Weight gain for a horse who's allergic to everything under the sun!
So about a year ago, we found out that Sandie is allergic to molasses and soy bean...basically one of these is in EVERY commerical horse feed out there, so we had to take her off of the Tribute Essential K she was on and switch her to just a rolled barley filler with some supplements. She has always been a very easy keeper...I work her about every other day and still on the tribute she was borderline chunky ;)
Well since we took her off commerical feed and she's only on barley with the following multi vitamin supplement, she has actually started to look ribby :(
SmartVite Performance Grass Pellets - Horse Multi-Vitamin Supplements from SmartPak Equine
She is getting 4 (rather large) flakes of hay per day (2 AM and 2 PM) plus for the middle of the day she goes out in the pasture and eats grass in the summer/fall and in spring/winter they stay in a mud lot for turnout, but it has a TON of their hay in a big hay wagon so they can munch all day long out there. This is in addition to the 4 big flakes she gets in her stall.
So several months ago I added a fat supplement to her diet, in the form of "Cool Calories" - she has been on the max dose probably 6 months now...
Cool Calories 100 - Horse Weight Gain Supplements from SmartPak Equine
Her coat was starting to look dull, so I added this Omega Horseshine supplement to her diet as well, that was about 1 month ago...
Omega Horseshine - Horse Skin & Coat Supplements from SmartPak Equine
Now through all this she STILL looks kinda ribby. She's not skinny, but you can see her ribs when she is running around. So she's kinda on the edge of needing a few more lbs packed on her! Anyone have any products they've used that work really well for them? Thoughts on the above products I am currently using?
LOL, I was worried there for a minute about her allergies, but I'm not worried anymore, I see that she isn't allergic to anything that she wpuld naturally choose to eat!
I'm no expert, but I'm wondering how many extras she actually needs, plenty of hay and grass should provide what she needs simply for maintenance, so you only had to add extra calories to supply work energy.
Rather than going for 'products' and putting money in the pockets of people who put fancy names and packaging on stuff, (I know pet peeve of mine) You could try adding either BOSS or flax seed to her barley ration, they both provide oil, which in affect is your cool calories, and oil is also great for adding some shine to a coat.
All you then need is a ration balancer or a mineral supplement, if you feel you need it.
Without pics, Hint hint, it's hard to say what condition she is in and if you are looking to maintain her or build her up any!!
Does she have to be stalled?
The reason I ask is because I find horses who are on stall time, only get a certain amount of hay access. When Nelson was being left in a stall, that was 15+ hours a day. Come in at 4, don't get let out until 10ish the next morning.
Figure hay would be given when they come in, takes a couple of hours to eat it up, which leaves the rest of that 15+ hours with nothing to eat.
I had Nelson on Ultimate Finish 100, plus his round bale when he was out during the day *I thought he was being left out at night as well, but turns out the barn wasn't following my requests* which made me realize why he wasn't gaining weight.
Now that he is out 24/7 at the new barn, I can't see ribs what-so-ever.
I believe, it was the stall time that caused that.
Sounds like, during the day, sandie is getting plenty of roughage. Maybe there is something going on in her digestive tract that is causing the lack of weight gain - maybe a digestive suppliment?
Now that we are at the new place, Nelson is infront of a round bale 24/7 - I know this because I am not paying for a stall. Plus fed twice a day - eating this:
ProAdvantage Hi-Fat Formula
ProAdvantage Grass Formula
I am still thrilled with SmartPaks suppliments - the SmartDigest Ultra I have Nelson on, and the SmartGut Pellets.
How much are you spending a month on all those suppliments you are buying?
Well as soon as I posted this, I thought I'd give Smart Pak a call. And they told me that with all the fat supplement she's on, if it's not doing anything then fat may not be the issue...it may be protein. And I am shocked I never thought of that! Before we discovered her allergies, we had her on Tribute Essential K, a ration balancer which had a high % of protein in it. I had to take her off once I found out she's allergic to molasses and soy bean, since it has soy bean in it :(
So I just ran out of my bag of cool calories and won't be buying another bag (a 160-day supply was about $55). Instead, I'm going to put that same $10-11 per month into a supplement they carry called "Tri-amino" which includes just the minimum amino acids (protein) a horse not on a traditional feed might need.
I'm going to give that a try with just her regular multivitamin and her omega horseshine and see what that combination gives me :)
Altogether with those 3 supplements, it costs about $60 per month. I know there are a lot of people out there just trying to snag your hard earned $$, but the SmartPak people have typically been pretty good about offering me different options (for extra she's only on 3/4 the maintenance dose of the Omega since she's a smaller horse/large pony) and they've actually mentioned if it doesn't work I should try just plain old flax seed.
I'll give it a shot for a few months and if I don't notice any changes then I will reconsider I guess! :)
Sounds like you have a start.
But IL just add, we had a boarders horse a few years ago that was allergic to everything...now I mean everything! Bran, alfalfa, different forms of yeast, different forms of mold, brome grass, various tree species...good lord this horse broke out in hives every time ya turned around.
What we found worked best, was a senior feed made by McCauleys (cant remember the exact name...Ill look into that)...but it was designed for horses allergic to most other pelleted feeds, we also had him on oil, and flax, as well as beet pulp (in this case you'd need the molasses free)....and he thrived, gained weight, and he didn't break out in hives nearly as often...of course he did on occasion, but it wasn't all the time like prior to the feed change.
Another good weight builder is Rice Bran Oil, you may want to check onto that.
Let me know! I haven't been able to find anything without at least soy bean in it. And she doesn't get hives...much worse... :( she gets these granulomas that won't go away and irritate the heck out of her and get rubbed raw by the tack if they're in the wrong place. They usually have to be cut off :( so I'm very careful not to feed her anything with soy of any type in it...and no molasses.
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What kind of hay is she getting in her stall, regular grass?
If so, have you considered a simple addition of alfalfa (either hay or pellets)?
She gets a mix of Timothy and Orchard mainly, depends on the delivery. I wondered about the alfalfa hay but I've heard it's really easy for a horse to founder if given too much of it. How true is all that/how much do you think would be reasonable to give her?
I don't know how your horse would handle it, but some of ours get free choice alfalfa year around and we've yet to have a case of founder or even colic.
Ok it was the ALAM. Here is the link.
You may want to contact them directly regarding ingredients.
But If I remember correctly it is made up differently then most pelleted feed, so I do think that soy was omitted....but again this was a few years ago, so I wouldn't be able to say for sure.
Hope this helps
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