Your horse may not be one of those unwanted horses, but they might be one that needs to be fed properly to gain the desired weight. For this reason, the tips in helping your horse gain weight that will be provided in this post might just be the information that you need.
Although there are a number of fortunate horses that remain under the care of their loving owners and experience a life that they expect, the number of unwanted horses steadily increases. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the figures register about 200,000 unwanted horses every year in the US alone. These horses could be any of those that are shipped to be slaughtered, sent to rescue facilities, or are held on federal lands.
Once Priced Possession Becoming Unwanted
Unwanted horses are originally the healthy ones that are categorized within the domestic equine population. However, there comes a time when these healthy horses become unwanted for various reasons. There are those that cannot be provided properly by their owners. Others become extremely dangerous to manage and, perhaps, have injured (or mostly likely expected to endanger) people. Other horses under this category have remained injured, sustained lameness, or any other illness that their owners are not able to manage or are not willing to care for. And there are also those horses can no longer perform as they are trained or expected to.
In many of these cases, these previously priced steeds have been shipped from one place to another and may have been owned by several owners. They have been neglected and have not received the care that they are supposed to be provided with.
As a result, the number skinny horses also increases. There are fortunate ones that are later sold to or rescued by good Samaritans, however. Many of these new owners do not have any idea on how to feed malnourished or skinny horses to help horses gain weight.
Feeding Skinny Horses
If you have just adopted or rescued a thinning (even an unwanted) horse, you need to know the appropriate diet to provide for the animal to ensure that it will soon regain an appropriate weight and ensure that it will be kept safe and free from illnesses.
You may be tempted to “feed up” the horse to restore its proper weight. Unfortunately, this won’t work. Simply shoving a huge amount of food to a skinny horse won’t do the trick. Since the horse has not been eating well, its digestive system would probably have weakened, which means you won’t be able to encourage, even force, the horse to eat.
To have the animal eating well again soon enough, consider these tips.
Determine the root of the problem
Malnourished or thin horses usually suffer from other health problems and it is up to you to determine what those issues are before you can actually see the animal enjoying every feed that you toss to it.
Among the health concerns that horses experience include the following: parasites and worms in their digestive tract, stress, injury, pain, even an inappropriate feed.
It is important that the existing health concerns are addressed first before you can actually encourage your horse to eat well.
Imagine a horse having a bad or broken tooth with a ton of food in front of it. Even if it would really want to enjoy the food, the pain that it is currently experiencing will prevent it from chewing the food. Even a single bite of the food may be impossible for the ailing horse.
Provide the Right Horse Feed for the Skinny Horse
Even if you are able to find a solution for the health issue that your horse is experiencing but are not able to provide an adequate diet, it will not be enough to restore your horse’s weight. You have to make sure that the animal gets to enjoy a diet that will address their nutritional needs. Huge amount of rich, high fat meals should not be given right away, since the horse’s digestive tract may still not be able to process these feeds.
Easily digestible feeds should be offered frequently instead. Gradually increase the feed offered until the horse has regained enough strength to actually take in the amount of food that it should be taking. Alfalfa is one of the feed options that can help your horse put on weight, especially for those picky horses that avoid grains.
More hay should be offered to horses with high energy. Toss in some vegetable oil or rice bran as this can help increase weight gain. Skinny horses will also benefit from soaked beet pulps.
Provide Digestive Supplements For Your Horse
A suitable diet may do the trick, but it will still be necessary to include digestive supplements as these can help in the proper digestion of foods that you offer to the horse. These supplements can also help boost the horse’s immune system.
For the most appropriate supplements and other weight gain options, you can always consider the recommendations of a trusted veterinary.
It might take a while before your horse is able to regain its health. It will take patience and a lot of discipline but it will be worth your while so make sure to consider these tips in helping your horse gain weight.