Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by chinaNwillow14, Sep 11, 2011.
I'm just wondering because a horse we are going to look at today is about 100 underweight.
I would start by findout out what he is currently eating. If he is only getting a few flakes of hay daily, then free choice hay might be enough to get him up to weight. It all depends on what he's eating and how much. Ask to see exactly what they feed if you buy him, then go from there
High quality spring grass.
Seriously though. You need to find out why the horse is thin, then address the specific issue.
Usually Beet Pulp helps them to gain and keep the extra weight. A rescue horse came in to live with us not too long ago who was a bit underweight, so we put him on some cob, equine senior, and beet pulp with 2 flakes of hay a day and so now he's looking really nice.
But as Banat said, it is best to address the issue. The horse may have worms which are absorbing the food it gets, or the horse may not be retaining nutrients well which could be caused by a serious issue [I don't know much about horse medicinal practices, so I apologize] or, the horse may simply have a really high metabolism in which the previous owner did not take proper care of.
I have had quite a lot of success in putting weight on horses that come into my boarding facility underweight. The first thing to remember is that there is no quick weight gain solution. Pick a feed that you like, preferably one that is low starch and has a high fat content. Add rice bran pellets (a 20% fat source) or canola oil until the horse gains the weight you like. It can take 6 month to a year to put on that much weight, but be patient. Also, don't make the mistake of thinking that you need to feed a huge amount of grain to get weight on. I feed a lot of hay and will even add hay cubes to the grain, if I'm adding oil. Helps to soak up the oil and make it not so messy in the pan or bucket.
Blue Seal Hunter and Omegatin have really worked well for me. Only problem is that Omegatin can be pretty expensive, I pay $28 for 50 lbs. I mix 1 scoop Hunter with 1/2 scoop of the Omegatin
Once you've figured out why the horse is skinny, Triple Crown Senior.
Alfalfa hay, cubes or pellets and a small amount of rice bran. Start with 1 cup of rice bran and slowly build up over a couple of weeks to 6-8 cups/ day of the rice bran. Do not feed more than 8 cups (2#) rice bran per day.
what does the rice bran do>? does it give the horse energy?
I would suggest getting a fecal and teeth check first. Also, base your feed program around a good quality hay, feeding free choice. If the horse is not on grain, introduce it very slowly so the gut bacteria have a chance to adjust to the new feed source. You may also want to give a tube of probiotics to jump start the gut bacteria. Do a weekly weight check so you can tell if your feeding program is working--it is very hard to guess gain/loss when you see a horse everyday.
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