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7 Best Horse Feeds for Weight Gain 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Russian Don_Shutterstock_Ksenia Soboleva

It can be tough to help an underweight horse gain weight if there is not plenty of natural food growing where they live or if they simply will not eat the grasses growing around them. It is not as if you can feed your horse a bunch of bacon to fatten them up! They need to eat healthy plant foods to gain the weight that they need to gain. Fortunately, many companies sell horse feed that can help your horse gain weight effectively and healthily.

So, what kinds of horse feed out there are the most effective for weight gain? We set out to find the best possible options on the market. We put together a list of the seven best horse feed options for weight gain in 2021, with thorough reviews for each of them.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Crypto Aero Wholefood Horse Feed Crypto Aero Wholefood Horse Feed
  • Complete food for all life stages
  • Includes rose hips for immune system support
  • Contains no artificial ingredients or fillers
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Tribute Equine Nutrition Essential K Horse Feed Tribute Equine Nutrition Essential K Horse Feed
  • Developed by Ph.D. equine nutritionists
  • Formulated to improve insulin resistance
  • The pelleted formula is easy for all horses to eat
  • Third place
    Total Feeds Total Equine Total Feeds Total Equine
  • Designed to minimize digestion discomfort
  • Contains major and trace minerals
  • Provides optimal energy to keep horses active
  • Buckeye Nutrition Gro ‘N Win Pelleted Horse Feed Buckeye Nutrition Gro ‘N Win Pelleted Horse Feed
  • Can be used as a supplement or standalone food
  • Packed with vitamin C for optimal immune support
  • All ingredients can be sourced to their origins
  • Bluebonnet Feeds Triple Crown Senior Horse Food Bluebonnet Feeds Triple Crown Senior Horse Food
  • Made specifically for senior horses
  • Contains premium sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • The 7 Best Horse Feed for Weight Gain — Reviews 2021

    1. Crypto Aero Wholefood Horse Feed — Best Overall

    Crypto Aero Wholefood Gluten Free Non-GMO Horse Feed

    This is a complete food for horses of all ages, whether they’re babies, thriving adults, or retired seniors. It has a variety of healthy whole foods for your horse to enjoy, such as whole oats, timothy hay, alfalfa, peas, cabbage, papaya, and ground flaxseed. This makes the formula intriguing to horses and more likely that they will eat it and therefore gain weight. The formula even includes dry rose hips, which will support your horse’s immune system and improve their overall quality of life.

    You will not find any genetically modified foods, unhealthy additives like artificial colors or flavors, or fillers such as corn and soy in the ingredients list. Crypto Aero Wholefood horse feed is designed to build the intestinal lining up so your horse can more easily digest their food. The packaging this food comes in is durable and will not fall apart, even if it accidentally gets left in the elements overnight.

    Pros
    • Complete food for all life stages
    • Contains no artificial ingredients or fillers
    • Includes rose hips for immune system support
    Cons
    • Ingredient ratios may vary from package to package

    2. Tribute Equine Nutrition Essential K Horse Feed — Premium Choice

    Tribute Equine Nutrition Essential K Low-NSC Horse Feed

    Developed by Ph.D. equine nutritionists, Tribute Equine Nutrition Essential K horse feed is a pelleted formula that is easy for all horses to nibble on, even if they are just growing teeth in as babies or losing them due to old age. Each pellet is dense with nutrition, so your horse does not have to eat a ton of them to get filled up and feel satisfied. You also will not have to buy the feed as often as you would if it were another less dense brand, which is one reason that this is the best horse feed for weight gain for the money.

    This feed is formulated to improve insulin resistance and reduce hyperactivity. It is fortified with a supplement called biotin that works to ensure the healthy growth of hooves. It also contains a healthy dose of fatty acids and antioxidants that will keep your horse’s coat soft, silky, and smooth. The reason this feed is not our first pick is that it contains non-food supplements and is formulated with soy.

    Pros
    • Developed by Ph.D. equine nutritionists
    • The pelleted formula is easy for all horses to eat
    • Formulated to improve insulin resistance
    Cons
    • Contains soy and non-food supplemental ingredients

    3. Total Feeds Total Equine

    Total Feeds Total Equine

    Total Feeds Total Equine feed was developed using 40 years of scientific research and is formulated to provide horses with the foods that they naturally crave so they enjoy every bite. Full of fiber, this horse feed helps regulate digestion and minimize digestion discomfort. This product contains extruded grain for optimal energy that will keep your horse active and happy throughout the day. Alfalfa is the main ingredient, which provides the basic amino acid profiles and fiber that your horse needs to stay healthy as they get older.

    Containing both major and trace minerals, no nutrition aspect is overlooked, and there is no need to use supplements or other types of feed when utilizing this formula. The bags that this food comes in are heavy and hard to move around without the help of a wheelbarrow. It should also be noted that this feed does include fillers, such as wheat middlings and soybean hulls, which will not hurt your horse but will also not provide any essential nutrition.

    Pros
    • Designed to minimize digestion discomfort
    • Provides optimal energy to keep horses active
    • Contains major and trace minerals
    Cons
    • Packaging is heavy and hard to move
    • It does contain fillers

    4. Buckeye Nutrition Gro ‘N Win Pelleted Horse Feed

    Buckeye Nutrition Gro 'N Win Pelleted Horse Feed

    This horse feed can be used as a standalone food or as a supplement. It contains all the essential nutrients that a horse needs to thrive, including a healthy ratio of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Buckeye Nutrition Gro ‘N Win pelleted horse feed is formulated using a “field to bucket” process in a United States facility, where every ingredient that is sourced and used in the feed can be traced back to its origin. This formula has a high level of vitamin C to help your horse fight off illness as time goes on.

    Designed specifically to support proper bone, muscle, and hoof growth, this horse feed is low glycemic and suitable for horses with sensitivities to starch. Soybean meal and processed soybeans are the first ingredients on the list, followed by alfalfa, which means that your horse will be getting their nutrients through supplementation instead of grasses.

    Pros
    • Can be used as a supplement or standalone food
    • All ingredients can be sourced to their origins
    • Packed with vitamin C for optimal immune support
    Cons
    • The first ingredients are soy meal and processed soybeans

    5. Bluebonnet Feeds Triple Crown Senior Horse Food

    Bluebonnet Feeds Triple Crown Senior Horse Food

    Made especially for senior horses, Bluebonnet Feed Triple Crown feed is a premium feed that contains higher fat ratios than the average market feed. This is a low-soluble carbohydrate formula that is suitable for horses that are underweight and insulin resistant. As a beet pulp-based formula, Triple Crown horse feed contains vitamins and minerals from real food, not just manufactured supplements.

    The proteins and carbs in the formula are pre-processed to break the components down so even horses that cannot digest grass will be able to comfortably digest this. The packaging is lightweight and can rip when being transported, so it is a good idea to store the food in a separate container once you get it home. Also, the pellets are soft and easy to chew, but they can become mushy and stick together when they are stored in a warm space for too long.

    Pros
    • Made specifically for senior horses
    • Contains premium sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants

    Cons
    • The pellets can get mushy and stick together when stored in a warm space

    6. Sweet Country Feeds 12% Protein All-Stock Horse Feed

    Sweet Country Feeds 14% Protein All-Stock Feed Non-GMO Farm Animal & Horse Feed

    What is unique about this feed is that it is suitable for a variety of farm animals to enjoy, including chickens, goats, alpacas, and cows. It is a high-density and -calorie food, so it should not be free-fed to animals unless you want them to gain weight. Free-feeding your horse Sweet Country Feeds feed will help them quickly yet safely pack on the pounds. It can be fed at a ratio of 1% or 2% per pound of bodyweight of an animal to maintain their weight.

    This formula contains cracked corn, oats, molasses, and something called roughage products, which we assume is to aid in digestion, but the ingredients list nor the company website describes exactly what it is. The feed is textured to satisfy your horse at mealtime, but it comes in soft pellet form, which makes it easy for horses with teeth problems to eat.

    Pros
    • Suitable for many types of farm animals, including horses
    • Features a calorie-dense formula that is perfect for horses needing to gain weight
    Cons
    • Made with unverifiable ingredients
    • It may be too soft for horses that like crunchy textures

    7. Pennwoods Equine Products 2to12 Growth Potential Supplement

    Pennwoods Equine Products 2to12 Growth Potential Supplement

    This is not a complete food; instead, it should be used as a supplement to the whole plant foods that your horse is already eating. Pennwoods Equine Products 2to12 growth formula is designed specifically for foals between the ages of 2 and 12 months, to help them safely gain weight and properly grow strong bones and muscles.

    It is fortified with milk protein and essential vitamins and minerals that help fill in the gaps that a foraging diet is lacking. At 32% protein and 12% fat, this food will help ensure that no foal you are rearing gets left behind. High levels of vitamin E ensure a smooth and soft coat. Simply sprinkle the supplement over your horse’s bale of hay or into a tub mixed with fresh fruit and vegetable chunks.

    Pros
    • Designed as a supplement to help foals properly grow
    • Contains milk protein and all essential vitamins and minerals
    Cons
    • Not a whole food
    • Not suitable for adult horses

    Buyer’s Guide

    Purchasing horse feed for weight gain can be a complex, confusing process. Most horse feeds contain low-calorie plant foods, so it can be tough to tell which could help your horse put on a few pounds. Here are tips and tricks that you can use to ease the process of shopping for a new horse feed.

    Consider Texture

    What kinds of foods does your horse enjoy eating the most? Are the textures crunchy like carrots or soft and chewy like grass? Horse feed comes in a few varieties, including soft and crunchy pellets, hard cubes, and even ground powders. The type that you buy your horse should coincide with the textures that they tend to gravitate toward when choosing what to eat from their field or feeding tub.

    Pay Attention to Feed Type

    Not all feeds designed to help horses gain weight are complete formulas. Some are used as supplements in addition to regular feeding of hay, alfalfa, or other commercial formulas. It can be hard to tell whether a formula is meant for supplementation. If you are looking for a complete food to offer your horse, look for a label on the product that specifically states that it is a complete meal formula.

    Crypto Aero Wholefood Horse Feed

    Talk to Your Veterinarian

    It is always a good idea to talk to your veterinarian before you start shopping for a feed to help put weight on your horse. They can help you decide whether to use a complete food formula or a supplement. They can also recommend ingredients to look for and those to avoid based on your horse’s age, general health, activity levels, and lifestyle conditions. They can even provide you with their opinion about the feed options that you are already considering buying.

    horse shoe divider new

    Conclusion

    With so many quality options available, it is possible to find the perfect feed for your horse that will help them gain weight while supporting a healthy and active lifestyle. We are sure that at least one option on our reviews list is right for you and your horse. We highly recommend our first choice, Crypto Aero Wholefood Horse Feed, because it is designed for all life stages and contains no fillers or artificial ingredients.

    We also suggest a look at our second choice, Tribute Equine Nutrition Essential K Horse Feed. It is affordable, has easy-to-eat pellets, and was designed by Ph.D. equine nutritionists. However, all the options on our list are worthy of consideration! Which horse feed for weight gain on our reviews list most interests you, and why? Let us know by leaving us a comment.

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    Featured Image Credit: Ksenia Soboleva, Shutterstock

    Rachael Gerkensmeyer

    Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000, in which time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She is an artist at heart and loves to read, paint, and make jewelry in her spare time. As a vegan, Rachael is obsessed with helping animals in need both in her community and anywhere in the world where she feels she can make a difference. Animals also happen to be her favorite topic to write about! She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens.