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sjharris53 07-25-2011 07:09 PM

Conflicting advice for feeding rejected foal
On the advice of my vet, a farrier who specializes in lameness issues checked out my three month old AQHA colt today. Tuff is a rejected foal who has been raised on milk replacer and a combination of milk pellets and Omelene 300. This farrier regularly takes care of horses costing $200,000 and more. He said my colt's legs and feet look fine, but that he is on way too much protein, and suggested cutting it back to 10-12%. He said he knows it goes against conventional feeding wisdom, but that he has seen way too many youngsters with problems due to their high protein diets. On the other hand, Tuff's vet from his stay at UGA veterinary hospital has suggested more than once to put him on Purina Equine Jr.

The current daily feeding program is 7-8 quarts of milk replacer at 24% protein, 2.5 lbs. of Foal Lac pellets at 19.5% and 1 lb of Omelene 300 at 16% protein.
So what to feed him? The Equine Jr is 14.5% protein, which is lower than anything he is on now.

Anyone had lameness issues with foals on high protein diets?

Left Hand Percherons 07-25-2011 11:19 PM

That's alot of protein.

The NRC recommendation for protein for a 4 month old average horse is only 670gms (1.5#). He's getting approximately 3.3# from the milk replacer, .5# from the Foal Lac and .16# from the 300 for almost 4# total protein. By 3 months you should be weaning him off all the milk products and complelety off of them at 4 months. Don't get hung up on the % of protein of the product but how many gms of protein it adds to the overall diet. 3# of equine Jr has .435# protein while 3# 12% whatever has .36#. A product milled just for foals however is going to not just provide higher protein but more vit/minerals that are essential for development as well as a higher quality protein with more lysine. Is he eating grass hay or pasture? I don't see the advice as really conflicting. They both want the amount of protein to go down.

I have had a problem with one filly. She grew 4 inches over a 5 week period. She ended up with one club foot which she is sound on.

sjharris53 07-26-2011 08:26 PM

Wow, it really takes a mathematician to figure this out! Thanks for taking the time to break it down for me. I found the NCR article you referred to, and found it very informative. Obviously my colt needs a reduction in protein, which I have already begun, but I'm still not sure which feed to put him on. I emailed Purina Mills and received a recommendation to put him on either Strategy GX or Ultium Growth. I need to take some time and like you said, focus on the gms of protein the different choices would provide.

Peggysue 07-26-2011 08:31 PM

be sure to keep an eye of the Ca:P ratio as well that is where the developmental disorders come in as well as too much sugars and starch causing rapid growth

quality protien is needed for bone and muscle growth

I would probably go with Enrich32 from Purina and add calories as needed with free choice hay/pasture and water of course

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