Feeding My 6 Month Old Foal - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 05-02-2012, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne
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Exclamation Feeding My 6 Month Old Foal

Hi, i have just bought a 6 month old cob foal. He was taken away from his mother far to early at the age of 3 months. He is doing well, however is very underweight and is not getting all the nutritional goodness that he needs. Does anyone have any advise on what i can use to help him. i.e feeds, supplments.

He is struggling to eat chunky feeds such as apples, carrots and barely rings. I am trying to do my best by this little man and any help would be really appreciated. Thanks
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post #2 of 3 Old 05-06-2012, 05:23 AM
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This horse wasnt weaned was he? Okay before I try to even suggest a proper feeding criteria, you should call your vet and have them examin your colt.The colt who wasn't weaned properly will have trouble eating hard foods because it's body was still developing the digestion for more denser compounds. In addition the early weaned colt can have growth problems from not getting the proper nutrition it's body demands in the first few months of its life. Remember foals put on a lot of weight from the time their dropped upto the time their weaned. (about 6 months) This is a serious issue, and needs to be consulted by a veterinary professional. If the colt has not gotten proper nutrition it's bones can grow weak or even deformed in the worst of cases. Normally I'd suggest a magnesium and calcium supplement, tied in with salable vitamins A, B, D and E.

However your colt probably can barely eat complex compounds and nutrition gained from an outside supplement my not be the correct answer right now. But what I hoped u didn't do was bottle feed your colt. Whatever you do, do not go there. That will create too many psychological and behavioral problems that are incredibly hard to train out, if not nearly impossible.

So again please contact your vet for their professional opinion. Most likely they'll suggest a certain feeding criteria or supplement compound that the horse can eat and work up to denser grains.
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post #3 of 3 Old 05-06-2012, 05:54 AM
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I agree with SunnyBlack about contacting your vet about special dietary needs for the foal and taking a look at him in general.

I don't know what type of feed regimen you have him on right now, and this is only a suggestion and opinion, hopefully with your vet's approval: giving the foal free choice grass hay, and if available, small amounts of alfalfa (handfuls for the first few days, and working up gradually but not exceeding more than a couple of lbs. per day, divided into 2 to 3 feedings, at his age).

Again, with your vet's approval, a foal feed in pelleted form can be soaked into a mash for him, and feedings given 2 to 3 times daily, ideally.

Please be sure to feed by weight, not by the scoop, according to the foal's weight and specifications by your vet. If you can borrow a scale to use to weigh both hay and any supplemental feed properly, that is the only way to ensure you're feeding the appropriate amount based on the animal's weight. Always being sure to weigh the container you use as well so that's taken into consideration. You'll find you won't need the scale after awhile.

Horses will gain on average 1 bcs point a month, and not being in too big a hurry to see improvement is a good idea; it's easy to want to do too much too soon, so patience is ever the watchword :)

Also, a salt and trace mineral block is an essential. I hope something here is of help to you. :)
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