OTTB not gaining weight
Hey guys maybe one of your horse experts can help me out here. I recently bought an OTTB off the track and I'm having real trouble getting her to gain weight in fact i think she has lost weight since coming here. i have 3 other horses that are all gaining weight or doing fine. they get one half a coffee can of stradigidy and one can country acres 10% sweet feed fed 2 times daily are on full time turn out with some pretty depelted pastures (thanks to no rain) and free choice Bermuda/ Alicia hay free choice.
she actually gets more stradigy then the other horses she gets one FULL coffee can of stradigy and about 2/3rds of a can of sweet feed fed 2 times daily. i have wormed her 2 times with safeguard and ivamec.
i got two other skinny horses when i got her and they are putting on weight doing really well but she is looking skinnier than ever, i think she may have ulcers. she had a hard 5 or 6 day trip here. I'm wondering if anyone else has had OTTBs or thoroughbreds that might shed some light on this for me or offer some good suggestions as to why she is not gaining and in fact seems to be losing weight. she is 4 years old and sound. coam straight off the track. no injuries (so they said) just didn't want to run anymore.
It would probably be a good idea to have your TB mare scoped by your Vet to check for ulcers. That should really be on your agenda to have done for her. It is best to feed supplements by weight rather than "coffee can" measurements. For example, on the average a horse's stomach holds only a maximum of 4 pounds of a grain supplement per feeding twice daily.
I have had my OTTB for 8 weeks and he is about 200 pounds under weight. It takes a while to get weight on or you will run into problems with colic. We are slowly adding more grain to him since he was mostly on a sweet feed diet and i am moving away from this. My barn manager took courses in equine nutrition(sp) and feed them stridder brand grain and hay. Plus the more you ride him the more muscle he will put on once you change his diet also. I recommend slow changes since I am always affraid of colic with OTTB horses. Check his out put and make sure its nice and round (apples) if it is he eating and digesting his food well. If you see corn or feed he isnt digesting his food and I would slowly change it to something else he can tolerate and get the nutrients he needs.
I don't know how big this coffee can you are talking about is, but I can't imagine it is anywhere near enough. You need to measure by weight.
I would be ditching the sweet feed if I were you and replacing it with something like rice bran. Sweet feed is very low in any sort of nutritional value.
HowClever hit on some really good points.
Beet pulp added to her diet might help too.
Clearly she needs more calories than she is currently getting.
What kind and how much hay does she get? How is she in turn out (stressed, relaxed, etc)?
Maybe her teeth need to be floated?
You have to remember TB's have a higher metabolism than other horses a OTTB probably has an even higher one if raced in the recent past. THey will require 2x's as much calories as say a QH, Arab, Paint... It is the way they are bred. I took care of TB's on the race track for a couple years as my first job. The ones who were not coming up on a race and just being breezed / trained were getting 6qts of 13% sweet feed two times a day + as much hay as they wanted + Rice bran oil (4oz 2x's a day)+ supplements. If they were racing with in a month and training hard they would get even more feed and supplements. Its all about their metabolism. I have had great success with using Rice Bran oil. Unlike some of the other oils that loose their nutritional value when being processed it does not. A quality rice bran oil will have "sediment" laying at the bottom that has to be shaken to dispurse. I am by far no expert but I hope this helps you understand and put it into perspective.
Ahh, gotta love the hard to put weight on, TB's :) I'm there too, I have a TB, but he's doing quite nicely.
As you already stated, the most important factor is hay, hay, hay, hay, hay. As much has as possible. You said that your horses are on free choice, which is wonderful. As much access to the hay, the better.
I would definately get her scoped for ulcers, if you don't have the money to scope, you can treat - go with SmartPaks SmartGut Pellets. I had my boy on that, and I loved the results.
I would also look into a Digestive Aid supplement. There are many horses out there who's systems just aren't working properly, where there is a missing link somewhere, causing the lack of weight gain. A digestive aid supplement will help with that. Again, I used SmartPaks SmartDigest Ultra.
*I'm not trying to push SmartPak, I only suggest it because that's what I used, and can only go by what I experienced.* there are many great products out there that can help you, doesn't have to be smartpak.
The feeding schedule - I would divide it up to 3 feedings a day, and I would get rid of the sweet feed all together. It's garbage. That's like feeding your children Corn Pops for meals all day, everyday. Crap, no nutrition at all.
For the TB, I would look into a Senior Feed. Like Tripple Crown Senior. With Tripple Crown Senior, you are getting more bang for your buck - it has TONS of shaved Beat Pulp in the mix, it also has plenty of Rice Bran, along with other great ingredients.
When I was feeding Tripple Crown Senior to my boy, I was giving him 10lbs a day, which was split up in seperate feedings.
Of course, teeth checked is very important. It can be helped!
Question: What is the time frame here, how long since she was moved and had her diet changed?
Slow and steady weight gain is best, although it can be frustrating waiting to see the effects.
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