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Picky hay eater!

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  • Picky hay eater!

    Ive had this horse sense he was 8 months old. He is now going on 4 in April. For the longest time he was out in a herd setting and through winter he alwasy got thin and never bloomed until in the last year when I seperated him and he is my only horse now and I board.

    Well he has always been finicky about grains as a youngster would not touch them! Now he gobbles them and only wants them and alfalfa cubes soaked... He will eat a local grass hay if its very fine stemmed and soft, i just tried a super nice local grass and he ate it for a few days then got soft manure and I think it upset his stomach so just sold that and found another local grass dealer that I will try to see if he will eat that.

    Vet has checked his teeth and seen him in September when I gelded him got a clean bill of health.

    Im tired of him getting leaner in the winter as he is know due to diarreah and lack of appitite for hays... I hate to feed straight alfalfa so just supplememnt it by soaked cubes instead as he loves those..

    Someone also just suggested plain gelatin for him to tighten him up and I have been doing that for 2 days have seen a little improvment?

    Also just switched him to LMF Gold.. it is a high fat feed to help put weight on him and also has Yea-Sacc in it for better digestion. He loes this stuff so so far its a good feed for him.

    Anyone have any feed suggestions, or ideas as to why he is such a picky hay eater? Always up to date on dewormer, farrier care, vaccinations?
    [COLOR="DarkOrchid"]Proud owner of: AQHA 1996 Red Dun Gelding - Dun in a Zillion and AHA 1993 Bay Mare - Saud El Schmarra/[COLOR]

  • #2
    Why do you hate to feed straight alfalfa? Never understood that. Where I've lived, that's usually the standard, and horses don't keel over and die from it...

    I would consider ulcers as a possibility. I would ask your vet about trying Tagamet or Ranitidine. If that helps then chances are it's an ulcer issue. Succeed is very expensive (and it doesn't have all that much reason to work, I admit!) but I've really seen it help appetites and put a bloom on a horse. No idea why gelatin would work or what it would do other than maybe make his hooves better. Probably can't hurt but...I don't think it will really make a dent in the problem, personally.

    OTOH, some horses are just picky about hay. One of the horses in the barn I manage always picks out the leafy bits in our timothy/orchard grass/alfalfa mixes. It's just beautiful hay and it just about makes me cry to see her waste it, but that's just her thing and always has been, despite being very healthy in every way

    Regardless, I personally don't believe in shoving more hay at them if they won't eat it generally, and so I would explore other options (with the above mare I bumped up her senior ration to 3lbs). So if he were too thin, I would probably add more alfalfa cubes/pellets, and more of the LMF if the feeding directions say you can.

    Also, hope you're weighing your grain/cubes. Usually on feed bags and tags, there is a recommended ration. You would not believe how many people feed a "coffee can" or go by their "quart scoop". Grain is measured by weight, not by volume. If you're going by the wrong method, that may be a good reason why he's not gaining weight, because he isn't getting the required/recommended ration...