Cute one. I agree with the other posters. 10 pounds of feed per day seems excessive. I would never feed more than 2 pounds per feeding. A ration balancer would allow you to feed 1 lb am and pm, plus hay - easier on digestion. Does anyone else think 10 pounds of feed excessive?? At any age?
Well no wonder she looked under muscled and immature. Two hours a day for a foal for turnout is not nearly enough. When I did some breeding they would be out all day and in at night.
I now have two weanling welsh ponies. They were raised outside 24/7. I at least bring them into a run in shed for the night being winter. They look more filled out and not so gangley. As someone stated you have that just weaned look.
Agree with Sunnydays that is a lot of grain. Especially if she went from no grain to 10 lbs. So far I am just feeding my easy keeper ponies just hay. I will be adding a ration balancer/mineral supplement. You want to keep a youngster a little on the lean side...10 lbs of grain just seems excessive.
She was being fed more grain than what I currently feed at the other farm, so I am trying to slowly change her feed routine to higher quality forages and less grain. I don't want to make any drastic moves as she is in a new place, with a new friend, and on a different turnout schedule. Too many changes would be too much stress in my opinion.
Thank you everyone for all the suggestions! I am super excited to see how much she filles out in the next couple months.
10 lbs of grain - regardless of what it is - is way too much for a 10-month old horse! I agree with the poster that mentioned that vets don't necessarily understand nutrition, even if you've known them for 15 years and they've been very nice.
I had to take courses with equine nutritionists in order to figure things out because the answers I got from vets were all over the place. Horses' digestive systems are meant to have roughage going through them on a pretty regular basis, so that means all the good hay/grass your filly can eat. Since the the hay/grass doesn't usually provide all the nutrients a growing youngsters requires, you add a concentrate to her diet. As many others have mentioned, ration balancers have become a standard in horse concentrates because they provide all the important nutrients (fat, protein, vitamins, etc.) in a fairly small amount of feed. You typically feed a growing youngster between 1 and 2 pounds of ration balancer twice a day along with all the good hay/grass.
There are many breeders on this forum that have been feeding like that for many years and with great success. I am one of them....
Please get your filly off the 10 lbs of grain as soon as possible - you're not doing her any favors and I would worry about colic and other bad things.
Siegi Belz www.stalleuropa.com
2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.
It's good that you are cutting her feed back. Most fortified feed is typically fed in the .5 to 1% of body weight range. So for a 600 pound youngster (taking a wild guess on her weight - based on the photos) that would be 3 to 6 pounds per day/max. Her weight didn't look horrible, just lacking muscle, so adding excess in the form of grain and even alfalfa may be detrimental. The last thing she needs is a sudden growth spurt (slow and steady is my motto) on such a weak structure. She needs the nutrients, and calories in the form of forage - but not the excess starches that 10 lbs of feed provide (even a low NSC feed).
You ARE absolutely headed in the right direction, so please don't take the suggestions as criticism, we just are trying to help you learn and give you knowledge to help you help her. Keep up the good work! And keep us posted, I really would love to see her in a few months!
I know you guys are not meaning for critisim. I know that much grain is a ton for her, but I also know that a huge change in diet over a week is worse. I am slowly changing her diet to better forages and less grain. I am aiming for cutting her grain in half at this point. My vet has also suggested this. Colic will be more prevelant if I drasticaly change her diet.\
Just to be clear- I do completly agree 10lbs of grain was a shocker to hear! I could not believe that is the amount she ate per day! I am working her slowly off the grain and onto forages. No worries she should be looking 100x better in the spring. I cannot wait to see the progress in the spring!
Last edited by snydere02; Dec. 28, 2012 at 04:27 PM.
^ ^ ^ Good point - if she was getting X amount of grain daily when you got her, you definitely want to slowly change the diet. She has a lot of changes to adjust to - keeping diet initially the same is smart. Many times new owners buy the exact feed and hay to help a new horse adjust to the new home. And make feed changes slowly.
It is great to hear others' info on feed and nutrition for foals! There is an art and science to it.