Feeding The Thoroughbred Weanling
I Bought a 3 1/2 month old thoroughbred weanling. She will be coming to me soon and I was wondering what is the best diet for her. I have the omelene 3000 for her from purina. I was wonder how many times a day and how much other people are feeding their thoroughbreds so they reach full maturity with good bones and such. She will be coming in the winter months and we get alot of snow so grazing is very limited. What hay should I feed and how much?
24/7 turnout is best for young growing horses. They need movement to help strengthen their bones and tendons/ligaments. A quality grass hay or timothy hay is great, or a hay mixed with less than 40% alfalfa.
I don't like Omelene or other grain products. Molasses, corn, wheat, and other grain by-products are just not healthy to feed horses. It's like trying to live on power bars and processed cereal... Just not the best choice.
You can make your own "feed" by using hay pellets or beet pulp, flax meal, and a good vitamin supplement. If you're feeding grass hay or other low protein hay, then alfalfa pellets are a good choice. They are high in protein and lysine, one of the main amino acids horses need, plus calcium for bone growth. Feed 1-2 lbs daily, then 2-5 lbs after she reaches 600 lbs. 1/4-1/2 cup of flax meal provides all the fat your baby needs for growth.
Horsetech.com has some great products and can custom blend you something for your growing baby based on the hay you choose. I would have them add amino acids for muscle development. Their flax is high quality human grade, and they don't charge for the custom work, only for the ingredients. Shipping is also free.
I agree. You don't want to feed your baby a feed that will cause her to grow faster than she should. That's a common practise with a lot of large horse breeders, and is a recipe for disaster. It can lead to all sorts of musculo-skeletal problems. Our Rain is nearly four months old and growing rapidly, but she's muscular and heavy framed. Her feed is mostly beet pulp, alfalfa pellets (because our hay is home grown prairie hay), Omega Horseshine (ground flax, psyllium and other goodies) and a small amount of oats. The oats aren't really for her - we are trying to put more weight on her momma and they eat out of the same bucket...
Thanks for your advice! I have read alot and I know that it will be a challenge to to feed her right. I just hope that everything goes okay! I know thoroughbreds grow so fast when they are babies. Where do you get all of the ingredients to make your own feed?
We get most of our stuff from our local feed store - but you can also get it from Tractor Supply or Atwoods if you have any in your neck of the woods.
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