Feed advice please

Doodle92

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Apr 6, 2021
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Will try and keep it short.

Horse is fat! He has always been a good doer and would event be90 with half a scoop low cal chaff and a haynet. (Prior the getting him he was on haylage, calm and condition and Alfa a oil!)

I started him on spillers conditioning fiber one winter as he came in for the winter, was fully clipped and then was turned out again (long story). This suited him a lot and in the summer when I went back to the lo cal he refused to eat it. After about 2 months of stale mate he won and went back to the spillers. I needed him to eat his hoof supplement.

Fast forward to this winter and he had all his issues. His spillers was upped and upped and added linseed until he was getting about 8 times his normal amount!

He then had to get karidox which from prior use was impossible to get in to him. So Allen and page soothe and gain was suggested. Made with warm water it smells irresistible and he had been diagnosed with ulcers and this being an ulcer feed we started on that.

He LOVES it. Abx went down him easy. Weight stabilised and all good.
When he was deemed “well” by the vet he was also deemed “fat” by the vet!

Moved to fast fiber as similar, in terms of a mash, but much lower cal. He is not impressed by it but would eat it with a little soothe and gain.

Switched back to the spillers as I was thinking I would have to go to hospital and easier for yo to feed. A week later his ulcers flaired up. Took him off and he was much happier almost instantly. So I think he is now sensitive to it. The more I fed the start of winter the worse he got. Back to fast fiber.

He is now out over night and been diagnosed with ulcers again. He is so much happier out but now I am concerned about having an empty tummy. Fast fiber in the morning is ignored. Last night he did eat his fast fiber. Tonight it was treated with disgust. Added a little soothe and gain and mint and he ate it.

He is fat too fat tho. If it wasn’t for the ulcers I would simply give his hoof supp and nothing else. But feel he needs something in his tummy. But if he is refusing the feed there must be enough grass to stop him being hungry.

I am slightly anxious about trying new feeds after seemingly sensitive to the conditioning fiber.

Would readigrass be suitable. Or the dengie alternatives? Or grass nuts that I can soak. I need something low calorie but something to fill tummy a bit. Low calorie chaff is ignored. He would much rather eat chocolate than celery, like me. I’m hoping if he ever gets back in to work that will help the weight loss. It dosnt look like much grass but there must be a fair bit as they are always head down.

He gets a hoof supplement and gut balancer that I need to get in to him.

Sorry that for long.
 

Doodle92

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Apr 6, 2021
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Or another thought and carry on with the fast fiber with a liberal dose of dried mint which I already have.
 

Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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I'm not great on feeding - I just kind of bumble through and hope for the best. I have a fatty too, and atm he's losing weight really well on Graze On. I add a teeny handful of hi fibre nuts, and a thinly sliced carrot, and he wolf's it down. But some horses are not interested at all in it, they turn their noses up. Like you, I like him to think he's filled his tummy, but he's the greediest horse I've ever met, and truly would eat anything! My old boy loved the soaked grass nuts, but i think I gave him that to help him keep weight on.
 

Jessey

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If he doesn’t want it he’s likely full on grass 😉 but appreciate you need to get his supps in.
3 of my 4 are good doers and greedy gits! (2 are shetlands 🤣) but will turn their noses up at fast fiber, unless I put a few nuts in for texture. They’re not very enthusiastic about any of the low cal chaffs either, it’s hit and miss. But grass nuts (soaked) go down every time or Alfa chaff, not the lowest cal but a handful won’t hurt in the grand scheme of spring grass!
 

Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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Dengie hi fi molases free has grass nuts in and my boy will leave grass to eat it, only way I can catch him if he gets into the resting field.
 

chunky monkey

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My lad wasnt impressed with fast fibre. I tried it as it was supposed to help with weight issus. It did as he wouldnt eat it. So i went back to sugar beet.
 

carthorse

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Does he actually need a bucket feed? If he's fat then I'd just knock it on the head. I'd get a low calorie balancer and if you need to hide supplements just damp it to a mash. I also don't have a problem syringing meds, but I appreciate a lot of people don't like doing that.

I know the Spillers feed contains alfalfa, and while there's a lot of talk about alfalfa being good for horses with ulcers because it's low sugar, high fibre, high calcium my experience was the opposite and when I looked around I wasn't alone in that. I also found beet pulp wasn't great for mine either.

Why do you think he has an empty tummy being out overnight? It sounds like he's grazing, and that not only puts food in his tummy it also means he's biting and chewing which keep saliva production up and in turn buffers acid produced, plus the head down moving around involved is also good for his gut. I'd let him graze and not worry about feeding, that'll be better for him than in a few months having to wonder how to diet a fat ulcer prone horse.
 

Jane&Ziggy

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If he has to have something in a bucket to eat his supplements, why not try a completely natural grass substitute like the Agrobs organic Alpengrun mash. It's grass in a bucket, essentially. Very tasty too.
 

Doodle92

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Apr 6, 2021
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Thanks everyone very helpful


Dengie hi fi molases free has grass nuts in and my boy will leave grass to eat it, only way I can catch him if he gets into the resting field.
We battled with that and he will not eat it at all even though he used to!

He probably dosnt need a bucket feed but I have spent the winter with the vet saying he must have breakfast and must have hay at all times due to the ulcers. So I’m a bit eekk that they are back and trying to keep something in tummy. Although vet has now said don’t give him breakfast.

I had my jab yesterday and feel rotten today so this morning he just got his peptizole rather than trying to get feed in to him.

He gets formula4feet so he dosnt get a balancer as there is so much in it I would be double up on things.

The spillers might not be the issue but he got iller and iller and I gave him more and more. And then after a week he had symptoms.
 

carthorse

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Formula4Feet is essentially a balancer if you look at the spec on it, so I'd just give him that. It's meant to be good, I never used it because it's on an alfalfa base but that's only an issue if you have problems with alfalfa.

I hope you feel better soon, the jab side effects do wear off fairly quickly so just try to rest, keep warm and take paracetamol if you need it 🤗
 

Doodle92

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The formula4feet works wonders! I did try reducing the amount which was a big fail. So he will stay on the full amount for life. Someone on the yard has grass nuts and said I can try some. I think what is putting me off is the stated 2 hour soak but she said it dosnt take that long.

I am really pleased to have for the jab and presumed it wouldn’t affect me but urgh.
 

carthorse

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Just be aware that some grass nuts are fairly high calorie so not ideal if he's too fat. Seriously, if he's getting enough grazing that he doesn't want a bucket feed then he almost certainly has enough going through his tummy.

As long as his teeth are good most grass nuts don't have to be soaked the same way beet pulp or rapid soak feeds such as Fast Fibre do, a kettle of boiling water on them and by the time they're cool enough to feed they should be fine - the soaking is more because the nuts are often very hard.

I thought the same about the jab but it did make me tired and rather weepy (not helped by the fact I was having a 💩 time anyway) and at one point I could hardly use the arm I was injected in as I had pins and needles, almost no strength in it and had to watch what the fingers were doing if I tried to use it! But after 48 hours everything was ok and like you I felt it a small inconvenience given the benefits.
 

Jane&Ziggy

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If he tolerates alfalfa you could try him with Lucie Blocks. They're bricks of compressed alfalfa and take time to eat, but the horse is nibbling and salivating the whole time so good for his stomach.
 

Doodle92

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Apr 6, 2021
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Ok that’s good to know about the grass nuts. I guess the 2 hours is for compromised teeth.

I’ll look at the blocks. He did have a couple which he ignored but I can’t actually remember what they were.

I have slept most of the day and feeling much better.
 
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Doodle92

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Grass nuts seemed to go down well tonight. I wasn’t sure how much water to add tho and I think I added too much as he had a green moustache. I left it for about 20mins and seemed to be fully soaked before that. So think we will go for them.
 

Jessey

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Grass nuts seemed to go down well tonight. I wasn’t sure how much water to add tho and I think I added too much as he had a green moustache. I left it for about 20mins and seemed to be fully soaked before that. So think we will go for them.
They’re reasonably softened in that time, I feed them like that if I forget to do the night before or when it’s hot out, but they’ll be double the volume if left overnight.
 

Doodle92

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Apr 6, 2021
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I left them for about 5hrs today and they didn’t seem to soak much more. He has decided they are edible. I triple checked the ingredients and it is just grass, so surely he can’t react to that!
 
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