Not feeding enough? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-07-2017, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Not feeding enough?

Hi everyone, I am currently feeding my horse who is 15.2 quarterhorse x Thoroughbred - 1.5kg of Combie chaff and about 500g - 1kg of Allrounder along with 3 biscuits of Meadow hay morning and night. I spoke to my local fed store and they told me to fed this. My horse has just been turned out as he is underweight and I'm wanting to put weight on! Am I feeding enough for weight? Or is there anything I should add. When it starts to become colder and closer to winter ( Live in Victoria) I will be adding Biomare.
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-07-2017, 02:37 AM
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Living in the states I'm not familiar with Allrounder feed but it should tell you on the bag how much your horse should be fed.

Many people feed hay by the flake or biscuit as you call them but free choice grass hay is better if your horse cannot maintain his weight on what he's getting. 1% of his body weight is the MINIMUM amount of hay/pasture he should get daily. At 15.2 your horse should weigh about 1000 lbs which would be 10 lbs of hay (sorry about using pounds maybe you can convert them so they make more sense to you).

Feed for what he should weigh not what he currently weighs.

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post #3 of 8 Old 05-07-2017, 04:35 AM Thread Starter
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He is very fussy with his hay, won't eat any hay but Meadow hay, we have tried every other hay but he will not eat it! He is paddocked 24/7 doesn't get stabled is rugged up with a Wollon, doona and 250 1200D rug as he is a cold horse that feels the cold very easily. I'm just nervous that if I fed to much he may colic.
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-07-2017, 06:43 AM
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Horses in the wild live by grazing alone and the natural body can and will do best on more forage {meadow hay} given.
Your horse will not colic from eating hay, good & clean hay...this kind of hay he is accustomed to eating all the time.

Grains, or concentrates can overload the belly and digestive tract if fed to much at once.
Overloading the gut as it is referred to can create issue for some....
If you are feeding concentrates, increase slowly the amount fed over several days if needed but feed more meals with less amount in it so the horse not get "gut overload"...

If your horse is needing weight gained you must feed him more calories than he consumes in his daily existence.
It is no different for a horse to gain or lose weight than a human being....extra calories is weight gain, less calories is weight loss and proper amount of calories is weight maintained.

Me, feed that horse more hay in whatever amount you call it....flakes, biscuits,......
A horse of that size I would be looking at a minimum of 6 - 8 good sized and weighted pieces per day every day or more.

As for the animal being cold...
Yes, some horses do feel the cold more.
If the horse is happier with a blanket on, then do blanket him!
A cold horse will also consume more calories trying to stay warm so using more calories will also prevent weight gain you want...
A thin horse also not has no fat layer to stay warmer...a vicious cycle.
Feed the horse more hay, yes.
When colder weather arrives also always offer more hay round the clock as digestion helps to warm the horse....
Bottom line is it takes more food to fatten a animal than maintain a healthy weighted one...

Good luck.
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-07-2017, 12:00 PM
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The way to get a horse to hold more body heat and gain weight is feed more fiber, and that is hay or grass, so up the hay you are feeding him, in fact make sure he has the hay he likes to eat in front of him at all times.
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-07-2017, 05:54 PM
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Feed more! What is the recommendation on the bag that your horse feed comes in per kg of horse?

Every horses metabolism is different. Some are easy keeper, some are very hard keepers. Just like people. Cobs tend to be easy keepers, thoroughbred types less so. You have to feed to the horse.
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-09-2017, 08:17 PM
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Brrr, I'm in the Yarra Valley & I don't like to think it's going to get colder still!

So the horse is 24/7 pasture, but hasn't been for long? That, &/or free choice grass hay is where I'd start. You don't tell how she has been fed/managed previously, or exactly how much she's getting now(how heavy hay biscuits? How much Allrounder?) but if she's been well fed, I'd want to get to the bottom of *why* she's a hard keeper, not just feed her up more.

I would avoid/minimise high sugar/starch feeds actually, which may possibly be behind your horse's 'hard-keeperism'. And if high sugar/grainy feeds have been fed in larger &/or infrequent meals - such as only once or twice daily, that can be more problematic. Ulcers & hind gut acidosis are common results of this, as well as common reasons for 'failure to thrive'.

I'd avoid grainy feed or sweet(ened) feed. Neither the Allrounder or the Biomare tell NSC(sugar+starch) levels, but they both(Biomare esp) are grain-based feeds it seems. Hygain only lists ambiguous ingredients of 'cereal grains' etc, so it sounds no fixed ingreds - they use whatever 'cereal grain' is cheapest at the time, for eg. Biomare has corn & wheat, of which cereals I would be particularly reticent to feed - corn for eg. is WAY high in starch.

So... I'd be giving her some straight lucerne(alfalfa) chaff or hay, rather than mixed with high NSC oaten chaff, and consider ingredients such as beet pulp, a little copra meal or ricebran, if you need extra high energy ingredients. Do a diet analysis on whatever base feeds like that you choose, then you can work out what nutritional supps she might need to 'fill the gaps' in her diet.( is one good (& Australian) option for taking the headache out of that).
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-09-2017, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by indiabillings14 View Post
doesn't get stabled is rugged up with a Wollon, doona and 250 1200D rug as he is a cold horse that feels the cold very easily. I'm just nervous that if I fed to much he may colic.
Firstly, curious why you were considering 'Biomare' specifically, if he's a he, too? And yes, if you feed too much *rich, sugary* feed, esp if too large &/or infrequent meals, this is a colic risk. Feeding grass, hay & other high fibre forage type(like beet pulp) is not really a problem there. And if he's 'fussy', it is very possible it's due to bad teeth, ulcers or such.

He has THREE rugs on now?? What are you going to put on him when it gets to winter?? Not that we Australians really understand what cold is, relative to other places. And horses are... horses - built to be out in the open, with a hair coat... So horses rarely NEED rugs in Aus.

Rugs, particularly heavy ones(esp multiple layers), esp if on full time, can *inhibit* a horse's ability to regulate their own temperature naturally. They cause the muscles under the skin to atrophy, they prevent good hair growth, and on warmer days(& even cold days, if too much) they can act as a 'sauna suit', making horses too hot(which can cause weightloss too).

So saying, if he had been kept in a warm stable until now, come from up north, or has been rugged long term(so likely has little winter coat & muscles under skin aren't good) & is not acclimatised to cold, if he's been clipped, has a particularly fine coat, cannot exercise for some reason, is old & sick... the horse may well benefit from being rugged. But it should be kept to a minimum, the lightest(weight-wise at least) rug possible, and it should be taken off on warmer days, and regularly otherwise.

Meaning, by all means, rug your horse if you see fit, but do educate yourself about the pros & cons, the factors & effects first, so you can make an informed decision on whether/how to do it for the best.
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