Feeding Well But Horse Still Thin - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Wow that seems like a lot of hay per day. The owner before me didnt feed that much either but they looked a tad fatter when I got them from him. I used a Purina feed calculator to get that number for a 1000/1100 pound horse. ??
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post #12 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 06:01 PM
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Here's an article on feeding hay. Horse Hay: Guide to Feeding A Horse
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post #13 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 06:35 PM
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I completely agree with Dreamcatcher. Not nearly enough hay and ditch the crappy grain. More hay and a vitamin mineral supplement type grain or senior feed maybe, no sweet feeds. Also have you had your hay tested? It could be lower quality then what old owner was feeding? If its lower quality then you'll need to feed a bit more then recommended probably.

My horses each eat about 20-25lbs of hay a day...depends on the weather really...then they get about 1/2 lb of hay pellets to hide their powdered vitamin mineral supplement and magnesium supplement in haha! They're both around 15h TWH.
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post #14 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 06:39 PM
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First & foremost, if they're not getting a lot of grass, I'd up the hay. Assuming that's all they're getting, 12lbs is about enough for a 600lb pony. They need at least 2%bwt in forage. Assuming no/little grazing, I'd probably start with a couple of nets, with 12lbs *twice a day* in each & see how much they eat.
Horses also should have free access to feed, or at least little & often & not go hungry for periods between infrequent 'meals'. Putting it in small holed nets should allow it to last the day. Alfalfa/lucerne is high energy & too rich/out of balance nutritionally if you feed too much, but if you feed it as say, 1/4 of the forage ration, that will be a nice boost for them.

Next if they haven't been wormed recently, unless the vet did a fecal test & found them to be 'clean', then I would do that. And if they haven't had their teeth seen to in the last year, I'd organise a dentist. You don't say how old they are? I'd consider ulcers/gut damage a possibility for them not doing well & consider supping gut support herbs & ensuring easily digested feeds - ie not high sugar/starch, grainy...

*7 lbs Dumore Equistages (comparable to, and in some areas containing more nutrients, than Purina Strategy Edge and other Purina feeds for their age and activity level).
Curiously, I couldn't find any info on ingredients of Dumor feed, but I did find that it was made by Purina, apparently virtually the same as Strategy, because there is some condition that only one place in a given area is allowed to stock Purina branded feed, so they provide the Dumor to other stores that want to sell the same stuff. Shifty...

Anyway, *assuming* above is the case, going off Strategy info, I wouldn't personally feed this in any quantity due to it being 16.5% nsc. Aside from that, it seems to be OK.

And I'd want to do a nutritional analysis on their feed, and add whatever supplements were necessary to ensure a balanced diet. I'd add some salt to the feed & provide loose salt(I use unrefined sea salt) free choice. I notice a lack of magnesium for one, in the Strategy analysis.

* on Monday -Wednesday I may substitute 3.5 lbs of Dumor each feeding for sweet feed. They like it and it has the protein, fiber, fat and mineral levels reflected in most horse feeds. I cut it off Wednesday so they arent too hot to work with on the weekend.
Feeding big meals of sweets could be contributing to/perpetuating gut probs, especially feeding sporadically.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #15 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 06:47 PM
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[1970701191]Wow that seems like a lot of hay per day. The owner before me didnt feed that much either but they looked a tad fatter when I got them from him. I used a Purina feed calculator to get that number for a 1000/1100 pound horse. ??[/quote]

Don't forget, be it a feed calculator, nutritional advice, whatever, if you're asking a feed co these questions, of course they're going to advise minimal everything else, to maximise the amount of their feed you buy... I'd look to independent feed info/diet analysis.

Depends how much grazing they have, but even if decent now, 1 acre for 2 horses won't go far at all. Horses need at least around 2%bwt (ideal bwt that is) daily in forage. THEN you add other feed as may be necessary for nutrition, added calories, whatever.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg

Last edited by horselovinguy; 04-06-2019 at 08:19 PM.
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post #16 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 06:48 PM
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How long are they without hay? Does the 12lbs last them until the next feeding? You could add another feeding in a haynet, probably overnight since that's longer. If they are standing too long without hay that can contribute.

Alfalfa is a good choice.

Could you do round bales or large squares netted for free choice? My horse looks like junk whenever he isn't on free choice. Last winter he was quite underweight, this winter he's almost too fat, only change was a round bale vs 4x a day forked.
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post #17 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 07:13 PM
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The reason they are thin is because they need more hay!

I would not dream of maintaining a horse on 12 lbs of hay a day. They need 20-25lbs of hay every single day. I would increase to 25 lbs because you are trying to add weight, not just maintain their current weight.

Coastal is not very high in nutritional value so you need to feed more of it compared to alfalfa.
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post #18 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by rambo99 View Post
Horse looks fine barely see ribs, rest of body looks ok too.

Really? He looks very thin to me. And I don't just mean the ribs but he looks all sunk in around the spine, like he has no topline. Like a 30 yr old, not a 12 yr old. You also have to consider the winter coat. The coat is covering a lot.

I dunno, I would be very upset if my horse got that thin.
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post #19 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 08:08 PM
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I found you a chart that gives calories per pound of food from the big manufacturers.
Dumor is Tractor Supply brand but if you contact the company they should have the data to give you the numbers for calorie per pound....

Now, feeding the same amounts of food, same style is really a must for horses every single day.
Abrupt changes change the flora and fauna of the gut...the bacteria, and that can throw off the absorption and utilization rate they are able to get from food.

I would suggest you start by feeding more hay to your horses since pasture is very limited and not good nutrition yet.
Feed 2% of their optimum weight.
So if the horse should weigh 1000 pounds, then he should be fed 20 pounds of hay per day.
Do this for each of your horses....it will help.

The picture I saw showed a horse who is lacking considerable weight when his tailhead is seen, his wither is so prominent he has no fat pads where they should be in several areas of his body, and his spine is shown.
Your horse is also lacking muscle tone, but you need to address weight gain before muscle gain.
My horses are also fed alfalfa hay cubes, soaked to soften to a texture safe for them to eat.
I feed approximately 3 pounds of cubes {dry weight} now with water added to mushy consistency with their full ration of feed mixed in to it...they lick their buckets clean.
The extra calories of the alfalfa have helped immensely in my older OTTB, but all my horses get and all have improved body condition this year..

As others have said...
Teeth, worming up to date are a must
Also make sure you treat for sand accumulation in the gut as a coating also retards or stops food absorption = weight loss.
I do sand clear every month as it doesn't hurt them to make sure they are not harboring sand in their guts...

I too purchase my foods from Tractor Supply.
At one time I fed what you are feeding, but it was not carried often and inconsistency doesn't work so I changed brands of food fed and feed according to bag labels is vitally important.
I also feed Dumor brand cubes as they are 50 pound bags versus Standlee 40 pound bags and a bit cheaper.

This is a start to the right direction you want your horses to appear.
Start slow and changes made do over several days to week - 10 days time...
Good luck.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #20 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 08:42 PM
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I would revamp their whole feeding thing. What you feed, how much, and how often. For starters I would buy alfalfa and whatever grass hay that they are used to eating. I think that even gradually bringing the alfalfa up to 50% would be ok for a while until the weight gets on them and then drop it down to 25% to keep it on. Drop the sweet feed altogether and then maybe switching over to a ration balancer if you can keep the weight on with the proper amount of hay. With very limited pasture, you are just not feeding enough hay. The forage is very important. I wouldn't just keep upping the hard feed, I would actually try to eliminate it over time.

As far as only being able to feed twice a day? Get two hay nets and put about 10 to 12 lbs of hay in each one twice a day. The nets will slow their eating down so they have forage to eat almost all of the time. If you find that one horse chases the other off of the net then put out three or four of them strung about on the fence. Another alternative would be to get a round bale and net that so there is little waste and feed them a nice flake of alfalfa each twice a day or the equivalent poundage of alfalfa cubes or pellets twice a day.

I bet that if they had all of the hay that they needed you will find in time that they would only need a ration balancer or vitamin/mineral supplement on top of it. Vitamin E is important if they are not getting enough fresh green grass as it quickly disappears out of the hay.

Unless the vet did a fecal test for them there is no way of telling how much of a parasite load that they are carrying. You can't tell just by looking at them. If you don't want to have a fecal done then just deworm them with a paste anyway. Teeth are something that needs to be done on at least a yearly basis. Very rarely have I seen that a horse doesn't need their teeth done after a year since the last time.
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