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Feeding the rehab to gain weight

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  • Feeding the rehab to gain weight

    Would really appreciate some input on a feed program for weight gain, so here is the deal:

    My boy had a pretty severe colic and spent 8 days at the vet clinic on fluids and meds. He dropped a dremendous amount of weight, has that "i have been sick" fuzzy dull coat and is ribby, pointed hips etc.

    When he came home from the clinic he was on Sr. Feed and coastal hay, the barn he was at had him on 1 and 1/2 scp sr feed 2x a day and several flakes of hay.

    I moved him home to our farm this past weekend and am concerned about feeding him to help him gain weight safely, and he is in light work so we dont want to take any steps backward.

    I did get his teeth done this week, he is on antibiotics for scratches, once that is over we will power pak for worms as directed by the vet.

    For feed he is getting 3 meals a day consisting of:
    (we just moved so need to find my scale to weigh grain however the scoop is a blue "super scoop)
    1 scoop Nutrena XTN
    1/2 scoop beet pulp (before soaking)
    2 cups BOSS
    3 flakes tim/orch/alf mix hay

    I see more bloom he is loosing that dull coat, but as much feed as he is getting I am wondering if the XTN isnt the right feed for weight gain. This is the program I have used in the past, but am wondering if safe choice, an omolene product, or something would be better since I dont want any more weight loss.

    My only choices are Nutrena and Purina.

    Oh, and he is getting worked 20 min a day, mostly walk trot with about 6 minutes of canter.

    Any input would be apprecaited.

  • #2
    Age and breed would help. As well as, how much weight is he under ideal?

    Free choice hay, A good SR feed, and alfalfa would be my recomendations!

    Good Luck!
    Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

    Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!


    • #3
      If my only choices were purina or nutrena i'd mix my own with rice bran, beet pulp, oats, and fat.
      Never actually done that because i am blessed to be in Seminole territory, but i'd pick whole ingredients and try balancing it with a ration balancer.
      chaque pas est fait ensemble


      • #4
        Glad he's feeling better. It's really scary how quickly they drop off. Did they decide if it was an impaction or something else? I'm guessing they ok'd your rehab program?

        Don't worry about the weight. In 6-10 weeks he'll look better than he did before the colic. The third meal is really good for weight gain/maintenance on a hard keeper. I wonder why anyone would feed coastal if they could get a timothy/orchard mix?I had always heard the cost difference was made up in the lower use of grain. Coastal is $6 + here and nothing else is reliably available.

        Because I'm familiar with it, I would probably use the Safe Choice - horsey probably wishes you'd use Omelene.Your feeding program sounds great. I would have done the cautious switch from Sr to your feed over a week, but I seem to be the only one that does that still.

        He's a lucky boy - turn him out as much as you can.


        • Original Poster

          Mustang: he is a 7 yr quarterhorse, about 200 lbs, with the 3 flakes of hay with
          3 meals, he is about getting free choice, the flakes are big and heavy.
          OH, he is one month, out from this ordeal
          Petstore: Yeah, we live in horse hell, its hard to find anything good.

          Hiddenacres: Yes, this was soooo scary, and trust me, dont want to visit this
          ever again. It was an impaction, I questioined ulcers because he
          stopped drinking, however, it was super cold a few days before. I
          agree with you about the coastal, no nutritional value. We get a nice
          tim/orch/light alf mix for about 7.75 a bale by the tractor trailer load,
          that versus 5 for coastal.

          I did actually bring some of the xtn up a week before to switch, so he did get that, 1/2 scoop and boss was added to each meal

          The SR feed did have him gain a little weight and was what the vet that treated him said to do for a week after he came home, however, after that he said he could go back on whatever we wanted.

          The Sr feed seemed to give him a "pot belly" look and while there was a little weight gain, his coat was dull, eyes dull. I brought him home last weekend, with what I am feeding he seems to have perked up, coat taking on some shine, eyes bright, maybe a little weight gain, less pot belly.

          I have never fed safe choice, I was looking at the fat/fiber content being higher, which xtn was, however, worried about him getting high and silly.


          • #6
            Sounds like he just needs tincture of time. Free choice hay + a good balance of concentrates is all you can do, and you're already doing it.

            The only thing you might consider is switching from BOSS to oil. I like BOSS as a maintenance fat supplement, but for weight gain, few fat supplements can rival good old oil. Even a full pound of BOSS has only 2.58 MCal in it, and I don't know how much 6 cups of it weighs but I would guess a whole lot less than 1 pound. Compare this to oil, which can pump in about 4 MCal daily (if you feed 2 cups a day, which most nutritionists seem to agree is the most oil a horse can digest daily).
            Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


            • #7
              Ditto what everyone else said. He is on a solid program right now and weight gain doesn't happen over night.

              A tincture of time does wonders. He will get there....just relax a little and give him time. I really like safechoice. My horses do great with it.

              Good Luck. You are getting great advice. Just remember to give him time. It may have come off over night, but it takes a couple of months to get back!

              Best wishes.
              Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

              Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!


              • #8
                I have had really good luck with Amplify.....even my OLD rescues put on weight when I feed it....14 percent protein 30 percent fat.


                • #9
                  Love Triple Crown Senior. Used to use Safe Choice top dressed with Empower, but the TC Senior is less expensive and seems to do a better job. High in fiber and low in NSCs. It's also a fixed formula if that makes a difference to you. Southern States carries it.


                  • #10
                    I agree with the statement above in regards to the BOSS. I would try an oil instead. A good one to try is Cocosoya. It is very easily digested by the horse which allows them to better utilize the fat. Here is a link where I get mine.


                    • #11
                      Also I thought that you might find it interesting that in our area SafeChoice is about 5 or 6 dollars a bag cheaper than anything by Triple Crown. Kudos to Safechoice though...I feed it and love it.


                      • #12
                        Hi, I work a lot with off the track TBs, and have had a lot of success with putting weight on horses, including one TB who had chronic colic issues and had lost a ton of weight before he came to me.
                        1. Feed a high fat, quality feed - 10% fat. Triple Crown is great.
                        2. I see you feed beet pulp. It is the BEST. on tough keepers, I feed up to 1 scoop 2xday soaked beet pulp plus grain ration with no ill effects. Beet pulp is very safe and a good bulker.
                        3. If he has colic issues -I found the supplement Tractguard by Foxden Equine to be VERY helpful - good for ulcer-type problems, and has good stuff like Diamond V yeast, probiotics. Etc. And lots and lots of free choice, good quality grass hay. I don't like coastal - orchard grass is better if you can get it.
                        4. Don't underrate the importance of turnout! The grazing value as well as mental happiness is important for keeping weight.
                        Good luck!


                        • #13
                          How's he doing?

                          Just wanted to check back on your Mustang. One other thing I've seen to get more H2O in them when they don't drink enough is wetting/soaking their hay.

                          Let us know how it's going.


                          • #14
                            You might be interested in this: http://www.thepenzancehorse.com/2010...dinghorses.htm

                            You'll see a photo of a 29 yo OTTB plus a couple of others on there who are in wonderful weight. The diet will also help to strengthen the immune system, liver, kidney, all systems as he recovers his weight. That will help prevent further colic episodes.
                            --Gwen <><
                            "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."


                            • Original Poster

                              Hiddenacres, thank you for asking about my boy!! He is doing great! Actually though, he is a quarter horse.

                              The XTN made him a little high, he couldnt stand himself, he would not eat the safe choice, and I went to a purina seminar and heard about the omolene 400 and wow, it was just what we were looking for. At first I was afraid of the amount the bag said to give, but since it is a complete feed, I was able to reduce the amount of grain since I am feeding hay.

                              On the omolene 400, beet pulp, boss, and the tim/orch/alfalfa hay he has bloomed, filling in nicely, has a great coat, while about 100 lbs more will be perfect, I am so please with how he looks.

                              I put him back to work this week, sems to be holding the weight.

                              The only issue now is that he just has not started to shed, has a full winter coat and well, lets hope we are not facing chushings, I got him Sept of last year and he had a short winter coat (he came from detroit) but this is really long... guess we will see what happens.

                              I really can not say enough good things about the omolene 400!!!


                              • #16
                                Yay! Glad he's doing well.So he likes Omelene- they're so interesting, aren't they?

                                My skinny TB likes Omelene as well, but he's not in enough work to burn off the sweet feed high he gets. I always wondered why he ate so much more than anyone else at the barn - no matter what he was fed. Went to TX A&M vet clinic and they have a scale like for trucks. He weighed 1395 lbs! All of a sudden 14 lbs of grain a day made sense.

                                That whole foods diet looks interesting, but I board and the Smartpaks don't even get used. Who has that kind of time to fix horsey food? Maybe it isn't as hard as it sounds.

                                Good luck with the coat - he probably just needs more sunlight and he'll catch up by June. He had a tough winter.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by HiddenAcres View Post
                                  That whole foods diet looks interesting, but I board and the Smartpaks don't even get used. Who has that kind of time to fix horsey food? Maybe it isn't as hard as it sounds.
                                  *LOL* -- yeah, it reads like alot of work but it actually takes me less than 10 mins to chop up the veggies, mix in the kelp, oil, etc. then another 10 mins. or so to dole it out to 9 equine. It would be tough in a boarding situation -- but its a great way to feed if you have your guys at home. I've reduced my feeding $ considerably - the major portion of the feeding costs being hay (at over $7.50 per bale and feeding out 4 - 5 bales a day).
                                  --Gwen <><
                                  "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."