Yearling won't eat - The Horse Forum
 21Likes
  • 6 Post By Acadianartist
  • 3 Post By QtrBel
  • 1 Post By caycev
  • 2 Post By Acadianartist
  • 4 Post By Dehda01
  • 1 Post By LoriF
  • 4 Post By caycev
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 10 Old 07-12-2020, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 8
• Horses: 0
Yearling won't eat

So, I'm wondering if anyone might have any tips/tricks/advice. I just purchased a 13 month old/yearling Gypsian filly. I'm struggling to get her to eat anything other than hay.
She's refused everything offered - a few different types of grain, fibre max, apples, carrots, among other things. Unfortunately, she was weaned at 3 months so my thought is that she may not have learned to eat anything other than hay/grass, as they often learn that from mom. I'm wanting to be able to get some good, healthy nutrition into her in grain form and she is not having it. I've got her on a mix of good quality orchard grass hay, and a timothy-grass mix. She's also getting out to graze as much as possible, but my grass here is limited. Any advice?!
caycev is offline  
post #2 of 10 Old 07-12-2020, 05:38 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 80
• Horses: 0
Oh no, poor little love! Have you tried offering a Mare & Foal type grain, I'm just wondering if that may be a bit more palatable. Has a Veterinarian had a look? Seems odd that she won't eat tasty things. Does she have a robust appetite?
Palfrey is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 07-12-2020, 05:41 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,675
• Horses: 2
Be patient. When did you get her? It can take a while. A lot of horses -- most, probably -- won't touch new food if they've never had it before. My mare wouldn't even take an apple or a carrot from me when I first got her. Keep offering. A little bit every day is all you need to give. Once the horse has a taste, they will come back for more and you can increase it gradually.

My Appy turned up his nose at soaked timothy cubes and beet pulp for a week or two, then dove right in. He's the biggest pig in the barn now.

Small quantities every day until they try it. Make sure it is given in a clean feed pan - dump out the old stuff daily (that's why you only give a little), rinse and offer more. Do it at the same time every day. If the other horses get fed hard food once or twice a day, give your horse a handful at the same time. Eventually, they'll figure out this is mealtime.

I am also of the opinion that horses don't need grain. What they do need is a balance of vitamins and minerals which can be added in either in the form of a ration balancer, or powder that is added to wet hay cubes and/or beet pulp. Ideally, you start with a hay analysis, then add in what is missing. Keep in mind that some areas have high iron, others have selenium or selenium defiency. It's important to know these things so you don't get iron overload or selenium toxicity. That's why I don't like complete feeds - they're a one-size fits all option. Sorry, I know that wasn't your question, just my two cents.

What is this horse's physical condition? Does it need calories or just vitamins and minerals?
boots, Foxhunter, Kalraii and 3 others like this.
Acadianartist is offline  
post #4 of 10 Old 07-12-2020, 06:25 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 10,465
• Horses: 12
If she looks good then I'd let it be. She doesn't need more than mentioned above. Forage first.
loosie, boots and Kalraii like this.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
QtrBel is offline  
post #5 of 10 Old 07-12-2020, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 8
• Horses: 0
She's only been home since Friday night, but I noticed even at the place we picked her up from, she wouldn't touch anything other than hay or grass, so I don't think it has much to do with the move. The vet has not yet had a look at her, but he'll be out this week to vaccinate and microchip her, so I'll definitely be asking him for his opinion at that point.

I have been offering small bits when I feed the other horses, even sprinkled it on her hay and she just eats around it.

She definitely needs more than just hay and grass right now. She's got a big grass belly (she's been dewormed, so no worries there), and over her ribs she has very little cover. She's not REALLY skinny, but she definitely needs extra calories. She has 24/7 access to a salt/mineral block, which she also hasn't touched. I don't even so much care if she eats the grain, but if she'd take some fibre max or beet pulp so I could mix in the vitamin/mineral supplement that I feed all my horses, I'd be thrilled. At this point, it's all a no-go though.

The hay has been tested and it's good quality but I would feel better if she was eating some sort of grain/soaked feed. She's growing and I want to make sure we do this right. She has a great appetite for her hay, and she's grazing well.. Just refuses to touch anything else. I've never had a horse flat out refuse feed before so this is just so weird to me, and I've raised a lot of foals.
Acadianartist likes this.
caycev is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 07-13-2020, 06:56 AM
Trained
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,675
• Horses: 2
Sounds like you're doing everything right.

If it were me, I'd keep offering treats until I found something she likes. Then I'd start adding some of the feed to those treats until she gets used to the flavour. Will she eat hay cubes? What if you break them up into tiny bits? They're not that different from hay. I'd offer a few dry ones - she may not like the sloppy wet ones because the consistency is very weird to them at first. If you can convince her to eat something other than hay and grass, you can start adding other things.

I still think it takes time for a horse to settle in a new environment and trust their new owner. I understand she wasn't eating those things at her old place, but maybe they just didn't feed treats. My mare had no idea what I was doing when I offered her a carrot from my hand. She wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. But after a few months, I was clicker-training her with treats and she absolutely loved those. She was always very polite and gentle, never nippy, but she knew when I had my treat pouch on that there would be treats and she'd be the first one by my side, trying to figure out how to earn them.
JoBlueQuarter and caycev like this.
Acadianartist is offline  
post #7 of 10 Old 07-13-2020, 07:16 AM
Started
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: CT
Posts: 1,804
• Horses: 0
When I get a youngster that won’t eat, I get a textured mare and foal feed. Feed her where she see another horse eat the same thing. I try to put a small amount in their mouth so they taste it- they will probably spit it out afterwards. But then they can see their “mentor” horse eat grain and learn from them. Keep at it at least twice a day. It often takes a week or so of social watching. But the babies learn best from other herd mates.
Dehda01 is offline  
post #8 of 10 Old 07-15-2020, 06:10 AM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 21,955
• Horses: 0
Perhaps she has never eaten anything aside from hay & grass, so, just like kids who aren't introduced to different foods when very young, she just doesn't like to try different things.
loosie is offline  
post #9 of 10 Old 07-15-2020, 09:11 AM
Trained
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Northern Florida
Posts: 5,136
• Horses: 4
My filly (who is four now) is the same way. I've never been a huge treat giver so she really doesn't know what they are and won't eat them. Whoever has heard of a horse that doesn't like peppermints or carrots? She won't eat anything that is new to her.

More than likely this is all it is as it sounds like your filly has a good appetite. Just keep offering it to her and let her taste it. Let her see other horses eating it.

Calories are just calories and that's it. It's a matter of whether the calories have stuff in it that's good for the body or not so good. Me eating an apple or nectarine would be a lot better than a candy bar or piece of pie obviously. If her hay and pasture have the required protein and vitamin/mineral content to sustain a growing horse then I wouldn't worry about it too much.
loosie likes this.

There will be only one of you for all time. Fearlessly be yourself.
Coffee is my spirit animal
LoriF is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 07-20-2020, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 8
• Horses: 0
Well, I'm happy to report that I've finally got her eating the way I'd like. It took a few days but she decided to try the dry grain and I've been slowly introducing new things. She eats it pretty slowly and prefers her hay, but at least she's eating!
caycev is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome