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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Feed and hotness...Is this too much feed?

I have a 17.2 hh TB/ Warmblood cross that is a little under weight, but looks healthy. He is ridden 5-6 days a weak and gets 12 hours of turnout on grass. He is currently getting about 7 lbs of Strategy (6 quarts) twice a day. He really does not like grass of hay too much, so feed is the only think to put weight onm,. Get gets about 1 cup of oil with his feed each day too.

I have noticed that he has gotten very hyper since we started on the Strategy. Could the feed be causing this? If so, I hate to lessen his amount because he might loose weight. Any advice?

Where are you from? New Orleans, Louisiana

How did you locate this forum? Chronicle Forum

Re: Feed and hotness...Is this too much feed?

Hi Holly,

One thing that I first noticed is that you are likely feeding close to 13 to 14 pounds of feed, not seven. One quart of Strategy weighs about 2.5 pounds. So, weighing your feed would give you a more accurate measure.

Feeding this much is very risky because it can lead to laminitis and/or colic. And, since Strategy is grain-based, it can produce highs and lows in your horse's insulin response, which at the very least, can make a horse's moods very unstable.

So, I would recommend that you cut his feed in half, and even better, switch to a low starch feed such as Nutrena's Safe Choice, or if your budget will allow it, Purina's Ultium.

I would also give him Ration Plus. This will help him better utilize his feed, so he can gain weight.

Since he doesn't like the hay you are feeding, try looking around for a different variety. Horses' diets should be mostly from hay and/or pasture, for the benefit of their digestive systems. You can also give him alfalfa hay - this will improve his protein intake as well as provide him with the roughage he needs. But, it is best to offer grass hay along with alfalfa, not just alfalfa.

So, the reason he is not gaining weight is likely due to not utilizing his feed properly. Also, with the feed you are offering and the large amount, the bacterial flora in the hind gut are very likely fermenting it. This can kill those bacteria, leading to potential health risks.

So, bottom line -- change to a low-starch feed, weigh your feed, provide more than 50% of his diet from hays, and give him Ration Plus.

All the best,

Dr. Getty