How much feed for a foal? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-24-2013, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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How much feed for a foal?

I have a question ya' much grain should Pan be getting now? He is 3 weeks today, and I have no idea what he weighs. He has taken serious interest in it so I'm making a separate feed bucket for him when I feed Dalilah so I can see how much he is eating and also because piggy won't share with him. She will literally bowl him over to get to the food. The feeding instructions on the bag and the website suggests 1/2 to 1 lb of body weight, so should I go with the lower or higher end of this? How can I tell his weight? There's no way I'm getting a tape around him!

I'm feeding Patriot Junior, and Dalilah gets alfalfa pellets also. (They also have grass and hay 24/7) Should he get some of them too? If so how much? They also have free access to a mineral block and a himalayan salt lick.

Patriot 16% Junior Horse Feed is a pelleted, limited-starch, fortified feed formulated specifically for foals and growing horses up to 18 months of age. It contains high-quality ingredients in a palatable mix to give foals needed nutrients for optimum growth. Patriot Junior Horse Feed is also suitable for gestating and lactating broodmares.

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein, min. 16%
Lysine, min. 0.9%
Crude Fat, min. 6.0%
Crude Fiber, max. 14.0%
Calcium (Ca), min./max. 0.7% - 1.2%
Phosphorus (P), min. 0.5%
Salt (NaCl), min./max. 0.5% - 1.0%
Copper (Cu), min. 50 ppm
Selenium (Se), min. 0.3 ppm
Zinc (Zn), min. 140 ppm
Vitamin A, min. 3500 IU/lb
Vitamin D3, min. 500 IU/lb
Vitamin E, min. 65 IU/lb
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-24-2013, 12:16 PM
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Because he is still only 3 weeks old, I wouldn't advise feeding the alflafa pellets just yet. Just make sure that he is getting plenty of access to all the hay and grass he wants (which is sounds like you already are). Since he's still so young yet, I probably would begin feeding on the lower scale and gradually increasing the amount depending on his interest. Right now he's probably just interested in it because it's what momma is eating and he's experimenting.

As far as getting an accurate weight on the little guy, your best bet would probably be to try and get a heart girth measurement. I know that this can be extremely difficult (and I've been there too!) but apart from having access to a scales, this is probably your best option. Here's a link to a site that provides the calculation we had used in the breeding program I assisted at: New method to calculate foal weight - Breeding -

Lastly, this article provides some great insight when it comes to feeding the young, growing foal and beginning the creep feeding process: Feeding the Growing Foal |
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-24-2013, 12:18 PM
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A general rule is one # for every month at this point. I month old, one # feed.
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-24-2013, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you both for the input! This is my first (and unplanned) experience with a foal and I'm really trying to do everything correctly with him.

Might as well share some pics of my cutie



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post #5 of 12 Old 04-24-2013, 12:39 PM
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Oh how darling! Such beautiful color and markings too! Do you happen to know who the sire was?
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-24-2013, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nickers103 View Post
Oh how darling! Such beautiful color and markings too! Do you happen to know who the sire was?
Thank you!

Oh yes, I definitely know who the sire is. He is owned by my BO. He's a 2005 WGC Double registered Tennessee Walking Horse/Spotted Saddle Horse. He's absolutely stunning. Long story short the BO brought in his mares from his back pasture and turned the stallion out to check them and breed those who were in. Well MY mare was in with the bunch, she snuck in apparently(according to the BO, I wasn't there) and wouldn't you know he made a beeline right for her, bred her, and she caught. Needless to say I was furious as I had never intended to breed her. At least something good did come out of it, I have a beautiful colt and absolutely adore him!
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-24-2013, 07:15 PM
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Awwwwwwww hes so cute!

Like others have said, hes a little too young for grain right now. Correct me if I'm wrong but a lot of people don't start giving their weanlings grain between 6 months and 8 months.
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-24-2013, 07:30 PM
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Wrecker at 5-1/2 weeks is only getting whatever she can sneak from Chilly's grain bucket before it's all gone. Which is maybe a handful. She often ends up just licking the pan. LoL.

I have no intention of starting to feed grain too soon. Too much protein can be detrimental to the foals health and growth.

Wrecker is eating hay and munching on some grass but overall, Im avoiding giving grain as long as possible. I know some people that don't give grain until the foal is nearly a yearling.

Too much nutrition can cause the foal to grow too quickly causing weak growth plates, bone structure and joint problems at a young age as an adult.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-24-2013, 07:38 PM
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I have to chime in....What a DARLING foal.. he has got some beautiful markings!
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-24-2013, 07:51 PM
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I'm a big believer in reading scientific research and using it to formulate my own opinion based on each situation. I would recommend checking out Kentucky Equine Reasearch's database of articles. Here are some of the more pertinent ones, but all you need to do is search terms like foal, protein, nutrient, vitamin, broodmare, etc and a wealth of knowledge is at your fingertips:
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