Re: Soaking Hay in the Winter

Kirsten Rasmussen

Hi Kim,

While seeing a bit of rib is not a bad thing (a BCS of 4.5-5 is a good place to be with an IR equine; most of us are conditioned to think heavier is looks healthier when it often is not), going in to winter you are probably worried about him needing a little extra to keep warm?  To put on weight we generally recommend starting with feeding 2% of ideal body weight in hay (so 20 lbs/day if your equine should be 1000 lb), and adjusting as needed depending on activity level and whether or not you see weight gain.  The Thyro-L is a "weight-loss" booster (that's all it does, it will not improve insulin sensitivity) so if you feel your mule has no weight left to lose you should talk with your vet about stopping it.  If he's been on it for a long time you will need to taper it off so his thyroid can get back to full functioning again.

You can try replacing the Purina grain with a safer option, like rinsed-soaked-rinsed beet pulp or Triple Crown Timothy Balance hay cubes, if you are just trying to add calories.

Please do get a Case History posted along with copies of blood work, hay analyses, trim photos, radiographs, etc (if you have them) so we can advise you further.

Kirsten and Shaku (IR) - 2019
Kitimat, BC, Canada
ECIR Group Moderator
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