Feeding a Yearling?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 06-30-2010, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Guilford, CT
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Feeding a Yearling??

I bought a yearling two weeks ago and I'm having some trouble finding a feed program for her. She lost a considerable amount of weight on the trailer ride to CT, so she's looking a bit ribby. I had her on Purina Ultium Growth, but I wasn't thrilled with that so I switched her over to Sentinal Grow and Excel. She's only been on that for a few days so no results yet but what else can I give her to help her beef up and develop properly. I've read the best diet for yearlings is high in protein. I was looking for a multi vitamin, what does everyone think of Sunshine Plus? I'd also like to put her on ground flax, is it okay for babies to have that? Can she have the same amount as an adult horse (1/2 cup for maintenance, 1 cup for weight gain). Right now she's getting about 15 lbs a day of good, first cut orchard / timothy mix hay and two lbs a day of Grow and Excel. I'm working her up to more grain, but it's new to her so we're starting slow. Thanks!

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post #2 of 21 Old 06-30-2010, 10:56 PM
Green Broke
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You don't want to 'beef' her up too quickly. I'd recommend having your vet help you design a good program for her.

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post #3 of 21 Old 06-30-2010, 11:50 PM
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I would take it easy on the grain. Sentinel is a good feed especially for the youngens'. You wont see results on her for about two weeks...just give her lots and lots of hay and her daily rations of grain and you will see an improvement. Is she on good pasture? If not, is there any way to get her on some? The best thing for any thin horses is lots and lots of free range forage...pasture and hay put the weight on...not grains.
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post #4 of 21 Old 07-01-2010, 06:59 AM
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free choice forage and a good vitamin/mineral supplement... is all they really need...

you only gave the Ultium a week... it takes about 30 days for a horse's system to "reset" to a new program

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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post #5 of 21 Old 07-01-2010, 09:40 AM
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My yearling is on Nutrena Youth, SafeChoice, Milk Plus and XTN.

Free choice hay, water and salt block.
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post #6 of 21 Old 07-02-2010, 09:00 PM
Green Broke
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If you're feeding her the recommended levels of the feed you have now, then you don't need any extra vitamins. Just feed her free choice quality grass hay or mixed hay (or Timothy), provide a salt block, and plenty of turnout (preferably 24/7). Young horses need room to run and a friend or two, so their bones and tendons will strengthen and develop properly. Bring her in to eat once or twice a day, then turn her back out. Stalling youngsters is never a good idea.

Young horses go through growth spurts. It is completely normally for her to look "ribby" every once in a while when she hits a big one. Just increase her food a little or add some fat her diet and wait for her weight to catch up to her height. Be patient and don't over feed her. A fat baby can be detrimental to growing joints as well.
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post #7 of 21 Old 07-02-2010, 09:10 PM
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My yearling is on free choice pasture, alfalfa/grass mix, a salt block and water. He doesn't get any special feeds or growth supplements and he is growing just fine without being ribby or dropping weight. (that's him in my avatar)

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post #8 of 21 Old 07-02-2010, 09:32 PM
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2nd cutting hay has more protien and will help fill her out better if available. I would get a nutritionist or vet to get you on a good feeding program
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post #9 of 21 Old 07-03-2010, 11:54 AM
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I fed my horse 2 liters of juvenile a day with free choice hay when he was a wee thing.
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post #10 of 21 Old 07-05-2010, 05:20 AM
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Agree with others that you don't want to 'beef her up'. Grain(I know it's traditional) is not generally a healthy feed for horses and they don't cope with high starch/sugar rations. If you are going to feed it, it's vital to feed little & often - tiny meals at least 3-4 times daily, which will help her get the most out of it and minimise the health risks associated with it.

Yes, young horses tend to need more protein than older horses, but too high protein is a big prob too. Depending on what you feed her & where you are/what is in the pasture/hay she gets, she *may* be getting adequate balanced nutrition without a supplement, but then again, despite what it may say on the packaging, she may not.

...So on those 2 notes especially, I agree with those who recommend you get onto a good equine nutritionist or such. I personally subscribe to a fantastic service & program called FeedXL.com that I can't recommend highly enough! They are fantastic value, esp. their nutritionists on call, ready to answer any queries, and have actually saved me money, along with frustration, confusion & ensuing headaches on the tricky subjects of nutrition & feeding.
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