Will this diet put on weight? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 66 Old 09-16-2019, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Will this diet put on weight?

My one gelding is very thin so am trying to get weight on him. Hopefully can get him somewhat fatter before real cold weather sets in.

Feeding nutrena senior 6 lbs and empower boost 2 lbs devided into three feeding. Plus alfalfa hay 4lbs then free choice grass hay. Grass hay is old stuff but was barn kept.

Still don't have my winter supply of round bales. Hay guy is apparently to busy to haul hay. Hesitant to post picture because he looks terrible. He was under weight earlier this summer now hes skinny.

Out riding my horse.
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post #2 of 66 Old 09-16-2019, 12:07 PM
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I'd personally go with a fat supplement that was greater than 80% fat. I have had great response to the Senior Weight Accelerator by Manna Pro. The two you mention are both 30% or less. So, more caloric bang for your $$$ with a higher fat content. The MP Sr Weight Accelerator is more palatable than something like Cool Calories (both of which are over 80%) but either can be added to something they like and I find all of mine will eat either of those two.
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Last edited by QtrBel; 09-16-2019 at 12:25 PM.
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post #3 of 66 Old 09-16-2019, 12:17 PM
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I feed pure rice bran that I get at the feedstore. A 50# bag only costs $15.
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post #4 of 66 Old 09-16-2019, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by TeeZee View Post
I feed pure rice bran that I get at the feedstore. A 50# bag only costs $15.

Yeah, I really like this stuff. It's 7 or 8 bucks a bag here. This week I'm going to start investing in it again and might be keeping an extra bag or two in our near-empty deep freeze, just to have on hand.
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post #5 of 66 Old 09-16-2019, 12:29 PM
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As there are mineral imbalances with rice bran I'd use caution when feeding or look at a stabilized product that has had minerals balanced. It is only 18% fat so would have to feed a fair amount for a horse that needed more than just a little extra boost. Some horses will only tolerate so much added to their feed. Ground flax has a much higher fat content at 40+%.
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post #6 of 66 Old 09-16-2019, 01:38 PM
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Just about any food fed will put on weight if the horse can & will eat enough of it..
Is this your horse who is so difficult to entice to eat?
He turns his nose up at most food or supplements after a few days? Walks away from meals...
If this is him...sadly I don't know that anything magical has been introduced on the market.

When was he scoped, truly scoped his innards to see what can be seen and if something such as a growth is what hinders his ability to eat well....
Can you haul him someplace where he would be fully vetted by those who specialize in situations like this?
I'm not sure a "local" vet is going to have the facilities and equipment that a place like a teaching university equine studies program would have such as New Bolton, Cornell, Rood & Riddle, Texas A & M or others in various locations around the country.
Although I not wish this on anyone or any animal, I almost hope you say it is the other horse...the one who will eat and now thin..

I did dig out two references for you that offer charts and breakdown of components in the specific feed/supplement to compare, to search for something better and maybe something you have not tried or not know about.
You need to push calories and highest fat content you can and still make the product palatable of your horse will never eat it.
The feed you are feeding is 1318 calories per pound versus Purina Ultium at 1863 calories per pound is a lot of difference in how dense a feed you're pushing.
Don't worry about protein amounts, it is non-relevant at this point when you need a horse to gain you push fat content since very rarely are you going to hit 16% or above in protein and be feeding double-digit pounds of it each feeding..you are a long way from those numbers.
I found Progressive Nutrition Envision Classic has a 15/26/11 ration {protein/fat/fiber}, Buckeye Feeds Ultimate Finish 25 has a 12/25/8 ration are some of the highest bang for the buck per pound in fat content.
I know the horse must be willing to eat what's offered but when I look at the chart and the breakdown on any of the Nutrena Senior feeds they just don't pack the punch you need.
The Empower Boost is what you are feeding not Balance, yes?
At 12/22/8 with pre and probiotics for healing a gut and utilizing what is fed it might be one of the easier things to entice the animal to eat.
Purina Amplify pushes more fat content with a ratio of 14/30/5.5 but it is not palatable to many horses and they will not eat it alone...it is a top-dressed supplement for a reason. That was told to me by Purina nutritionists in a phone call consult {free of charge}
The denseness of the fat component is what ups the caloric content. Higher the fat content the denser = more claories per pound it delivers.

Here are the links to the huge reference lists that do the homework for you...
Between the two charts you should be able to find a dense caloric feed, made with all the goodies in them he truly needs to thrive.
HorseDVM | Horse Feeds Comparison Tool

I hope you find a magical feed/supplement that your horse will love to eat so feeding become a non-issue for you to get your riding partner plush and healthier looking to your eye.
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post #7 of 66 Old 09-16-2019, 01:43 PM
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HLG you can add the Manna Pro Senior Weight Accelerator at 3/80/5.

This from their product page:
  • High fat and calorie levels for weight gain and body condition
  • Omega 3 fatty acids from Flaxseed for healthy skin and coat
  • Probiotics to support proper digestion
  • Biotin to support hoof growth
  • Plus it is easy to feed and Senior horses love the taste!
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post #8 of 66 Old 09-16-2019, 01:52 PM
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Stabilized rice bran here is @ $50. I only fed it in the spring to get a glossier coat as they were shedding out. I got the same results from adding a half a cup of oats, which is way cheaper.

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post #9 of 66 Old 09-16-2019, 01:54 PM
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Holy cow!!!

Manna Pro Senior Weight Accelerator
Did not know about that one...
That is power in a scoop fed.


The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #10 of 66 Old 09-16-2019, 02:12 PM
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Dumping calories into him won't work if you can't figure out why he's thin in the first place. Has this horse been scoped and had his teeth/mouth checked and blood drawn? When was the last time he was PowerPack dewormed? A healthy horse shouldn't be thin if given adequate food; I think there's something else going on causing the problem in the first place since you do actually feed your animals.

The refeeding regimen for underweight horses, even severely underweight, is a complete Senior feed plus all of the alfalfa hay the horse can eat. Once he's back up to weight you can reduce the alfalfa and put most of his forage back on grass/grass hay as long as he doesn't start losing. If you can't get alfalfa hay, I'd be feeding this horse a big scoop of soaked alfalfa cubes two or three times a day. Depending on what his bloodwork says, a magnesium and Vitamin E supplement may not be a bad idea, either-- especially if the horse hasn't had access to lush green pasture (long grass, not short cropped grass). I'm not a huge fan of alfalfa for otherwise healthy, good-weight horses but it truly works miracles for the skinny ones. A serving of Calf Manna by Manna-Pro added to this regimen really helps add to their overall bloom, too. One of my oldsters lost weight after being ill one summer-- he was down about 200 lbs. The vet said it might be time to put him down if we couldn't get weight back on before winter. Free-choice alfalfa added to his diet of Senior feed had that weight back on him in 6 weeks so he went into winter at a healthy weight and stayed there. The old guy stayed healthy and in good weight until he passed six years later at age 34.

This time of year, the grass doesn't have many nutrients in it, and older grass hay is pretty lacking in nutrition. It gives a horse something to do, but not much else. I'd be shoveling the alfalfa and senior feed into him (work up, of course, to avoid overdoing it at first) to get weight on before winter. Good alfalfa hay puts weight on horses safely and quickly. If the horse has good teeth and is otherwise healthy, I've never seen it fail. Without good teeth, soaked cubes are better, and if it's a health issue, you'll have to address that before any food will do much good. Four pounds of alfalfa isn't much. I'd double that, and if he's ok with that for a few days, let him go free choice alfalfa until he's back up to weight. Contrary to a lot of old wives' tales, alfalfa is a safe and healthy feed for horses, especially those who need a nutritional boost. A ranch I worked at for years pulled their dude horses off grass hay/pasture and put them right onto free-choice alfalfa as soon as they were brought in from winter pasture at the start of the season. No working up to it, just bang-- free choice round bales of top-quality alfalfa hay. With over 100 horses and several years' working there, I never saw any of those horses suffer any ill effects from it.
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Last edited by SilverMaple; 09-16-2019 at 02:25 PM.
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