Baby Panic, or just to much time to think
I've kept and worked with horses for nearly 20 years, walked colicing horses the vet told us weren't worth it and rode them months later. We took in any rescue, no questions asked. Sometimes it was not pretty.
So I'd like to say I can handle most things a horse can throw at me without panicing. Then I decided I'd get a colt for christmas.
He'll be 7 months old when he gets here in two weeks, weaned on the 20th of October. He hasn't been started...at all, no idea what a halter is. So his cross country trip will be traumatic to say the least. Coming from an overfull ranch, he's not used to human contact and has never been wormed, or had any shots other than the Coggins he needed to get here.
They have had him on pasture and some timothy and added some rolled grain recently.
I want to start him right, so I'm reasearching area vets to have him looked over, but I'd like to know what to be looking for. I'm in western TN, what should I be asking for by way of shots? does he need to be a certain age for them? Can I worm him right away? and which type should I start with?
I'm planning on giving him a day to get adjusted before trying to introduce myself, but with no other horses here I don't want to leave him alone to long. This seem to short to anyone?
Pasture is terrible this time of year here for anything but playing space, so I'm trying to find some timothy/clover to put him on. For grain I'd like to work him onto a cobcorn, salt, and rolled oats diet as a main; but I'm a bit lost when to comes to supplements. I saw somwthing called colt-grow. Is it any good? Or are there better options out there? He's a draft cross, so I know I need to watch bone growth carefully so he gets his size early and steady, and that I keep muscle lean till he's done going up.
I apprieciate any and all feedback,
It is safe to deworm him. To start with I would go with the power dose from safeguard since he has never been dewormed. If this is a little two pricey you can do a hefty dose of Equimax, this way you cover everthing ivermectin covers plus tapeworms. I would let him do some settling in before you try to administer any vaccinations or dewormers unless you have your vet do it because they are generally 10 times faster and able to handle the wild ones (though they may not appreciate the wild ones).
If you are in tennesee, I would use something like the FLUVAC Innovator 6 way, here is the link to it.Fluvac Innovator 6 (3-way S. Sickness + Tet. + Flu + Rhino) Fort Dodge Labs (Equine - - -Top Seller This covers everything such as tetanus, rhino, encephalomyelitis (eastern, western, and venezuelan), and influenza. Do one dose then wait 3 to 4 weeks and do another. I would also vaccinate for rabies as one of those just in case shots because you never know when an animal is going to bite one of your horses. You might also ask your vet about potomac fever shots and see what he has to say as I am not sure how prominant it is in tennesee. If you ask your vet what kind of shots he will need he might also suggest some more for your area, it all depends on where you live. This is just something basic. He is plenty old enough to receive his vaccinations also.
As far as feeding him goes, I am sure there is a draft horse person who can help you with this as I have never raised a draft cross baby and am not sure how to feed one.
De worm once a month for a couple months start with something mild an dbuild from there OR you can go with a daily then in thirty days hit him with Ivermectin gold or Equimax....
Feed wise avoid sugars and starches and balance the nutrition the best you can if you don't test your hay ....
I personally don't like any Fort Dodge Product they have the highest % of reactions number wise is given but the % convinced me meaning shot for shot Fort Dodge has more reactions ... for the first round of shots I would have the vet do them adn give indivauls in case of reaction... Look for a EQUINE vet that took the time to learn nutrition in college or has further what they taught in school...
Drafts they advise low sugar/starch and higher fat becasue of the chances of PPSM or is it PSSM ...
Thanks for the tips, That will give me something else I can pick up while I wait for him to get here, and then a very good mental challenge as I try to figure out how to get him to accept a dewormer and shots without deciding I'm mean. As for the Vet, I've gone though the phone book so far, and plan to call and talk to them, after I stop at the Co Op and a few local stables to ask who horse owners in the area recommend.
Again, I really apprieciate the feedback. This forum is great so far.
Let me start out by saying that we have rescued 4 PMU mares (Percherons) and their foals, so I do have some experience in this. I also have owned (and still own) many drafts/draft crosses. Not just one or two but several. We currently have (on my property) 4 draft crosses, my daughter also owns (on her property) 2 draft crosses and at this time has a belgian (who has ESPM) Her Percheron just passed this spring. Not including those we have rescued, rehabbed and rehomed.
What peggysue is talking about is ESPM. Espm is a heredity disease, meaning that he would get it from his parents just like HYPP or HERDA. If he doesn't have it, you don't have to worrry about it. He is does have it, it can be controlled with diet generally. I would cross that bridge when you come to it. But I would read up on it just in case. Drafts, and ALL horses IMO (and my vets also) need mostly a diet of hay and/or pasture. As he puts it, "The grass/hay is the meat and potatoes, the grain should just be the dessert". A good quality horse hay should be most of your horses diet. Be careful in using supplements, especially on the foals, you can really mess them up (growth, bones, joints) if done incorrectly. (too much of one, too little of another)
As for shots, it varies for the region, I would ask the vet what he recommends. We are in TX and the basic minimal shots I would recommend for the winter season is VEWT and Rabies. You may want to do others when the weather gets warmer (west nile etc) Again, your vet is the best person to ask.
We worm all of our babies with Safeguard monthly for 1 year, then aprox every 6 weeks there after (due to our warmer weather).
As for what to do with him. Personally, I WOULD keep him confined in a smaller area for a while. I would start out in a stall (if you have one) first for at least a week, longer if he is very wild and doesn't want to settle down. Then, as you get to know each other and trust each other, put him in a larger area such as a small paddock, then a larger pasture etc. If you just immediately put him in a pasture you will never catch him to have any interaction with him! Believe me, even a 1 acre pasture is large if a horse/colt doesn't want to be caught. The key to all rescues, but especially PMU rescues is patience, patience, patience. Being that you are getting a foal, you should have an easier time of it. The mares who are older take more time since it is many years with little human interaction. But, that too can be done. One of our PMU mares went on to become a Mounted Patrol horse, another was used for Jousting and competitive shooting. The other two were steady trail mounts. It is definately worth the time and effort.
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