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Old 10-22-2006, 06:21 PM  
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The best way to put weight on an underweight horse?

I have a horse that we recently rescued that is severely underweight. She is supposed to be in foal so I am concerned about what I should feed to put the quickest weight on without her colicing. We've never had an underweight horse and it's just awful to look at. We have both hay and alfalfa but right now I am feeding her hay, would alfalfa be to rich for her right now? I am also feeding her a coffee can(about 3lbs) oats morning and night, would it help if I added vegetable oil to the oats? I am keeping her stalled as much as possible so there's not an excess of exercise.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
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Old 10-22-2006, 06:40 PM  
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I have been using Black Oil sunflower seeds over the past month on three of my horses, and I have already seen a difference in two of them. Make sure it is BLACK OIL sunflower, they are easily digestible. You can find a lot of info about them online. Half cup AM and PM. Good Luck.
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Old 10-22-2006, 06:49 PM  
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You could try crushed flax, half a cup during every feeding. Corn oil works well too. Good luck!
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Old 10-22-2006, 07:27 PM  
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soaked beet pulp , you almost can't over feed it...

start out slow and build her up , maybe even try a senior feed...
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Old 10-22-2006, 09:43 PM  
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an overly thin pregnant mare presents other problems than just trying to put weith on.

You have to understand, that as you feed the mare, you are also feeding the foal and she is most likely low on all her minerals and her body is not balanced at all.

the first thing i would do is hit her with a tube of pro-biotics to aid her digestion and make sure she was getting all the nutrients she should.

I would also get her teeth looked at and soon.

In a week or so, worm her with Safeguard, nice and easy wormer. In a few days after worming, hit her with some more probioatics.

then in a month worm her with ivermectin and again, in a few days some more probiotics.

I would also get some loose minerals, a powder and put in a feed tub where she has full access to them. this will help the foal.

Now, for oats, in the quantity you will have to feed, she may have trouble with them.

I would opt for a high fat/low carb feed. Nutrena SafeChoice is good because it is 12% protein and 8% fat and is beet pulp based so you can feed more and not worry about founder. I would start her at 3-4 lbs 3-4 times a day. more smaller meals is much better for the thin horse than 2 larger meals

If you have the alfalfa, a small flake at each meal and free choice grass hay or pasture.

have the vet look at her and determine how far along she is. she will need any required immunizations spaced out a week to 10 days apart so as not to stress her system. And he should prescribe PK-1 shots at 5, 7 & 9 months.

I know this sounds like a lot, but it really isn't and you will see amazing results in a short time, if you giver her easily digested food and assure that her body is getting all the nutrients you are giving her.

Let us know how much better she looks in 3 weeks.
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Old 10-23-2006, 12:21 AM  
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I really like Ration Plus for helping get a horse's digestion back in order. With my formerly skinny TB filly, I put her on that for 3 weeks, and had her on a Brewer's Yeast suppliment that had other stuff in it too. The combo put weight on fast, without extra energy.

I agree that you also may want to consider a broodmare ration or suppliment.

Some horses don't eat well if they are kept stalled; not sure if this is the case with your mare, but is something to consider.

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Old 10-23-2006, 05:35 AM  
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I agree totally with Ron - if the horse is not absorbing nutrients and her unborn foal may suffer as well. We love senior feed at our house to add weight - it also includes a great selection of minerals and vitamins...
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Old 10-23-2006, 06:53 AM  
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Thanks everyone.
Ron where can I get pro-biotics? Just at a feed/farm store?
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Old 10-23-2006, 08:27 AM  
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yes....just at the feed store

pro-bios...a popular brand, comes in a blue & white tube like a wormer.

there are also daily doses, but I prefer the paste type to get a jump start and higher dose.
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Old 10-23-2006, 08:32 AM  
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Regarding the probiotic.
The best brand I ever fed for a daily is a brand called Forco.
They have a website and will ship straight to your house if they do not have a dealer.
It is an incredible product-did wonders for my 20-something competition horse. just a daily small scoop.
Everything else is pretty well covered..good luck with your mare,
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