Feeding a Weanling - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-16-2019, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Feeding a Weanling

I just recently won a weanling solid pinto filly. As of right now, I am doing research on feed because the food she came on is too expensive for my family and they'd like to have her switched as soon as possible. Right now she is only 5 months old. (Late April baby). She came on hay cubes, red cell vitamin and mineral liquid, and grain I will be sure to get the full identity on tomorrow. She eats hay and grass already, but the way she looks right now I am worried she is going to grow into a weird shape if I don't try to do something. She is in a stall most of the day for now, but I get her outside to eat grass after school every day. So far I've read not to go to corn as a grain, read about DOD, and I'm still looking.

I'm asking if anyone has any information they can share. I won her through 4-H and I'll be taking her through the horse training program. This will be my first young horse and I want to do it right. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-17-2019, 01:30 AM
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Good quality hay ad lib and a feed balancer for young horses.

The best thing she can have is grass.

Keeping her inside with hand grazing her is NOT a good thing, she needs to have as much grass as possible and has a need to exercise by cantering and bucking as young horses do.

Keeping her stabled is going to lead to stable vices like cribbing and weaving.
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-17-2019, 06:38 AM
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Please read about iron overload. If you do, you will take the red cell away immediately. Get her a buddy to hang with and teach her. Keeping her in a stall most of the time is no good for her at all. Keeping her stalled most of the time can also lead to bone and joint problems. She needs the exercise that being on pasture will provide. She also needs the grass that pasture will provide and in winter hay. No sweet feed, no corn mix. I would feed a weanling a good quality foal feed or ration balancer for foals to supplement good quality grass/alfalfa hay.

Also, find out what de worming has been done and what vaccines she has been given if any.

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post #4 of 10 Old 09-17-2019, 07:08 AM
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Yes absolutely do not keep her locked in a stall by herself for most of the day.

Have a farrier or trimmer come out and look at her. I was just talking to my trimmer about this yesterday, how so many problems could be avoided if people would at least get their young horses evaluated once. If there aren't any problems, great. If there are, it's a lot easier to fix them now.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-17-2019, 08:22 AM
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I just wanted to add that she is a cute little thing, I like her face. She looks like a Twister to me (name) after the twister on her forehead.
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-17-2019, 08:24 AM
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Young horses go through stages and there are times when they look totally mismatched body part wise. All part of growing. Keeping her stalled all day is not a good thing. To add to the above negatives it also causes poor hoof formation. Trimming doesn't help. The hoof is meant to be used and proper use helps ensure proper development of the entire foot. Keeping her stalled prevents that from happening.



Free choice, good quality hay (mixed grass and legume is good - these can be bought separate then put out together) and a ration balancer should be all you need. You don't want to be overloading a baby's system to push growth or you can cause other ill effects.



Looks like she needs worming and good, quality protein that could be found by adding a portion of alfalfa to her hay.
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-17-2019, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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She was dewormed two weeks ago. She doesn't have any shots yet. I'll be searching for a foal feed then since its the most recommended. I will look up iron overload immediately.
I want to get her on pasture, but we have barbed wire fencing and our two pasture are really big. I'm nervous about starting her in there. Once she has her shots I will be introducing her to one of our horses. But we have three geldings so she'll be with a 20 yr old Shetland. Her stall goes into a pen so I could try that first. But she's a bit difficult to catch right now even in a stall. My main concern in her getting stuck in something in the pen and breaking/hurting herself very badly.

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post #8 of 10 Old 09-18-2019, 04:45 AM
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I would not turn her out with a Shetland, she needs grass and a Shetland doesn't.

Introduce her to one of the geldings, either the boss horse or the second in command. If you use the one bottom in the paecking order he might well bully her just because he can be the boss for once.

What you will probably find is that she will follow the older horse, catch that and you have her.

If you need a halter on her then make sure it is a breakable one.

Something else I have done with untrusting weanlings that haven't had a lot of handling is that I have left a 12ft rope on their halters. This also teaches them they have to yield to pressure.
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-18-2019, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridingsky15 View Post
I just recently won a weanling solid pinto filly. As of right now, I am doing research on feed because the food she came on is too expensive for my family
I mean this honestly, not trying to be smart Alec but if you can't afford good feed for her, how are you going to afford all the other stuff??

One reason I think giving animals to people as prizes is so irresponsible. That & the fact that many people may not have adequate knowledge to deal with the animal they're suddenly lumped with. Kudos to you that it seems you're doing lots of research at least.

Quote:
She came on hay cubes, red cell vitamin and mineral liquid, and grain
'Red cell' implies to me it has iron in it, which is generally something already in excess in many areas/pasture/diets, so without a diet analysis showing it's deficient, generally best to avoid supps with iron.

As for other nutrients, good nutritional balance is vital for good health & growth. So *appropriate* supplements are probably needed, depending on a diet analysis so you know what she's getting from the basics. Horses produce vitamins in their body, so they generally don't need vitamin supps, but minerals & essential fatty acids.

I would not be feeding grain to a baby, or for that matter any horse without good reason. Grain & other high sugar/starch ingredients aren't great for horses & if you really feel its necessary & no better alternative, should be well processed, fed in small quantities mixed with forage, over a few meals daily.
Quote:
the way she looks right now I am worried she is going to grow into a weird shape if I don't try to do something.
How so? Just that she is rump high or is there something particular? Yes, without appropriate nutrition, her growth & soundness can be compromised.

Quote:
She is in a stall most of the day for now, but I get her outside to eat grass after school every day. So far I've read not to go to corn as a grain, read about DOD, and I'm still looking.
Get her out of that stall & able to exercise freely & living with other horses asap. Lack of exercise is seriously detrimental & lack of socialisation with other horses is also generally problematic as well as... sad.

Yes corn is the worst cereal grain, being highest in starch & hardest to digest. If you feel the absolute need for grain, oats are the best option. DOD's are mainly about pumping feed in, trying to 'grow up' young horses too quickly, and nutritional deficiencies.

She will need to be trained asap for hoof and other care if she hasn't yet. Hoofcare at her age is necessary, to ensure they grow well & strong. but shouldn't be forced. I wouldnt tie solid or otherwise force a horse of that age into anything - their bones & joints are very easily damaged.

Best wishes!
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-18-2019, 06:02 PM
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She may be difficult because she is in a stall. I'd put a break away halter on her with a catch tab. Just a couple of feet. You dont want anything she could get a leg tangled in or if running step on and literally break her neck. I just lost one of my stallions because someone decided to take him for a walk and when he took off he stepped on the lead and went head over heels. We had to have him PTS. Not something you want to happen.

As you have other horses you should let them introduce themselves over a fence and them turn her in with them. Far better to be socialized.

Her feet need attention as well.

I would not worry about adding feed. If you have good grass and hay then adding some alfalfa will give her what she needs. Look at a ration balance if you think she needs extra. You want her fit not fat and pushing growth can cause joint problems as well as other issues later on.

She's a sweet looking baby.
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