New Orphaned Foal - Page 2

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New Orphaned Foal

This is a discussion on New Orphaned Foal within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        09-30-2008, 02:09 AM
    Well, fortunately, he is 10 weeks old. We had an orphan who's dam died at birth and we had bottle feeds every 2 hours for months! He is now 3 and 16hh (he's a draft cross) and is the biggest brat around! (In a good way!)

    Since he is 10 weeks, this is what I would recommend. First off, did the previous owner grain feed him at all? Did he eat beside his mama? If so, you can feed just the pellets, if not, I would recommend soaking the pellets or feeding him a foal feed soaked in the foal replacement formula. Make it very slurpy like you would for an old one. Mostly formula with a little bit of pellets. As he gets older and can "eat, chew" better you can give less and less formula and more pellets/feed. Remember that some foals have to be weaned at around 3 months because mama is being too pulled down. So he should do fine. Be careful giving him the peptobismol. Too much can cause colic. Check with your vet for recommended dosages.
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        09-30-2008, 01:37 PM
    I don't know why the product label would state that you stop formula after 8 weeks other than that many people aren't going to want to go to the trouble of bottle/bucket feeding for that long. But foals are still getting the majority of their nutrition via their dam's milk at 8-10-12 weeks of age. There is a reason that in natural situations they continue to nurse for 6 months or more. We now understand that these foals get gastric ulcers at a really really high rate during weaning---their GI systems are just not ready for concentrate feed as early as we often want to start them on it.
    I would continue with nursing until AT LEAST 3 months of age though longer is better just for overall digestive health.
        09-30-2008, 01:40 PM
    That foal is going to need more than special feed. It's going to be an expanse but you should get your vet out. They have a lot of outside resources and they will be able to get you in contact with people in the industry who can give you a hand and advice.

    My first thought would be to try to see if you can get a mare to nurse him. They are hard to get but at 8 weeks I'm not knowledgeable enough to know how risky it is to put a foal on simple foods. Not sure it would be enough nurtrients.

    I really suggest getting a vet out and getting his help and advice.
        09-30-2008, 04:37 PM
    I would bet that Purina has a "hotline" you can call for help.

    In fact this is it:
    By phone:
    1-800-227-8941, available between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm CST

    This is the website:
        10-01-2008, 12:04 AM
    Actually after 3 months the dams milk starts losing nutritional value. I'm not saying to wean all foals at 3 months. But we do regularly wean at 4 months without any problems. After about 4 months the nursing is more emotional than nutritional. (although they do get some nutrition from it) This is not a newborn orphan we are talking about. I do like the purina hotline idea. And I do think a vets consultation is needed. But, the baby has already gotten it's colostrum from its mom, the most important thing needed.
        10-01-2008, 04:14 PM
    I'm sorry I haven't responded for a little while - I've just been extremely busy with this new foal as you can imagine, LOL! I wanted to provide everyone with an update on how he is doing. I had my veterinarian come out the other day, and we came up with a wonderful "nutrition plan" for this guy. First off - he no longer has diarrhea which is wonderful, thanks in part of the Probios and Maalox. My vet told me not to use Pepto Bismol because it includes aspirin which can exacerbate ulcers - but Maalox does not have aspirin. He's eating like a hog - another wonderful sign.

    My vet said that it's okay to begin the weaning process at his age (In HIS specific case) if he's already eating a fair amount of grain, which he is. So we put him on Senior Feed (vet said it's more nutritionally complete than most mare/foal creep feeds). He is also on Grow Colt nutritional supplement and he gets a small handful of Calf Manna. My vet said she's not too much of a fan of Calf Manna, but I could throw some in if I wanted to. He is being fed 5 times per day this week, and he'll be fed 4 times a day two weeks from now.

    I asked her about vaccinations, but she said He's too small for vaccines quite yet - and the only thing she would feel comfortable giving him is a tetanus shot.

    But he's doing wonderful, and getting into everything imaginable! I am grooming him every day (Picking feet, brushing, fly spray) and it's my hope that he'll turn into a very, very well-mannered and easy to handle boy once he's larger. I'm having to watch him constantly, constantly, constantly... I basically have a new toddler that depends on me 100% to keep him safe, LOL!

    Thank you all for your outstanding suggestions. I just wanted to give you an update :)
        10-01-2008, 04:41 PM
    I'm glad to read that he's doing much much better!

    And it seems like he's found one great person to take care of him!

    Do you know how tall his dam and sire were and what breed?
        10-01-2008, 04:44 PM
    I'm glad he's working out. But ya know if you ever get tired of sooo much work and constantly having to watch that precious little man, you could always send him over here I would be glad to take him in, lol.
        10-01-2008, 04:47 PM
    Unfortunately I don't know how tall his sire was - but I was told the Dam was approx 15 hands and the sire was "about the same size". The parents were Paint horses
        10-01-2008, 04:49 PM
    Originally Posted by 4EverPainted
    I'm glad he's working out. But ya know if you ever get tired of sooo much work and constantly having to watch that precious little man, you could always send him over here I would be glad to take him in, lol.
    LOL!! I'll be sure to keep that in mind ;)

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