colt nutrition

Discussion in 'Miniature Horse Forum' started by minister man, Sep 19, 2018.

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  1. Sep 19, 2018 #1

    minister man

    minister man

    minister man

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    Hi everyone,   You might remember that  had a beautiful foal born this spring.  His mother has been great with him, and he is growing into an adorable "mini Belguim" still colt.

    He is not quite 5 months yet, but looking ahead towards weaning, I am wondering what is the best way to feed a young growing colt so that he grows well, without becoming too fat, or having other growth issues? .  I have been feeding the Mare, "Mare and foal" feed ever since she foaled at about 2 cups morning and night.  He has  been eating with her ever since he was a few days old.  At first she rubbed her face in the feed and then held her face out for him to lick it off, it was adorable.   

    To wean, I need to stop feeding her, so her milk will dry up, but I also have to remember that she is hopefully back in foal, as of June 8th, so I have to keep her health in mind.

    Will the colt need grain?  What type? how much would you feed?  or maybe just good hay.  I know that minis get fat easily.    I figure I will wean at 6 months, but failing to plan is planning to fail.
     
  2. Sep 19, 2018 #2

    chandab

    chandab

    chandab

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    Feed the mare and foal feed according to directions for his age and weight until he's 18-24 months, if that proves to be too many calories, switch him to a ration balancer.

    Take the mare's hard feed away for about a week or so, so her milk will dry up.  Once her milk dries up, she can be worked back up to pregnancy level of feed.
     
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  3. Sep 19, 2018 #3

    minister man

    minister man

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    Ok, sounds good.  The feed I am feeding the mare is also for a foal and weakling,  it would make good sense not to change that on him too.    I know the feed is made more for bigger horses, so I wasn't sure it the ticket applied to minis too.   I will see what the ticket says.  I might start taking him to his own stall to eat so he gets use to eating alone. 
     
  4. Sep 19, 2018 #4

    minister man

    minister man

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    For weaning I know there are several trains of thought.  

    Some just separate out of site of each other, 

    Some seperate during the day and together at night for a while. 

    Some seperate with just a partition between them so they can see each other. 

    Which is best?  

    How long do they have to be apart before they could be exercised in a paddock together? 
     
  5. Sep 19, 2018 #5

    Miniv

    Miniv

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    We feed a 14 percent locally manufactured grain to everyone who needs it......Amounts vary according to the need. (We had 2 stallions get underweight during breeding season with their pacing, so added a senior grain AND soaked beet pulp to their diet and they are looking wonderful now.)  Nursing mares have always been fed 4 to 6 cups of the 14% morning and night, again according to their need..... Foals often share, but we try to give them their own as they start learning that what mom is eating is rather good.  Our foals are always grained for at least the first year into their 2nd year and then we make a judgement call on graining further.  Any who are not being grained are still getting a vitamin and mineral supplement.

    For weaning, we have tried all the different ways that you describe and have settled on the complete separation as the least stressful for both mom and baby. (They call for each other for a day or two and then life goes on.... ) The gradual method seems to just prolong the emotional stress plus keeps the mare producing milk longer.  We also keep the foal in with his/her familiar surroundings and pasture mates and move the mare into another paddock.  The mare gets NO grain and even if she has been bred again we do not grain her until at the earliest her mid-term.  The most important time to bring on the grain to a pregnant mare is actually her last tri-mester, unless she is underweight.  It's those last few months when the foal in-utero is growing the most.

    That's just what WE do..... It's taken us many years to settle on this method. 
     
  6. Sep 19, 2018 #6

    chandab

    chandab

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    Depends on the feed, some have directions based on weight, others based on age, share what the tag says, a scan if you can share that would probably be easiest.
     
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  7. Sep 19, 2018 #7

    minister man

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    The tag says " CFS pro horse 300 is recommended fed to the suckling foal and weaned foals up to 350 Kg. ( 770 pounds)

    Individual foal variance may require feeding rate adjustment of plus or minus 1.5 percent of the amount indicated. Feed in conjunction  with hay and water.  Provide salt free choice.

    Then there is a chart for mares and suckling foals.  

    But weanlings it says

    Weaned foal

    Foal weight ( 6 months to 1 year)                                                              150 kg ( 330 pounds)

    Minimum hay or pasture                                                                              1.5 kg  ( 3.3 pounds)

    Pro horse 300 daily ration                                                                            2 .4 kg ( 5.29 pounds)               

    There are more weight groups listed for weaning foals, but they are irrelevant since he won't weight 300 pounds by one year old.               

    I will try to pick him up tomorrow, but I would guess he weights between 50-100 lbs.
     
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  8. Sep 19, 2018 #8

    chandab

    chandab

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    What size is he expected to mature?  A-size, which is under 34" or B-size which is 34-38"?   General rule of thumb, I go with 1/4 full-size recommendation for A-size minis and 1/3 full-size recommendations for B-size minis.  Don't forget to start slow and work up to the recommended amounts; and perhaps even go a bit light for awhile and see how he does before giving full amount.
     
  9. Sep 20, 2018 #9

    minister man

    minister man

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    I am not sure how big to expect him to be.   The mare is 36'' but the stud is only 30"
     
  10. Sep 20, 2018 #10

    chandab

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    To start, err on the side of caution and go with 1/4 of full size amount.
     
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  11. Sep 20, 2018 #11

    minister man

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    He will be 5 months on Oct 8.  I fed him in the stall last night while I took the mare for a walk.  He didn't seem to have any problem with it, and he ate his feed.  So I will probably wean him mid Oct. 
     
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  12. Sep 20, 2018 #12

    Ryan Johnson

    Ryan Johnson

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    You have been given some great advice, all I wanted to add was "Dont be shy on the picture updates" :)
     
  13. Sep 20, 2018 #13

    chandab

    chandab

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    Forgot to say, if he's not been getting too much so far, don't forget to take about a week to get him upto full amount.
     
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  14. Sep 22, 2018 #14

    minister man

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  15. Sep 22, 2018 #15

    minister man

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  16. Sep 22, 2018 #16

    minister man

    minister man

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    The mare Isa re bred to the same stud.  A team of these would be a mini team of belguims for sure. 
     

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