OTTB needs fattening up please help

Discussion in 'Feeding Horses' started by BooBoo84, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. BooBoo84

    BooBoo84 New Member

    I've bought an OTTB, 5 yo 15.3hh and I'm struggling to get weight on him.

    I've bought whole lupins to add. Silly question but do I remove the hulls once I've soaked them?

    His daily feed atm:

    1 biscuit high quality Lucerne
    1 biscuit oaten hay
    2 large scoops Lucerne chaff
    2 large scoops oaten chaff
    1 large scoop hygain tru gain
    24/7 pasture

    Bran mash once a week.

    Does this look ok? I tried speedibeet but it made him colicky. So I'm going to add lupins, is half a cup (before being soaked) too much to start with?

    FYI. He's been wormed twice so far with me. Teeth done. Next step is checking for ulcers- but his appetite is huge and he stopped racing last march (only 5 starts).
     
  2. Warren

    Warren New Member

    It's difficult to tell how much you are actually feeding (how much does your scoop hold?) but it doesn't sound like enough to me. He should weigh around 500kgs so requires 10kgs of feed each day. About 7.5-8kgs should be roughage including what he gets from grazing.

    I would suggest that you feed a good quality complete feed. A "cool" feed might suit an OTTB best. If you don't want to use a complete feed, you should add a good mineral supplement.

    Whatever you choose to feed, you need to get the right balance of nutrients. Just adding calories is not enough.
     
  3. BooBoo84

    BooBoo84 New Member

    What brands are there? He's on hygain trugain- could a complete feed be added in with these pellets? I've got a mineral/salt lick on his fence...
     
  4. Warren

    Warren New Member

    Tru Gain is a weight gain supplement and can be added to a balanced feed to increase calories (it is high fat but doesn't have much nutritional value).

    If you're happy to stick with Hygain products perhaps try one of their cool feeds, Ice or Zero I think (check the website, it has a lot of information about feeding). Otherwise you could try Coolmax (my preference for a hot, thin TB) or Coprice.

    If you think he may have ulcers (quite likely in an OTTB) you could also feed Alka pellets.

    The staff in a good, I stress good, stockfeed store can give you advice too.
     
  5. BooBoo84

    BooBoo84 New Member

    Thanks Warren! What about the lupin question? There doesn't seem to be many around on this forum? (I've just joined).
     
  6. Warren

    Warren New Member

    I've never fed lupins! Hopefully someone else can answer that for you.
     
  7. Lokenzo

    Lokenzo Gold Member

    My favourite trick to fatten them up is ad lib hay, chaff, lucerne, flaked barley, soaked lupins and Omega Weight Gain. Half a cup to begin with will be fine and then increase it over a couple of weeks.

    I feed Kohnke's CellVital also to make sure they get their vitamin content.
     
  8. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    Stick him on a round roll ad lib most importantly. Pasture this time of year is useless unless you have irrigated mixed legume dairy cow paddocks! :rolleyes:

    Yes feed the whole soaked lupin husk and all.

    A cheap simple feed option is pony cubes and soaked lupins. Build up to 2-3kg daily of pony cubes and 1kg of lupins (dry weight) daily. Still soak the lupins or use flaked lupins. **)

    And do feed a quality min/vit sup like Cell-Provide or Nutrequin.

    I would steer away from rocket fuel complete feeds until he is better educated and his gut improves. Keep the feed simple! :)*
     
  9. Warren

    Warren New Member

    I have always found that "pony cubes" are rocket fuel, especially for an OTTB, but complete feeds specifically designed to provide cool energy are not!!

    Yes, pasture has little nutrition at this time of year so plenty of hay will certainly help. I think maybe you haven't been feeding him very much because he has access to grazing 24/7 and you think he's getting nutrition from that.

    It might be better to feed him as if he has no access to grazing - as I said, about 10kgs/day, 75%-80% roughage (hay/chaff/lucerne) and 20%-25% concentrate (a complete feed OR lupins plus vit/min supplement plus TruGain if you wish). If you can give him ad lib hay you'll see quicker results.
     
  10. Fat Tiger

    Fat Tiger Active Member

    You can't go past equijewel for good weight gain quickly!
    It is expensive but very good and if you put the kilos back on him you can cut it out once you are happy with his weight.
     
  11. Warren

    Warren New Member

    I think Tru Gain, Omega Weight Gain and Equijewel are very similar products.

    Booboo I know you're already using Tru Gain but you might want to give the others a try especially if they work out to be more economical.
     
  12. BooBoo84

    BooBoo84 New Member

    Warren you're right, I've been feeding assuming there's some feed in his paddock. Other girls at the agistment place see what I feed and say its heaps and he should be gaining. Ad lib hay is access to it all day?? I am moving him on Wednesday and where he's going they feed once a day in yards then send out as a herd of 6 so it might prove a bit hard to have 24/7 access to hay.
    When you say try other gaining products aswell- how long would u try one product for?

    So lupins are easy for them to digest then? I don't want them to send him colicky like the SB did :-/.
     
  13. Warren

    Warren New Member

    When making any changes to feed I give it about a month and then assess the improvement (or otherwise). Remember to change gradually if you're introducing something new. And only make one change at a time or you won't know what works and what doesn't.

    I haven't heard of anyone having problems with lupins as long as they are soaked well.

    Check out the condition of the other horses at the new place. If they are all in good nick your horse might improve when he gets used to that routine. Maybe ask other owners what they feed and how much. It's very hard for anyone on a forum to give you advice because we haven't seen your horse.

    I hope you find something that works for you.
     
  14. BooBoo84

    BooBoo84 New Member

    Yeah they're all in good nick bar one who is timid and underweight, the lady said his owners need to sell him because they don't do anything with him- so I'm guessing that includes feeding :mad:.
    They feed mainly Lucerne and chaff and that's it so I'm hoping they don't mind adding in a bit more for my boy. She did mention there's a lot of feed in their big paddock so they only needing one feed a day so maybe it's different being in the Adelaide hills.

    I have an odd question which I do not want to google LOL.. my horse always hangs his willy out when I feed/brush/wash him, does this mean he's contented? My previous horses never did it but I'm guessing/hoping its just contentment?!
     
  15. Warren

    Warren New Member

    Hahaha! One of mine does that but only for my OH! If it's just hanging I'd say he's relaxed and happy but if it's doing anything else maybe he's "happy" in another way!! At least you'll be able to give it a wash when necessary!
     
  16. BooBoo84

    BooBoo84 New Member

    Haha no just hanging, well I'm glad he's happy lol. Poor boy hasn't had the best 12 months so he's prob glad to be loved.
     
  17. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    So whats your feed knowledge and horse background Warren?? :}:)
     
  18. wormwatch

    wormwatch Active Member

    There is a software programme called FeedXL that helps you balance feeds for horses. You can put the name into a search engine like google and it's not hard to find. It's been developed in Australia.

    The more accurate the information you put into the software, the more useful the results. This is true both about your horse, but also the feeds you are using. If you are just using the average values that are in the programme, that's better than nothing but still less accurate than if you know what is in the hay, chaff and pasture you are feeding.

    Ideally you would test the pasture and hay/chaff being fed so you know how much energy, protein, sugars etc are present. You can then have these added to FeedXL and generate a customised output specific to your feeds. You will need to weigh the feeds you are feeding rather than use "scoops" or "dippers". For hay, you need to estimate the amount in kg being fed, making allowance for wastage. The software will try and estimate intake of pasture based on amount present, how long through the day/night horse has access to the pasture, how much other feed the horse is eating and so on. If you are feeding ad lib (free/unlimited access) hay, you can stimating intake or speak to FeedXL team abouy having your hay added as a custom pasture and have the software estimate average intake based on that.

    There are a number of places you can get hay and pasture tested in Australia. The testing is not terribly expensive, nor is a subscription to FeedXL, especially when you start comparing the cost to bags of Equijewel etc. The help functions on FeedXL are good, as are the forum and newsletters for advice.

    The thing with sofware is that it provides you with a guide for an average horse based on the data about the horse and the feeds that you put in. Your horses might need more or less energy than average for that type of horse, workload etc. So if you come up with a ration that looks nicely balanced and horse is putting on too much weight, then you need to go back to the ration and reduce the amount of energy being fed. Likewise if horse isn't putting on weight, then you need to revisit the ration and increase the energy being fed. Again, if the values for feeds you use in the software don't reflect the nutrient content in the feeds you are actually feeding, the software output will be less useful.

    Good luck!
     
  19. Warren

    Warren New Member


    Just 30 years of owning horses plus a short stint of working with them. Probably not enough experience in some people's eyes!

    What's yours?
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  20. South Boulder Boy

    South Boulder Boy Well-known Member

    I don't agree with complete feeds.

    I think what you're feeding is fine but you need to majorly increase it. My boy gets double that out of work, the racehorse in full work get probably triple that. Especially the hay, I wouldn't be givin less than 2 biscuits a day, more even if you don't increase that hard feed. To give you an idea the hacks here (so they don't get the muesli etc goodies the racehorses et) are fed

    Breakfast
    1 large oaten chaff
    1 large pony cubes
    X 2
    If they have no hay roll, the ones with a hay roll don't get breakfast

    Lunch
    A large biscuit of hay if they don't have a hay roll in their paddock

    Dinner
    1 large lucerne
    3 large oaten
    2 pony cubes
    Sunflower seeds
    Salt+ calcium
    Another biscuit of hay unless they have a roll
     

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