I Am Making My Horses Fat

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Katiean

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I have been trying to make my horses fat because I am going to have a surgery. In June, when I almost died my sister-in-law fed the horses and I am sure that there were days that the horses didn't get fed either a breakfast or dinner. One or the other. One of my mares, had her hip bones sticking out. My sister-in-law tries but she isn't a farm girl. With winter comming if I make the horses fat before I go to the hospital they won't be so thin when I get home. I am feeding 2 flakes of grass/alfalfa hay twice a day for 4 horses. Then in the evening they each get 2 cups (dry) of beet pulp with 4 cups of water (soaked), 2 cups of safe choice and 1 cup of C.O.B. As it begins to get colder I am switching to strait Alfalfa hay. I want them to be able to keep warm. I also don't want to feel any bones when I touch my horses.
 

rabbitsfizz

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Could you maybe get a feeder that holds a full bale??? Or even a round bale, that way they would always have hay...the other feed is not that important so long as they always have hay.
 

minih

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Or even a round bale, that way they would always have hay...the other feed is not that important so long as they always have hay.
Exactly what I was thinking.

Had another thought....do you live close to a high school at all? Maybe the ag dept would like a project for their students?
 
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whitney

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Yep find a way of feeding them free choice hay. Make sure your water tank is BIG with a heater and get a 50lb salt block they will be go to go.
 

chandab

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Could you maybe get a feeder that holds a full bale??? Or even a round bale, that way they would always have hay...the other feed is not that important so long as they always have hay.
A round bale sounds like an excellent idea, as long as it good clean hay, they'll be happy to munch all day on hay. If you go the round bale option, get straight grass hay or a mix that's light on the alfalfa. [Grass is much safer to feed free choice.]

Our saddle horses have free choice round bales in a feeder all winter long and do great with it.
 

Katiean

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We don't have any access to round bales here and as October goes on we tend to get rain. I am affraid a large amount of hay would spoil. Also I need a reason for my sister-in-law to go out to the horses. If she is supposed to go out to feed them then she has to check them. I hate it when I am not home for my babies.
 

Carolyn R

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Is there any other person you can get to feed your minis? IMO I don't think making them big and plump then having them skip meals due to someone that isn't horsey knowledgeable caring for them, is a good thing. Just from what I know, I personally feel that would be a recipe for desaster. Do they have full time access to pasture? If not, I would make sure that this person understands that horses need a consistant diet, and to be constantly having forage pass through thier digestive track, hay is fine, but they need it more than once a day.

Just my opinion on the matter.

Carolyn
 
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Brandi*

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Is there any other person you can get to feed your minis? IMO I don't think making them big and plump then having them skip meals due to someone that isn't horsey knowledgeable caring for them, is a good thing. Just from what I know, I personally feel that would be a recipe for desaster.
I agree. It sounds like you desperately need to find another person that can commit 100% to those little horses when you cannot. It is not good for them to be on a "yoyo" diet. I would try to make other arrangements if at all possible so that your little guys do not have to suffer.
 

Jean_B

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What you are proposing is actually DANGEROUS to your horses' health!!

You plan on OVER-feeding them....and then dropping them down to ZERO for several days at a time? You are looking at a high likelihood of your horses "crashing".

A horse is not able to feed off it's own store of fat. It is not like a cow (ruminant), either. A horse must have some food moving thru it's digestive tract on a regular basis several times a day. What you are proposing could result in serious colic or digestive tract shut down.

Try contacting the local Ag teacher at the high school or a 4-H leader to find a kid that can come in at least once a day. And as a last resort, if you can't get round bales - just pile a bunch of square bale hay (strings or wires removed of course) out there for them to nibble on constantly. Otherwise you are asking for major trouble.
 

Carolyn R

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Jean, my thoughts exactly, I was thinking the same thing but I didn't want to use scary words like colic and hyperlimia.
 
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Katiean

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They aren't being dropped to nothing for several days. I should only be in the hospital for a week this time. It is just that sometimes she isn't on top of things. Last time I was in the hospital for 18 days and when I got home it was about 2 weeks before I could even check on anything for any of my animals. I was so upset that Missies hip bones were so pronounced. However When I went to the hospital it was a life threatening emergency. There was nothing I could do about it. I wish we were in an area that was more animal frendly. The high schools here don't even have ag classes. I am just searching for a solution to the problem.
 

DarkhHorseFarms

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I wish we were in an area that was more animal frendly. The high schools here don't even have ag classes. I am just searching for a solution to the problem.
Im gonna have to disagree with this....ummm we live in an area that LOTS of people have livestock. There are 4 big Equine 4-H clubs in the Reno area. I was just at a 4-H Horse Judging seminar this last weekend and there was 60 kids (7-18) and 20 parents from all over Washoe County. 4-H also has RABBIT, GOAT, SHEEP, LLAMA, and COW divisions in this area. All clubs able to help out and feed some hay.....

The college (UNR) has an equine section and its own barn. The also have pre-vet classes and some of the students have to do volunteer work as a requirement.

And there is FFA in Reno too. Galena, Fernley, Fallon, Carson, Gardnerville, all have Rodeo Teams.

There is another mini breeder (she has appys....?) in Reno, and there is always one of the rescue groups (dog, cat, horse).

Call ANY of the local vets (Comstock Animal Hospital, Joe Colli, Frakney, LaFoon....) and see if they know ANYONE who would come and help out once a day.

There are also (2) MINIATURE HORSE CLUBs in Nevada (yes one is based out of Vegas BUT they may have members in Northern Nevada) Most people in clubs will help out others with the same breed (members or not...)

Northern Nevada Miniature Horse Club (AMHA)

800 Redfield Pkwy, #53

Reno NV 89509

ph: 775-825-8649

Silver State Miniature Horse Club (AMHA)

7969 Rodeo Dr.

Las Vegas NV 89123

| e-mail: [email protected]

http://www.silverstatemhc.com

Lots of mini horse owners in Nevada are also Nor-Cal members:

http://www.norcalmhc.com/

All things to look into.
 
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[email protected]

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If your SIL is your only option, I would put out a bale or two of grass hay before you go in the hospital and then let her feed per your directions. This way your horses will hopefully get most of their feed from her and if they're like mine they'll ignore grass hay over their alfalfa, but it's there for the days she forgets. Don't tell her that's what its there for as she may 'assume' its safe to skip days!

I'm assuming you have auto-waterers?

Another option, if she's making it out there daily, have her feed them alfalfa or whatever combo you like and an extra portion of grass hay. Even if they waste it - mine often think its a wonderful rolling/pee spot - it will be better than skinny horses.

I can feel for you our ranch help a few years ago (no longer with us yeah!) was feeding for me when I had an auto accident and was hospitalized. He would start feeding and if he ran out the boys at then end, didn't get fed!!

BTW - good luck with your surgery. You definitely need a solution so you won't be stressing - otherwise you'll be slowing your own recovery.
 

whitney

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Here's another idea

This is what I do when I have to leave for a few days. My 73 yr old mom takes care of mine for me.

I sit out piles in front of each stall, 1/2 flake of hay with sheet of newspaper dividing each feeding (I put all the hay in a rubbermaid container) and plastic containers with grain or pellets with horses name on it, they have LARGE heated water tanks and salt block in each stall/pen.

Make sure you have names on each stall that matches the name on the containers stacked in front of each stall.

Also make SURE that horses cannot get to the stacks!

So all she has to do is drop the hay in the feeder and dump the container in their feed pans takes her 15 minutes TOPS to feed 6 horses.

I would set up a time for her to feed and then call everyday to remind her.
 
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Nathan Luszcz

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It is more unhealthy and more dangerous to be overweight than underweight. I NORMALLY keep my horses a little bit on the thin side, a 4 on the scale rather than a 5 which is "average". Healthy is one thing, overweight is another, anerexic is bad too.

But overfeeding on purpose is a recipe for disaster.
 
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