Feeding a Senior Hinny

I have a 30-year-old hinny who is very skinny and is losing weight. Is there anything that I could give him to make him more comfortable, help him gain weight, and not cause him harm?

No account yet? Register


Feeding a Senior Hinny
The basis of an underweight hinny’s diet should be hay or grazing if his teeth can manage it. | Photo: iStock

Q: I have rescued a 30-year-old hinny (offspring of a male horse and a female donkey) gelding. We had some of his teeth floated, but more has to be done in a month because they were so bad. He is also very skinny. We’ve been giving him soaked hay pellets, but he continues to lose weight. I don’t know how much I can feed him compared to a horse. I have iron, vitamin C, and joint supplements; Bute (phenylbutazone); senior feed; and beet pulp available at my farm. Hay is either alfalfa or Bermuda blend and rye and oat hay. I can also get red or rice bran if needed. Is there anything beyond that I could give him that would make him more comfortable, help him gain weight, and not cause him harm? Outside of the weight loss and bad teeth, he still has plenty of spirit left.—Cougar Martin, Tucson, Arizona

A: Thank you for your inquiry about your 30-year-old hinny—he sounds very lucky to have found you!

Checking his teeth and asking a veterinarian to assess any other health issues is the first priority to ensure that his poor condition is not due to any underlying disease. All equids need regular dental care and, if this has been neglected, elderly animals may suffer from dental disease, which can make chewing long fibers of hay difficult and painful

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.


Written by:

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

What lameness issues has your horse experienced? Select all that apply.
251 votes · 503 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!