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Discussion on Increasing Appetite in the older horse

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Phil Feiner
New Member
Username: Pfeiner

Post Number: 1
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Saturday, Jul 8, 2006 - 7:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

We have a 27 year old mare who shares her pasture with three other horses of varying ages. As the pasture quality is not the best, they have free choice hay at all times. The old girl eats separately, is in good health, de wormed regularly, and her teeth are in good shape. She regularly goes off her feed and rarely finishes what she is given. She is currently eating equal parts of Blue Seal Vintage Senior, and extruded senior ration, and Equitech, which is a high in fat ration formulated for older horses. She will do better if we add some molasses to her feed, but still does not "clean her plate". She needs about 100 pounds and I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions which might help stimulate her appetite or encourage her to eat more.

We go through allot of molasses - I saw a dried molasses product at the feed store but have read that it most likely will not help.

We have tried weight gain powder without much success. We have not tried beet pulp - can it be fed dry and will it make her feed more interesting?

Any suggestions on what to add/feed to help put some weight on this girl?
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Bonny & Buffy
Member
Username: Nisquy

Post Number: 27
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Saturday, Jul 8, 2006 - 8:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

When I had a 30-something mare who was missing quite a few teeth in back, and would sometimes go off her feed, I gave her a third meal (lunch). She didn't like Senior feed of any kind so I gave her Blue Seal Trotter. Rather than the 2 large meals, she seemed to like that third meal. At the time I didn't know about it, but if she were still around today I'd definitely add stabilized rice bran to her feed. I have my current mare on a beet pulp based, low carb/higher fat grain (Pennfield's Fibregized), and she gets rice bran for added fat. I love the stuff.
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Aileen
Member
Username: Sunny66

Post Number: 1238
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, Jul 8, 2006 - 8:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Have you tried corn oil? I think you work her up to two cups a day...I've also heard Cocosoya oil is fabulous.
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Chris Stevens
Member
Username: Stevens

Post Number: 87
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Saturday, Jul 8, 2006 - 11:52 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Rice bran is another option; high in fat and palatable.

Good Luck.
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Cheryl Kallenbach
Member
Username: Cheryl

Post Number: 103
Registered: 2-2000
Posted on Sunday, Jul 9, 2006 - 7:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Have her teeth been checked? My 28 yo TB mare had two loose teeth in the back - when they were pulled she started eating with no problem. I still soak her beat pulp but mostly from habit. My horses love - as in LOVE - dried molasses. They would glom down a whole bag given access. It's great to use if you're giving supplements or meds to cover up the taste.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 16090
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Jul 9, 2006 - 5:27 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Phil,
What type hay are you feeding and are the horses fed separately?
DrO
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Phil Feiner
New Member
Username: Pfeiner

Post Number: 2
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Monday, Jul 10, 2006 - 9:23 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O -
We are currently feeding a nice first cutting mixed grass hay. Once second cutting is available, we feed an Orchard grass mix which we feed to our horses and Llamas. Grain is fed separately, hay is fed free choice. Would some Alfalfa hay help? I hesitate as our other horses lean towards the over conditioned side.
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: Vickiann

Post Number: 270
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Monday, Jul 10, 2006 - 9:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Cocosoya has been Veterinarian recommended for being extremely well-liked by horses (tastes great!) who are finicky, as well as getting good results. Like Aileen, I would recommend that product.
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Nancy S. Kaplan
Member
Username: Redalert

Post Number: 378
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Monday, Jul 10, 2006 - 11:57 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hey All
Where do you get Cocosoya oil?
Nancy
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Aileen
Member
Username: Sunny66

Post Number: 1242
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, Jul 10, 2006 - 12:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Here you go Nancy,

http://www.uckele.com/shopping/agora.cgi?product=efattyacid

:-)
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Nancy S. Kaplan
Member
Username: Redalert

Post Number: 379
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Monday, Jul 10, 2006 - 1:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks, Aileen! I just ordered some!
Nancy
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Lee
Member
Username: Paul303

Post Number: 679
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 11, 2006 - 1:19 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Great Nancy! Soon your barn will smell like movie popcorn!

By the way, once the seal is off the jug, DON'T SHAKE IT! After the first sealed shake, I transfer it to a cleaned out laundry detergent container with a reliable top that seals well and that is convenient for measuring.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 16110
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 11, 2006 - 8:19 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Some horses find alfalfa, cubes or hay, particularly palatable. Perhaps a few lbs could be fed twice or three times daily along with the grain and the horse left in a little longer to prevent the chubby ones from eating it. For more suggestions on encouraging horses to eat see, Diseases of Horses » Colic and GI Diseases » Weight Loss in Horses » Overview of Chronic Weight Loss.
DrO
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Phil Feiner
New Member
Username: Pfeiner

Post Number: 3
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 11, 2006 - 8:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks to all of you who have replied and offered your suggestions. I am looking forward to giving your suggestions a whirl and hopefully putting some more weight on "Joanie" to keep her comfortable in her senior years and prepare her for another New England winter. If you have any additional suggestions or comments, please do not hesitate to post them.

Phil
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Linda S.
Member
Username: Banthony

Post Number: 86
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 11, 2006 - 11:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Phil,
We have 2 horses that we never could quite get enough weight on - the rest are fatties.

One is a 23 yr old retired thoroughbred. His appetite isn't the best and it is a chore getting grain down him. The other is a 4 yr old thoroughbred broodmare off the track that came to us for breeding. She is an energetic mare who came to us under weight and has never gained all she needs.

Both horses were on all the grain we thought they could safely eat plus 2 ounces of corn oil twice a day. And all the hay and pasture they wanted.

Still we just couldn't get quite enough weight on them.

We got a sample of Equinergy and tried it on these two - it is palm oil. We saw a big difference in both horses in just a week and they both bloomed after two and didn't need to gain any more weight after 3 weeks.

I don't know what it costs as what we used was a free sample (dropped off at a friend's big horse farm and they didn't want it.) It didn't seem to make the feed more or less palatable. I can't tell you how impressed I am with this product.

Their web site is: www.nifesa-wwfoods.com
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Daisyanne Elmquist
Member
Username: Palmare

Post Number: 13
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 12, 2006 - 11:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I did a web search for Equinergy and there was ONE web site posted that was in english ---looked at the web site you posed and no real info there at all
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Erika L
Member
Username: Erika

Post Number: 276
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, Jul 13, 2006 - 10:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Phil, it can be tough to find food that the horse likes. Soaking can help. Add the oil if the horse can tolerate it.

I find that my old guy doesn't do well with hay, and needs the really good quality chopped hay or alfalfa that comes packaged. (Dengie Hi-Fi or Alfa-A around here, by Lucerne Farms). If teeth are a problem, hay can contribute to colic. The chopped hays are almost "pre-chewed".

Frequent small meals help. I also tried a few senior foods before I found one he really likes.

It's also important that he feels comfortable enough to take his time over meals--no threats of other horses finishing theirs and starting on his!

A lot of people on this site had great advice when my old guy was losing weight. You really just have to find what they like to eat, and keep them calm and comfortable eating it.

Keep in mind that when winter comes, a blanket helps save calories, even if most of your horses don't wear them.

Best of luck,
Erika
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Nancy S. Kaplan
Member
Username: Redalert

Post Number: 389
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Friday, Jul 14, 2006 - 8:56 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hey All
My cocosoya oil came yesterday... actually got one very big 5 gallon container(didn't mean to order that!) as well as a one gallon jug. well, I hope it works out cause I have A LOT!
And, Phil, I readily agree with the many small meals approach as well as the beet pulp and alfalfa cubes(soaked) mixed in. I know what we want to get to the inside of a horse is not what we can always convince the horse to put there, though, so good luck getting your horse to try the recommendations given to you here!
Nancy
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Linda S.
Member
Username: Banthony

Post Number: 90
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, Jul 14, 2006 - 9:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Daisyanne,

I know what you mean. I looked at the website. I think this is a brand new product. They have been dropping off samples at some of the big horse farms. I think you would have to call the phone number listed on the website.

I looked at the label and it lists the ingredients as pure palm oil. I've never seen anything put weight on a horse this fast. Our old guy has big dapples.
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Phil Feiner
New Member
Username: Pfeiner

Post Number: 4
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Friday, Jul 14, 2006 - 9:19 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks to everyone who has offered feedback! Unfortunately feeding more than twice a day might not be an option. If I go with the Dengie or the Alfalfa cubes, should I mix them right in with her grain or feed it as a "side dish"? Can I feed too much? Lastly, do you simply soak the Alfalfa cubes in water?

Thanks again -
Phil
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Linda S.
Member
Username: Banthony

Post Number: 91
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, Jul 14, 2006 - 9:20 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Maybe if you called Nifesa ((954) 217-6997) they would send you a free sample of Eqinergy. We had to take our old horse off of it. We didn't want him getting too heavy because he has very bad hocks.
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Erika L
Member
Username: Erika

Post Number: 278
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, Jul 14, 2006 - 1:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Phil,
I feed the Dengie free choice, as much as he wants all day. Soak the concentrates, and the alfalfa pellets are best soaked, too. Feed separately. The only exception for me was the beet pulp. My horse wouldn't eat it unless it had concentrates mixed throughout.

If you can only feed twice a day it is especially important to soak because then it isn't all in one ball in his stomach. Also these old guys need plenty of fluid to keep things moving.

I found someone who was willing to come and help with feedings so my guy could get more small meals in. Is a neighbor kid a possibility? It really does make a difference!
Erika
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Francesco Giovanelli
New Member
Username: Frankg

Post Number: 1
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, Oct 3, 2006 - 2:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi
I am not familiar with this methodology and i read the rules but i am not sure if i got it right. forgive me if this is not the way to go by but y just became a member today.
I developed the high energy supplement Equinergy and just want to let you know that if there is any question regarding it i will be glad to answer it.
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