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New at this equine nutrition thing :)

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  • New at this equine nutrition thing :)

    We have two horses at home. One is a an easy easy keeper, he's just vaccuming up hay and looks great.

    Another is a QH that I'm having trouble putting weight on. Girl at the feed store told me give her all the hay she can eat, no feed, bc we only ride about 1-2 a week and don't want them all hopped up for the easy trails we do.

    She hasn't fattened up in the month we've hda her and I've been feeding a REDICULOUS amount of hay. Like, 6-7 flakes a day and she just keeps going. Shes been wormed, I don't think health is the issue.

    We have access to a local mill that has just about anything, or can buy a commercial feed.

    Any ideas for getting her fat? Shes a very pretty girl, just needs to fill out!
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  • #2
    I'm a fan of TC Senior to put weight on horses. Seems to work for all of them.

    You might also consider checking teeth and for ulcers as well.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Amber_M View Post

      She hasn't fattened up in the month we've hda her and I've been feeding a REDICULOUS amount of hay. Like, 6-7 flakes a day and she just keeps going. Shes been wormed, I don't think health is the issue.
      How much does this hay weigh, and what kind is it? Easiest way to weigh hay: get a fish scale and a heavy-duty plastic garbage bag with a tie handle. (Hefty bag or similar)

      Would she eat more if you gave it to her?

      I would get as much hay into her before I started adding other things. And it's cheaper, too.

      Comment


      • #4
        6-7 flakes isn't necessarily a ridiculous amount of hay.

        What kind of hay is it and how heavy are the flakes? Do they also have access to decent pasture?

        At the very least, I would put her on a ration balancer in addition to her forage. Perhaps just a vit/min supplement for the easy keeping gelding. How old is the mare?

        Ditto the teeth suggestion. Not that you want to get her "fat." Overweight is less healthy than a little underweight.
        "Why would anybody come here if they had a pony? Who leaves a country packed with ponies to come to a non-pony country? It doesn't make sense!"

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        • #5
          6-7 flakes is far from ridiculous if they weigh even 4lb each, making for 24-31lb of hay. But if they weigh jut 3-4lb, that's 18-24lb, which is not even, or just barely over the 2% recommendation for a 1000lb horse. But what it boils down to is this - for horses who need weight, or have trouble maintaining it, hay should be unlimited. For some horses this will be 25lb. For others, 30, 35, 40lb or more, depending on size and appetite
          ______________________________
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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          • #6
            First thing I would try: More hay! 6-7 flakes isnt all that much (depending on the weight/nutritional value). Is this hay given in addition to pasture?

            I would have her teeth checked and also run a fecal, just to be sure it's not something like that.
            Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
            White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

            Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

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            • #7
              I have a very hard keeping QH as well, and have a few in our barn that are tricky- hay sometimes just isn't enough, and my "go to" feed is Amplify by Nutrena. It does not make my horse "hot" at all. It is AWESOME stuff- adds the weight, but doesn't make them "fatty". I personally don't think just adding more hay does the trick on hard keeping horses, but I'm sure you could get a good start with a hay boost!

              PS- A tube of Probios might be a good idea too!

              Comment


              • #8
                6-7 flakes is a lot of hay from any bale I've seen in SoCal which is where the OP lives. Being SoCal pasture is likely nonexistent. I'd try checking teeth and running a fecal for worms. Maybe a blood panel to see if something odd is going on. I've had decent luck with alfalfa or alfalfa mix pellets in some situations.
                The Evil Chem Prof

                Comment


                • #9
                  My first thought: "6-7 flakes is a ridiculous amount of hay???". I've given horses a bale+ a day if they need/eat it, more in colder months.

                  I'd start with more hay.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Peggy View Post
                    Being SoCal pasture is likely nonexistent.
                    I'm not sure that I understand what you are say. If my mare was on non-existant pasture, she'd be getting more hay, not less. Perhaps I'm misinterpreting?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think the point Peggy was making is that a typical bale of hay in So Cal tends to be rather large, meaning a flake may well easily be 5lb, perhaps even a bit more. I would agree, based on what I know about the area. If that's the case, then 30-35lb of hay would be a lot, but even then, if it's not free choice, that's what needs to happen first unless there's a good reason it can't.

                      Is it a given? No, which is why we need the OP to tell us how much those flakes weigh - weighed, not just guessed, since many people tend to over-estimate that sort of thing, IME
                      ______________________________
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                      • #12
                        I was addressing flake size and pasture as independent issues.
                        The Evil Chem Prof

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I was always taught if your horse is skinny, and its eating its hay, keep giving it hay until it stops eating. They are grazing animals after all.

                          I realize people have issues with it, but Im a big fan of soaked beet pulp for putting weight on without making them hot. And hay.
                          "to each his own..."

                          just a horse obsessed girl who finds blogging way more fun than being an adult...
                          http://equinerainman274.wordpress.com/

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            We have the giant bales, not the ones I was used to feeding on the East Coast. I want to say each bale weighs way over 50lbs with 16 flakes to a bale. They're triple string bales instead of double? At least that's what I've heard them differientiated by. All I know is I can't pick these guys up, and I could haul the ones back home just fine

                            I'll try giving her more, but wow! Crazy how much a mare can eat, ESP when her 17.2 neighbor is happy with not much more than half that. She actually let me feel her teeth and they don't feel sharp but maybe I could be wrong. Maybe she isn't able to chew it up still enough to be fully digested. Will have vet check done, he's already coming out next week for the laid up monter gaited guy we have so it'll save a little money to hbe it done then.
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                            • #15
                              You might want to consider adding a multivitamin or ration balancer to the hay. Mix it with a handful of pellets or beet pulp) for your easy keeper, maybe some grain or beet pulp for the horse that needs weight. That ensures that your horses vitamin/mineral needs are being met.

                              As for the harder keeper -- if your horse is finishing all the hay you feed now, yes, add more. If you are feeding a grass hay, maybe add some alfalfa (higher in calories). I have a relatively hard keeper who is on a primarily forage diet -- free choice grass hay, alfalfa pellets, beet pulp and a ration balancer. When he needed more weight this summer I added Purina Amplify but if you want a less expensive option, vegetable oil (any kind) is a good choice. The only reason I'm not feeding oil now is that I pre-mix my grain (co-op barn) and there's no easy way to add the oil without making a huge mess.

                              Some horses just need a more concentrated calorie source to keep weight on.
                              Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                              EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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                              • #16
                                I would let the vet know he is doing a dental.
                                A proper dental means sedation to truly examine and float the teeth. It takes time, and since most vets are on a schedule, you might want to let him know in advance and not surprise him with additional tasks.
                                save lives...spay/neuter/geld

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Amber_M View Post
                                  We have the giant bales, not the ones I was used to feeding on the East Coast. I want to say each bale weighs way over 50lbs
                                  I had to at this, sorry! When you said "giant bales" I thought maybe you were going to say the 700lb large square bales LOL You said "way over 50lb" and I snorted, sorry

                                  with 16 flakes to a bale. They're triple string bales instead of double? At least that's what I've heard them differientiated by. All I know is I can't pick these guys up, and I could haul the ones back home just fine
                                  Ok, so 3 strings probably means 100lb or so. If that's the case, then 15-17 flakes means somewhere between about 5.5-6.5lb/flake. IF that is the case, then yes, 30-35lb or so is what you're currently feeding.

                                  But if these are 60-70lb bales that you can't lift, we're back to 4.5lb flakes, give or take and that's a different story.

                                  See why we need to know? LOL

                                  I'll try giving her more, but wow! Crazy how much a mare can eat, ESP when her 17.2 neighbor is happy with not much more than half that.
                                  Doesn't matter - my 17h WB gelding needs to eat WAY less than my 16.1h TB mare

                                  Yes, as said before, any time you need weight, or need help maintaining weight then if it's possible, the hay needs to be unlimited, no matter how much it ends up being

                                  She actually let me feel her teeth and they don't feel sharp but maybe I could be wrong. Maybe she isn't able to chew it up still enough to be fully digested. Will have vet check done, he's already coming out next week for the laid up monter gaited guy we have so it'll save a little money to hbe it done then.
                                  Until you have a speculum holding the mouth open, or someone holding the tongue out to the side and even then it's iffy there's just no way you can feel the rear molars where most of the chewing actually goes on

                                  That said, if she's eating all the hay she will eat, then yes, you do need to add concentrates to her diet. I would start with a good ration balancer. If that doesn't do the job after 1 bag, then I'd switch to a low sugar fortified feed. You should be able to get LMF feeds out there, and they have pretty good products, including ration balancers - Supper Supplement, G for grass diets, A for alfalfa diets.
                                  ______________________________
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Wow, you guys all seem to have pretty light bales. The hay we sell gets baled in (approximately) 135 pound bales and the hay we keep gets baled in 80 pound bales.

                                    Anyway, if a horse is having trouble putting/keeping weight on, I give them unlimited hay.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      LOL, you should see the East Coast, at least in my general area, where "square bales" very often means 40lb-ish, give or take a bit. Yes, it's very, very common to find 35 and 45lb bale. Heck, several years ago I ended up with some compressed Timothy bales that were 40lb, and that was from Canada.
                                      ______________________________
                                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I live in Northern California and maintain my hard keeping high maintenance (ulcer prone) TB on roughly 20+lb orchard grass and 8-10 Alfalfa. Three pounds of TDi and 2lbs of Calcium Balanced Stabilized Rice Bran. She is also on grassy irrigated pasture. Its working for her. I also use LMF its good stuff--though I like TDI as well. Some of the alfalfa flakes up here are 8lb or more.
                                        Redbud Ranch
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