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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read so much about this, but after my horse colicked a bit ago, I've been super careful about how much he's eating etc.

So on August 6, we I started him on soaked alfalfa cubes. I've been giving 2-3 handfuls in the evening, which comes out to about 7-9 cubes. Obviously, not a lot, pound wise. He IS gaining weight, but he still needs to pack on more, and I am now working more on building muscle too. So, should I increase how much he gets? Should I add 2-3 handfuls in the morning? He's also turned out 24/7.

Photo of him from last night. Sorry if it uploads sideways - I cant view or edit photos on my work computer, so I am not sure how it looks.

Thanks guys!
 

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I feed mine about 5lbs. I don't think 5-7 cubes would be enough to really make much of a difference.

What are you doing to put on muscle? If that involves more exercise than before I would definitely increase the feed.

Your horse looks ok from the photo, but it's hard to tell exactly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I feed mine about 5lbs. I don't think 5-7 cubes would be enough to really make much of a difference.

What are you doing to put on muscle? If that involves more exercise than before I would definitely increase the feed.

Your horse looks ok from the photo, but it's hard to tell exactly.
It's 7-9, but that's not much more. Do you feed 5 lbs all at once, or broken up into several meals?

This photo is from August 6. You can still see/feel his spine, the dock (I think that's what that's called) and his shoulder bones. All have filled in since we got him, but he still has weight to gain.

We've only had him since june, he hadn't really been getting any exercise at all. We are just doing light riding, so nothing super strenuous, but more than before. Trying to ride for an hour 3-4 nights a week.
 

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We've worked The Old Man up to four or five handfuls, once a day (evening), plus his usual senior feed portion morning and evening. He gets protein tub access 24/7. He's just now looking more like he should.



I think that extra bit you're giving your boy, maybe even two more handfuls, since you're riding him now, would be beneficial. By now his tummy has adjusted to the alfalfa and the feed.
 
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I have been feeding alfalfa cubes did the 3 to 4 handfuls 2 times a day. Really saw no change in weight gain after several weeks.

Upped it to 4 lbs in am 3 lbs pm horse is starting to gain weight slowly. Plus I feed a senior feed and mix the alfalfa cubes in with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have been feeding alfalfa cubes did the 3 to 4 handfuls 2 times a day. Really saw no change in weight gain after several weeks.

Upped it to 4 lbs in am 3 lbs pm horse is starting to gain weight slowly. Plus I feed a senior feed and mix the alfalfa cubes in with it.
We have seen gain, but hard to say if that's just because he's got 24/7 turn out with us, or because of the alfalfa!
 

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It takes between 2 - 3 weeks of increased food fed to start to see a difference...
Being your horse was not skin and bones he also would be harder to see the difference happening.
You need specific areas filled in, not a everywhere addition and the areas you need coverage are some of the hardest to cover.
Being you are also building muscle at this time that will also change the horses looks and his food requirements.
I feed my horse 3 huge handfuls of cubes...then I cover with water 3/4 bucket filled with water and let them soak.
That amount of cubes mounds out the top of a 5 gallon flat back water bucket and when I dump it in a large flat feed high sided pan on the stall floor I add more water and mix it together.
On my horse it is what made him appear finally healthy...

Please make sure you are soaking those cubes before feeding as fed dry you run a serious risk of choke or impaction as they will steal every drop of moisture in the throat, gut and intestine and expand to form a potential blockage.
You need to soak first for safest feeding.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It takes between 2 - 3 weeks of increased food fed to start to see a difference...
Being your horse was not skin and bones he also would be harder to see the difference happening.
You need specific areas filled in, not a everywhere addition and the areas you need coverage are some of the hardest to cover.
Being you are also building muscle at this time that will also change the horses looks and his food requirements.
I feed my horse 3 huge handfuls of cubes...then I cover with water 3/4 bucket filled with water and let them soak.
That amount of cubes mounds out the top of a 5 gallon flat back water bucket and when I dump it in a large flat feed high sided pan on the stall floor I add more water and mix it together.
On my horse it is what made him appear finally healthy...

Please make sure you are soaking those cubes before feeding as fed dry you run a serious risk of choke or impaction as they will steal every drop of moisture in the throat, gut and intestine and expand to form a potential blockage.
You need to soak first for safest feeding.
:runninghorse2:...

oh, they are definitely soaked! My hands are very small, so one handful doesn't come out to much.

Here's a photo from July 3. we'd had him a week or so.... He's obviously coming along. It's so satisfying seeing the progress.
 

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Better practice is to WEIGH what you feed. A "handful" is no kind of measurement and neither is a cube.

I have been feeding my pony four pounds alfalfa cubes a day (2 lbs morn and eve) for about three months, after she turned up her nose at beet pulp and hay extender pellets. I soak her cubes before feeding. She is a slow picky eater and a very slow gainer, but finally you can't see her ribs although you sure can still feel every one. She is 12.2, and last week when I taped her she weighed 570 pounds. She's not big.

I have started adding 2/3rds of a pound of RenewGold to her daily ration; it's essentially copra and stabilized rice bran. Too soon to tell on that. She also gets free choice grass hay and graze 24/7.

You aren't feeding very much extra to your horse right now. Also only work adds muscle, not feed. He's a nice looking guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Better practice is to WEIGH what you feed. A "handful" is no kind of measurement and neither is a cube.

I have been feeding my pony four pounds alfalfa cubes a day (2 lbs morn and eve) for about three months, after she turned up her nose at beet pulp and hay extender pellets. I soak her cubes before feeding. She is a slow picky eater and a very slow gainer, but finally you can't see her ribs although you sure can still feel every one. She is 12.2, and last week when I taped her she weighed 570 pounds. She's not big.

I have started adding 2/3rds of a pound of RenewGold to her daily ration; it's essentially copra and stabilized rice bran. Too soon to tell on that. She also gets free choice grass hay and graze 24/7.

You aren't feeding very much extra to your horse right now. Also only work adds muscle, not feed. He's a nice looking guy.
I know, that's why I said we are starting to exercise more to build muscle, and want to make sure we up his feed appropriately.

I always weighed his beet pulp when he was on it, but everyone I spoke to about the alfalfa always said "2-3 handfuls", so I've just been going by that. I do need to weigh those handfuls to get a general idea, but since the cubes are always a different size, it varies.... I don't have a scale outside, and running ti the kitchen every time we feed isn't practical....
 

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I know, that's why I said we are starting to exercise more to build muscle, and want to make sure we up his feed appropriately.

I always weighed his beet pulp when he was on it, but everyone I spoke to about the alfalfa always said "2-3 handfuls", so I've just been going by that. I do need to weigh those handfuls to get a general idea, but since the cubes are always a different size, it varies.... I don't have a scale outside, and running ti the kitchen every time we feed isn't practical....
I just use a fishing scale, hangs in the tack room. Cheap and easy. You can weigh hay in a net with it as well.
 

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We have seen gain, but hard to say if that's just because he's got 24/7 turn out with us, or because of the alfalfa!
At the amount you are feeding it is not the alfalfa. Good quality turnout (good protein and adequate calories) in sufficient quantities and then you'll see this kind of improvement.


Depending on size of the cube you are probably not even at a pound for weight with 7 cubes. One pound of alfalfa is roughly 950 calories. Average 1000 lb horse needs 15,000 calories a day just to maintain basic life functions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
At the amount you are feeding it is not the alfalfa. Good quality turnout (good protein and adequate calories) in sufficient quantities and then you'll see this kind of improvement.


Depending on size of the cube you are probably not even at a pound for weight with 7 cubes. One pound of alfalfa is roughly 950 calories. Average 1000 lb horse needs 15,000 calories a day just to maintain basic life functions.
He's only been on it two weeks. We are introducing it slowly. That's why my question is, do I increase what he's getting in the evening, or do I need 2-3 more handfuls in the morning, or what.
 

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I'd get a scale. there are good kitchen scales at Walmart that will handle ten pounds easily. They aren't expensive. I think I paid $12 for mine 3 or 4 years ago. I actually have two now. They come in handy for weighing all sorts of things. I'd keep upping each day slowly and then once you get to an amount that with other feeds weighs between 3 and 5 pounds you add in another feeding later (or earlier depending on your normal feed time) in the day. I try to keep amounts between 3 and 5 pounds fed 2 to 3 times a day for hard keepers or those needing to add weight. A lot depends on your turn out and what is available as well as how long the horse stays on it as you may not need to add much extra. You don't want an explosive weight gain. Slow and steady.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'd get a scale. there are good kitchen scales at Walmart that will handle ten pounds easily. They aren't expensive. I think I paid $12 for mine 3 or 4 years ago. I actually have two now. They come in handy for weighing all sorts of things. I'd keep upping each day slowly and then once you get to an amount that with other feeds weighs between 3 and 5 pounds you add in another feeding later (or earlier depending on your normal feed time) in the day. I try to keep amounts between 3 and 5 pounds fed 2 to 3 times a day for hard keepers or those needing to add weight. A lot depends on your turn out and what is available as well as how long the horse stays on it as you may not need to add much extra. You don't want an explosive weight gain. Slow and steady.
That is very helpful info, thank you!
 
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