28-12-2007, 03:51 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Bakers Hill WA
How to Fatten a Horse!!!
There have been many threads recently on Stockyard asking how to fatten or put condition on horses without fizzing them up!!! So I have put together some information that should hopefully help all owners wondering about the answer to this question.
There is NO magic one feed that will work for every single horse as they are all so very different in many ways including temperament, breed, age, personality, work type/level etc. What works will entail some experimenting and homework for your individual horse.
Firstly, get your horses teeth professionally done annually, maintain their hooves short and tidy regularly, and worm them out 3 – 5 times per year, depending upon their environment/management routine. Rotate wormers every year from mectin based to non-mectin based (Oximinth, Equinox, Strategy-T, Panacur 100, Equiban or FarnamWorma) to prevent chemical resistance.
Also, if the horse has a history of gut ulcers, scouring, general ill thrift etc, get a vet to investigate before you start feeding the horse up! And if the horse is prone to, or has a history of laminitis, Cushings or is insulin resistant, these guidelines will be fine to use, but NO grain!!
These feed guidelines are for mature horses in no to medium work. Breeding stock and youngsters are different in terms of feeding requirements, but you can tweek this info to feed them. But get some professional advice first!
The basics for feeding to enhance body condition are as follows:
1) Feed ad lib hay 24/7 (roughage is what their guts need primarily!!)
2) Add Lucerne hay or chaff if hay alone is not doing the trick. Lucerne is full of great energy, protein and minerals. 2kg daily + is a good amount.
3) Add high energy fiberous &/or high oil feeds like Speedi-Beet, Equi-Jewel, lupins, copra, ricebran, black sunnies, FF soyabean, or vegie oil. These are high energy feeds that provide “cool”, easily digested energy.
4) Grains, are the next step, if you are not happy with weight gain progress, or if you personally prefer grains. Whole oats are the safest grain to feed due to the high fibre content, and oats do not benefit from any processing. But micronized or extruded barley is a great product also, and it is far better digested than raw/soaked/boiled barley, and the micronising process makes it very cool! Forget corn!!
5) Make sure you feed adequate protein as if you dont, weight gain will be very minimal, despite feeding til the cows come home! One protein source is best, not including Lucerne.
6) Use a balanced complete mineral/vitamin supplement that is appropriate for your horse!! I would recommend Kelato VIT Performance, Cell-Vital, Cell-Provide, Cell-Grow, Hygain SportHorse, Folactin Red/Blue, Feramo-H, Equilibrium, Equi-Min, EquiVit Nutrequin, EquiVit Gold Pellet, or Vitam Health and Vitality.
7) Get your ration analysed by an equine nutritionist or feed company, to make sure everything is balanced, and you are not wasting your $$$$$ !!!
8) If you prefer complete compound feeds, then Coprice M, NutriRice Allrounder, Hygain Ice, Pegasus Studmaster or Coolmax, Mitavite Economix, Breeda or XtraCool, or even Weaner pellets are good conditioning feeds. Just feed according to guidelines on the bag.
9) Some useful websites on this topic are:
Horses can only communicate through behaviour. The worse the behaviour, the dumber the owner. Mr HP.
Last edited by Caroline; 28-12-2007 at 04:00 PM.