Another "Need weight and Fast" post...Please help!!
This is Missy. She is a 20 year old Welsh Pony. As you can tell, she desperately need to gain weight. I am suppose to be getting her this weekend as the owners are unable to care for her like she needs. (they work alot, and kids do sports on weekends) They are giving her to us. Missy's problem is she does not have very many back teeth so it is hard for her to get the proper nutrition she needs to keep the weight on. Her owners did not realize she was like this when they got her and she quickly lost weight do to the fact. They have since taken her to the vet and had her teeth floated and Missy was put on a diet of Senior Feed and Alfalfa cubes, soaked 2 to 3 times a day. My question is....What can I give her that will put some weight back on her quick before she starts loosing muscle? I know I cannot just pour the food to her because you run the risk of founder, but is there anything out there that would put weight on her quick enough to get her out of the danger zone. Missy has a clean bill of health and is up to date on her shots, worming, neg. coggins, etc. Any information you can give me will be greatly appreciated. I would like to have Missy in our little herd for a while if possible.
Fat is the key. Feed her high fat foods to begin with and you can add vegetable oil (or some type of vegetable oil like corn oil) to her grain. You can increase it by 2 table spoons each time to gradually get her up to 1-2 cups with her feed.
Fat has a ton more calories in it than protein or carbs, but is safe so you don't have to worry about the issues that go with overfeeding grains. Not only that but it is FAST! You'll see the effects in about 10 days once the fat in the diet has been increased to a good portion (closer to the 1 cup mark).
Hope that helps :)
Currently she is getting fed two and a half (large) coffee cans of senior feed 2x a day and a handful of alfalfa cubes that have been soaked. Her current owners said that she really needs that 3x a day but they are unable to do that because they both work. Is this too much, not enough, or enough for her? It sounds like a lot of feed to me...
That is certainly a lot of grain. Coffee can should estimate around 5# per can. So 12.5# twice a day. Holy crap.
What has put the most weight on Froggy is free choice hay, a hay based feed with Flax, Beet pulp, Ricebran, corn/veg oil, apple cider vinegar. He gets 5# of that mix twice a day. Free choice forage is best to slowly gain weight.
Free choice hay would be great, but since she doesn't really have back teeth that won't work well. My friend has the same problem and has them on beet pulp along with the senior feed.
But like I said the best way for fast weight gain without worrying about all the feeding problems of over graining is a high fat and added fat diet.
I would try alfalfa pellets, or alfalfa\timothy mix pellets, to help supplement the senior feed. I am going to assume that the senior feed is a complete feed? That would explain why they would be trying to give her a little more, than say, a normal feed, that is not designed for complete feeding.
Again, though, I would try supplementing the senior feed, or mixing the alfalfa pellets with the feed.
If you are going to just supplement with the soaked cubes, you may need to up the amount she is getting; a 'handful' doesn't sound like a whole lot.
I would try the beet pulp, as well; I know here, there are beet pulp pellets (so much easier to feet than the flakes, if I had to feed them!); they can be fed soaked or unsoaked.
Considering she doesn't have good back teeth, I would try soaking ALL of what you feed her, though...even the senior feed may not be benefitting her much, since they use the back teeth to grind everything with.
I would consider asking a vet their opinion on what to feed and how much to feed.
Yes, people can give you suggestions but you just never know. You can run the risk of feeding her way to much for the poor girl.
Thank you all for your help in this matter. I have wrote down all your suggestions and I have an appointment with my vet Saturday to speak with him on this matter and have Missy examined. :-)
I second the alfalfa pellets and beet pulp, along with a good fat like flax meal or rice bran.
You might also consider chopped hay since her teeth aren't so good.
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