Horse Losing Weight - Is Feed to Blame?

Discussion in 'Feeding Horses' started by Moondance, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. ClubIgnite

    ClubIgnite Well-known Member

    he'll be fine now. he just needed that extra bulk that the grass is now providing. Keep up the decent hard feeds though. And he can be worked 2-3 times a week lightly with little affect on his condition.
  2. Moondance

    Moondance New Member

    Mostly in the round yard, its voice command training... and a little bit of light trot work.
    Nothing too extreme, just enough to get his body moving and get out some of the fizzy energy he's been getting from the clover.

    The clover has been giving him wind too. In the round yard, all you can hear is him farting.
  3. Moondance

    Moondance New Member


    Updated piccies

    Right now I am totally screwed. With paying advance agistment, and some other stuff, I have no money at ALL, one week left til payday and I'm running out of everything.
    Because the cracked lupins were spazzing him out, I've had to cut them out, so the chickens are getting some of them, because I've run out of chicken food.
    I'm out of hay, running out of chaff, ran out of fattening pellets, so am having to use GP Pellets that I had originally bought as an additional thing for supplementing the weight of the food, as they're cheap.
    And because I've run out of hay and money, he's eating down his paddock faster than I expected him to.

    I ran out of money the day I got paid, basically because to get him in the agistment, I had to pay a 2 week bond, which stays there, which is fine, and then on my payday, start getting up to date with the agistment. Well on the same payday, the person who I borrowed the money from to pay the bond, made me pay them back, so that was $120, then I had to pay $120 agistment on top of that.
    Next payday will be $180 as I'm already behind on agistment, because of a confusion with dates, and I also have to buy horse food on top of that. Once I'm caught up, hopefully it won't be such a big deal with the pays after that, it was just that everything came all at once and mucked me up royally financially. I'll be better prepared in future, but this past week has been trying like crazy.
    I've been weeping for days due to stress.



    On the plus side, he is filling in a bit. Damn my running out of hay though.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
  4. Ali

    Ali Well-known Member

    He is looking heaps better. Yeah I know what you mean with money, we seem to always get huge bills all at once and even if you think you've put money aside its never enough. :( With his feeding try to keep it as simple as possible as that will save you money too, we tend to pump alot of un nessacary crap into our horses these days and it always makes me wonder just how much of it is just pooed out the other end LOL. Get hay again when you can and that along with his paddock feed a good mineral suppliment and something like soaked whole barley and chaff will keep him ticking over. He looks like he improved alot just since the photos you posted first about him.
  5. Moondance

    Moondance New Member

    An old man whose daughter agists at the same place, he recommended getting barley, putting it in a boiler and boiling it until it swells and absorbs all the water, mixed with a little bit of molasses for fattening.
    And put that with lucerne or wheaten chaff. He said take him off the oaten chaff, but I don't think there is enough of the oaten chaff to be causing any problems. He's always been on it. It's more when its major doses, like in hay, that it sends him silly.
    Next pay I'm going to buy just some more of the cool fattening pellets (or I might even stick with the GP, as he does love them so much, he used to be on them when he was with my partner), some barley, more chaff and Cell Provide, for whatever the food I'm giving him is leaving out.
    Then I'm going to get a heap of hay, hay, hay. Not sure I can afford a round bale yet, as I haven't managed to get a hold of the gal who said she can get them cheaper, so I'll get bales for now. But hopefully I don't send myself broke again this coming pay.
  6. petamc

    petamc Well-known Member

    He is looking so much better!!

    You might be stressing about the finances - but you should give yourself a pat on the back, as your horse is showing the results.

    As others have said, keep it simple.

    I too am on a very tight budget. We have 2 horses, 1 a 24 yr old TB and an 11 yr old Arab mare.

    I feed, boiled barley, lucerne chaff and pellets to the mare.
    My old boy gets the same plus Gumnuts.

    They both get Cell Provide.

    The TB gets double what the mare has, they are both on good pasture (now) previously they had ad lib hay (roll)

    I've found this is the most cost effective feed regime for my 2.

    I've tried all sorts of feeds and supplements for the TB. He gets quite hot on grain. We were feeding soaked lupins for a good while, and he did well on them, but then I noticed that a lot of the lupins weren't being digested, so switched to barley.

    My feed bill is about $40 per fortnight. (Give or take a few dollars)
    When I had to factor in hay it was about $100 per fortnight.

    Mind you, our lovely pasture won't last the summer, so I know I will have to go back to buying hay at some point.

    Our horses are only used for light work 2/3 times a week.

    Good luck!!
  7. Jessie_13

    Jessie_13 Well-known Member

    well done! he looks sooo much better already!

    I know money can be a pain in the a**! and all those bills do seem to come at once! He is doing well though!

    Keep up the oaten to lucerne chaff warned though barley can send some horses a little loopy! my boy went through the roof! just see how he goes...
  8. Moondance

    Moondance New Member

    Well the guy told me that when its boiled, it boils the sugars right out of it, so its not quite so super high in the fizzing. Coz when he said "barley" I was like "uhhh, isn't that heating" and he said "yes, by itself, but you boil it" and I was like.... hmmmmm, okay.
    Wish I didn't have to buy it in a 25kg bag though, so I could at least trial run the stuff.
  9. ClubIgnite

    ClubIgnite Well-known Member

    trust the old guy. he knows. if you arent riding him the barley shouldnt be a problem. In fact with that pasture i'd give just boiled barley, a bit of lucerne chaff or hay and the cell provide. He shouldnt need much other hay, especially if he's leaving it.
  10. Cornflower

    Cornflower Well-known Member

    What beautiful grass!!!
    He's looking better :) Is he still fizzy, or calmed down a bit?

    What are these fattenening pellets you're getting? What's in them? Because it's probably pollard and bran, and honestly, if you want to feed that, then get bran and pollard seperately in 25kg bags. It's a lot cheaper. Or better yet, don't feed that stuff at all, and add the extra money for hay.

    Barley's fine. You don't have to boil it yourself. You can buy steamed and just feed it straight from the bag.
    Or lupins. Whole, and soak them. Put in a large bucket of water in AM and soak all day for PM feeds. Then put more in water overnight ready for AM. Tip out the water, and chuck the lupins in his feed.
    Then just your Cell Provide. That's all i'd feed.
    Oaten chaff is fine. It just bulks up your hard feeds. Nothing wrong with it.
  11. ClubIgnite

    ClubIgnite Well-known Member

    it was said that the horse went fizzy on lupins. Keep it simple, 2 feeds i.e steam rolled(not steamed) barley, or whole and just boil it. depends on price and what is more convenient for you. I always go the steam rolled or flaked, much easier- same results really. Then to balance the grain just add lucerne chaff, oaten chaff is just added $ that are prob unnecessary here.
  12. Cornflower

    Cornflower Well-known Member

    Oops, sorry. I forgot :eek:
  13. Moondance

    Moondance New Member

    He is acting improved, not so silly, coming to me for cuddles and stuff now, like he used to.

    What difference would there be between whole lupins and cracked lupins? Aren't cracked lupins just cracked version of the whole ones?
    I got told Lupins could be making him fizzy, which is the reason I decided to start taking him off them, but he actually started settling down just before I made the decision. For now, while I'm out of money, I've decided to leave them in, so he has more bulk in his feed until I can get more horse feed next pay day.

    I'm honestly not sure whats in the fattening pellets, the bag only has the brand name of the company, it doesn't tell you anything on it. But I could phone the stock feeds and ask. It apparently has a lot of stuff in it though.

    So how come boiled or steam rolled barley doesn't cause fizziness, when regular barley would?
  14. Jessie_13

    Jessie_13 Well-known Member

    Who told you lupins would make him fizzy?! its a pulse, not a grain, very low in starch and high in protein...I would definetly put him back on them! They will be much less likely to send him fizzy then barley would! and are very fattening...

    The more processed the barley, the more starch removed and the less fizzy they will be...You would be best feeding, your oaten chaff, lucerne, lupins, cell provide and I would give him a small amount of barley or even oats (the least fizzy as they are high in fibre) to see how he goes (say one scoop of lupins to a third of a scoop of barley morning and night)), only some horses react to grain..
  15. Cornflower

    Cornflower Well-known Member

    Ok, so you don't really know whether the hot behaviour was a result of the lupins or not? It's just something you got told so you took him off them?
    A horse being fizzy or not is not always a direct result of feed. Mostly yes, but other thing come into play also. He seems a bit or a stressy horse anyway, so as has been said, keeping things simple is best.

    Look, to be honest, any horse can go hot on anything that doesn't agree with them. Just like people, if you eat something that your body can't cope with (eg, if you're allergic to it), then you won't feel so well either.

    It's not the food that's the problem. It's that horse's particular system. A LOT of old-wives tales and assumptions about certain feeds exist, and these come from a time when we fed differently and didn't understand as much as we do now.

    I strongly suggest doing some of your own research about feeds, and how whole raw differs to processed stuff. There's a lot out there, and it's too much to write here.
    Obviously whole lupins and crushed lupins are the same thing. It just depends if you have time to soak them or not. Some horses do better on micronised grains, some better on whole, some on stream rolled.

    But once you understand how a horse's digestive system works, and what the causes are in setting them off (making them fizzy), it will be SO much easier working out a feeding plan for him. And once you know how things work, you can do it so much cheaper than pellets/pre made feeds.

    I'm not a fan of cheap pellets from any company. And i an especially not a fan of stuff that has nothing written on the bag. Call them if you like, but if it were me, i wouldn't bother buying them at all. With pelleted feeds, you either buy quality, or not at all. And good stuff costs money. And you have to feed kgs of it daily. Because the cheap stuff is full of fillers (bran and pollard), and your horse is better off without that stuff.

    Again, barley can cause fizzyness no matter how it's prepared. Cooking grains justo pens up the grain and makes it easier to digest. But if your horse is sensitive to a grain, they will react to it no matter how it's processed. Same goes for any other feed.
    Just that processing (heat treating) makes it easier to digest, and if your horse reacts to whole, they won't react so much to processed. And until you try a certain food, you won't know if your horse reacts to it.

    Honestly, do some research yourself. It costs nothing to spend a few hours googling and getting the basic knowledge.
    There are some great sites out there.
    Eg; (they do free feed analysis too) stuff about feeding in health and nutrition section. Also the Q&A. nutritional info and support sections.
    All these also have contacts which you can email for info. But there's SO much more out there.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  16. maxntaz

    maxntaz Well-known Member

    Whole lupins need to be soaked before feeding, cracked ones dont.

    But no actual difference in the quality of feed and stuff like that.

    Edited to say "whoops cornflower has answered your question here LOL"
  17. Moondance

    Moondance New Member

    I soaked the cracked lupins anyway, as they do swell up. Quite a bit actually... to something like, 3-4 times the size they were originally. I'd much rather it swell up before he eats it, rather than in his belly and potentially cause problems.

    So many people I spoke to, when I said I fed him Cracked Lupins were like "and he's a Thoroughbred? Are you crazy? I mean, is he bonkers on that stuff or what? Coz I reckon he would be" and I've just gone "yeah, he's a bit bonkers right now, but I don't know whether its the lupins or the fact he recently got moved and is now in a paddock full of clover".
    And then all the people would tell me to take him off them, because it would make him fizzy.

    Since I wasn't sure, I decided to do a trial run without them, just to see if that was indeed the problem, but right before I actually did, he started coming back into his usual patterns of behaviour, instead of the nutter he was. So I'm guessing that it was the move that made him silly and it just took him a long while to settle down. Longer than I had thought to begin with anyway.

    The pellets from Russells aren't so much in the way of "cheap", Equea Pellets are cheaper, but I don't use them. Phoning the company that makes them, they did tell me that normally attached to the bag at the top where they stitch it, where you open it, is a little cardboard tag saying what ingredients are in the pellets. I just don't happen to have one on hand because I generally bring the pellets home and empty the bag immediately into my large drum of feed so rats can't get into them. And because my dad makes me keep the area as clean as possible, the bags n tags are in the bin almost immediately, unless I'm keeping an intact bag for something specific.
    The company actually said when I phoned them though, that they do not use fillers, or mill garbage, theirs are predominantly barley based. I actually have to go IN to the stock feeds tomorrow or monday to have a look at the tag and write down whats in them however.
    But they came highly recommended, not just by other people who have used them, but also by the stock feed employees who have used them.
  18. Marlee

    Marlee Well-known Member

    I can't give my TB barley at all or anything with barley in it. He has recently been ill so I used a different food to tempt him to eat again and although it did the job he is a total fruitloop. He was biting my other horse and being very aggressive with her. I have now changed his food again and even after 2 days he is so much better. The food he is on now doesn't have barley but does have lupins and he seems to do well in this as far as his moods are concerned anyway. I have been told to change his food now to mainly lupins (because of another problem) and get rid of the pellets which I have just started to transition him over to this so I really hope that lupins aren't heating or he will be crazy.
  19. petamc

    petamc Well-known Member

    The pellets from Russells aren't so much in the way of "cheap",

    I can vouch for Russells - well established Mudgee company.
    (my home town)
  20. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    I wonder if the increase in his behaviour is as a result of him gaining weight. Whenever you feed a horse more than they need to remain at the same weight, you will get exaserbated behaviour. Once you have reach the desired weight on this horse, you will be able to ease the food down a notch and his behaviour should also come down a notch.

    Be patient, but dont accept rudeness from him. He can still have respect, even with a gut full of feed.

    He's starting to look really good now, so well done to you.**)

Share This Page