she might be picky... help?
Sooo my girl arrived today and I bought her some really expensive weaner/grower mix. I don't know if she was just out of sorts, overwhelmed by how much GRASS there is (she came from an area that has a lot of horses so tends to be a little over-grazed) or if she is a picky eater. I'll give her tomorrow and if she's still turning up her nose I'm going to have to try to make it a bit yummier. Can't have a growing foal refusing to eat :\
If she's chowing down on the grass, I wouldn't worry too much if she's turning her nose up at grain. My boys would rather eat fresh grass than anything else right now. :wink:
I'm just mostly concerned with getting the right amounts of vitamins and minerals into her. The land here is quite deficient in some very important things and I need to get the suppliments into her somehow - if she doesn't have the proper nutrition, there might be problems down the track :?
That's a concern. Does she have a mineral/salt block available to her? That will help with getting the proper vitamins and minerals into her.
Grain is an aquired taste with foals. They learn to eat it because their moms are eating it. Don't add anything to it. It won't be more appealing. Just put out a handful or two at a comfortable level (mid chest) for the baby to pick at. Throw out what she doesn't eat in a few hours and give her more fresh. She'll figure it out. There's not going to be any harm from missing out on some nutrition for a few weeks at this point.
We figured out the trick to get her to eat. All good now :)
We don't feed grain in Aussie land - we feed chaff (you might call it chop? It's basically chopped-up hay) balanced with some pelleted feeds, sometimes grains, and suppliments. Satin has chaff and a pelleted feed designed for growing horses, plus a general vitamin/mineral suppliment.
We've had to cut down a bit on the amounts that we're feeding her because she's gotten fat since she arrived (darn good doer part-Arabs!) and I would rather she be between 'slightly ribby' and 'ideal' than between 'ideal' and 'fat' - 'fat' is where she is right now!
She is growing SO fast, I swear in the half-week she's been here she's grown at least an inch at the top of her rump. She's definitely more bum-high than she was when she got here. Having never had a foal before, I'm worried that my reading is right and that any amount of incorrect nutrition, at any age while bubs is growing, is detrimental to the foal's later health and soundness. It's real important to me that she grows up sound and healthy, and STAYS that way as long as possible.
Doesn't really matter either way though, because she IS eating.
But I understand being a paranoid horse mommy, haha.
Well she definitely wasn't starved when she arrived! Her breeder is a great horseperson, all her horses are in fantastic condition.
She's changed AGAIN, a bit more bum high again and some more curve in her back. These babies change so fast.
The vit/min suppliment is designed for Australia but the trouble is there are SO many different types of soil here and SO many different vit/min balances that a suppliment balanced for ONE area may not be balanced right for another. Is there any particular way to tell if she's deficient in certain important things? Magnesium/vit E/vit B deficiency would make her more nervy and she is SO quiet that I don't think that's an issue, but I don't really know enough about the results of different deficiencies.
We do have to suppliment the calcium because we have a few kinds of grass that decrease calcium absorption. And calcium is REALLY important for growing babies, as you guys all know.
If she's growing this fast and STILL getting fat, I don't want to know how hard it's going to be to keep the weight off her when she's all grown up! I got out of ponies for a reason :\
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