For the horse that won't eat hay.

Discussion in 'Feeding Horses' started by Zegger, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Zegger

    Zegger Well-known Member

    I have had only had my new horse for a month and I have found that he virtually eats NO hay :(. He may just pick little stalks out of his hay . He eats under half a biscuit a day if I'm lucky. I'm using new season oaten hay and I have tried from different supplies , with no luck . I know he needs fibre, so to compensate he is getting 8 scoops of chaff a day with his hard feed . To me though, that's not enough. He is a big boy who needs to gain some weight ( ex racer) .

    He is currently fed soaked lupins , cracked lupins ,chaff, Lucerne chaff and coprice. Along with marshmallow root (for ulcers) , celery seeds and a vit/min supp.

    I'm wanting to add more fibre and I'm open to suggestions . I have tried maxisoy and speedi beet but he wouldn't have a bar of that .

    He teeth are being done today and my next line of attack is wheaten or meadow hay .


    Any helpful advice :) ?
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  2. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    Talk to your vet and get him checked for gastric ulcers asap. A poor picky appetite is a classic symptom, and he is an OTTB. Gastrozole may be the go for a month or so. **)

    Having a paddock friend can sometimes help improve competition to feed also.;)
     
  3. Zegger

    Zegger Well-known Member

    Well he had his teeth done and its no wonder he didn't want to eat hay . His teeth were sharp and had caused big ulcers in his mouth . He also had 3 baby caps still on his teeth . Not very good considering he is 8 .

    Once the sedation wore off ... He went to his yard and started eating hay :D !! . I got some compressed hay for tonight and for the rest of the week . Just till his mouth heals I figured the soft compressed hay would be nice .
     
  4. SueC

    SueC New Member

    Hi Zegger, having good quality meadow hay around is appreciated by many horses as an alternative to oaten. Even if you alternate it meal by meal! Horses that don't have access to pasture will be closer to their natural diet with meadow hay than oaten. Meadow hay isn't just one species, it has a variety, and a good meadow hay includes legumes like clover and serradella.

    PS Great test to see if your horse's teeth need doing, that does NOT involve putting your hands in harm's way: The fat carrot test. When horses have trouble chewing on a fat carrot (at least 6cm long chunk), it usually means there are edges that need taking off. The horses love performing this test! :)
     
  5. ClubIgnite

    ClubIgnite Well-known Member

    Keep him on the compressed as long as possible and gradually change it over
     
  6. Zegger

    Zegger Well-known Member

    Well an update

    Still does not like much hay at all . Very fussy. The combination that is working at the moment is a biscuit of compressed and a biscuit of very high quality oaten at each feed . I will be sourcing my hay elsewhere though after I paid $37 for a bale of oaten and a bale of compressed. He wont eat more than 2 biscuits a feed sadly. Which frustrates me, as I want him to gain weight but more importantly get enough fibre into his belly .

    I did try some meadow and wheaten ... oh no his highness does not approve of such feed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
  7. Freestyle

    Freestyle Well-known Member

    You could try adding some maxi soy or a similar product to his daily feed as a source of fibre. I give it to my 37yo mare that can't eat hay and it helps to keep her digestive system working.
     
  8. celestialdancer

    celestialdancer Gold Member

    Could try watering down some anitone and pouring it over the hay.

    Does he graze?

    I've seen some OTTB's not know how to graze as they've been stabled for so long.
     
  9. myyky

    myyky Well-known Member

    I'd have to agree with Caroline.. I'd get him checked for ulcers. Or even just start him on a course of ulcergard if your vet will allow, as 90% of racehorses do have ulcers anyway. He may be riddled with them (especially if he is quite thin?) but be hungry enough to eat his hard feed as it is extra yummy.

    Does he walk between his feed and water while he's eating?

    Also, I don't mean to sound picky but how come he gets whole soaked lupins, and cracked lupins? Good diet you have there for a horse who may have ulcers though :)
     
  10. Zegger

    Zegger Well-known Member

    Ahh I just wrote the longest message and it got deleted .

    I have forgotten to mention , he has already had ulcer treatment . The marshmallow root is kind of a preventive thing i feed .

    Freestyle , i have tried Maxisoy a few times and he turned his nose up every time .

    Celestialdancer, he grazes but its not number 1 on his mind . He would much rather sleep in his yard we have found .

    Myyky, I didn't clarify well :) , he gets the cracked lupins if for some reason his whole ones were not soaked for that feed . That's not often though , as my agistment place is awesome . I also use them if I want to give a small lunch feed

    Here is a picture of his weight at the moment .

    [​IMG]
     
  11. CTCT

    CTCT New Member

    Is he paddocked on his own? I have known OTTBs who barely know how to eat hay.. Can he go in with a kindly mate for a while to teach him that hay is good stuff?
    Also consider hindgut acidosis: I'd stick him on some alkapellets and some probiotics. He may not have the hindgut bacteria to digest the fibre, in which case he will feel "full" on a smaller amount of fibre.
    Oh and good ol' B12 is a good appetite stimulant.
     
  12. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    I agree with CTCT, and definitely give the B12 a go to boost the appetite.

    He looks tense and uncomfortable and there is something odd going on with the muscling running from the flank down the hind leg. He looks familiar - can I ask his breeding???
     
  13. Zegger

    Zegger Well-known Member

    Deb2 he has suffered from a fractured pelvis . It's an old injury, but his hindquarters have compensated for it . He gets bowen therapy which really helps . He is by Tiger Hill.

    Update on his general hay eating . I have found he likes hay from a certain stock feeder. His is slowly increasing how much he is eating. We are getting about 4 biscuits a day now . It just has to be this certain hay .
     
  14. KC Quarter Horses

    KC Quarter Horses Gold Member

    Hi Zegger,

    I recently brought 3 horses from Europe. On the day my OH was leaving to go to Sydney to pick them up from the Quarentine station the vet rang to say one had a temp spike and they wanted to keep them in NSW for another month until they acclimatised to Australian heat.
    Anyway When we went to visit them Gloria had lost heaps of weight but Gladdys and Frankie were fine. She looked depressed and would not eat.
    I put her on 60mls of Anitone a day and added Hygain Honey B and Tru gain to her diet. The Honey B was to see if we could get her to eat.
    Well it worked, 1 month later when we went to get them Gloria is 100kg heavier and back to a sweet friendly mare.
    I had all the horses put on Omaguard from the time they entered Quaratine in the UK. All my horses are now on Anitone, it certainly makes a difference to managing stress, appetite and how they process food. Gloria is now the first to finish her dinner :)
     
  15. madison

    madison Well-known Member

    Love Anitone wish I'd discovered it years ago**)
     
  16. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    See now I beg to differ.
    After a couple of months of feeding Anitone I didn't notice any difference in my horses ??? ';' Perhaps my horses just weren't lacking anything beforehand ?? ;)
     
  17. madison

    madison Well-known Member

    Maybe not and I've been thinking about dropping it to see what happens
     
  18. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    LOL There's only one way to find out.
    If your already feeding a vit/min mix or a good balanced diet then surely it's just doubling up ?
    That's not to say it wouldn't help as a pick me for a horse that's travelled across the world and perhaps Zegger's too, to encourage appetite. :)
     
  19. KC Quarter Horses

    KC Quarter Horses Gold Member

    Two of the three we bought over were fine and had plenty of covering but one was a real concern. So although the others were fine they were all given Anitone. There is no obvious difference in the two fatties but for the one who wouldn't eat and seemed depressed , well there is a huge difference in her.
    It definitely helped increase her appetite, ( she eats everything now and is no longer on honey B etc just the Anitone in her normal ration), she is also friendlier and full of energy..... That said she wouldn't feel great if she was not eating and depressed.
    I do know of people who have given it to mares who very stressy types that have seen real changes in behaviour, have put on weight and had an overall improvement.
    I think it must help the gut function better, but if there is nothing wrong with your horse you won't see a difference but if there is, then it's possible you will.
    I most certainly did and know of others that have as well ..... Hence the recommendation to me to try it. It's certainly not that expensive to get 5 L and give the horse 60ml a day for a couple of weeks and see what happens
     
  20. KC Quarter Horses

    KC Quarter Horses Gold Member

    Two of the three we bought over were fine and had plenty of covering but one was a real concern. So although the others were fine they were all given Anitone. There is no obvious difference in the two fatties but for the one who wouldn't eat and seemed depressed , well there is a huge difference in her.
    It definitely helped increase her appetite, ( she eats everything now and is no longer on honey B etc just the Anitone in her normal ration), she is also friendlier and full of energy..... That said she wouldn't feel great if she was not eating and depressed.
    I do know of people who have given it to mares who very stressy types that have seen real changes in behaviour, have put on weight and had an overall improvement.
    I think it must help the gut function better, but if there is nothing wrong with your horse you won't see a difference but if there is, then it's possible you will.
    I most certainly did and know of others that have as well ..... Hence the recommendation to me to try it. It's certainly not that expensive to get 5 L and give the horse 60ml a day for a couple of weeks and see what happens
     

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