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Another feed thread, sorry guys!

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  • Another feed thread, sorry guys!

    Sorry to start another thread, searched through the forums, but was hoping for a little more specific advice.

    I have a rising 3 year old holsteiner, very lightly started over the summer, getting the winter off to grow up some more. She was at a good weight while the pasture grass was in, but turned into a skeleton almost overnight when winter hit. She also has been growing like a weed.

    Started on sweet feed, but I thought she was getting ulcery, so I switched to TC Senior. Vet has seen her, we did do blood work and fecals, both were fine. I wormed for tapes in case. Teeth were done not that long ago. Currently getting 5 lbs TC Senior AM + PM, 2 flakes of oat/timothy, AM, PM + late at night. Not great quality hay, but I guess our barn was lucky to get hay for the winter. Turned out 9-10 hours a day with round bale, in at night. Also is blanketed. Am thinking she needs more/different forage, but the barn doesn't have the hay for it.

    This all being said, should I start feeding alfalfa pellets? I'd be more apt to buy cubes, but the barn doesn't seem to keen on soaking. I was hoping the hay she's getting now was enough roughage, the flakes and round bale are quite stemmy. I am also going to do a round of omeprazole for a month and see what happens. Anything else I should do?

    My other horse is 20 yo arab and is obese for the first time in his life. He has RAO, currently well controlled with meds. He has been getting extremely flighty and crabby. He has always been a spaz in the winter, but never straight up cranky. Is he also getting ulcers? He has always sort of picked at his hay. Also concerned that he might have something metabolic going on, always had to struggle to put weight on him due to his respiratory issues.

    Did I also mention they both crib? As you can see, I own the two PITAs in the barn.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    A 3 year old does not need 10 pounds of grain. Invest in good quality hay ( i would suggest an alfalfa/ grass mix). Your biggest problem is your horse is not getting near enough hay. She is young, growing and probably a big girl as well. Drop all but 2 pounds total of the grain and feed all the hay she will eat without wasting it.

    I can't offer advice on your arab as I have never had a horse with his problems, Hopefully he isn't getting 10 pounds of grain a day too. I have owned cribbers though and had no health or weight problems from mine at all.

    Comment


    • #3
      She is on a round bale at night? If so I'd think she is getting plenty of hay on a round bale unless she is just not eating it. What type of hay is the round bale? Is she out with other horses that won't let her on it? Also how much does the flakes you are giving weigh? Tc senior is a great feed and she shouldn't be a Skelton on it and free choice hay. Something seems off? Sorry your having issues.
      Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

      Comment


      • #4
        My guess is that the hay is low quality and not providing the calories/nutrition you horse needs. Do you have bagged forage or compressed bales available in your area? Neither require soaking but give long stem forage. Otherwise I would replace at least half of the TC Senior with alfalfa pellets and some oil.

        But honestly it sounds like something is not right here, because with 10 lb of TC SR (which is a great feed) free choice round bale outside, and what sounds like a decent amout of hay inside, she should be tick fat (IMO). Are you SURE she is really on 10 lb of Senior? I ask because I know some boarding barns seem to say they will feed that much but not really do it. Just a thought. Also, any chance she is getting bullied in the field? It could cause her to run off weight.
        come what may

        Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

        Comment


        • #5
          I will say it over and over....and over and over I think.

          The hay this year thanks to the drought and odd growing season just is not that wonderful for much of the country. I know more horses that were once thought normal to easier keepers having weight issues for the 1st time in their lives this past fall. And it all started when pastures dried up and stock went on hay.

          Get your hands on some lovely fine stem alfalfa. If you can not find any then alfalfa pellets and even some BP sheds will help. Toss in oil just enough to give a light coating and that will help avoid choke.

          Lucky for me I have extreme easy keepers for the most part. My one hard keeper is a bit older now. He is 4 now so getting out of that lanky teenager stage. But he still took some extreme beefing up before winter weather arrived (waiting until after is not a swell idea). His 2 and 3 yr old years he took some serious calories for a horse with nothing to do but play with his buddies.

          As for the old arab have his hooves slowed their normal growth rate this year? Fewer trims or resets needed to keep his feet tidy?

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Sorry failed to mention, she's been on the TC a few weeks, been gradually going up on it, started at the recommended 6lbs, upped it to 10lbs recently. She's perked up to her old self and had some weight gain, but not what I was expecting with all the calories. Vet hasn't offered up much in the way of suggestions other than a buffer and worming, might get a second opinion if the weight doesn't pick up soon.

            She did come to me a cribber on 6 lbs of grain and free choice hay. Also had diarrhea that lasted a while. Was on the lean side when I purchased. Might be she has a bad case of ulcers-omeprazole came in today, will start that tomorrow.

            The TC has some BP, alfalfa and rice bran in it. I bought it since it wasn't something that required soaking, but if she shouldn't be on it, I'm open to changing. I don't think the local feed store keeps bagged forage in stock, but I'll call and see if they can order.

            The hay is some of the poorest quality hay I've seen in a while in this area, and it's not just my barn. The vet said the horses this year look terrible, and blankets and small hole hay nets are selling like crazy from the tack shop. The round bale is the same as the squares. There's not a problem with access to hay for her, just the quality. She does play really hard outside, other than that, not in work.
            I don't think I'll be able to get my hands on any quality alfalfa bales at this point, but will try to increase the amount of forage she gets. I'll grab some alfalfa pellets tomorrow after work.

            As for my other guy, nothing out of the ordinary with his feet. Just something is NQR with him. He gets a handful of grain with his meds and free choice hay, that's about it.

            Thanks for all the suggestions, will work on getting her feed adjusted this weekend.

            Comment


            • #7
              TC Senior is a complete feed. I don't see a problem with feeding 10 lbs if you don't have access to good quality hay. Soaked alfalfa cubes would be better than upping the feed, but if the barn won't do it, well then that's just not an option, is it?

              Comment


              • #8
                There is no problem with 10 lbs of tc senior in my opinion. I thought she had been on it a while. A couple weeks and if she is really a Skelton like you said, well it will take longer than a couple weeks to get the weight back on. Yes the tc senior has beep pulp and alfalfa in it. You can add some alfalfa to it if you'd like but soak them well so she doesn't choke. Even alfalfa pellets! Ask me how I know . Some horses can eat them fine dry but I know a lot that choke on them dry including my own horse. Out of my 4 horses 1 choked on them. I'd give the tc senior a little time. If she has lost that much weight it will take a month at least to see a change in her weight. You canals add some weight builder to her feed if she needs it. Have done this with horses that I've brought back from knocking on deaths door. Also talk to your vet again if you don't notice she is gaining any in the next couple weeks for sure.
                Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think 10 lb is a lot for a 3 year old, mostly because at that age, and not being worked, her diet should consist of mainly forage.

                  I definitely "get" that when they hay quality sucks, you have to increase grain and whatnot, but it just isn't ideal for a 3 yr old, especially one that could possibly have ulcers, to be on 10 lbs. If you have access to TC Senior OP, you may have TC Safe Starch forage available, which is a chopped "complete" forage, as in, techincally it is nutritionally complete so the isn't a need, nutritionally, to feed grain. You may want to even use something like Safe Startch along with alfalfa pellets.

                  Other posters are right though, TC Senior is a complete feed, and high in fiber, therefore it is a good concentrate to feed to a horse without quality forage.
                  come what may

                  Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by r.j.246 View Post
                    Sorry failed to mention, she's been on the TC a few weeks, been gradually going up on it, started at the recommended 6lbs, upped it to 10lbs recently. She's perked up to her old self and had some weight gain, but not what I was expecting with all the calories. Vet hasn't offered up much in the way of suggestions other than a buffer and worming, might get a second opinion if the weight doesn't pick up soon.

                    She did come to me a cribber on 6 lbs of grain and free choice hay. Also had diarrhea that lasted a while. Was on the lean side when I purchased. Might be she has a bad case of ulcers-omeprazole came in today, will start that tomorrow.

                    The TC has some BP, alfalfa and rice bran in it. I bought it since it wasn't something that required soaking, but if she shouldn't be on it, I'm open to changing. I don't think the local feed store keeps bagged forage in stock, but I'll call and see if they can order.

                    The hay is some of the poorest quality hay I've seen in a while in this area, and it's not just my barn. The vet said the horses this year look terrible, and blankets and small hole hay nets are selling like crazy from the tack shop. The round bale is the same as the squares. There's not a problem with access to hay for her, just the quality. She does play really hard outside, other than that, not in work.
                    I don't think I'll be able to get my hands on any quality alfalfa bales at this point, but will try to increase the amount of forage she gets. I'll grab some alfalfa pellets tomorrow after work.

                    As for my other guy, nothing out of the ordinary with his feet. Just something is NQR with him. He gets a handful of grain with his meds and free choice hay, that's about it.

                    Thanks for all the suggestions, will work on getting her feed adjusted this weekend.
                    I know it is frustrating. But really my boy was on more calories than yours his 2 and 3 yr old yr. Still looked like the lanky teenager too. He is a tad ADD brained about food. He honestly would rather be playing then eating much of his time. He plays hard too.

                    So after I had packed all the feed into him that I could and I still did not have the winter weight he needed to be at I started adding oil. He got 2 cups a day. Honestly without that oil he would have been a site! A sad site!

                    This year I have not had to add but the usual 3 oz of oil everyone gets. He still gets more feed than the others. But not like the past 2 yrs. The hay quality does not seem be dragging down his weight....yet....but so far winter has been pretty mild.

                    Keeping the fingers crossed there....cuz he is not a cheap horse to feed! Maybe he is finally out of the teenager look and the metobilism stablized.
                    Last edited by D Taylor; Dec. 12, 2012, 10:59 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes oil is good also
                      Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Just a little update. She's putting on weight and looks much better. Had a panic moment when I posted earlier, am a bit neurotic about my kids. Did end up putting her on a buffer and omeprazole paste to cover all bases. I've never owned a horse that just plows through hay and feed like she does, but she is very gangly and butt high, oh and just a wee bit tall at about 17 hands. Caught her yesterday sprawled in the middle of the round bale stuffing her face, LOL.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Well, just had another colic episode a few days back. Found in the AM off feed, not drinking, lying down quietly, stall was cleaner than it normally is. Haven't made any changes with feed since the intial post, did colic twice prior on minimal grain and on free choice hay/pasture, both times were while she was outside in the field. Gave some banamine and watched her, after a few hours, perked up into her normal self.

                          Vet isn't sure what's going on, but thinks it isn't ulcers since the symptoms are so erratic and inconsistent. The only constant is that she's thin, vet thinks she should be fatter than she is with all the calories. Has put on weight, albeit slowly. I just attributed the slow gain to her age, breed and size.

                          She didn't seem keen on scoping or anything else. Did suggest a different stomach buffer, maybe some probiotics if that didn't work. I'm giving the buffer a try, but am doubtful about it working.

                          No fever, belly was slightly painful towards the back, good gut sounds. Coat is nice and shiny. Am wondering if it's hindgut. Not getting too many options from the vet though she is very frustrated by this. Any suggestions?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Have you checked her manure for sand?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Something is going on, clearly. Can you haul her to a vet school for a thorough exam?

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                The vet didn't notice much sand in the fecal, though I did purchase her from a place that kept her on a dry lot, maybe she's not passing the sand (if it is sand colic)? I am thinking I'll do a weeks worth of psyllium just in case, can't hurt I guess.
                                The nearest vet school is a few hours away, I can probably pay someone to haul her out.

                                I did just find out that the barn workers were feeding her a vitamin supplement still, and were double dosing her on it (not sure why that was, maybe due to size?). The barn carries it (it has a little of everything in it) for the horses on minimal or no feed. I reiterated to the barn manager I didn't want her on it anymore since she is on large amounts of complete feed and wrote a message to all the workers. Not sure if that was part of the problem, certainly can't help though.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Is she drinking enough water? I'd probably go ahead and treat for ulcers anyway.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Yep, drinking plenty of water. Would the omeprazole granules be an ok choice to start with? I can't trust the barn girls to give her the GG daily (half the time they won't), as she is a butthead about getting syringed. I do have her on a (equine-priced ) glorified version of tums.

                                    We had thought it might be some sort of liver dysfunction, however, labwork was disgustingly normal, not a single value out of normal range.

                                    There's been quite a lot of drama out in the field, though she's the top dog out there, am wondering if some of the new mares are causing some stress, on top of being separated from mom for the first time last spring. Might try to make a few environmental adjustments, see if that helps any.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Well, just a quick update.

                                      Mare put on a wee bit of weight and then promptly lost it again. Has been on poprocks for about a month, just about finished with them. Eating enormous amounts of feed, 9 lbs alfalfa pellets, 10 lbs of TCS, plus all the hay she can eat. Still bright eyed and happy, doesn't seem uncomfortable, guess will just have to wait for the grass to come in. Vet thinks it might be anxiety related, though she does crib, she doesn't pace or run.

                                      Would adding mag or vit e be recommended?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Have you had a comprehensive fecal run on her? I wonder if she's perhaps got a large worm load that is resistant to the dewormers you're using.

                                        It is curious! That much feed should be enough. Is she on any oil? Perhaps she preparing to grow again?

                                        How are her teeth? When was the last time she saw the dentist?

                                        What bloodwork has been run?

                                        Comment

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