Colt that wonít gain weight - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 01-03-2018, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Colt that wonít gain weight

I recently moved my horses from a bad boarding situation where they all lost an incredible amount of weight. My two mares have gained a great amount of weight in the past month but my 2 year old Arabian/warmblood just isnít gaining. He was riddled with parasites and has been power packed, he has had his teeth looked at twice and is otherwise in general good health. He gets free choice high quality mixed grass hay and 2 separate feedings:

Am feeding:
6lbs of Pinnacle 1200 hi fat
1cup BOSS
1 cup corn oil

Pm feeding:
6lbs of pinnacle 1200 hi fat
1 cup BOSS
1 cup corn oil
4oz dumor weight booster

Is there something else I can add or should be doing? Iím beginning to get so discouraged. I took pictures for comparison and cried the whole way home afterwards. Is he gaining and Iím just not seeing it?
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post #2 of 22 Old 01-03-2018, 08:23 PM
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He's looking better, but still a ways to go. I'd suggest talking to a vet.
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post #3 of 22 Old 01-03-2018, 08:24 PM
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He has gained a little bit, so don't be too discouraged. However, you are right that he needs to gain more.

Here's something I learned the hard way:
The types of bacteria in a horse's gut that digest food either thrive in an acidic environment or a non-acidic environment.

If you feed large amounts of both grain and hay, the gut will either become acidic and the bacteria that digest grain will thrive, or the gut will become less acidic and the bacteria that digest hay will thrive. When feeding grain, the gut always becomes acidic. So the horse will lose the ability to digest hay well.

This means you get stuck feeding massive amounts of feed and the horse does not gain weight because he is not digesting his hay very well. So essentially he is living off the 12 lbs of grain.

I say grain, because even though your feed is advertised as lower carb it still has a NSC level of 24% and also the first ingredient listed is oats.

If you want your horse to gain weight you will need to cut back the grain drastically and feed non-acidic feeds instead.
Switch him over gradually to several pounds of alfalfa pellets and a couple pounds of beet pulp and take his complete feed down to only a couple pounds a day (the BOSS and oil is fine). This will help his gut bacteria switch over to the type where he can digest his hay really well, and then he will get all the nutrition from it.

Keep giving the free choice good quality grass hay, and add a couple flakes of alfalfa a day if you can.
His distended belly is from him trying to keep the hay inside his intestines longer to see if he can digest it.

My mare was a hard keeper for years, and I kept just increasing the grain until I finally figured this out. Now she is fatter than she's ever been, on just several pounds of complete feed along with less hay than she's ever needed. I used to feed her 10 lbs of oats and she was still skinny. It was scary to cut back her feed when she was thin, but it was the best thing I've done for her.
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post #4 of 22 Old 01-03-2018, 08:36 PM
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I think I see improvement in his hind quarters.... the top of his butt looks a little better filled in, not quite so hollow.
The back and spine will be the last to show marked improvement.
It takes a incredible amount to get a depleted animal on the road to recovery.
Please remember you must start the healing of the insides before you will see any difference on the outside.
With a animal so depleted as this one was, so much needs to gain back.
Also remember as a growing youngster you are also dealing with the demands of a growing body and that takes more nutrition going in....
You will get there, it will not be overnight nor should it be actually.
It took time for the horses to get depleted, it will take time to repair and improve their condition too.
The body is healing and just is taking longer than you want...but it is recovering.
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post #5 of 22 Old 01-03-2018, 08:38 PM
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Hm. I agree to get a vet check. I had that problem with my horse and got GI. Track probiotic and a little bit of beet pulp. Helped greatly.

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post #6 of 22 Old 01-03-2018, 08:56 PM
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Poor baby! He is looking a tiny bit better, but yes still a long way to go. As a youngster may not have had any reserves like the older mares did. Plus he needs good nutrition to grow in addition to regaining what was lost.

Definitely take him to the vet. Also is it cold where you are? He does not need to be out in the cold without protection (blanket). He just cannot afford to use energy on trying to keep warm.

Would give him free choice hay 24/7. Probiotics can help regain a healthy gut. Worming may be needed again too.

Praying he returns to health soon and suffers no bad effects from this.

Would be very tempted to sue the place that did this to him!
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-03-2018, 10:05 PM
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I would feed less concentrates, and instead, feed a more nutritionally dense hay, like hay that is around 50% alfalfa
Soaked beet pulp is also good, as it is halfway between forage and grain,far as calories, but is digested like a fiber and a fiber that is very easy to digest, thus boosts actual efficiency of digestion, and has none of the associated risks of feeding hot calories (NSC),directionally in proportion to the amounts fed
Far as a fat source, I would use flax or canola oil,as those are the only two fats, besides fish oil, now recommended to feed hroses , due tot he Omega 3 to 6 ratio

Sunflower seeds (Boss ) and corn oil are almost all omega 6. Boss is almost all omega 6, and corn oils also high in omega 6 Omega 6 is inflammatory,while Omega 3 is the opposite
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post #8 of 22 Old 01-03-2018, 10:11 PM
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oils routinely used in horse feeds, only canola oil and
soy oil have a respectable omega-3 content, though
still much lower than the amount of omega-6 provided.
Supplemental omega-3 fatty acids are often
added to the diet with flaxseed or flaxseed/linseed oil,
fish oils (eg, menhaden, cod liver, salmon, krill), and
oils from special types of algae. Fish oils and algal
oils are unique in that the omega-3 fatty acids they
provide are the longer-chain conversion products of
ALA, and are thus the fatty acids with the most biological
activity. It is worth noting that the total
amount of omega-3 supplied by forages often surpasses
the amount of omega-3 fatty acids that are provided
by the level of flax or fish oil typically
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post #9 of 22 Old 01-03-2018, 10:17 PM
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Here is a good link, that goes into Omega 3 and 6, and also has a chart, comparing their ratio of values in various fats used
I would NOT be using BOSS!

Omega-3 and -6 Fatty Acids for Horses: Is There an Ideal Ratio? | Equinews
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post #10 of 22 Old 01-03-2018, 11:13 PM
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The reason he is not gaining is because he needs more protein! Switch his hay to alfalfa and/or feed alfalfa pellets.

When horses drop weight, first they use up their carbohydrate stores and body fat. After that they break down muscle.

You have added enough calories with the oil and grain. You need protein for him to build up muscle.

If you just add fat, you get a pot bellied horse.
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