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Weanling just not thriving

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Reg. Aug 2011
Posted 2015-10-30 9:38 AM
Subject: Weanling just not thriving

Elite Veteran

Posts: 808
I've had horses my whole life, been in the breeding business for 5 years and have never had an issue such as this so figured I'd see if someone here may have ace up their sleeve.

Weaned colt at 5 months because he was so big and sucking mare down, handled weaning great. Didn't even notice his momma was gone. Hangs out with 3 other weaners. After about 3 weeks started dropping weight. Put him in a pen by himself and am feeding purina enrich plus with dac colt grower. Continued to drop weight. Kept hay in front of him 24/7 and he ate and ate and ate. Did a panacure power pack on him incase of worms even though his fecal didn't show any.

Still loosing weight. Had vet pull blood, scope for ulcers, and still came up empty handed. He has a great appetite but is so scrawny looking I've got him covered in a sheet or blanket cause I don't want people calling thinking I've been neglecting him!

We're at the 2 months post weaning.

What can I do?!? It's been forever since I fed beet pulp, but at this point, willing to try anything just to help get the guy back up to par with his buddies. I'm not looking for halter horse fat just a healthy baby!

Edited by The1CowgirlsEnvy 2015-10-30 9:41 AM
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Reg. Apr 2011
Posted 2015-10-30 9:46 AM
Subject: RE: Weanling just not thriving

Undercover Amish Mafia Member

Posts: 9962
Location: Kansas
Maybe throw some alfalfa into his diet. 
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Reg. Nov 2006
Posted 2015-10-30 9:53 AM
Subject: RE: Weanling just not thriving

A Somebody to Everybody

Posts: 41281
Location: Under The Big Sky Of Texas
Do you have a picture of him? Maybe he just needs more feed/hay  
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Reg. Oct 2010
Posted 2015-10-30 10:04 AM
Subject: RE: Weanling just not thriving


Posts: 2258
I had a colt last year that went from big and fat to thin and pot bellied, his hair got rough and he just looked bad. It actually took him a while to get back on track. I just kept the feed to him made sure he had a high fat grain, put lick tub out since our hay wasn't as high of protein as I like, I wormed him several times and I treated for ulcers . He finally snapped out of it and he looks great this year and is bigger than the other babies now.
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Mighty Broke
Reg. Jul 2004
Posted 2015-10-30 10:05 AM
Subject: RE: Weanling just not thriving

Guys Just Wanna Have Fun

Posts: 5468
Location: OH
In all my years of breeding I have only had this happen a few times but when it did I would give them 2cc of Equipoise---give two one day ---skip a day----give two again---skip a day ---and then two again and be done, In two weeks you will not recognize them. Only thing is, Equipoise is getting hard to find.
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Reg. Jul 2013
Posted 2015-10-30 10:07 AM
Subject: RE: Weanling just not thriving

Elite Veteran

Posts: 639
Location: God's country...aka TEXAS
I would treat for ulcers anyway. You can't scope for hind gut ulcers because there isn't a scope long enough, so he could still have that. Other than that, just a HIGH fat feed and alfalfa. I use Renew Gold and alfalfa and free choice grass hay. Good luck!
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Reg. Nov 2003
Posted 2015-10-30 10:17 AM
Subject: RE: Weanling just not thriving

Military family
Tried and True

Posts: 21185
Location: Where I am happiest
I would look for a feed imbalance. Also, did you give probiotics after that heavy de-worming? I dont know what kind of hay your feeding but I'd add alfalfa. Take him off the purina and put him on real grains, and give him a good mineral.
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Reg. Jan 2009
Posted 2015-10-30 11:04 AM
Subject: RE: Weanling just not thriving

I Don't Brag

Posts: 6960
Not saying that this is the case....but possible PSSM? First time I had ever heard of it a friend told me about a yearling she bought of maybe Kansas? Looked great on grass when she bought it but started going downhill when she got it here and started feeding grain and hay. Got really puny, despite all of her efforts. Eventually got sore after working in roundpen, unbearably so, I guess. After lots of investigation she finally figured it out. Got him/her on a low starch diet and the horse went back to being an easy keeper.

Again, not saying that this is your weanling's problem, but just one that people don't often think of.
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lonely va barrelxr
Reg. Apr 2005
Posted 2015-10-30 11:24 AM
Subject: RE: Weanling just not thriving

Reaching for the stars....

Posts: 12647
All my guys are on my Montana alfalfa by weaning, but sometimes I will double them up on poundage to keep them from going into that fall off.  I've also only had one that looked terrible, but I've had two that weren't what I thought they should be.  I've top dressed their feed with milk replacer with great results.  It's really high in fat, and an easily digestible form.  High quality hay helps more than more bagged product.  You've already dewormed as much as you should, but I would address gut health with probiotics if you did a power pack - that's really tough on a baby system.  Rice bran and/or flax top dressed on high quality feed will also help plump them up.  
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Reg. Jul 2005
Posted 2015-10-30 11:28 AM
Subject: RE: Weanling just not thriving

A Barrel Of Monkeys

Posts: 12959
Location: Texas
Isn't Purina Enrich just a rational balancer?  I think he's not getting enough calories.  I agree with the alfalfa.  I feed my weanlings free choice and throw them a good 14% feed.  

Here's the info on the Enrich.  Had a friend feed it and her horse lost weight like crazy.  It is indeed just a ration balancer.  Purina must've done a presentation at a continuing education seminar because my friend's vet was really pushing this stuff.



Edited by Fun2Run 2015-10-30 11:36 AM
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Reg. Feb 2012
Posted 2015-10-30 11:46 AM
Subject: RE: Weanling just not thriving


Posts: 3782
Location: Gainesville, TX
We love Ultium Growth for our weanlings because it has such a high fat content. You might try it for him. It keeps ours looking great. It is also beet pulp based.
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cheryl makofka
Reg. Jan 2011
Posted 2015-10-30 11:51 AM
Subject: RE: Weanling just not thriving

The Advice Guru

Posts: 6419
With my colts, I mix my own feed so I know they are getting enough.

I give whole oats for the instant calories
The most concentrated complete feed (buckeye or high pro as I only have to feed a cup) this way they get the nutrients
Barley for calories
Flax for fat
Red cell if they are dropping weight
Canola oil for extra fat

I also give mine probiotics so they don't get the pot belly and can digest their food.

For yours I would be treating with omeprazole for a month as a research paper I read about 10 yrs ago stated that 90 percent of weanlings have ulcers. Since you penned him by himself this would contribute to the ulcers.

I also give mine grass hay free choice and alfalfa hay in a slow feeder free choice.
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Reg. Oct 2009
Posted 2015-10-30 11:52 AM
Subject: RE: Weanling just not thriving


Posts: 2013
Location: Piedmont, OK
I would make sure he has access to grass hay 24/7, add alfalfa and make sure he is on a complete feed. I would recommend Renew Gold for feed and add a little bit of BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds) or add flax seed to it. It sounds like a lack of calories.
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Reg. Oct 2009
Posted 2015-10-30 11:53 AM
Subject: RE: Weanling just not thriving


Posts: 2013
Location: Piedmont, OK
I would also make sure he has loose minerals or put it on his feed. You might also want to add something like Animal Element Detox to remove any toxins he may have.
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wyoming barrel racer
Reg. Apr 2006
Posted 2015-10-30 11:58 AM
Subject: RE: Weanling just not thriving

Military family

Neat Freak

Posts: 11210
Location: Wonderful Wyoming
This is the first yr I have fed Ultium Growth to my weanlings and I love it. I have a late baby, July 4th, and his dam quit milking about Sep so we went ahead and weaned him with the rest mid Oct. He is still small but has actually gained some. They get free choice grass hay, he is getting a bit if alfalfa and they get Ultium Growth and THE weanling formula Muscle Mass. The fillies look great, and even though he is a peewinder, he is getting better.
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Reg. Aug 2004
Posted 2015-10-30 1:14 PM
Subject: RE: Weanling just not thriving

Military family

The Color Specialist

Posts: 7530
Location: Washington. (The DRY side.)
What kind of hay is he getting? I agree with the alfalfa.  YES, Purina Enrich Plus is a ration balancer.  I've fed it to my weanlings and they did great.  But I was feeding it for it's intended purpose. (To get the vits and minerals in them)  NOT to keep their weight up or cause them to gain.
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