Help me get my weaned filly to eat grain

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CLC Stables

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I have never had this issue, my babies all have LOVED grain. NOT THIS FILLY. She needs the grain too, the alfalfa hay just isn't keeping her fat enough for me and I want her getting her vitamins etc.

ALL HINTS ARE GREATLY APPRECIATED.
 

Millstone Farm

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Ho wlong ago was she weaned? Could she have an ulcer or is getting an ulcer? That usually puts the brakes on with my guys' grain consumption.
 

Reignmaker Miniatures

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Most foals learn to eat grain along side their dams. Has your filly stopped eating grain since she was weaned or is grain a new introduction to her? If its new then the 2 things that I can think of (of course if she has ulcers then she will continue to avoid grain) are to offer her a sweet feed, event ho I am not a big fan of sweet feeds the horses all seem to like sweetened things so that could help to get her started on grains. Afterwards you can mix it with what ever she would normally be fed and gradually reduce the sweet feed until it is gone. The other thing is competition. Do you have any other weanlings or any kind horse that she can share with? I would put her in with another horse and feed in a way that allows them both to access the grain at the same time (most dishes don't) as she sees the other foal/horse eating she will try it too and learn to like it.
 

susanne

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Also...will she eat grain out of your hand? Have you tried different buckets or pans? The bucket or pan itself might be frightening or have an odor or something she doesn't like. Remember Marty's colt and how the free choice minerals turned him off of grain.
 

Ashley

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Was she not given grain before she was weaned? IF so I would give her the same kind of grain she was getting then. If not, good luck.
 

minih

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If she has been on this kind of grain all along, the first thought that popped into my head was ulcers or nervous stomach. A lot of new weanlings will go off their feed for a day or two, but I have found that at the first sign of not eating if I go ahead and give 1/3 dose of ulcerguard they are back to eating the next feeding. I keep them on it for just a few days.....this is what has worked for me. We did have a foal that was still on mom one year get a bad ulcer (?never could figure that one out) and took her to the vet, she had been laying flat of her back with feet up in the air, he told us the amt to give her so I do know ulcerguard is ok for babies. I was told by my vet that it never hurts to give ulcerguard, a lot of times if I think a situation may stress a horse I will give them a dose or two just to keep an ulcer from starting. It is a lot cheaper to prevent than cure.
 

pepperhill

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Barring the ulcers, nerves, stress etc.that was mentioned above, if it just a case of the foal not liking grain products, I have found that if you just take a little handful and stick it in their mouths several times a day, they will get to liking it. You have to make sure you are actually getting it in the mouth, don't just offer it by hand. Obviously, not a big ol' mouthful they will choke on, but just a tablespoon or so. At first they will go to great lengths to spit every single morsel of it out. After a few times, or a few days of doing this they get a taste for it and you never have to worry about it again! I have actually had two different foals that wouldn't touch the stuff, even when their momma was chowing down on it. This is how I got both of them to start eating it. Good luck with it. I know weaning time can be stressful for EVERYONE sometimes.
 

Marty

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Remember Marty's colt and how the free choice minerals turned him off of grain.

Yes absolutely we were having quite a romance out here with the minerals!

I would try two things also:

1. Let him in with another one to see him eating. Monkey see, monkey do

2. I also would put a halter and rope on him, sit yourself down on a stool, and stick a bit in his mouth and let him try it. He'll learn!
 

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