New owner looking for feeding info
I have acquired a 6 yr old retired thoroughbred mare and a 10 month old paint quarter horse this past week. My paint spent the first 2 days trying to figure out if he was going to nurse or mount my mare. They have since settled into the mother/baby rolls. My concern is what the feed needs of each would be and how to keep her from getting aggressive (biting) him when I come around to feed. It is the only negative behavior she has thus far.
First question, has he been gelded yet? 10 month olds are fertile and he's already thinking about it. Socially, allowing him to be "her baby" isn't teaching him any life skills. All colts are better off in a multi structured herd of other colts or colt/geldings. They have to learn there are consequences for their shananagans and rules must be followed. There is nothing more pathetic than an adult horse who doesn't know how to survive in a herd situation. They're always getting beat up or they're beating up on someone else with no boundaries.
The mare's behavior at feeding time is completely natural. She's in charge and she has to remind him (biting) that she's in charge. He's not reading her and no one has taught him where his place is in this world.
i second left hand perchs esp if the colt is already showing studdish behavior. i'd make sure they are separated until he is gelded and look into what you can do to get him herd socialized sooner rather than later. unsocialized babies can turn into nightmares as they get older.
as for feed a growing baby is going to need a higher protein feed as compared to an adult horse. what exactly they will need is going to be a matter of how hard or easy of keepers they are, how much work they are in, and so on.
He was raised with another filly that is his age and the 2 mares. He had just been weaned before I got him so he fell right back into the baby role. Regarding gelding, he has not yet dropped and on top of that he is pushing 10 hands while she stands over 16. Should I still worry?
How can I socialize him if I have no mode of transportation for him at this point? He was raised on 100 acres with 3 females and a few hundred cattle but that is the extent of his socialization thus far.
Size means nothing...where there is a will there is a way! I have seen horses use hills to their advantage, as well as mare bending down on their front knees....they aren't stupid when it comes to nature calling.
As for him not dropping yet...that too means nothing...some horses never drop. He has shown studish behavior already....seperate them ASAP, and get him gelded ASAP.
While you might not be able to see them, you can often feel them if they're right there under the skin. The best way to do it is to get him moving around a bit to create some body heat. Stick your hand up there and feel around. You might want someone holding a front leg up if he's not too sure about that. The testicles at this point are only about the size of walnuts. Even with the size disadvantage he can get her pregnant.
With socialization, do you know anyone who would be willing to bring one of their horses over? Maybe if you have a nice enough set up you could see if anyone would like to split part of the hay costs in exchange for them keeping their horse at your farm. I'm sure there could be someone who just doesn't have the time or place to keep a horse that could pay you to keep there horse at your place.
If that's not a possibility, you could see if you could lease or borrow someone's horse trailer. Then you could set up a lesson or something to work with your colt and socialize him.
And as for the breeding, anything can happen. As soon as an animal can breed, they definately will try. Just because there is a height issue doesn't mean they won't adapt. I've heard about Chihuahuas and Great Danes breeding, and they have a few feet in height difference in the dog world. Get him gelded or separate them, it's not really worth the risk. Alot of people think something like that won't happen, and the next thing they know their Australian Shepherd has a Shih Tzu puppy. (This happened to my friend's dog, but they were actually trying to breed Aussie pups.)
My gelding, who is now 6 years old, is a prime example of what can happen with an under socialized horse. He is really buddy sour, meaning he doesn't want to listen unless "his" mare is there. If she is out of sight, even a tad, he will throw an absolute tizzy. When he is with her he'll push her around, and bite her. Now he's gotten to the point where he won't go by mean ol' me because he doesn't want to be away from her. He will actually bite her but and herd her into the paddock just so he can check me out to see if I have food. For the love of god, do as much as you can in the way of socialization! Don't let them get buddy sour.
I will say right now that I swear by Safe Choice Feed by Nutrena. It is designed for ALL stages of life, doesn't make the horses hot, and is an easy to digest/chew pellet. It's 14% but I have my 24 year old on it, my 14 year old on it, and my 5 year old rescue on it, and all of them have done beautifully, not a collic (knock on wood) or anything....also, my arab (the 24 year old) gets hot on high protien food, and she is as calm as can be, and it keeps weight on everyone perfectly.
As for feed aggression, I keep all my horses seperate by stalling or tying them up at meal time. This gives everyone a chance to eat their food without me worrying about someone else getting the other's supplement or what not. But with him being so young, I would say let "mamma" teach him manners.
it is not Protein that makes a horse hot it is sugars and starches
Most horses do fine on free choice hay or pasture combined with a vitamin/mineral supplement or ration balancer designed for that hay or pasture type
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