I have a horse who is slightly underweight and needs to gain some, but not a lot. I don’t want to feed her anymore grain though. She isn’t a hard keeper so she doesn’t need something that will make her rapidly gain weight. Does any one have suggestions for something that will add more fats to her diet?
You could try adding a 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of oil twice a day. Or get a fat supplement to add to her feed till she is where you want her weight wise. Then drop the add fat after.
Why not just feed more/better hay or alfalfa cubes? Stay with a forage based diet as they are designed for.
What is her current diet?
Yes, this is always the first question that should be answered. Many people just underfeed hay. And, since it’s usually cheaper to add more hay than anything else, the fix is simple.
If, however, your horse is getting free choice hay and/or refusing hay, that’s another story. But saying you don’t want to feed more grain kind of depends what she’s already getting/how much, and what else you can provide. It might be easier to feed a better quality or higher fat content grain than add a fat supplement.
As S1969 suggests, why the horse is underweight is a good way to decide what to do about it.
I have a little mare that I got off a kill lot in December 2016. She wasn’t terribly underweight and I was tweaking her feed to get that last 20 or so lbs. I had already cut back on her grain amount and then I wormed her with Fenbendazole 5 day program (i.e. Safe Guard Power Pack). Every fat cell in the hussy’s body exploded and now I am trying to get the weight back off. Apparently the bi-monthly worming program wasn’t getting everything.
Yep, always, always need to start here
For example, someone on another thread is having some muscle issues, and while the volume of feed seems to be decent enough, it’s a really lightweight feed, .85lb/qt, so they aren’t even feeding the minimally recommended amount.
Sometimes the feed is too high in sugar, and counter-productive to weight gain - the more you feed, the worse the horse looks.
Sometimes someone thinks they’re feeding enough hay because it’s a lot of flakes, but the flakes only weigh about 2lb each, so they aren’t even feeding 2% of the horse’s current body weight, much less enough to gain.
Of the horse is on “pasture” 24x7 with access to hay 24x7, but the pasture is sparse but delicious, so the horse spends a lot of time scrapping for high sugar grass and ignoring they “icky” hay lol
So it’s not that we’re being nosy, it’s that we need a lot more information to help