The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 29
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2004
    Location
    Left coast, left wing, left field
    Posts
    5,871

    Default Skinny 2-year-old... I'm at a loss

    I sort of specialize in fattening up horses. I've been successful with the older ones that need (semi-)mush, or the high-strung OTT type ones that need volume and chew factor all day... or combos of the two. But I am STUMPED by my filly Lila and don't know where to go next.

    She will be two in 2 days. It was this winter that I noticed her weight dropping. She looks... weedy. Shorter and slighter than I would expect, given her parentage, with visible ribs and just barely enough covering everywhere else. Backbone doesn't exactly stick out, but I can feel it, and her back kind of slopes away from her backbone on either side. In certain lights or when she is in certain positions, she can look really awful. Her winter coat wasn't the greatest, but I find that my horses vary in the shininess/lushness of their winter coats even when they are otherwise healthy. Her spring coat, though not fully arrived, is shiny. She is perfectly sound, active and alert.

    Here is what I have and have not done -- what I'm hoping you can give me is either (a) the thing you'd try next on my list of things I haven't done or (b) the thing you'd try next that I haven't even thought of.

    - Regular worming as a baby and appropriate worming as a teenager... have not done a fecal

    - Appetite is great, all vitals normal. The only unhealthy thing this filly has ever had is runny eyes -- she has some allergies.

    - She gets great hay and plenty of it

    - She also gets one "grain" meal per day with beet pulp, Haystack special blend pellets, oats and Amplify... not a huge quantity, probably about 5 lbs. total

    - Now she has her own pen. She had been sharing with a small 4yo filly. AT NO TIME did I see the older filly stealing food but I can't rule out that the skinny one got the short end of the stick... hence the separate quarters.

    - Now (starting just this week -- we don't have winter pasture) she is on pasture during the day, in a pen with hay and her grain pan overnight.

    - Never have considered ulcers though I guess anything is possible. She is a Paint. Shows no other signs of ulcers besides the weight issue.

    I have had a couple of horses make a DRAMATIC turn when the Amplify was added -- that was the point at which I really started to get concerned, because she has now been on it over a month and I'm not seeing a turnaround. This is not a problem I usually have with my horses, not the young, home-raised ones anyway. So what do you think/what would you do?
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2011
    Location
    So California
    Posts
    2,186

    Default

    I would try one diet change: add oil and get rid of grain.

    You may have already solved the problem by separating her. I have one mare I got a year ago who was significantly underweight. She had been in with other horses and the former owner said it was a problem. After months of free-fed hay, she finally gained weight. She is a super slow eater; picks through the hay (I say hay but I mean alfalfa), chews a few bites, then wanders out and stares at the scenery. She will still have hay hours after the others have finished theirs. She also prefers the stems and will not eat the leafy chaff which the other horses prefer. Initially, I supplemented her with oil until she got up to a manageable minimum weight and then I just fed alfalfa. She slowly, slowly gained up to an ideal weight. I know if I put her in with another horse she would lose again. She's a dreamer.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2011
    Location
    So California
    Posts
    2,186

    Default

    The ingredient list for Amplify shows that it contains corn and molasses. Doesn't say the quantity, but if your filly has a problem with sugars/starches, that might be something you would want to omit along with the grains. But first, I think I would just keep feeding her the same way you have been for at least a month and see if the separation from the other horse is having good results, because if you also change her diet right away, you won't be able to isolate the beneficial treatment.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2009
    Posts
    2,919

    Default

    I have a semi hard-keeper gelding. He has put on nice weight with the addition of oil (cocosoya) to his grain. He gets probably a total of 6 lbs senior feed,spread over three feedings/day.
    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2007
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,780

    Default

    A couple of thoughts here...

    Is she in a "growth spurt"? Some of those youngsters look awful during those spurts.

    I don't know tons about the nutritional needs of young, growing horses, so not sure if this would apply: an equine nutritionist once recommended that I try a younger hard keeper on a really good senior feed (like Triple Crown) because it is designed to be highly digestible and, thus, more efficient. As I said, I don't know if the ingredients are suitable for a youngster, but it's a thought that crossed my mind.

    Perhaps it would be better to feed her in 2 or 3 feedings to increase digestibility.

    Finally, is she cleaning up her hay at night? If so, maybe give her more. Give her more than she can eat. Also, and you're probably on top of all this, is your hay truly nutritious? By good hay, do you mean clean, aromatic, beautiful? If you haven't had it tested, maybe it would help to find out exactly the nutritional content to solve this riddle with this particular horse.

    Don't know if any of this helps, but maybe it will trigger a brainstorm. Horses can be such riddles, can't they? Best of luck, JoZ!
    "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 22, 2006
    Posts
    2,002

    Default

    I think she needs more NUTRITION not more food, nothing she is eating is fortified with vit/mins so I would suggest a ration balancer or at least a vit/min supplement for her. It isn't always about the number of calories but the quality of the calories.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007
    Location
    Westchester County, NY
    Posts
    5,555

    Default

    Ditto. Unless you have had the hay analyzed and know vitamin/mineral/protein content, I'd be concerned that you aren't meeting the needs of a growing horse with what you are feeding.

    I'd go with unlimited good quality hay, a growth formula quality grain or a ration balancer, and the Amplify if you want to feed it. I'd skip the hay pellets, beet pulp and oats in favor of the less bulk, denser nutrition stuff.

    Also, remember that a growing horse shouldn't be fleshy, but should look healthy. Fleshy is not good for the growing joints.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2000
    Location
    Nokesville, VA
    Posts
    34,865

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by seabreeze View Post
    I don't know tons about the nutritional needs of young, growing horses, so not sure if this would apply: an equine nutritionist once recommended that I try a younger hard keeper on a really good senior feed (like Triple Crown) because it is designed to be highly digestible and, thus, more efficient.
    My vet told me that the calcium/phosphorus balance in TC Senior is not appropriate for a 2 yo.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2000
    Location
    wishing I were anywhere but here
    Posts
    775

    Default

    Have you checked her teeth? Shes at the age that shes popping off caps and those new permanent teeth can be really sharp.
    \"In all manners of opinion, our adversaries are insane.\" Mark Twain


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 30, 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    10,321

    Default

    I'd try adding oil and maybe switching to a slightly higher protein feed.
    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2006
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,215

    Default

    Do you deworm for tape worms 2 x year? Tapes don't show in fecals and are a common culprit.

    chicamuxen


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2006
    Location
    Larkspur, Colo.
    Posts
    4,705

    Default

    My youngster was perpetually skinny with tapeworms that DID show up in his fecal. He filled out right away after one dose of Equimax.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2007
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,780

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Janet View Post
    My vet told me that the calcium/phosphorus balance in TC Senior is not appropriate for a 2 yo.
    See, I told you I didn't know much about feeding growing horses!

    I think others said it better than I did...get an accurate analysis of the nutritional content of her diet and compare it to her nutritional needs.
    "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 17, 2008
    Posts
    609

    Default

    I would ditch her "grain" ...I agree ...she needs more nutrition....I have a coming 2yr ...he gets a ration balancer, and an extruded fat supplement...I use Progressive Nutrition...Buckeye, Triple Crown, Tribute, Pennfields, are all top quality and have their own versions ...my boy gets Pro Advantage Grass Diet Balancer, and Envision Classic with Fibrebeet(beetpulp +alfalfa pellets) ....this type of diet is low in starch and sugar and provides all the essentials and will help develop her topline , muscles and overall body condition ...
    Buckeye has Gro N win and Ultimate Finish .., Triple Crown Growth, Senior, or Complete also excellent quality choices

    A good probiotic ...I like Fasttrack for digestion ...send out a fecal...I use Horseman's Lab...and use Equimaxx which gets tapes...have your dentist check her teeth


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2004
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    5,525

    Default

    ...and add some amino's for sure.



  16. #16
    JoZ is online now Schoolmaster Premium Member
    Original Poster
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2004
    Location
    Left coast, left wing, left field
    Posts
    5,871

    Default

    A few answers and a question. Thanks for all the input so far! Didn't think of teeth at her age (have had caps removed at 2 of course but never have seen pain/eating discomfort).

    1) Hay has been tested and really IS great. Of course that was years ago now and I know that every crop is different, but supplier is the same/fields and management are the same.
    2) I left out some feed details -- she gets lysine and brewer's yeast in her "pan" but I did give up the vit/min supplement this winter for financial reasons, figuring the hay was probably fine by itself. May have been pennywise/pound foolish on that one.
    3) Wormed for tapes in the fall but could do it again.
    4) Question -- for those who say ditch the grain she's eating, what aspect is making you say that? Is it the unfortified part, i.e. if I add my former vit/min back in is it otherwise OK? Or is it the oats? I was very pleased with the ingredients in the special blend pellets, and beet pulp is my ol' standby.
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    35,232

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JoZ View Post
    - Regular worming as a baby and appropriate worming as a teenager... have not done a fecal
    What exactly does "regular and appropriate" deworming mean? What has been used in the last 6 months? How did she look going into Winter?

    She gets great hay and plenty of it

    - She also gets one "grain" meal per day with beet pulp, Haystack special blend pellets, oats and Amplify... not a huge quantity, probably about 5 lbs. total
    She's basically only getting forage. Any aversion to a fortified feed for additional nutrition?

    Now she has her own pen. She had been sharing with a small 4yo filly. AT NO TIME did I see the older filly stealing food but I can't rule out that the skinny one got the short end of the stick... hence the separate quarters.

    - Now (starting just this week -- we don't have winter pasture) she is on pasture during the day, in a pen with hay and her grain pan overnight.
    Most likely the grass will start putting on weight, but *I* would still want additional nutrients going into a growing horse, unless you have your forage tested and show that it's really good

    - Never have considered ulcers though I guess anything is possible. She is a Paint. Shows no other signs of ulcers besides the weight issue.
    Not a likely problem, but not ruled out either.

    I have had a couple of horses make a DRAMATIC turn when the Amplify was added -- that was the point at which I really started to get concerned, because she has now been on it over a month and I'm not seeing a turnaround. This is not a problem I usually have with my horses, not the young, home-raised ones anyway. So what do you think/what would you do?
    Amplify is a fat supplement, and not necessarily what most horses need. The complete nutritional package here is what jumps out at me as being missing, and that's where i'd start.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    35,232

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Janet View Post
    My vet told me that the calcium/phosphorus balance in TC Senior is not appropriate for a 2 yo.
    Sure it is. It's very similar to that of Growth

    Growth:
    Calcium (min.) 0.75%
    Calcium (max.) 1.25%

    Phosphorus (min.)
    0.60%


    Sr:
    Calcium (min.) 0.90%
    Calcium (max.) 1.40%
    Phosphorus (min.) 0.60%

    The formatting is messy, but it's ca min/max, then phos.

    The Sr is 1.5-2.3:1, and the Growth is 1.25-2.08:1.

    2.3:1 is not remotely too high a ratio for a growing horse. If anything, the lower 1.25:1 possibility of the Growth is something to worry about a wee bit if you're going to worry
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    35,232

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JoZ View Post
    A few answers and a question. Thanks for all the input so far! Didn't think of teeth at her age (have had caps removed at 2 of course but never have seen pain/eating discomfort).

    1) Hay has been tested and reallyIS great. Of course that was years ago now and I know that every crop is different, but supplier is the same/fields and management are the same.
    Doesn't matter - environmental conditions change, soil gets depleted over time of more than just the typical NPK that is usually added back.


    2) I left out some feed details -- she gets lysine and brewer's yeast in her "pan" but I did give up the vit/min supplement this winter for financial reasons, figuring the hay was probably fine by itself. May have been pennywise/pound foolish on that one.
    Given the ample hay and lack of good weight, this is more than just about a v/m supplement. She needs calories, pure and simple, and as per above, not all weight gain is just about more calories. I would most assuredly be using a fortified feed for this horse at this point

    3) Wormed for tapes in the fall but could do it again.
    Does "left coast" mean in Ca somewhere? Then with that and the fact she was not on pasture over the Winter, it is highly, highly unlikely she picked up enough tapes since the Fall to cause a problem.

    4) Question -- for those who say ditch the grain she's eating,
    But she's not eating grain, she eating a forage product, and not even fortified at that:
    PLAIN DRIED BEET PULP, SUN CURED TIMOTHY HAY, SUN CURED ALFALFA HAY,
    GROUND FLAXSEED MEAL, RICE BRAN, CANOLA OIL


    what aspect is making you say that? Is it the unfortified part, i.e. if I add my former vit/min back in is it otherwise OK? Or is it the oats? I was very pleased with the ingredients in the special blend pellets, and beet pulp is my ol' standby.
    It's just beet pulp and hay for the most part - just more forage. Hardly any different from just giving her another 5lb flake of hay.

    IMVHO she would greatly benefit from the additional calories you can feed in the same poundage (ie 5lb) AND would greatly benefit from some extra nutrition
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    4,559

    Default

    What kind of hay is it? Beautiful grass hay can have nearly no protein.

    I'd add in alfalfa, be that in pellet or hay form, and lots of it. And throw some rice bran or oil on top. I've had to fatten up a couple horses this winter and that's what did the trick for us.

    I'm pro-protein.


    1 members found this post helpful.

Similar Threads

  1. Skinny jump
    By pcwertb in forum Eventing
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: Feb. 10, 2011, 02:57 PM
  2. Blanket suggestions for a skinny 3 year old TB
    By CrimsonInClover in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Jan. 28, 2011, 12:47 AM
  3. Skinny Riders
    By maudie in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 154
    Last Post: Aug. 18, 2010, 05:06 PM
  4. Hair Loss and Loss of Skin Pigmentation?
    By Void in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Sep. 29, 2009, 11:04 AM
  5. Youngsters- Fat vs Skinny??
    By buschkn in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: Feb. 24, 2009, 12:40 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness