Feeding The Weanling - Page 3

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Feeding The Weanling

This is a discussion on Feeding The Weanling within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    12-11-2013, 12:05 PM
My mare and 9 month old giant foal (he's still feeding off mum) are on fibre beet, chop (chopped grass) and ready mash (not sure what the equivalent is in the US - will have to look) and a vit supplement and salt - along with the odd treat of apples and carrots. They are both grazing during the day although there's not much grass growing during winter and have free access to hay 24/7. (My mare stiffens up if kept in so she's out to graze every day no matter what the weather - we had gale force winds last week and on one of my checks, she was grazing as though it was a beautiful summer day - nothing fazes my girl.
The weather in the UK is now starting to get very cold but both are looking good (if not muddy haha) and are still unrugged as yet.
I'd keep it plain and as simple as you can - if you look at the "additives" in your local fees store you'll find you could use every one - when in fact you probably don't need the majority.
Merlot likes this.
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    12-11-2013, 12:20 PM
Here's my boy.....(ignore the mud - and the elec tape is droopy as I unhook it when I'm poo-picking the field - it's quicker to duck under it to the muck-heap)
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Merlot likes this.
    12-11-2013, 12:51 PM
We all like to give our babies the best start but keep in mind it can produce rapid growth, even too rapid. At one time it became popular to pull foals off the mares at 3 mos. And literally stuff them with various feeds to get them show ready. It took a long time for people to realize this was not working well. Bones need to grow at the normal rate for strength with the tendons keeping pace. Just something to keep in mind.
Merlot likes this.
    12-11-2013, 01:14 PM
Just for information - my mare is a TB, the sire an Irish Draft X - Teddy's just like his dad build/colour wise with his mums calm nature and until recently just had the beet and chop mix with vits/salt - the readymash has been added since it's been cold to keep his condition.
    12-11-2013, 01:26 PM
Reckyroo--My, he's a big boy! <3
    12-11-2013, 01:46 PM
Originally Posted by Zexious    
Reckyroo--My, he's a big boy! <3
He is isn't he - mum cooked him for 12 months and this is what we ended up with . Mum is 15.2hh and dad is probably getting on for 18hh (he was 17+h at 2 and a half!

Although i'm pleased to say the growth spurt seems to have stopped for the moment - so I can buy him a new blanket that will fit him for the winter hopefully .........
    12-11-2013, 02:12 PM
He's looking fabulous Reckyroo, so pleased you are not weaning early.
And yes, technically at 11 months when I weaned my boy, he was not a 'weanling' as such however I thought of him as a weanling for a full 1 month until he turned 1.
Now he is just a large (though not as large as your Recky LOL) cheeky yearling.
Personally I don't think horses should be weaned until around 10 - 11 months, not just for nutritional reasons but for mental health of both mare AND foal
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    12-11-2013, 02:28 PM
Green Broke
I don't think horses should be weaned until around 10 - 11 months, not just for nutritional reasons but for mental health of both mare AND foal
ah, but it depends on the mare/foal. Some foals are rough little monsters that suck the life out of their dams. Some mare are not as hearty as others, and those that are bred back might have a very difficult time supporting themselves, a growing fetus, and their foal, and weaning at 10+ months, when the mare is nearing foaling, would add stress to a mare that is unnecessary.

I have personally seen mares with obnoxious foals wean them themselves at 4 months, and the mare was perfectly healthy. On the other hand I have seen people "let nature have its course" and end up with skinny mares that still have their yearling and two year olds nursing, which is not healthy either. I think every situation is individual, and should be evaluated that way.
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    12-11-2013, 02:31 PM
You are right Bluespark, however I do see a lot of people weaning early for no particular reason other than they think a foal should be weaned at 4 months old or that they have a show to get him ready for. I think this is a great shame
    12-11-2013, 07:28 PM
I agree that every situation is different. If you can let them nurse, great!

Vee will be weaned around 4-4 1/2 months because Mom is old and having a harder time keeping up, so for her it is the best choice to make. Baby is already eating hay and grain out of Mom's dish so we think she will handle it well. She will not be "pumped full of grain" or pressured to grow, it is just the situation at hand, which is why I'm trying to plan the best feeds for her (relative to my area) so that she can grow up having the right start.

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