Q and A: How To Feed An Underweight Horse

by | 10.10.2018 | 3:47pm

In a recent question and answer column on TheHorse.com, a reader asked veterinarian Dr. Clair Thunes, PhD about the best ways to put weight on an off-track Thoroughbred she recently adopted. The horse, says the reader, is selective in what it wants to eat and is generally disinterested in hay and pellets.

Thunes, who is an equine nutrition specialist, suggested the problem is cause and effect, meaning that the effect is lack of interest in eating, so the cause needs to be defined. She offered several reasons as to why the horse might be a picky eater, such as gastrointestinal issues or hindgut disturbance. She also noted that horses at the track typically eat grain, so if the horse has recently come from a racing environment, it could be due to the change in taste and texture of its food.

Thunes also suggested the horse owner take a critical look at the horse's diet to be sure she is getting the proper balance of fat, protein and other nutrients, and that it is easily digestable. Senior feeds, for example, are easier for a horse to process and also contain the key nutrients an off-track Thoroughbred in need of weight may need.

Read more at The Horse.

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