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

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  • #21
    But why go right to oil and fat and rice bran, when the horse is getting only forage, possibly low-nutrient forage, without even addressing nutrition first?
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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    • #22
      Originally posted by JB View Post
      But why go right to oil and fat and rice bran, when the horse is getting only forage, possibly low-nutrient forage, without even addressing nutrition first?

      We seem to agree on our approach. Beet pulp and hay pellets are forage, not grain. And they are not high in protein, or comprehensive in terms of nutrient profile. If the horse is already getting quality hay, I just don't see the purpose. I'd rather see the horse getting a grain that meets the protein/vitamin/mineral requirements for a growing horse - which may be a ration balancer or growth/junior formula grain. I'd tend towards the latter if you have weight issues since there will be more calories in the 'recommended daily amount' of a grain than in the recommended daily amount of a ration balancer.

      No - the vitamin/mineral supp wouldn't be a good approach unless you've verified the protein in all of the hay/forage products and are sure it is meeting his needs.

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      • #23
        Agreed

        You CAN do all the above without a grain product or a ration balancer. You CAN start with a v/m supplement, add a few pounds of alfalfa (hay or pellets), and add some Tri-amino or similar (and maybe just straight lysine).

        It just tends to get pricey doing that when you have to add significant calories.
        ______________________________
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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        • Original Poster

          #24
          Originally posted by JB View Post
          Agreed

          You CAN do all the above without a grain product or a ration balancer. You CAN start with a v/m supplement, add a few pounds of alfalfa (hay or pellets), and add some Tri-amino or similar (and maybe just straight lysine).

          It just tends to get pricey doing that when you have to add significant calories.
          This is what I've always done (vit/min, lysine, yeast, oats, and some sort of pellets, grass or alfalfa). This filly is the first not to thrive. Again, this is based on perhaps-outdated hay analysis, which showed 12-16% protein.
          Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.
          Starman

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          • #25
            I think the people who are advising you to ditch the grain and add more fat are thinking about possible PSSM? She may not metabolize carbs well and need her "extra" calories from fat rather than grain. Clearly there is something different about her, compared to the other skinny horses you've fed up.

            (Just a guess here.)
            You have to have experiences to gain experience.

            1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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            • #26
              I was thinking that alfalfa would bring in the protein and the additional nutritional profile and then the rice bran/oil would provide the calories. Our horses do best on straight alfalfa and when we moved to a place where it was straight grass (the PNW which is I think where OP is from) they lost condition. As I said, I'm pro-protein and that's why I recommended throwing the fat calories on top of some alfalfa.
              “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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              • #27
                I think the safest, least expensive, easiest approach is to add a "young horse suitable" concentrate to her diet, alongside her hay (either a dedicated young horse feed, or one that is suitable for all life stages, like a Strategy). Often 2 year olds are fine on an adult feed and don't really need something like a TC Growth feed, so you can pick a feed company that you like and talk to their nutritionist to get recommendations. If your hay is decent and she's getting a recommended serving of the concentrate, you should be in good shape and I bet she'll fill out. This also depends on her breeding, and how much you should be encouraging rapid growth.
                Mixing and matching ingredients and supplements is not my preference, especially for younger, growing horses where all of these nutrients and the balance between them is even more critical.
                As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by quietann View Post
                  I think the people who are advising you to ditch the grain and add more fat are thinking about possible PSSM? She may not metabolize carbs well and need her "extra" calories from fat rather than grain. Clearly there is something different about her, compared to the other skinny horses you've fed up.

                  (Just a guess here.)
                  Interesting thought, though it seems so many people are just of the mindset that unless you're feeding a 10% fat feed, or getting the whole diet up into the upper single digits or higher in fat content, or that you can't put weight on a horse without more fat, then you're not feeding properly. While EPSM can't be ruled out, it's just not on the high end of things that would cause a given horse of this age to not do well on an all-forage diet.

                  Based on my reading experiences over the last...10 years or so, there are SO many horses who do poorly on Strategy, while others do very well on it, and it didn't and doesn't make sense to assume those horses had EPSM just because so many other horses did well on that feed
                  ______________________________
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                    I was thinking that alfalfa would bring in the protein and the additional nutritional profile and then the rice bran/oil would provide the calories. Our horses do best on straight alfalfa and when we moved to a place where it was straight grass (the PNW which is I think where OP is from) they lost condition. As I said, I'm pro-protein and that's why I recommended throwing the fat calories on top of some alfalfa.
                    Absolutely you need adequate *quality* protein to put muscle on, but what the OP is describing seems to be beyond just inadequate protein - it's simply not enough calories, and with the description of the poor coat, it does not seem to point to (just) a simple lack of protein.
                    ______________________________
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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