Foal feeding question

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KathyB

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We have our first foal. He is 2 months old. I have been putting a handful of grain in a seperate pan for him when I feed, because his mother will not let him near her's. He has started really eating it, so now his mom is chasing him away from his, eating it, then eating hers (miss piggy!
).

My question is, at this age how much grain should he be eating? I can tie her while they eat. I'm just not sure if at this age he should be getting a good size portion or sneaking bites.

Thanks
 

ChrystalPaths

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First congratulations. I also have a mare who is Miss Piggy so we put up a second feeder on the wall and they take turns at each one. I give the 2 of them about 3 cups or so pf a combination Equine Adult & Strategy. This week I tried to tie the mare and she about went nuts SO I put her in another pen to eat and then returned her to he baby. Went great and the baby (course mine's 4 mos now)got her full breakfast. I generally give them 2 cups or so and give them 20 mins to finish, whatever is left we toss to the cats. Her mom is wayyyyyy too fat so this is important at this time cuz weaning will begin soon.
 

KathyB

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Dimimore said:
  I generally give them 2 cups or so and give them 20 mins to finish, whatever is left we toss to the cats.  .
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Thanks for the reply Dimimore. Would the above amount be the same for a 2 month old colt?

Kathy
 

ChrystalPaths

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I have used this amount since she began eating mom's grain mix. Can't hurt her so go ahead. I am not a nutritionist or a vet but this in how I have done my kids for the last 5 yrs. What are you using for feed? Mom's milk is the most important thing for them at his age so I usually don't fret about he amount of feed a baby eats until it gets close to weaning time. THEN I want them very interested in their feed to be sure they are getting enough. Being only 2 mos, relax. Mom is his main nutrition. Anything he nibbles is just extra and he's just testing it out. As he grows he may want more. Try putting up a second feed pan. I use the little rectangles of plastic that hang on the walls with a short cut 2x4. Need a pic? With 2 feeders mom and babe get some.
 

Marty

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I have two feeders in my foal stall.

I put a large black rubber feeder that is low on the ground for Timmy and I also put feed in Holly's food in the regular feeder. Well Timmy stands in his food dish of all things but he does eat! When they are moved into the new barn, I will be moving him to the stall, the next one over for food so he can learn to eat by himself. Then I will return him to Holly. Eventually he's going to get the idea that the other stall is really good to go there. Should help a bit when weaning time comes too.
 

pepperhill

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For what its worth, my vet recommends free feed for the little guys until they are 6 to 8 months old (longer if they need it). The babies won't over eat or colic as they are still more interested in mom's milk, and, unlike their parents, they quit eating when they are full! It works really well and they stay healthy and sleek even during weaning. However, the first year I tried it, I struggled with how to do this without all my mares getting into it. I finally mounted a cattle panel across the front of out pole shed that is low enough that the babies can get under it, but high enough that the moms and dads can't. I just fill a big ol' tub up with Omelene 300 or one of the other quality feeds and let em' have at it. I set it out when the first foal is about a month old and keep it up until they are 8 months old or so. I know others might think this is very controversial but it really works. Linda
 

rabbitsfizz

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I have to disagree on that Pepihill, sorry, but all my foals are eating a proper feed by the time they are two months old, away from Mama, and most definitely would overeat!! I was feeding- well, I was putting in, three cups of mix per foal, and I had to tie them up because a few were getting the lot. There were eight foals in there. Now, as five month old weaned foals they are getting ten cups of feed each and are still tucking it away nicely thankyou. They also get hay (as I am not convinced my grass has enough in it at this time of year) and free access good green grass. They are plump (shall we be tactful and say well covered
) but are no way pig fat. I would offer your foal five measured cups of a good complete foal feed (weaner) and measure back whatever it does not eat after say, half an hour.If the foal is clearing this amount (which it really should not be) I would be inclined to have the milk tested- at this time of year there often is not much in the milk- irrespective of whether or not the mare is on grass, or being fed well or not. It could be that the foal needs some serious supplements, in which case advice should be asked from a Vet, it may well be that the foal needs nothing, and just fools around with the feed- which is fine too.
 

pepperhill

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OK..my computer has me trapped in this screen and keeps trying to send my last post over and over again. If it shows up again I'm sorry!
Linda
 
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pepperhill

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Rabbitsfizz, I have finally escaped from that dang screen! I don't know what my computer was doing but everytime I tried to leave it, it said it was going to repost my original message!
No one needed to hear it twice.
I was stuck there for over two hours! Anyway! In your case, my style of feeding would never work. You wean them off a bit quicker than I do. In my case it only works because they are still nursing off mom and have access to all the hay/grass that their momma is eating. The grain isn't their primary diet, they can just eat as much as they feel they need. Most start out nibbling during the first week from their mommas pan, and then start gradually getting more and more interested in the free feed tub as they get older. I think since it is available all the time they don't feel the need to rush in and make a pig of themselves like most horses would. They just get used to it being there all the time. Of course, it has to be monitered for each foal and there are occasions when it doesn't work for whatever reason. There is no question that your feeding program is much more precise and much easier to regulate. I switch to something similar if I have an issue with one of the foals. Sorry for the copycat posts! Nothing meant by it!
 

KathyB

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Thanks for all the replies. The answer appears to lie somewhere between some grain and unlimited grain.
Seriously, I will tie the mom and give the colt a cup or two and see how he does with it. I was just afraid he was only suppose to be nibbling at this age and I did not know if his digestive system was mature enough to handle eating a bunch.

Kathy
 

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