What should I feed my old horse.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by 1234ro, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. 1234ro

    1234ro In the Brooder

    Apr 28, 2013
    bc canada
    I have a old quater horse, he is 28. We have alot of trouble with keeping weight on him through the winter. I am determind not to let him loosewieght through this winter. He get as much hey as he wants and about 6 cups of old horse grain. does anyone have advice, what keeps the wieght on best? Its there any grain brands better than others? I am in canada so has to be canadian brands thanks!

  2. naturalfeddogs

    naturalfeddogs Songster

    Jan 8, 2011
    I personally feed my old guy Nutrena Safe Choice senior, and he is doing very well with it. Purina also has a good one as well. They are both soft pellets that are easy to digest.

    You probably need to feed more than what you are. I would go with maybe a standard 3 qt. scoop. Start slow and build up over a couple of weeks. I would build up to giving a scoop in the am, then another in the pm. If needed, you could add a supplement like weight builder.
  3. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Songster

    Sep 19, 2010
    Well, being an older fellow his teeth might not be the best and he may have lost some. You could add soaked beet pulp into his diet and purchase some rice bran which aids in weight gain and corn oil is also used. Pelleted feeds might be better as well compared to crimped grains. You may be able to find some sort of guidelines for weight management for your horse based on his height/weight and pounds of feed needing to be fed online. Good luck!
  4. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Peaches basically hit the nail on the head of what we generally do for our old guy. He's always been a tough keeper, but age has definitely made it more difficult. He still stays kind of skinny during the winter, but packing on the calories does help. Beet pulp was pretty helpful. We don't soak it in the winter though (His teeth are still great, thankfully). We just feed a bit dry, along with some corn oil as needed. He also gets a senior grain twice a day. You have to be careful giving too much grain though, as horses reach a point where giving extra grain stops helping them keep or gain weight. I'd say you'd be safe to increase the grain for your guy though.

    There are some supplements that I've heard are helpful, but we have not used them yet. I'd say it may be worth looking into though (Or talking to some trusted feed store people if you have them. I know not every feed store has people knowledgeable about nutrition).

    Best of luck with your guy!
  5. Wet his feed down, no matter what it is...

    There are lots of manufacturers out there that are currently making "senior" feeds. I would call your local feed store and ask what they carry. Start with it, for convenience sake, but don't be afraid to switch to a different brand if you are not seeing the results you want. The products are NOT all the same.

    Two of my horses are ancient - one is 29 and the other is 37. They also literally have no teeth left. Everything I feed has to be soaked in water until it is soft and squishy, and then they "slurp" it up. They have 24/7 access to good pasture and hay, but digest very, very little of it. Most, if not all, gets "quidded" or rolled into fist-sized balls, in their mouth and then spit out.

    Over the years, I have tried many, many different feeds for them. Purina, Dumor, Blue Seal, Atwoods, Nutrena, etc. I am currently feeding them Triple Crown Senior and Triple Crown Timothy Balancer cubes. The horses are doing amazing on the Triple Crown feeds and look better than they have for years. The Timothy Balancer cubes are actually a product of Ontario Dehy, and have additional vitamins/minerals compared to regular cubes. I absolutely LOVE them.

    Also, you need to be feeding by WEIGHT and not by VOLUME. The easiest way I have found to weigh feed is by using a hanging fish scale that can be found at most sporting-goods stores. Hang a bucket on it, tare it out, and add a scoop of your feed. You will find that a "scoop" of one type of feed can vary greatly in weight from another brand/type of feed. That is why the only consistent way to feed is by weight. Same goes for hay - not all bales weigh the same, so not all flakes will weigh the same.

    There are also weight-building supplements available that you can try, but they should not be used as a substitute for poor feed. They should only be used in small amounts - as in OUNCES - to enhance other feeds. I've used Farnam's Weight Builder in the past, and Nutrena's Empower. Haven't had much need for them with the Triple Crown products, though.
  6. [​IMG]
    Above is Lancer, who is 29 yrs old. He has Cushings, so he does not shed out his winter coat, even on Prascend.

    Above is Rascal, who is currently 37 years old. This picture is almost 2 years old... need to find a current one!
  7. glass

    glass In the Brooder

    You cant go wrong with some Wheat Bran aka Mill Run aka Salvado. It has a lot of fiber so it also helps with the digestive system. We have a 27 year old mare on site and she eats alfalfa but loves her dose of wheat bran. It must be mixed with water
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013

  8. Actually, you need to be really careful when feeding wheat bran. Horses need a Ca:p ratio of 2:1, and wheat bran is way off from that ratio. You can cause some serious issues by feeding wheat bran frequently than say, once a week or every other week. Check out "Big Head Disease" - I tried to link an article about it but it won't work...

    Horses LOVE to eat hot bran mashes, but bran mashes actually offer little to no nutritional value to the horse.
  9. tcmstalcup

    tcmstalcup Songster

    Feb 4, 2010
    Good Senior feed and soaked beat pulp. They need access to hay even if they seem to gum it up and spit it out.
  10. Stacykins

    Stacykins Crowing

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    My neighbor gives her elderly horse with no teeth a mixture of soaked alfalfa cubes and beet pulp. He loves the stuff! It is soaked for twelve hours, so it is nice and mushy for him to eat. He does take a long time to eat, but he snarfs up every single bite. He makes those wads of hay or grass too that he gums/chews on, but cannot swallow, when he is back out in the pasture.

    He also gets a senior feed, not sure which. It was just in a bin labeled "senior" when I did some feedings for her!

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