Grain for a picky weanling - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 07-28-2010, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Grain for a picky weanling

Can someone suggest a good grain for a picky weanling? Or something I can add in that smells good to a foal?
My colt is not too interested in anything I offer him. He picked at the sentinel formula a bit when he first came, but now has no interest in it. I tried adding some sweet feed in it, then some molasses, but nothing interests him. His appetite otherwise seems fine, he grazes with the horses all day and gobbled up all the hay I gave him this morning.
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-29-2010, 12:54 AM
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You should consider that he may have GI ulcers. This is extremely common in weanlings and grain based diets will cause pain. If he is grazing and eating hay, then choose a simple ration balancer to help provide a balanced diet for him. Ration balancers are designed to be fed at a rate of 1-3 lbs per day and are forage based so don't cause the same GI pain that is associated with grains in horses with ulcers. Ration balancers designed to go along with grass and grass hays are going to be about 32% protein. These feedstuffs will help to ensure he is getting adequate vitamins, minerals and proteins without the added sugars and starches.

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post #3 of 11 Old 07-29-2010, 01:17 AM
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Try alfalfa pellets. The calcium will help calm possible ulcers and it's high in protein, lysine, and other key nutrients. You can add to that a ration balancer or a simple vitamin/mineral supplement.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-29-2010, 08:54 AM
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Ryle may disagree with me, and I am in no position to say one way or another, so it's okay to disagree. However, some of the breeders around here add a bit of foal lac to a weanling's feed. They swear it helps ease the transition from mother's milk to a full horse diet. I don't really know if that's true or not, but if you think about it, it makes a little sense...

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post #5 of 11 Old 07-29-2010, 01:18 PM
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There's certainly nothing wrong with adding a bit of foal-lac and they make foal-lac pellets. Whether or not it actually will ease the stomach is a guess.

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post #6 of 11 Old 07-29-2010, 01:29 PM
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I doubt it's ulcers. When we wean the foals from the breeder they are coming straight off pasture. They aren't used to grain so they do not know what it is.

Foals follow what mama does.
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-29-2010, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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The breeder said he was eating grain. Weather or not that is true, who knows. He is getting more grass than he had at the breeders, she only turned him out every other day, and their pasture was pretty well eaten down by all the broodmares. He is out 24/7 here and we have plenty of grass for our fatties.
I picked him up some alfalfa pellets and a foal supplement this afternoon. Absolutely no interest in the pellets either. But, he may also not want to be eating today because he now has hives. I am not sure what from, he was out in a different pasture last night so it may be a weed out there? He is rather grumpy, but is still eating penty of grass/hay.
The vet was supposed to be coming out today, but had to postpone until tomorrow.
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-30-2010, 12:21 AM
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"At least half of the young foals develop gastric lesions that heal spontaneously," says Murray. "However, if, during this time, they are under physiologic stress, it can result in that minor lesion turning into an ulcer that doesn't heal--then we have a problem. Because the lining of the stomach is so thin, a relatively minor ulcer can turn into a perforated ulcer very quickly." --http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=394

The Horse | Cribbing Weanling

The Horse | Weaning Strategies

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post #9 of 11 Old 07-30-2010, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Ryle, I appreciate the information.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-03-2010, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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I still cannot get the weanling to eat anything. Our vet had brought over some grain when he was here, he didn't like that either. I tried the foal lac sprinkled on top of his grain as well as mixed up with warm water as the directions said... no interest. I'm worried he is not going to grow as he is supposed to, not to mention he seems tired out all the time (probably from not eating right on top of grazing all night with the big horses and not coming in to nap). We did get him alfalfa hay and he is eating that. He also likes the mineral block we have out in the pasture. The vet is bringing back another progressive feed when he comes to booster shots in 2 weeks.
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