When do your foals start eating solids?

Discussion in 'Miniature Horse Forum' started by 1keegan, Apr 18, 2009.

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  1. Apr 18, 2009 #1

    1keegan

    1keegan

    1keegan

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    Like Mona, we have a colt who hasn't pooped regularly since he was 2 days old. He's 2 weeks old today and usually has one or two hard dog-type turds a day. The vet suggested enemas (without results) and we've been giving mineral oil 2x daily since. He nurses well and is very active.

    He now is quite interested in eating what mom eats...nibbles on her grain and hay.

    Since this is our first foal experience, is this normal/ ok at 2 weeks? Do you think this will affect his bowels favorable or negatively?

    thanks,

    LG
     
  2. Apr 18, 2009 #2

    Matt73

    Matt73

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    Mine start nibbling on hay at a few days old and are fed Buckeye Foal Starter from about 2 days old (it's a milk based pellet that compliments the mare's milk). If I wasn't feeding a special foal pellet, I'd probably start him on grain (a very small amount) when he's interested.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2009
  3. Apr 18, 2009 #3

    rabbitsfizz

    rabbitsfizz

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    I start offering feed, separately from the mare, at ten days old, and start feeding properly, again in a separate pen to the mare, as soon as the foals are eating enough to warrant it.

    I bought a sand tray that is divided into four sections and a foot or so off the ground at a car boot sale for a dollar or so, and this makes an excellent feed trough for the foals, they really do not get on well with eating off the ground, but pick it up really fast from their "trough"
     
  4. Apr 18, 2009 #4

    ruffian

    ruffian

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    "The vet suggested enemas (without results) and we've been giving mineral oil 2x daily since. He nurses well and is very active. "

    I AM NOT A VET, but this is what I do and have had excellent results. I use the "fleet" enema bottles, but I refill them numerous times until I get a nice soft poo out. I fill them with warm, soapy water. Just a few drops of a mild soap (ivory etc) per bottle. It may take 10 or 15 bottles, but it has worked very well with my guys. Make sure to lubricate the tube well to avoid irritation.

    I don't use oil because studies have shown that it really doesn't do anything. But vets were trained to use it, so keep prescribing it.

    Does he have free access to water?
     
  5. Apr 18, 2009 #5

    1keegan

    1keegan

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    Thanks for your responses.

    Yes, the colt has free access to water all day & night. I've seen him in the bucket, dripping from his little goatee [​IMG] And as I said, he's running and jumping around from dawn to dusk, with just cat naps in between. I thought if he was uncomfortable, he'd roll or paw at his belly, but he hasn't. The vet saw the little dark turds last week, as I questioned if the darkness could mean blood. The vet also checked him for hernias and he didn't have one.

    I tried spoon-feeding him pumpkin, as someone suggested during Mona's foal poop topic, giving 1/4 can for a couple days in a row, but can't say I noticed a difference in what's come out as a result.

    Ruffian, we gave a total of 4 enemas over 2 days. The initial one brought out about a tablespoon of liquid manure, but nothing since then. We haven't given an enema for over a week now. Could it be that whatever is stuck is higher up than an enema reaches? Would you continue with enemas?

    And you're right- I haven't noticed that the oil did anything either...unless of course it's kept the hard poop at least moving.

    Matt73, I wasn't aware of foal starter. I should look into that at the feed store.

    I wondered if offering him hay & grain would be likely to help or hinder the lack of poop & hard dark poop issue. Won't his poop become more 'horse apple' like when he eats solids?

    Could this possibly still be meconium after 2 weeks?

    What would you do about the infrequent hard poops? Ignore as long as he seems to feel fine, or continue to treat, with oil/enemas?

    thanks,

    LG
     
  6. Apr 18, 2009 #6

    MiLo Minis

    MiLo Minis

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    Foals NEED to start nibbling on grass, hay or grain, within 2 or 3 days of birth because once the colostrum runs out mare's milk is deficient in several trace minerals, particularly copper and iron, that are essential for healthy growth. If they aren't starting to nibble on solid feed within 3 days you should try to get them interested by hand feeding little bits. Creep feed should always be supplied free choice to a foal.

    Foals that drink water can find themselves in trouble. They either develop diarreah which can be serverely debilitating or nurse too infrequently for good growth. If your foal is constantly helping himself to water which he doesn't really need at all while he is nursing you should raise the bucket or otherwise get it out of his reach.

    If your foal is still constipated I would get in touch with your vet again.
     

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