rescued horse.. what to feed to help with weight?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by nightshade, May 2, 2008.

  1. In November we rescued a pony at auction. She was extremely underwight to the point you could count most of her bones and baddly beaten. She has put on about 200lbs or alittle more since we brought her home. And how scared she is has come a long way.

    Our 5 yr old son rides her bare back and with a saddle now, with just rains no bit. She is terrified of a bit even if you just show it to her she freeks. I think it has something to do with the smashed nose she had when we got her. She listens really well to voice commands and I think she will make him a good trail horse as she puts more weight on. She is so very sweet, with a beautiful buggy trot. I really don't know how some one can be like that to any animal.

    Anyways I was wondering if anyone can recommend something to help put the weight on her. The poor girl I feel so bad for her, every one we ask say 6 months to 1 1/2 years to get her back up to the weight she should be at possibly longer with how bad she is. Any tips would be great!
  2. Moonwalker

    Moonwalker Songster

    Jan 9, 2008
    Washburn, MO
    If a horse has been on short rations or even starved for a few months, it doesn't take long to get it back. But if they have been truelu starved for an extended period, the body starts consuming it's own muscle mass. It takes a long time and it looks like they aren't really gaining because they have to build back the muscle before anything goes to extra.
    The best way to build up any animal that needs to gain weight is to feed them small portions several times a day. A horse is made to graze, which means eating small amounts almost continually all day long. So if you decide(with vet's advice) how much this horse needs in a day, split it up into 5 portions and spread it out over the day.
    Calf Manna is what I have always used to help underweight horses gain. Corn oil on the feed can help too. Makes a nice shiny coat too.
  3. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    I am not sure what you are feeding her, I guess that would be my first question.
  4. morelcabin

    morelcabin Songster

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    I used to mix oats, bran and corn with vegetable oil in a small pail and feed it to our horse when we wanted to fatten her up for winter. Easy on the corn though, no one told me that and I ended up with a wild and crazy fat horse:>) I don't remember exactly how much I used to give her, but even the dog got fat eating the leftovers.
    Last edited: May 2, 2008
  5. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Songster

    Apr 2, 2008
    Quote:The oil is your best bet. Avoid the corn all together and only feed oats if you have too. Try some beet pulp.
  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    My vet suggested using Omelene 300 and Beet Root to put weight back on a horse.

    You want to make sure the Beet root is soaked over night before giving it to her though as it needs to expand before she eats it.

    He said to give the horse Omelene twice to three times a day and the Beet root once a day.

    You might want to give your vet a call and see what he/she suggests for this particular horse.

    Also - as you already know. You want to put weight back on slowly but steadily and work her regularly to help with the muscle tone also.
  7. Chatychick

    Chatychick Songster

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    Well when I got my mare she was very underweight also and I fed her Omalene 200 and also a supplement called Colvite. Its kinda hard to find but it is wonderful. A trainer friend told me about it and it sure changed my mare.The vet rated her at almost a 3 when I got her and this supplement helped her and 6 mths later when the vet was back out she didnt know it was the same horse. I would make sure she has hay all the time as hay wont hurt her. The new grass that is growing can hurt her is she is grazing 24/7 and it can cause laminitis or grass founder. Been there with my Appy. Also have you wormed her and if not you need to do that slowly as you are basically feeding the worms and not her. I worm mine sepecially during the spring and summer months about ever 2 mths. You will need to worm her and then 10 days later worn again. This will kill off the adult worms and then the eggs that will hatch in 10 days. Worming is very important. When you start the grain do it slowly as her system isnt used to it and you dont want to feed her lots of corn or corn products. I use Black Oil Sunflower Seeds to help with my horses coat, and it keeps them from having dry skin too. I think I put amybe 1/4 cup for a grown horse, you should use less for a pony maybe a handful sprinkled in her feed. Has she been trimmed lately also if not she needs to have her feet checked. Other than that lots of exercise each day will help with her muscle tone and help build her too. Happy riding.
  8. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    Here is my routine or things I've had success with(feed only...I do hope you have deworming under control):

    Add fiber with shredded beet pulp. I usually match the DRY volume of beet pulp to the volume of grain, then soak the pulp 12 hrs and mix them together.

    I use a senior feed (Triple Crown).

    To this I might add any or all of the following:
    Weight Builder
    Clovite/Source WT (LOVE Source)
    ProBios powder (GODSEND)

    **my vet recently told me that adding oil to the feed is under scrutiny - that some in the research colleges think it might actually coat the small intestine and make it difficult for the horse to absorb nutrients - do ask you vet about it. I don't use it because it's messy and I've had a few OTTBs that would not eat feed with oil in it so I've switched to Weight Builder to add calories**

    Free choice timothy/orchard/fescue hay SUPPLEMENTED with alfalfa hay or pellets/cubes (if you can't find nice bale hay, go with the cubes or pellets) - amount depends on weight.

    Of course, make any changes to the diet gradually and with the help of your vet or equine nutritionist.
  9. Meesh

    Meesh Songster

    Feb 12, 2008
    Rocky Mountains
    What's your deworming program? And have you had her teeth done by an equine dentist?

    If she's a pony, I would avoid food that might induce colic and laminitis (esp. grains like corn and sweetfeeds). Alfalfa is often recommended for underweight rescues & we used those for our rescues. Beetpulp is great. Our pony choked on an alfalfa cube (on Monday of this week!) so I'd soak those if you go that route. I would consider adding some whole oats and also like feeding some black oil sunflower seed (would work up to a pint serving).

    Agree that feed changes should be made slowly and carefully. Esp. for a pony. They can be so sensitive to new feeds...

    And yes, give it time. One of the horses we rescued took a few years to catch up and grew until she was 5.

  10. She has been dewormed twice since we got her. Right now I am feeding racehorse hay ( timothy, alfalfa, broomgrass mix) free access all day, linseed mixed sweet feed three times a day but I think I am going to up that and grazing when the weather is nice. I am afarid to let her out when it is too damp or cold because of how bad she was and is. I just don't want to take the chance she will catch a cold or such.

    She was deffently starved for awhile, because most of her muscle mass is gone. She is gaining it back, on her lower half first it seems. Stomick, legs, chest the bottom side of her neck. Her top half still looks horrible. When we first got her she would walk this slow timmed, dead horse walk. Then when we got some good weather here in January and it was so warm I had her out working with her and found that she has the most beautiful buggy trot you ever did see.

    She has really come a long way already. You were unable to touch her face, ears or even the top of neck near her head when we brought her home. Now you can touch her all over as long as you talk softly when you do it and move slow. I have always been amazed that even the first night we had her, our 5 yr old son could walk right up to her. He would climb up on her stall and she would come right to him and let him pet her all over. She was truly terrifide of us adults. It took a nearly a month just to go in the stall with out her swaying side to side in a non-stopping fashion. Just a step to the right then back to the left, over and over. She wore a huge hole in her stall in less then a month. But not with the little guy he could do anythign with her. It was like she knew he could not hurt her. Us we had to prove we wouldn't lol. She has calmed down so much since then. She loves to be brushed and petted.

    We have just started working with her to see if the little guy is gonna be able to ride her or if she is gonna just be a pasture pal for the goats. My horse does not like her but the other 2 are good with her. Anyways she is doing really well there to, she actually paws the ground now while you are tacking her up if you take to long. She actually seems to enjoy it. And with his light weight I was told he should not hurt her, Just use a good well made thick pad to protect her back. I am really proud of how well they seem to be bonding with eachother. I would sware it was a different horse if she still was not so thin. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: