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Switching feed when gradual isn't an option- Help!

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  • Switching feed when gradual isn't an option- Help!

    First off, sorry if this has been discussed to death... I couldn't find many threads but was looking on my phone. Also, sorry so long!
    I am acquiring a horse who is labeled as a hard keeper but his feed history is iffy. At this point he is about 50-75lbs underweight and out of condition. According to current Owner he was much worse. Current owner had teeth/vet/blood done a few months ago everything normal.
    So, my dilemma. What they have been feeding him is a mix of stuff that they can not tell me where to buy. I was told that it is bought of a railroad car (?!) and is an ethanol by product. He gets that mixed with oats or corn and "fiber".
    After much research I want (I think ) to put him on Ultium and of course quality hay and pasture. For hay he has been on round bales and some timothy/grass flakes.
    I am going to keep trying to obtain at least some of his current regimen to transfer gradually but it is not looking promising. What is the best way to proceed if I am stuck cold turkey?
    Thanks in advance if you made it through this novel!
    Twice A Secret, pony love, 1991-2011

  • #2
    I've done it, when I got a horse that they couldn't tell me what type of feed he ate. I don't think it's the end of the world to switch "cold turkey" as long as you don't feed a lot at a time. I'd just do small meals to start.


    • Original Poster

      Ok, great. That is what I was hoping... Thanks so much for the reply!
      Twice A Secret, pony love, 1991-2011


      • #4
        Cold turkey cut the old, then gradually introduce and increase the new, no big deal
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


        • #5
          I've done it as well in a similar "unknown" situation.. I just made sure to just do a ton of similar hay and only a little bit of the new grain at first and gradually increased it


          • #6
            Probably a dumb question, but can the people give/ let you buy some of the current "whatever it is" from them? Otherwise, I agree with what has already been said. Just introduce the new in small amounts and it will no doubt be fine.


            • #7
              Yep. I've done it quite a bit. Usually when I've acquired some horse that is getting the nastiest feed possible (my favorite was the "All Stock" which was labeled a "balanced feed for cows, goats, chickens, and horses." ). I got the horse home and threw the bag of "feed" she was sent with in the trash.

              Anyway, every time I've done it, they've survived...actually, usually, they thrive!


              • #8
                I almost never buy the "old" feed that a newly acquired horse is on. I bring them home, start them on lots of quality hay, then slowly introduce my own feed a handful at a time; increasing the amount slowly every few days or so until they are on the amount I want.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JB View Post
                  Cold turkey cut the old, then gradually introduce and increase the new, no big deal
                  Exactly this. Done it plenty of times and never had an issue.
                  "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England


                  • #10
                    If it is an ethanol by product it is either distiller's grains, or perhaps the special stuff that contains that plus other goodies, EquiPride is the name, IIRC.
                    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.


                    • Original Poster

                      Sorry to post and run, I had to run to work. Thank you all for the input! Definitely making me feel better about it. I was starting to freak myself out over thinking everything.
                      I can't wait to get him home!
                      Twice A Secret, pony love, 1991-2011


                      • #12
                        Definetly go with the Ultium. I use it on my TB mare who was starved and it has done a fabulous job at packing on the pounds and not adding any extra unwanted energy. Just start slowly, and remember that when you feed Ultium, you dont have to as much as you would for other feeds. Also, I have had tremendous luck with Rice Bran oil, I highly recommend it, not only makes them shine, but helps put the pounds on as well. Good Luck!!


                        • #13
                          If you're really worried add a probiotic. Couldn't hurt. Plus moving to a new environment is stressful anyway so it would help with the transition. Or if it's already happened, watch the manure. If you see changes definitely add a probiotic.

                          Looking forward to the update.


                          • #14
                            Plus as much of the best quality hay you can find that he will eat - hay, hay and more hay for weight gain...but make feed changes gradual. In six weeks you will hardly remember the horse you bought home.
                            Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                            • #15
                              I agree that probiotics might be a good idea!
                              Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                              • #16
                                I'd give him unlimited hay only for a few days (plus ulcerguard) then start adding in what you want to feed him slowly over 7-10 days.