Need to put weight on
Both my horses have dropped weight pretty quickly. About a week and a half ago they looked fine, maybe a little underweight but nothing that I was all that concerned about. Anyways, I think part of it has to do with the suddenly colder weather because nothing in their diet has been decreased (in fact it was recently increased!). They get 4 flakes of local grass hay daily. They are also getting a small amount of beet pulp and rolled oats to mix their Quitt into, I'm not sure how much this weighs but its not much. This has been enough to keep a good weight on them up until recently like I said.
Anyways, any recomendations to put a little more weight on them? Note: I can't do free choice hay, it just doesnt work out.
Pictures for refence, taken today and yesterday. They may not show what I'm seeing weight wise so there are more here: Pictures by Rowzy - Photobucket
Horses need more hay when the weather is colder - it's digesting it that keeps them warm. Most likely they didn't get enough hay to keep warm when the cold snap hit, so they burned body fat to keep warm. Those of us who keep our horses outside 24/7 know that sometimes keeping the weight on a horse can be difficult in the winter. It's not unusual for them to lose a little. Not desireable, but not unusual.
The best way to put the weight on them is to increase their hay. They will gain weight and stay warm faster. If additional hay isn't an option for whatever reason, increase the beet pulp. You can also add alfalfa pellets to their diet. The price is reasonable, the horses love it. My horses get beet pulp, alfalfa pellets, flax meal and oats. I could buy a cheaper, all in one feed, but I like mixing my own. I can adjust the amounts each individual horse gets to suit their needs.
I have to admit that our horses do get free choice hay - we feed round bales. Last year, that didn't seem to make much difference - they still lost weight. This year we are feeding our own home grown hay - it's still just prairie hay - native grass and bermuda, but the horses haven't lost any weight at all - even the skinny ones we just took in are gaining - in spite of the record cold weather we had - so they hay is probably the magic ingredient. I have my doubts about the quality of the hay we fed last year. This year I know that althought they hay is far from alfalfa quality, it's adequate for their needs.
I know I'm wandering a bit, but I think what you might try is increasing their hay. Free choice would be optimal, but even just increasing their hay by a couple of flakes would help when the weather is really cold.
Here is a great article that I hope can help you out:
Alfalfa(or Timothy/Alfalfa) cubes or pellets
You could up the beet pulp probably
They don't seem to need a lot of weight, just some and more muscle.
Are they shedding?
I upped their hay and that seems to be helping. It really didnt show in the pictures but Roma's ribs were showing. I think it was the cold weather that we had.
No they are not shedding, but Gypsy has had a blanket on so she didn't grow a heavy winter coat on her body.
I don't see so much aa lack of weight as a lack of muscle
I agree with the others on increasing hay but you also need to try and balance the nutrition. What I have found is that it takes less to maintain or gain weight when the diet is closer to being balanced.
I agree with Peggy, I don't think they're all that skinny. Just need a little more muscle :]
If you want them to gain a little bit more I would try to up their hay as best you can and put them on a vitamin supplement or a ration balancer and give them some beet pulp with it. You could also give them some alfalfa if they can handle it.
Nutrition consulting is the process of knowing thoroughly about the diet which one will follow pertaining to one’s lifestyle.
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