Help! Old horse refusing hay replacer

southerncomfort

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My 25 year old (vet thinks she's older) dentally challenged welsh cob has begun turning her nose up at her 'soup'. She is also refusing any kind of chaff.

She is a poor doer who colicked in December. Her weight is ok but during this cold snap she's needed 3 medium trug of soup per day and an extra 2 trug if she has to come in overnight (she has arthritis so I keep her out as much as possible.

Soup currently includes grass nuts, veteran vitality and my feed merchants own brand forage nuts (basically pony nuts for oldies).

She hates speedibeet. She likes fibrebeet/alfabeet but it sends her in to orbit. She'll tolerate Fast Fibre for short periods but then goes off it.

Any suggestions for tasty alternatives to the above or just something to add to make it more appealing for her? Also any soft chaff that is really tasty? Don't really mind how naughty it is, at this point I just need to get her eating.
 

meleeka

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You could add dried mint. Have you tried playing around with the consistency? It might be too much effort if it’s too sloppy. You could also try soaking in warm water (it’s really quick too).
 
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You could add dried mint. Have you tried playing around with the consistency? It might be too much effort if it’s too sloppy. You could also try soaking in warm water (it’s really quick too).
This, mine won't eat it if it's too sloppy, she likes it broken down and crumbly. She's leaves it if too wet. I've also been using warm water on really cold days and it seems to make a difference. She has soaked grass nuts and linseed and is doing well even with dental issues. Have u had teeth checked again recently incase anything has changed ?
 

be positive

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The first thing I would do is to stop mixing it all in one trug, that way you may find which she will eat and can give her more of her preferred feed and exclude the feed she has gone off.
 

southerncomfort

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You could add dried mint. Have you tried playing around with the consistency? It might be too much effort if it’s too sloppy. You could also try soaking in warm water (it’s really quick too).
Mint might work, thanks. I've tried using warm water but it didn't help unfortunately.
 

southerncomfort

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This, mine won't eat it if it's too sloppy, she likes it broken down and crumbly. She's leaves it if too wet. I've also been using warm water on really cold days and it seems to make a difference. She has soaked grass nuts and linseed and is doing well even with dental issues. Have u had teeth checked again recently incase anything has changed ?
I think the sloppiness is an issue. Unfortunately it has to be that consistency because she's very prone to choke. Teeth have just been done.
 

southerncomfort

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The first thing I would do is to stop mixing it all in one trug, that way you may find which she will eat and can give her more of her preferred feed and exclude the feed she has gone off.
That's a really good idea. At the moment I'm not sure which one she's objecting too but I suspect it's the veteran vitality. If I separate them out and she refuses it, I could try changing to something like Calm and Condition.
 

Fiona

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Do you add carrots or apples???

Or even apple juice???

Barring that, I'd ask your local feed reps for some samples and see what she likes...

Something like the top spec linseed mash sounds good.

Fiona
 

Nari

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Rather than mixing it give the different feeds in different tubs, it may just be one of them she's taken a dislike to.

Personally if she'll eat fibrebeet/alfabeet then I'd let her have it & just remind her of her manners if she starts getting too cocky. My main priority would be to get her eating & as a vet once said to me "if all he'll eat is donuts & mars bars then let him have them!" - sometimes getting them eating is the only thing that matters & you can ease back onto a more suitable diet later. Also play around with the texture, maybe she could cope with it a little bit firmer than soup. If she doesn't eat the separate ingredients you could try adding apple juice, or Ribena or whatever else you think might take her fancy.

I feed Honey Chop Lite & Healthy, it's a nice oft chaff with herbs added but it is low calorie so probably of limited use to you.

If she's just had her teeth done could her mouth be a bit sore, or could the gag have made her jaw hurt? Might be worth giving her a bute for a few days and see if that helps.
 

southerncomfort

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Unfortunately Princess Picky doesn't like linseed so we have to make do with veggie oil.

I tried adding little bits of carrot at lunchtime which she very skilfully removed and left the feed. So I tried separate buckets and it does seem to be the veteran vitality that she has a gone off.

I think i will try her with fibre beet again and just double up my body armour and check my life insurance policy! ;)

She won't eat Lite and Healthy unfortunately which is a shame as it's a lovely product. I might try Mollichaff Veteran which is full of forbidden things but hopefully she will find tempting.

She has Bute every day so hopefully the pain angle should be covered.
 

southerncomfort

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Thanks everyone. (Sorry don't know how to do the multi quote thing).

Well the contrary old thing wolfed her breakfast down this morning. I made it much more crumbly and she was much happier. I think I'll add veggies to make sure she is chewing it properly and hopefully prevent any episodes of choke.

I also suspect her arthritis was bothering her yesterday so I spoke to the vet and I'm increasing her Bute for a few days. This might well have affected her appetite.

Off to the feed shop this morning.

The weather looks like becoming much milder over the next few days thank goodness.

Thanks again for all the suggestions, much appreciated.
 

Fiona

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Thanks everyone. (Sorry don't know how to do the multi quote thing).

Well the contrary old thing wolfed her breakfast down this morning. I made it much more crumbly and she was much happier. I think I'll add veggies to make sure she is chewing it properly and hopefully prevent any episodes of choke.

I also suspect her arthritis was bothering her yesterday so I spoke to the vet and I'm increasing her Bute for a few days. This might well have affected her appetite.

Off to the feed shop this morning.

The weather looks like becoming much milder over the next few days thank goodness.

Thanks again for all the suggestions, much appreciated.
Well that's great news, good luck and 'keep eating' vibes :) x x

Fiona
 
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