All Rights Reserved. Dr. Young has worked as a trainer and riding instructor for more than 30 years, and continues do so in the Kansas City area. Offer a complete feed specifically designed for senior horses with higher digestible fiber at a minimum of 0.5% body weight. A. Offering a higher quantity of feed and selecting feed with more digestible and available nutrition becomes important in managing senior horses. An excessively thin cat can be a sorry sight. The Veterinary Journal. It is safest to put weight on a horse slowly, so let’s take 90 days for this example. In such situations, providing a complete senior feed with high-quality, easily digested forage or roughage sources to replace some or all of the hay can be extremely beneficial in maintaining the horse’s body weight and condition, as well as meet nutrient requirements to support the aging horse’s lifestyle. Frequently these older horses maintain condition well when good quality pasture is available, but struggle when fed the same feed ration with hay instead of fresh pasture. Consult with a veterinarian or an equine nutritionist to ensure all the health and dietary needs of an older horse are being met. Protein promotes weight gain. Older horses can get pushed away during mealtimes when in a herd, and they are not generally as enthusiastic about food as they were in their younger days,” added Crandell. Q. So, an average horse in good condition needs about 18 to 20 pounds of feed a day. Have a great ride! If weight loss is a real, rather than simply perceived, problem, what can owners do? For a horse prone to losing too much weight in winter, begin rugging and extra feeding in autumn as soon as the nights begin to … During her there, Dr. Young served as a faculty member in the equine science section of the animal science department teaching courses in equitation, training, and horse management, was supervisor and coach of the TAMU Equestrian Teams, and a board member of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. The senior horse population is larger now than ever before, with many horses leading healthy lives into their 30s. Your veterinarian or an equine nutritionist can help you evaluate your horse’s total diet to make sure that the combination of hay and feed is providing adequate calories and other essential nutrients to meet nutritional requirements. Once weight gain is achieved, many horses can maintain optimal body weight on diets composed primarily of plentiful forage and balancer pellets; others, however, will … Another fat source that horses often like is rice bran, which comes in powdered or pelleted form and can be mixed in with the grain. About 4500 additional kcal per day over the normal amount fed should achieve half a pound of gain per day. Another option is to feed less…less roughage but more easily digestible feedstuffs, that is. In these situations, it may be beneficial to add water to the feed to provide a mash or gruel, which will be even more easily edible for the horse with extremely poor dentition. Our blog is no exception, from Ask The Vet to horse cookie recipes, we only publish articles we want to read. Horse weight gain supplements are an easy and healthy way to help body conditioning, while providing fuel for performance. If the diet you are providing to your horse is appropriate and you have observed that he is consuming everything, your next step would be to consult your veterinarian to evaluate your horse for parasite infestation, which can significantly impact his body condition. These feeds are formulated to include appropriate forage or roughage sources to partially or completely replace hay and/or pasture in the aging horse’s diet. Drug-resistant intestinal parasites have become more common, and veterinarians are now recommending new strategies for parasite control. Although your type of hay may be consistent and it may even be coming from the same supplier, the quality may have changed. But, it needn’t be a difficult thing to do. Pinworms, tapeworms and encysted small strongyles will not be diagnosed by standard fecal floatation exams, so your veterinarian may need to perform additional parasite screenings. An average horse will need 1.8 to 2% of its body weight in feed (including supplements). Researchers hypothesize that consistently providing high-quality forage needed to meet the dietary energy needs of senior horses can be a losing battle. SmartPak's Staff Veterinarian, Dr. Lydia Gray, answers a question about how to get a horse to gain weight. A truly starved horse – one that’s significantly underweight – requires a specialized and careful nutritional approach in order to regain both weight and health. If you're trying to fatten your horse, consider upping the amount of food by 2.3 to 2.5% of body weight for a slow gradual gain. The first step in figuring out why your horse is having trouble maintaining appropriate body weight and condition is to examine your overall feeding program to see if he is receiving a diet that is adequate to meet his energy requirements and that he is actually consuming as much as you think he is. Increasing the amount of roughage or adding oil to the diet are both viable solutions. However, a strict ratio of 70:30 fibre to carbohydrates should be followed at all times. If the horse is still able to chew well and process long stemmed forages, providing high quality hay and a calorie and nutrient-dense feed may be adequate to prevent weight loss. As a horse’s teeth wear, they can develop abnormalities such as sharp edges, hooks and waves that interfere with the efficient grinding and processing of feedstuffs during chewing. The best feed for an underweight horse is good quality hay or pasture grass. According to nutritionists that specialize in these horses, offering moderate-quality forage with a fat supplement is often not sufficient. Senior Weight Accelerator contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, which helps with intestinal health and digestion, has anti-fungal properties, and plays a crucial role in preventing Candida overgrowth. Hi everyone, I just got a new horse yesterday. Before trying to put on weight, you need to know that it's safe to do so. So feeding a 10 year old 4# of feed isn't the same as feeding a 23 year old 4#. Subscribe to Equinews and get the latest equine nutrition and health news delivered to your inbox. She added, “It is essential to accurately estimate your horse’s body weight or body condition score to know if it is actually underweight or if it is losing weight.”. Learn more about how to safely put weight on a starved horse. Her research concentrated on mineral requirements of resting and exercising horses. This increase in older horses is primarily attributable to the focused efforts of veterinarians, nutritionists, and owners to improve understanding of the special needs of senior steeds. Dietary requirements (energy and nutrients) are determined by many factors including breed, sex, age, activity level, reproductive status, housing and health status. Suitable feed with be rice bran. Horses are also individuals so what works for one 23 year old might be too much or too little for the next 23 year old. This contrasted with the owner responses that reported 23% of the animals surveyed to be underweight and only 3% to be overweight.” Some countries have adopted a BCS system of 0-5, with 0 indicating emaciation and 5 signifying obesity. Weight Gain Horse Feed: What You Need to Know. Part of the aging process is often loss of efficiency of the digestive tract due to decreased motility, digestion and absorption of nutrients. He is pretty thin. by | Dec 30, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 comments | Dec 30, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 comments And, since fat is digested differently, without the risks posed by sugars or carbohydrates, oil is one of the safest ways to put weight on a horse. McGowan, P.D. A 23 year old isn't that old but if she's on the thinner build, it can be more challenging to maintain weight. Researchers like Joanne Ireland, B.V.M.S., M.R.C.V.S., from the University of Liverpool in England, for example, have dedicated years of study to reveal key facts about senior and geriatric horses. In one of her many studies devoted to senior horses*, Ireland wrote, “Of the animals examined, 16% were underweight with body condition scores (BCS) <2/5, and 10% were overweight (BCS >3/5). Purina Amplify Supplement is a palatable high fat / low starch supplement that will help put weight on an older horse. The rule of thumb for grain feeding is to give no more than 0.5% of a horse’s body weight at a time. It is possible that your horse’s dietary caloric intake has decreased even if you have not changed your feeding program. This means putting a 50 lb. Step 1 – Make sure your horse is wormed with an EFFECTIVE wormer. What Is Beta-Carotene? Why is this happening and how can I help him? You can even go above that if your calorie intake is very high. Feed 1% of a high-quality forage daily (based on body weight). In some instances, an older horse may become less efficient at utilizing feed although the dental condition is not extremely poor. Feeding a Rescue Horse to Survive Abuse, Being Starved & Unhealthy Weight Loss with Proper Nutrition, Love and Care For years experts have always been mesmerized by the fact that horses can lose 30 percent of their body weight, or more, and still recover and survive. 2012. Dr. Katie Young is the lead technical equine nutritionist with Purina Animal Nutrition. A reader asks: How do I keep weight on my senior horse? Tips and Tricks to Get a Horse to Gain Weight. So a 1,000 pound horse should not be fed more than 5 pounds of grain at one meal. One option would be to replace the hay with a palatable fiber source such as beet pulp or hay pellets. how to safely put weight on older horse. One important fact pointed out by Ireland is that although many owners perceive their geriatric horses as underweight, this is not, in fact, true. When we think about our dream horses, we all picture a plump, shiny, muscled, dappled equine in whatever coat color we prefer. Soaking will further increase the horse’s ability to utilize these forage replacements. In addition, the roots of a young mature horse’s teeth are his lifetime supply of tooth to replace what is worn away. If your horse is at an age at which there is no longer adequate tooth to erupt and replace what is worn or other dental conditions (such as missing teeth) exist that will inhibit proper chewing and grinding, your horse may require a change in diet. You can also safely increase the Purina Senior pellets to 6 pounds per day for a 1000 lb horse, and split it into two feedings of 3 lbs each. The aerobic capacity (the “VO2 max,” which measures the body’s ability to utilize oxygen) of a 20-year-old horse is still two times higher than that of an elite Olympic marathon runner. Feed a senior horse more frequently, at least three times daily. Your veterinarian may determine that your horse is not maintaining appropriate weight and condition due to a dental condition that can be addressed by routine dentistry. 45 pounds of gain in 90 days is 1/2 pound per day, a safe goal to aim for. Aug 8, 2017 - At SmartPak, we get you because we are you — riders who want to take the best care of our horses. To maximize nutrient intake in an aging horse, try the following: “Also, separate older horses during feeding times if necessary. His backbone towards his tail is protruding and you can faintly see his ribs. If your veterinarian determines that your horse’s weight loss is related to a medical condition, work closely with him or her and a qualified equine nutritionist on developing the best nutritional plan for your horse. If you access Purina's online equine feed calculator, you can get help with this. The following is 7 simple steps you should take on the journey to putting weight on your horse. They are thin and therefore will need more feed to increase its weight. To maximize nutrient intake in an aging horse, try the following: Feed 1% of a high-quality forage daily (based on body weight). “Many senior horses tend to lose muscling over the topline, causing the backbone to become more pronounced, which can seem as though they are losing weight; however, it is important for owners to appreciate that obesity in the equine population is as problematic as it is in humans,” warned Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a Kentucky Equine Research nutritionist. Stallion Nutrition: Coenzyme Q10 Improves Semen Quality, Targeting Insulin Dysregulation in Horses: New Medication Tested. A commercially prepared senior horse feed is another option for older horses with poor dental condition. All of the components of your horse’s diet should be considered: pasture, hay, concentrate feeds and supplements. It’s natural to worry if your senior companion is looking overly skinny. Into their lives s dietary caloric intake has decreased even if you 're healthy. Consultant, and veterinarians are now recommending new strategies for parasite control met... You should take on the bag give the manufacturer a call and they should provide it for.... To 20 pounds of grain at one meal 90 days for this example, fat proven! Should take on the bag give the manufacturer a call and they should provide it for you only publish we. Condition needs about 18 to 20 pounds of grain at one meal looking overly skinny I got... 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