So, in the ongoing saga of fattening up my OTTB (and yes, we're looking at ulcers and such, because ulcers is the answer to everything ) we're now discussing with my awesome BO/BM the idea of putting Vey on Cool Calories...
However, it was at that point that my mom (who is quite the human nutritional expert in her own right) piped up and said, "isn't that just dehydrated vegetable oil?" and proceeded to say that she really doesn't want Vey on them. I mean, vegetable oil is bad for humans so I suppose it can't be that great for horses either.
What we use in our food instead of vegetable oil is either organic extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil, so naturally I'm wondering if either of those are OK to use in horses, or what other alternatives were out there.
He's currently on 14% fat/protein feed, beet pulp, rice bran, and free choice good quality hay, along with some Biotin.
I've heard there's more to life than an FEI tent and hotel rooms, so I'm trying it.
I think horses process oil different than humans do, but I will leave that up to the more medically minded posters.
Cool Calories is a great product and helped kick start my hard keeper TB. I had tried everything for him and it seemed like the CC told his body, "hey, it's time for you to gain weight now". He was only on it for a few months and has been off of it for a while now since he is a tad too rotund at the moment. Now he stays fat with just alfalfa chafe and a small amount of complete feed per day and 24/7 pasture on drought stricken "grass". I have even cut his feed.
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Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :
They make Cocosoya oil for horses... but it's $$$!
I use Canola oil... maresy didn't care for it until we added some rice bran as well. Of course, we haven't found anything she WON'T eat when mixed with rice bran We tried Cool Calories, but she turned her nose up at that (although it WAS pre-rice bran. Hmmm.)
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I don't want to speak to the health aspects of feeding vegetable or corn oil as I am not a horsie dietician, but I do want to tell you that Cool Calories is the best weight supplement that I have found on the market to date. It is really effective and the (very picky) horse that gets it in his feed doesn't seem to care about it. It works really well if fed with something a bit tacky (like sweet feed or mixed in with a bran or apple sauce) because it has a fine texture and otherwise falls to the bottom of the bucket.
The thing that I really love about it is the amount of fat calories that it adds to my horse's diet. The horse was starving (long story for another thread) and every vet that I talked to said that the key was upping calorie intake (which sounds obvious but sometimes it's hard to remember the simple things). This supplement allowed us to greatly increase the calories in the horse's diet (1) without making him rammy, and (2) without greatly increasing the volume of feed since he will only eat so much before he says "I'm full."
We also feed Poulin grains (which is the same manufacturer as Cool Calories) and when we were going through the worst bits with the skinny horse we called them to ask about the differences in feed and supplements. They were immensely helpful and I would recommend that you call them if you want to hear their "side" of the story, so to speak.
The one thing that you have to be cautious about (as with any fat supplement) is increasing the fat supplement gradually and checking for loose stools. Each horse has a different threshold for fat tolerance and when the stools stat getting loose you have to back off a bit on the fat.
"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant
I use Canola oil in my horse's beet pulp but there is a limit to how greasy it can get for her to eat it. I just started adding Purina Amplify to her feed less than two weeks ago and she is putting on weight. I am using the very minimum introductory amount and it costs about a dollar a day. First time EVER that she has put on some weight.
I have used Cool Calories too, for a different horse, and had good results.
And as far as diet - horses and humans are not the same, don't have the same requirements and REALLY don't taste things the same. Have you ever tasted beet pulp? ;-)
horses can eat coconut oil. Like someone else suggested, I have used Cocosoya, which is a blend of soy and coconut oil. Straight up coconut oil though I would imagine is much more expensive. Also, it is believed that most oils like corn, veggie, etc cause an inflammatory response in the body, which is not a great thing.
You're already providing a good source of fat through the rice bran, how much of that is he getting?
Also, as opposed to upping fat source first, I like to increase forage/forage sources. Have you tried alfalfa cubes/pellets/hay? My horse gains weight SO quickly on alfalfa (granted, she is a fairly easy keeper so I have the issue of making sure she doesn't get too much)
Lots of good information here. Don't forget about amino acids. I have put my hard keeper tb on Purina Strategy and he has really muscled up. He was formerly on Purina Ultium and I thought he was pretty good on that, but the Strategy really made a positive difference for him. My Purina rep says that Strategy has a different amino acid profile that really works for a lot of horses. I used to do all sorts of things to put weight on him, but Strategy is his easy button ticket. We'll see what happens in winter, but so far so good.
I don't know the answer to your question, but I did not find Cool Calories made any more or less difference than canola oil, rice bran, extruded feeds, beet pulp, or the like.
With thin horses, I also make sure they have free choice hay (even when on pasture) and supplement with cubes (alfalfa if their hay is grass, or vice versa). This seems to get them to eat more since the thin ones I've dealt with are picky TBs, they seem to like going from one sort of food to another, rather than polishing off one meal at a time.
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I had my horse on Cool Calories for a while but had much better luck when I switched him to more of an amino acid/muscle builder type supplement. I have him on Vapco Fat Cat and it has made a huge difference. Also, I give him alfalfa hay when he is in (since his fatty turn-out buddies don't need it) and that too has really helpled.
I don't think plain vegetable fat is necessarily bad for horses, just empty calories, for better or worse, but I've had better luck on the protein/amino acide route.
The best thing I've ever found for putting weight on a horse is Progressive Envision. Add to that Progressive Pro Advantage Ration Balancer. My hardest of hard keeper looked like fat hunters in no time. The actual price is fairly high per bag but you can drop the volume of feed by a LOT. My mare was eating HALF the weight in these feeds as she did on her sweet feed.
I have a horse in my care who has ALWAYS been a hard keeper. To make matters worse, we nearly lost him over the winter to a mysterious gastrointestinal illness (silver lining- thanks to that we DID finally get a diagnosis on why he had chronic diarrhea). Once he was home and on the mend, I had A LOT of work to do to get his weight on (he had JUST started to look really good before he got sick, but lost about 200+lbs in two weeks). This is what helped:
an assload of alfalfa (he eats alfalfa with a vengeance, but only picks at timothy and other grass hay)
a good ration balancer (I think it was the higher levels of protein since it is low cal)
Rice bran pellets (he won't eat oil, won't even try it, this is the fat supplement that works best for him)
He gained a significant amount of weight with JUST this. I did add 3lbs of my high octane/high fat concentrate a couple of months ago to give him a few more calories to keep up with his output (he had seriously plateaued in his weight gain, but thankfully wasn't losing).
This will NEVER be a fat horse, but he looks good now, and he is easy to maintain. Alfalfa is a miracle worker, in my book!
I feed veggie oil to quite a few of my horses in varying amounts. The ones that eat it LOVE it (lick their buckets for 15 minutes after finishing ). I have been told by several vets that corn oil is good for ulcer prone horses, but I do prefer the veggie oil because they really seem to prefer the taste.
But I still say alfalfa is one of the best things you can add!
I'm not sure but I'm going to guess that your mom's objection to veggie/corn oil is that it is highly processed, and therefore low in Omega 3s but high in Omega 6s. I'm working off the top of my head, but I think the 6/3 imbalance can lead to an inflammatory response. Extra virgin canola oil, for instance, is apparently about as good as olive oil or coconut oil--but extra virgin oils in horse quantities will cost you!! I will also note that sometimes you can feed fat/oil to get them up to a good weight, and then reduce or remove it to maintain that weight, so it's not necessarily a "to infinity and beyond" kind of deal.
Horses do apparently process fat differently than we do--they process it more like forage, as opposed to grain concentrates. And fat appears to be a better sources of calories for ulcer-prone horses than high carbs. Human ulcers, meanwhile can be aggravated by fat, from what I understand.
Anyway, I've had good luck with alfalfa (cubes, pellets, and/or hay), an oil source, ground flax (for Omega 3s), amino acid supplementation, and PROBIOTICS (or find a feed with included probiotics).
Right now my 2 TBs, one 18 and one 3, get a Seminole ration balancer (has some probiotics and decent amino acids, good protein level), Purina Amplify (fat source that includes flax, and is less messy than oil), and some alfalfa depending on grass availability and quality. They also get Tri-Amino, which is inexpensive and really seems to make a difference, especially with the older mare, who previously had trouble when out of work as she'd drop muscle and topline and get a hay belly look, no matter the diet.
The WB gelding I had for a few years did noticeably better with added probiotic supplementation. Over time I was able to almost halve his feed quantities just by adding a good probiotic supplement, so that may be another piece to consider. May help if he has ulcers, too.
My gelding gets small amounts of alfalfa, free choice bermuda, beet pulp, strategy and vegetable oil! We have him at home, so have the options to balance things out, and our goal is to have him eating as often as possible for his digestive health, as he seems to have those temporary ulcers when we go anywhere, and never had solid poop until we got him home.
My warning is, alfalfa doesn't help ALL horses. Both of my horses put on no weight with it, because they run more if they get an increase of alfalfa - enough that they may actually lose weight on it.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is my mom's friesian cross who puts on weight by watching my horses eat alfalfa.
My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.
Originally Posted by katarine
If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed
Just thought I'd add that same horse on Cool Calories is also on a 14% fat feed and as much rice brad pellets as he will eat. He's also on about 20 hrs. per day of turnout with good pasture and Cool Calories are just used to up the calories that he's taking in.
As others have mentioned, there's a big difference in what you feed based on what kind of gain you are trying to achieve. If the horse is in training and has a tough time keeping weight on (including muscle) then the amino acids, etc. are quite important. In our case, the horse is retired and it is a fat issue: he can't keep enough meat on his bones. That requires increased fat an calories (per vet's instructions).
In addition, our horse is a QH and we have to be wary of the "richness" of his diet so as to not trigger founder, colic, etc. Pure fat doesn't make them hot and seems to be less likely to trigger said conditions (or so I've been told). The most important thing we were told was to try to make weight gain gradual so as to prevent shocking his system.
"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant
Just wanted to add another vote for alfalfa - I give my guys wet cubes daily, and while I've never had to try and put significant amounts of weight on them, I think it helps their body condition, with the added bonus of hydrating (I add a fair bit of water). There is some evidence that alfalfa helps ulcery horses as well. My prelim mare was very ulcery, and while she ate well at home, would go off her feed when traveling to shows - but she loooooves her alfalfa so much that she nickers for it every night as soon as I walk into the barn, and it kept her eating and hydrated while away from home.