Uneasy Keeper?


January 16, 2018 by phicks2012

A horse that doesn’t require a lot of extra feed to maintain its weight is often referred to as an “Easy Keeper”. My bay gelding Thor (top photo) definitely fits into that category, as did his dam (Sonnet) and her dam (Music), and my two other horses (Whisky & Lady) — until they reached extreme old age (late 30s).

Unfortunately, I’m down to two horses now, and my youngest equine K.C. (bottom photo) — who isn’t all that young anymore, being around 20-years old himself — is not. Jason refers to him as “Ichabod Crane” because he tends to stay frustratingly thin no matter what sort of feed we’ve tried. Get the picture?

Thor eats regular feed and hay morning and night (the hay, only now that it’s winter and the grass isn’t growing), and he’s porked-up enough to make us think seriously about either cutting back just a little, or buying him a gym membership. 😉

But then there’s K.C. Despite the fact that he also gets pricey Senior Feed, and Rice Bran, and that when he finishes his own feed he routinely shoves Thor aside and finishes his too, until recently he just couldn’t seem to put on weight!! I should have that problem!!

After a lot of experimentation, we discovered that needs TWICE as much feed as his older brother — feed & hay in the morning, plus senior feed, and feed and hay at night, plus rice bran — but after months and months of this he is FINALLY looking more like a horse and less like a bloody thestral*. As a result I’m considerably less concerned that some well-meaning goob is going to report me to Animal Control thinking I’m not feeding the glutton, but we’re still working on actually fattening him up. <Sigh>

Bob, the farrier I’ve been using for years is now mostly retired, and he recently injured his hand, making the use of his tools problematical. As a result, I had to call another farrier, Mike — for at least one trim — and I was really hoping he wouldn’t see K.C., think I was neglecting him, and call Animal Cops Houston. However, when he came out three weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised to note upon close examination that K.C. was FINALLY filling out!!! Hallellujah!! Barely a rib in sight!!!

A big lap-dog he IS. An “Easy Keeper” he is NOT. But — the gods of high caloric food supplements and dwindling budgets willing — he will continue to add pounds, because I really would not mind looking out over my pasture and seeing Brom Bones rather than Bare Bones or Ichabod Crane. 😉

By the way, I’m also trying to fatten up my elderly cat, but with considerably less success since cat food manufacturers presume that older indoor felines (like older mostly sedentary people) will have issues with OVERweight rather than UNDERweight, and so produce foods to “control” weight rather than to put it on. There are VERY few — okay, so far I’ve found NONE — catfoods advertized and being formulated to help cats GAIN weight, so Thiam remains boney since her bout (courtesy of indoor/outdoor feline Chico) with fleas.

So anyone with tips on how to fatten up a cat, please feel free to contribute your tips!!!

*for reference, see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

3 thoughts on “Uneasy Keeper?

  1. Donnalee says:

    Hmm, not sure. Usually when my cats get thin it is due to age and often to health concerns. Some like dairy and some hate it, and in some health conditions too many cat carbs are no good. I find hydration to be a very big issue in thin older cats, and that they plump up when properly hydrated. Staying huydrated seems another issue entirely, although stirring water into either wet or dry food can make some cats enjoy it more. Good luck with your crew!

    • phicks2012 says:

      Thanks. She always has a full bowl of water, but maybe mixing water into her feed wouldn’t hurt either.

      • Donnalee says:

        It’s such a hard situation sometimes. It never worked for me to do the plastic syringe of water into the mouth thing, but many of my cats have enjoyed the water in food. Some even found the boring dry food to become new and yummy with a little or lot of warm water in–the warmer temperature of it sometimes makes it feel fresher to them.

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January 2018


I am an active, outgoing person interested in all sorts of things and all sorts of people! I'm constantly discovering new interests, and expect that to continue right into the grave!

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