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Several horses off feed

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  • Several horses off feed

    I have a private barn boarding mostly retired horses. I have them in two herds. Yesterday and today, I've noticed that four of the horses (out of 11) have lost interest in their feed. It happens that they are all the hard keepers, and there are two in one herd, and two in the other.

    They are otherwise bright eyed and bushy tailed. Since it is several horses and in different fields, I'm wondering if the grass is just starting to come in and perhaps that's why? (It is very early spring here, but the grass is *just* starting).

    Anyway, that's my theory, but I've never heard of this, or noticed this in past years. Can anyone offer any guidance?
    https://www.facebook.com/SugarMapleFarm
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  • #2
    I have had it with a new bag of feed. Got immediate attention from the dealer on up!
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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    • #3
      Ditto on feed- have you just changed grain or opened a new bag? If this is unusual for these particular horses, I'd definitely pull temps and watch closely
      High Quality Tack Resale

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        I haven't switched feeds, and I topped up my grain bin about a week ago. (It holds 14 bags of feed at a time, if it is the feed, then it would be a bad bag in the middle . . .).
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        • #5
          Mine always seem hungrier in early spring.
          for more Joy then you can handle
          http://dangerbunny.blogspot.com/

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          • #6
            Has there been any big weather changes recently?

            Have they been dewormed recently? I have one guy here who goes off his feed after Equimax. He's fine with ivermectin, though.
            http://thepitchforkchronicles.com

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            • #7
              Any temps?
              "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
              ---
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                I am really appreciating all the brainstorming here, this is just what I was hoping for.

                Worming - no, no one has been wormed since January.

                Weather - well it kind of is all over the map, with warmer than normal temps, and now the temp seems to be dropping and tonight is very cold (5 with windchill).

                Temps - did not take them this morning, but will this afternoon.
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                • #9
                  I just carry the thermometer and a rope halter in the golf cart at all times. Look funky? Hello halter and thermometer!
                  "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                  ---
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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                  • #10
                    My horses will also leave their hay alone and start picking for green grass as soon as the first blade shows its face. If they are otherwise acting normal, no temperature, lethargy, etc, then I would contribute it to the fact that they woudl prefer green grass and will eat whatever pieces they can get.
                    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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                    • #11
                      If you use tank heaters for the water test the water and be sure you have no stray voltage in the tank.
                      You need a volt meter (cheap) put it on 1.5v stick the red end in the water and touch the black end to a rod that is grounded. If the needle moves, you can bet they are not drinking.
                      BTW you can not feel the stray voltage until it reaches 30 v a horse thinks it has hit a hot fence at just a few volts.

                      Or you can just lead them to the tank and see if they drink.
                      Charlie Piccione
                      Natural Performance Hoof Care

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Charlie, I think you misread. I am not worried about their drinking, I am concerned that a few of the horses here are not eating all their grain.

                        And I use Nelson automatic waterers anyway, not a tank heater.

                        Off to feed and take temps!
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                        Comment


                        • #13
                          There was a recall on a feed recently...What kind of feed are you using...

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                          • #14
                            I'd suspect a bad bag of feed in there but our horses are turning up their nose to good hay and eating the nice spring grass that has covered the paddocks these last few weeks.

                            It wouldn't hurt to call the vet for ideas.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'd suspect feed too. Buy a new bag from another lot. After you check TPR. (temp, pulse, respiration). Anything new and weird in the pasture?

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Back from evening feeding -- all temps are normal, and everyone is acting normal. Of the four that were off their feed in the morning, two are eating again, and two are picking at their food, but they are inclined to do that anyway.

                                Lucky for me one of the horses in question is owned by an equine vet, and she thought if all else was normal it was fine to watch and see. She mentioned that coincidentally another client of hers happened to mention the exact same thing to her (two of their horses weren't finishing their grain). I also saw one of the herds ignoring their hay (it is in chinchchix bags) to graze farther away than normal in winter, so I do think the grass is just starting.

                                If it turns out to be anything I'll update the thread, but for now it seems like just one of those things. I'm grateful for those who suggested maybe a bag of feed was suspect, I'll keep that in the back of my mind over the next few days.
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                                • #17
                                  Jingles for evverything to return to "normal" as quickly as 'normal' had disappeared

                                  Jingles & AO that All return to 'normal' quickly ```
                                  Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

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                                  • #18
                                    I've had more problems with the picky guys (usually the senior hard keepers) randomly deciding they don't like Purina Senior than any other formulation or brand.

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                                    • #19
                                      I still think its simply because they prefer green grass! My horses will leave a pile of nice 2nd cut hay for green grass.
                                      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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                                      • #20
                                        I think their metabolism is changing, too...mine are not finishing off their night hay like they do in the cold. And they are shedding, another sign of metabolism change. Plus my girl has been in heat 3 times already! Spring!!

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