated oils for horses. A ready source of fat that is easily digested. Only go up to about a cup a day otherwise they might get the runs!
Lupins - A grain alternative, they aren't full of starch so are digested much better and easier than grain.
Flaxseed meal - Same as lupins, a good grain alternative, lower in starch and NSC's but still have a good amount of energy.
Rice Bran - Similar to copra, but not as fatty.
Or you can try a complete feed that has no grain. I use Prydes Easi-Sport but not sure what you have over there.
Basically the idea is to give as much forage as they will eat and all the vitamins/minerals they need via a ration balancer/mineral lick, and then add calories as needed using any of the above feeds/ideas.
like everyone else said, have a vet come out and look at them. if they are perfectly healthy you can ask the vet "what kind of supplements do you recomend for them gaining weight?"
I like rice bran oil or Cool Calories.
Hay/forage is the baseline for any horse's diet. And that would be Good-Quality hay. I like 2nd-cutting grass hay, works well for my 2 who are hard-keepers. You can't just give more hay--you have to give better quality hay, and then, if they still aren't putting weight on, add more. Check if your hay is moldy, has spores, is dusty, etc. This could be a problem to their weight loss. Even if you usually get good hay from your source, you need to check every load you get...I learned that the hard way.. x_X
You might want to try adding some corn oil to their beet pulp. Weightbuilder works too, but it sounds just by what you said that corn oil would work just fine instead.
Lastly, when in doubt, get the vet out. :3
Best of luck to you!
~The Golden Filly!~
You need a good solid source ofnutrition
I start with a ration balancer and free choice hay
I fI need more after that I go to alfalfa pellets or rice bran depending on the horse
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