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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi ! I got this little 1.5 year old AQHA gelding about a month ago. He looks the same as he did when he arrived, slightly under weight. He has had access to grass, hay, and is fed Equine Junior daily. He also gets a little sweet feed mixed in because he isnt in love with the Equine Junior taste. Any tips on getting him fatter ? He will be dewormed this week. You can see in the pics his ribs are visible. I have never owned one this young so I know theres alot to learn !
 

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Long yearlings are notoriously unattractive. Lol. I don’t think he looks particularly thin. I think next year you will see a much better looking animal, as he gets fitted up for work and loses that baby belly.

Young horses, as you bring him to work, are often a bit thinner than anything older too. Just feed him well and don’t overthink it too much.
 

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There's a reason why it's said to look at them at 3 hrs., 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months and then hide them behind the barn until 3 years. They fatten up, get growth spurt, get all ribby and all belly and butt high and then level out and fatten up, over and over. Just feed him good quality feed in the amount for the weight you want him to be and 24/7 hay and he'll be fine. I'd toss the sweet feed, except as a treat, and if you withhold anything but the Equine Jr., he'll love it real soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There's a reason why it's said to look at them at 3 hrs., 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months and then hide them behind the barn until 3 years. They fatten up, get growth spurt, get all ribby and all belly and butt high and then level out and fatten up, over and over. Just feed him good quality feed in the amount for the weight you want him to be and 24/7 hay and he'll be fine. I'd toss the sweet feed, except as a treat, and if you withhold anything but the Equine Jr., he'll love it real soon.
That's funny, I havent heard this before Haha! I will take your advice and knock the sweet feed. He is a little butt high but I am thinking he will even out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Body score is about fat covering, not muscle, on six points of the body - not just ribs. He looks fine to me. You don't want a blimp on toothpicks, especially on a young, growing horse. Make sure that his diet is balanced (sufficient vitamins and minerals - not just calories) and let him be a horse and grow slowly.
Good advice! I forgot to mention he has loose mineral as well. I'm hoping I'm setting him up for success!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Long yearlings are notoriously unattractive. Lol. I don’t think he looks particularly thin. I think next year you will see a much better looking animal, as he gets fitted up for work and loses that baby belly.

Young horses, as you bring him to work, are often a bit thinner than anything older too. Just feed him well and don’t overthink it too much.
He hasnt been worked much yet. Who ever raised him up until the auction did a heck of a job. Now that he has a good foundation I'm going to let him fill out before starting under saddle! I think you're right, he will only get better looking Haha! Thanks for the advice
 

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Young horses are high shedders of parasites. I have a yearling same age as yours. I worm every 2 months with Quest Plus with a pre/ prebiotic paste given first. I did a lot of research on this, top some vet colleges recommend this method until the high shedder is 2 years old, then every 4 months. Before this I did a fecal, only a few roundworms were found, he was dewormed a month prior. The wormer the vet recommended did not work, Strongid, less than a month later, I found a large roundworm, alive, in his manure. Hence the research and my colt filled out nicely and began to get a bloom.
 
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He looks okay. You do not want back bones, hip bones etc sticking out . A few ribs is okay as long as there is flesh over them. As He grows he will change body shape. He will also be building muscle so he needs to be in an area where he can move around and use his legs and feet. Be sure to keep him up on his vaccines and farrier. He looks like he will be a pretty horse. I would not really use any sweet feed and he should do fine on good quality hay water and mineral/salt licks.
 

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There are a number of reasons why you bought this horse from a horse trader, and not a kill pen. Canner buyers don't buy yearlings, there's just not that much to them. And the price of horses right now is crazy high. No one is going to can a nice yearling and take meat price. Most canner buyers are also horse traders. If they can get a good buy on a horse that they know they can sell for a profit, they do.
Your's is a nice looking colt. It's not that he's thin, he looks like he just could use some "horsekeeping". I would worm him, wait a couple weeks, and do it again. I would also get his teeth checked, even yearlings can need dental help.
Then just plenty of good hay and time.
I'm not a big fan of a lot of grain, I like my horses to grow slower. It would be better if he can be turned out on a large pasture to just let run and be a horse.
He's got the possibility of growing up into a fine horse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
There are a number of reasons why you bought this horse from a horse trader, and not a kill pen. Canner buyers don't buy yearlings, there's just not that much to them. And the price of horses right now is crazy high. No one is going to can a nice yearling and take meat price. Most canner buyers are also horse traders. If they can get a good buy on a horse that they know they can sell for a profit, they do.
Your's is a nice looking colt. It's not that he's thin, he looks like he just could use some "horsekeeping". I would worm him, wait a couple weeks, and do it again. I would also get his teeth checked, even yearlings can need dental help.
Then just plenty of good hay and time.
I'm not a big fan of a lot of grain, I like my horses to grow slower. It would be better if he can be turned out on a large pasture to just let run and be a horse.
He's got the possibility of growing up into a fine horse.
I was very curious how he ended up at a lot with "kill pen" in the name. However, he was priced very well for being gentled, papered, and gelded. Makes me wonder "what's wrong with him " sometimes. Not sure how the whole trading thing works but I looked up his breeder and they've achieved a 50 year heritage breeding acknowledgment from AQHA. Very curious!
 

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I was very curious how he ended up at a lot with "kill pen" in the name. However, he was priced very well for being gentled, papered, and gelded. Makes me wonder "what's wrong with him " sometimes. Not sure how the whole trading thing works but I looked up his breeder and they've achieved a 50 year heritage breeding acknowledgment from AQHA. Very curious!
Probably because most canner buyers are also horse traders. If they can find a good horse at a good price, one they know they can easily resell for a profit, they will buy it. It does not mean the horse is going to the plants.
So you got papers on this colt? If he had indeed been in the pens to ship, you would not have gotten papers.
They got this colt for resell. Plus, if the breeder had sold this colt to go to the plant, they would not have supplied the registration.
You bought the colt from a horse trader.
If you got a good deal, and the papers, good for you! It was a good day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Probably because most canner buyers are also horse traders. If they can find a good horse at a good price, one they know they can easily resell for a profit, they will buy it. It does not mean the horse is going to the plants.
So you got papers on this colt? If he had indeed been in the pens to ship, you would not have gotten papers.
They got this colt for resell. Plus, if the breeder had sold this colt to go to the plant, they would not have supplied the registration.
You bought the colt from a horse trader.
If you got a good deal, and the papers, good for you! It was a good day.
I see. Well technically, this lot got him from an auction and that's why his papers came with him. I guess he went for a very low price so they lot scooped him up. Thanks for all the info!
 

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There are a number of reasons why you bought this horse from a horse trader, and not a kill pen. Canner buyers don't buy yearlings, there's just not that much to them. And the price of horses right now is crazy high. No one is going to can a nice yearling and take meat price. Most canner buyers are also horse traders. If they can get a good buy on a horse that they know they can sell for a profit, they do.
Your's is a nice looking colt. It's not that he's thin, he looks like he just could use some "horsekeeping". I would worm him, wait a couple weeks, and do it again. I would also get his teeth checked, even yearlings can need dental help.
Then just plenty of good hay and time.
I'm not a big fan of a lot of grain, I like my horses to grow slower. It would be better if he can be turned out on a large pasture to just let run and be a horse.
He's got the possibility of growing up into a fine horse.
There are foals in Kill Pens. Foals. 2 and 3 month old foals in kill pens. Yearlings etc. Yes the Canners buy yearlings and foals. go look at the auction in Texas in the direct ship pens. Go look at that auctions where the loose horses are run through , at the end of the auction. Its the kill buyers bidding.
 

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@stevenson, I have seen MANY MANY loads of canner horses, and you do not see foals, weanlings, yearlings or even 2 year olds. This is a meat industry, not a bone industry.
You are saying what a canner buyer will buy, I am saying what is shipped. Big difference. If they can get a horse at a good price, they will buy it for resale. If they can resell it for more than the plants will pay, they don't ship it. Pretty simple.
Basic facts are just that, basic facts. Its a meat industry. There is a list of things the plants WILL NOT buy, I have listed it on here several times before.
The average canner horse is over 5 years old, over 1000 pds, they MUST be healthy. They MUST walk on all 4 legs. No mares obviously in foal, no stallions, no weanlings, no foals, no yearlings, no sick horses, no skinny horses, no lame horses.
The horses are vet checked at the time of when they are picked out to make a trip. They are vet checked at the time of loading. They can be, and are stopped at ANY time and vet checked again. They are vet checked at the borders. Once at the border and passed the check, the trailer is sealed. It is not opened again until arrival at the plant and unloading.
These are the facts. You can easily check any of them you wish. Facts are facts.
 

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I see. Well technically, this lot got him from an auction and that's why his papers came with him. I guess he went for a very low price so they lot scooped him up. Thanks for all the info!
You got him from what is called here, "kill pen angels", a group that works with the kill buyer to sell off the good horses that will make a better return to sell to an individual than canning them would. If you got papers, I would pull some hair and get a DNA test from AQHA to make sure who you bought is the one on the papers. I've been in a KB's office and seen the stack of registration papers sitting on his desk. Somebody wants a bay mare, quarter horse, 8 years old with a blaze and 4 white socks? He would go through the papers until he found a match and then voila, the horse had papers. Yes, they're traders, but they're not always on the up and up. And sometimes they are. 🤷‍♂️
 

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With all horses being DNA'd now, just picking a set of papers out of a stack does not fly. Plus AQHA cannot tell you who a horse is by DNA.
I have been in canner buyers offices as well, and have never seen a big stack of registrations. If I canned a horse, I never sent registration with it. Its just not done.
With all the regs on DNA, the papers must match the horse.
 

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Those auctions are not going to keep mares or skinny horses for months on end before shipping. Maybe the canners office you were at is a bit more honest. THey sure are not going to pull out mares and preg check them. I have seen photos of the direct ship pens, where there were sick injured horses and videos of them being loaded into trucks. I guess the videos must all be lies and those large trailers are loading 20 horses to a private buyer. lol
 

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@stevenson, I have seen with my own eyes, MANY loads of canner horses. No skinny ones, no obviously pregnant mares. Its a meat industry, not a bone industry.
Everything I have told you guys is true. You can check it out for yourself.
The plants only buy a certain criteria of horses. And there is a long list of what they won't buy.
Most canner buyers are also horse traders. IF they can get a good horse at a cheap price, they buy it with the intention of resale. If they have plenty of available pasture, they may buy skinny horses with the idea of putting them on pasture for a few months to bring them up to weight.
 
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