Skinny, 4 year old OTTB. Help Please!!
I have a 4 year old off the track thoroughbred gelding who is about 170lbs underweight. He was at least 200lbs underweight when he was given to me due to his owner moving in Dec. He had started to gain weight and look better. However after gaining about 30lbs, his weight gain has come to a stop.:-(
Here is what he is currently being fed:
AM: 2 flakes Orchard/Timmothy mix hay, 2lbs 12% pellets and 2lbs Triple Crown Senior.
PM: 4 flakes Orchard/Timmothy mix hay, 2lbs 12% pellets, and 2lbs Triple Crown Senior. Plus 4 ounces of Hard Keeper.
So as you can see he has a lot of food daily. But he has yet to put on any more than 30lbs. As any young TB, he gets really hyper on any kind of sweet feed. So anything that would make a horse hyper is out of the question, as he has too much energy without sweet feed.
As the year comes to an end and as the weather starts to get cold, I am concerned about him being underweight. Any suggestions on things that may have worked for you or any of your friends. I would greatly apreciate the help.
My TB is 21, and a very hard keeper. I have always had a hard time getting him to gain weight, and keep it over the years we've been together, and the best solution I had for him, that gave me the best results were putting him infront of a round bale where he could stuff his face as much as he pleased, and I upped his feed to 10lbs a day + Suppliments.
Hay is the most important factor here, getting him access to as much hay as he wants, is the best possible choice right now. Keep an eye on him, to make sure he isn't one of those horses who'll eat himself to death - but honestly, upping his hay intake will do him wonders.
He gets 2lbs of Purina Ultium and 3lbs of Purina Senior = 5lbs, twice a day.
Tripple crown is good because it has alot of beat pulp in it. I would up the Tripple Crown Senior to about 3lbs.
He does very well on this routine.
Thanks for the sugestion, and I wish that I could let him eat all the hay from a round bale, but where I board is on a airforce base where all the horses are turned out together and he's the low man on the totem pole. So he would never get to eat the hay. But the upping his feed is possible.
I would find ways to make it possible for him to get more hay intake. Upping his hay will help dramatically.
Take him out of the pasture/paddock he is in, set him aside where no one else can eat his hay, and allow him to relax and munch away - daily.
Also, being low on the totum pole, might not be great for his nervers. TB's are hard keepers because they have high metabolisim systems, and are more "nervous" than say your average QH or Draft...etc, etc. So that might not be a big help either.
Look into digestive aids maybe? I have my guy on SmartDigest Ultra from SmartPak, that might help as well.
first thing I would do is get rid of the 12% feed and increase the TC Senior to at least 6lbs daily ...
Free choice hay is a must for any hard keeping horse
If you can't up his hay for some reason, you might try adding alfalfa pellets or cubes to his feed. It will take him longer to eat, but it might help with the weight gain...
Alfalfa is great for gettig weight on horses. We have rehabbed a lot of starved horses. Free choice good quality grass hay. He will also need more fat in his diet. I LOVE LMF gold. Tons of calories per lb of feed. Rice bran is also good, as well as corn oil. But ad corn oil slowly, or you will give him the runs.
I would take him off the 12%. These pelleted feeds are high in sugar and starch, whichis often counter productive to weight gain. I would increase his hay or add a lunch feeding of hay, and increase the senior feed. Make sure a vet checks his teeth and does a fecal test to check for parasites. If the "hard keeper" supplement doesn't have probiotics in it, I would add some, like SmartDigest from SmartPak.
If he's not in his own paddock, then instead of increasing the hay, I would add alfalfa pellets to the senior feed. Feed him 3 lbs of senior feed am/pm and 2 lbs of alfalfa pellets with it.
And those 12% pellets are technically sweet feed, eventhough they're not covered in molasses. Most feed pellets have just as much sugar/starch in them as their sticky whole grain counter part that most people think of as sweet feed.
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