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JulieMe

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Hello! I am new here and need a quick crash course in miniature weanling care 101. Today I rescued a approx 5 month old weanling colt from a nearby kill lot that got in over 20 minis headed for slaughter. I have experience with big horses, but not one this tiny or this young.

I feed my 7 year old Hackney pony mare Nutrena Safe Choice Special Care which is for ponies, minis and horses with special metabolic needs. Would this be suitable for a weanling colt? I know they make a Mare and Foal version, would that be better? Open for suggestions here.

Because he is coming off a kill lot with hundreds of horses I know he has likely been exposed to all kinds of germs. Thankfully he will be staying at the home of a vet tech for a couple of weeks because she specializes in quarantining and rehabbing rescues. She will be watching for illness and we will get him help immediately. My question is, when would be the best time to vaccinate him - immediately or monitor him for a few days/weeks first? Will he be under too much stress to tolerate vaccines too soon?

Worming - when and with what?

He is still intact. When would be the best time to geld him? I know not during fly season, but what age is too young?

Of course I will be asking my vet these questions as well, but I also like the advice of "mini experts".

This little guy is so super cute and I'm so sad he ended up where he did but I plan to give him a wonderful life. One of the minis in the herd had hooves that were about 6" long - so heartbreaking. I donated toward him and he has been adopted, too
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I'm hoping that when he gets bigger, he and my hackney pony can be paddock mates, but if it doesn't seem like it will work out, I will divide the paddock.

Thanks a bunch!
 

Magic Marker Minis

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We feed our Miniatures Purina Miniature Horse and Pony. She has been a chunk and even being weaned from dam, has not lost any weight. He'll need protein more than anything, at least 16%. Also good quality hay. I think you can worm immediately , not sure on vaccinating. Hopefully he received antibodies from his dam.

As for gelding, as soon as he has dropped, is fine. Some people want to wait until older, just depends if he acts studdy. Definitely give him time and as much loving as he's willing to take. Everything that has happened to him has probably been ever stressfull.

Thank you for saving his life and would love pictures.
 

JulieMe

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Here is his picture from the lot. I will get better pictures of him tomorrow when I go visit him at the quarantine hub. I cannot wait to bring him home!!

I will look to see if anyone in town carries the Purina Mini feed. We do have a TSC but they are horrible about keeping things in stock, ugh!

babyboy.jpg
 

Magic Marker Minis

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TSC is where we get our grain. They've always had the Mi.iature horse feed when we looked. Both in AZ, OK, and MO.

He's cute.

If you can't find the grain, get a grain for seniors. Its easily digestable and I know many mini breeders/owners use it, instead of a grain for a young horse. Start him slow on the grain, but he can have unlimited hay (if feeding burmuda or other grass hay). I'd be more careful with alfalfa.
 

chandab

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Looking at the Nutrena website, it looks like the Special Care can be fed to weanlings. Feeding them both the same feed will help keep it fresher.

I'd defer to your vet on vaccine and deworming recommendations.

Keep him quarantined from your boy for 3-4 weeks, hard to say what he could be harboring after being at a sale yard.

If he's dropped, he can be gelded at any time. I like spring before the bugs come out, but that's just me. Your vet may have his/her preferred time schedule for gelding. [Don't rush to call him cryptorchid if you don't see 'em, minis are notorious for dropping late, and they are also very good at holding them up tight, so very well could be there, but you or your vet may need to go on a fishing expedition to find them. And, they also hold them high/tight when the temps start to drop in the fall] If he's thin or malnourished, that may also affect whether or not they are dropped or not.

He'll need the same farrier schedule as your other pony, possibly even shorter time frame.

Same routine vaccinations and deworming. Do not use Quest dewormer on minis/ponies (any dewormer with active ingredient moxidectin); many vets don't know this, even though it's on the package insert not to use on ponies/minis. Safety margin is just too small.
 

Miniv

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A big Ditto to what Chandab posted regarding gelding your little guy. A mini 5 month colt may not be dropped yet. There are some cases where colts haven't fully dropped until age THREE, but that's rare. However, if by chance he IS dropped, anytime is okay.

Your vet can help you with advice on vaccines/worming, but as Chanda said - don't EVER use Quest wormer. I wouldn't even use it on your Hackney pony.

My mantra about feeding is -- High quality grass hay (approx. 2% of his body weight per feeding. For us, our flakes weigh about 4 lbs each, so we split the flake.) and for graining youngsters, I like using a Senior Feed. It's easy to digest, 14% protein, and includes vitamins/minerals they need. Our weanlings are currently getting about 2 cups twice a day each.

I'd like to add....KUDDOS to you for rescuing!
 

Marsha Cassada

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If you do not live where there are lots of strange horses going in and out, I would seriously reconsider vaccinations at this time. They are really hard on bodies that are stressed or malnourished. Many won't agree; it's just my opinion.

I think some alfalfa is good for any horse that is malnourished. Good protein and it helps with ulcer situations.

Also, though you feel sorry for him make sure you do not let him become a little monster. These little guys are so cute, we tend to spoil them rotten!

Good luck!
 

JulieMe

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My precious little guy is now home. We have him and my daughter's OTTB rescue in pens out in the back pasture away from our other horses.

I don't believe he had likely ever been handled. It was an adventure getting a halter on him, LOL! His toes are beginning to look like elf feet so I'm really going to work on getting him used to being handled so I can get the farrier out asap!

My concern is he doesn't seem to like the Nutrena Special Care feed. He has eaten a tiny bit and then chewed some an spit it back out. He seems to be doing fine grazing and is interested in the hay. He's only been home for less than 24 hours so is it too soon to worry? He is drinking - has access to plain water and electrolyte solution.

He is so adorable! I can't wait until he trusts me enough to let me love all over him!

Here he is meeting my daughter's rescue
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chandab

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It's possible as young as he is, that he's not had grain or pellets before, so might take a bit for him to get a taste for eating pellets. Keep trying and if you can feed him across the fence from his big buddy, so he can watch the other guy eat his feed, it should help him get the idea that the stuff is edible and good for him. If you have other feed available, you can try it, but I'd just keep trying small amounts of the current feed. As long as he's eating grass and hay, he should be fine for awhile. You could also try soaking a little bit to see if that encourages him any.

He's a cutie.
 

Marsha Cassada

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That's true. I've acquired horses that had only seen pelleted feed and had never seen oats or alfalfa. It took them a couple of days to find out they were food. After that, no looking back!

If you are able to take him out for walks, that might help with his feet until the farrier can come. You are handling him and he gets some wear on his hooves.
 

Cayuse

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He's cute as a button. When he get's a vet check, you might want to have his teeth checked out so you know what his mouth and bite is like going forward. Good luck with him!
 

Marsha Cassada

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He's cute as a button. When he get's a vet check, you might want to have his teeth checked out so you know what his mouth and bite is like going forward. Good luck with him!
Ditto!! So many future problems can be non-problems if his mouth is looked at now.
 

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