Hand feeding Foals - What bottles and Nipples work ??

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Joanne

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Every so often there is a foal born that we need to get some colostum into quickly.

We have used syringes with short feeding tubes.

But as I am going through my foaling box and restocking, I was wondering if any of you have suggestions for what works for miniature horses.

Over the years I have tried human baby bottles with nipples, but it seems like the nipples are too large for the miniatuure horse to suck well. I have had the same problem with nipples made for other farm animals.

Do any of you have any suggestions as to what nipples work with minis?
 
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Reignmaker Miniatures

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When I raised my orphan I used regular small bottles and soft nipples (silicon I think - clear and very flexible but not the NUK ones that are shaped, just regular nipples) but what I did have to do was cut the hole in the nipple slightly bigger since the foal would not work hard to get the milk out after the first couple of sucks. I assumed that was because once the foal begins to nurse a mare will let her milk down and it basically just runs into the foals mouth. I found my filly to be a soft nurser unlike the calves that I have fed that are vigorous and even rough. That's pretty much all I can offer , I don't have brands since what I used was not brand name.
 

ohmt

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I always had the same problem, but I use syringes for colostrum and when we raised our orphaned colt he drank from a pail on his own right away at 2 days so have never needed the bottles, thank goodness.
 

Minimor

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I use a kitten bottle. The new babies love that little wee nipple. I cut a decent sized hole in the nipple--not big enough that the liquid runs out, but when I squeeze the bottle there is a good stream.

I have tried sheep nipples and the human ones and neither worked. The first time I tried the kitten bottle the little filly latched right on as if to say "PERFECT!". That is what I have always used since and it works great.

http://www.hartz.com/Hartz_Products/Cat_Products/Health_and_Wellness/Milk_Replacers/3270098621_hartz_precision_nutrition_pet_nursing_bottle.aspx
 
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Carolyn R

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I have always used a syringe when we had foals, but if regular infant bottle nipples are too large, I also say the basic rounded, non orthadonontically shaped, silicone nipples for a premie.
 

Joanne

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Minimor could you please attach a photo of the bottle and nipple that works?

If any one has what has been successful in the original package, please either photograph or provide details.

Thank you !
 
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drmatthewtaylor

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Pritchardt (sp?) nipples for sheep and goats works well. Comes on a screw on cap that fits pop bottles. Freeze colostrum in the small bottles for kids then warm in hot water when needed and just apply nipple.

Dr Taylor
 

Minimor

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I added a link into my previous post--the Hartz bottle is what I use.

The bottle is about 3" tall and the nipple is tiny--but it works well.
 

rabbitsfizz

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I have always used these large animal teats: I have never had a foal refuse them that actually needed them (normally the reason a foal gets stroppy about nursing form the bottle is that it is already nursing form the mare)

These fit quite well into a normal baby bottle.

I would not syringe for fear of aspirating (very easy to do) and would rather use a tube- but you do have to be taught to do it properly- most Vets are happy to teach you. The other problem I have with syringing is that I like to get at least 75 ml of colostrum down a foal (not in one go, not usually!) and syringing that lot is hard. If the foal nurses I have had a foal take 50ml in it's first suck, easily.

I have never tried using a baby teat- there would be little point, really. The foal likes to get the teat into it's mouth and flatten it against the roof of it's mouth and push as it sucks, with the larger teat it is able to do this and you are able to gently squeeze the bulb of the teat and push the milk into the foals mouth, giving it the idea of what it is supposed to be doing.
 

disneyhorse

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I think I've used lamb nipples before, got them at my feed store. They are shaped right for horse mouths.
 

JAX

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They do make smaller nipples for premature human babies and that worked great for my filly. I learned my lesson though and will from now on teach them directly to drink from a bowl. Would have saved me LOTS of lost sleep...
 

Joanne

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Thanks for all the insights.

I am specifically looking for a way to feed the first colostrum on a newborn that may be getting frustrated, or too tired to nurse and we are getting to the end of that golden two hour period after birth.

The link to the Hartz sight was perfect Minimor. Thank you!
 

JAX

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LOL sorry I obviously was not paying close enough attention.
I have tried all sorts of nipples for first colostrum and have never had much luck. they seem to want to clamp onto and suck from a syringe before i can even think about depressing the plunger but when I offer a nice soft nipple they act like Im trying to poison them.
 

rabbitsfizz

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I have always used the lamb/calf nipples for the first feed- unless the foal is literally fighting it's way out of my arms and head butting the udder I always give the first feed form a bottle- that way I can get a few hours sleep!
 
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Ashley

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I agree with rabbit and Disney. Never used them on a horse but they have worked well for zebras and donkeys
 

Joanne

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Thanks everyone. There are some good suggestions to try here. Maybe this topic could be archived?
 
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