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Feeding the 2 month old foal

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  • Feeding the 2 month old foal

    I have a neighbor who bought a pony foal recently who is two months old. They were sent home with instructions to put the baby on Foal-Lac, and a) didn't know what it was, and b) can't find any around here. They do have the foal on a growth feed of some kind (got it at TSC - don't know if it's Purina, or...?) They do have the foal on second cut hay. I haven't seen it, and they are horse people, but clearly have never had a baby like this before, and neither have I.

    Thoughts on best milk replacer they can use? Any tips on what works best on babies like this?

    (and can someone explain to me why the hell the Chincoteague Fire Dept. sells babies that young at auction???!!!)

    I'm not trying to start a trainwreck - just want some tips to provide my neighbors who are trying to do the right thing after getting caught up in the moment when buying a baby.


  • #2
    OK, I had a five week old orphan.

    Honestly, after about 6 weeks, mare's milk is *mostly* psychological. The actual nutrient and fat content declines VERY fast.

    I'm sure Chincoteague does it because that is when the swim/auction is. I'd say it's not ideal, *but*, that foal living on the Island still isn't going to be ideal because it's not going to get enough nutrition THERE either, that is why they cull.

    Foal Lac pellets can be had at Blue Seal in Ellsworth. Land-O-Lakes pellets come more highly recommended, but FoalLac was all I could ever find. I did quite recently see Land-O-lakes at Aubuchon in Brewer (right on Wilson St on the main drag, right next to KFC/Taco bell. )

    Many of the locally available feeds should be fine. With a *pony* foal I'd be more worried about OVER feeding than under.

    First thing I'd do is get a hold of some Blue Seal Min-a-Vite. It is EXCEPTIONALLY well balanced for our area. Give a daily dose of that for foal's weight. (Which is going to be not a lot.) That is going to be a good cal/phos mix, and also selenium/vit E/Copper/Zinc all needed for good growth.

    Sunshine Pellets, a half to a cup a day, (considering it's a pony) would also be a viable alternative to the Foal Lac at 8 weeks. (Blue Seal's version of Calf Manna. CM is available at Wally*World and is great too--that's all we EVER used in the old days... )

    Blue Seal has Vintage Mare & Foal. Nutrena and Purina have a foal/young horse feeds... MY favorite though is Triple Crown Growth because it's lower in starch than all the rest. (Ellsworth & Bangor Blue Seals both carry)

    For now, pasture and 2nd cut hay are great. By fall/winter, just the young horse feed, good minerals and any old hay will be fine.

    It'll be ok. It's not ideal, but neither is an inbred herd on a small island either... despite some of our obsessive romance with them.
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


    • #3

      Are you selling squares?

      If you are, can you email me at pintopiaffe at aol dot com?

      I'm on a different computer and am not entirely sure what your email is.

      Mentalpause sucks.

      InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

      Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


      • Original Poster

        PP - Thank you!!!!! I'll pass that info along. They are absolutely trying to do the right thing by this baby, and I just wanted to pass along any information I could I still need to go up and meet the little stinker - apparently she's a light bay/buckskin and solid - her price only went to around $500 - they said there was one painted one who went for $8000 I'm assuming it looked like Misty or Phantom Wings or something...

        And I'll email you now


        • #5
          I was at the auction this year, and if I remember correctly, their foal is quite cute. (They weren't too many light bays/buckskins.) The prices were way down this year. They had a beautiful palomino colt go for $5,000 and then the 3 (or was it 4) buy-back ponies all went for a lot more. The highest priced foal was a buy-back that went for $8,100, and I do believe that was a buckskin pinto filly you mentioned. Oh and then they had this beautiful filly with a white heart on each shoulder.

          Anyway, that's enough hijacking. If you've never been...Pony Penning is an experience like no other. Please pass along my congrats and good luck wishes to your friends.


          • #6
            I've an orphan pony foal this year. She came to me at one day old. I started her on TSC's unimilk milk replacer. It is excellent food and most importantly is very digestable. As soon as she showed any interest I also started her on Purina's foal feed as it is a "total" feed for foals. My baby is now three months old and still thinks she needs her bucket of milk. But she and your neighbor's foal would do just fine with the unimilk as a top dress for the foal feed.


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by Philliab View Post
              I was at the auction this year, and if I remember correctly, their foal is quite cute. (They weren't too many light bays/buckskins.) The prices were way down this year. They had a beautiful palomino colt go for $5,000 and then the 3 (or was it 4) buy-back ponies all went for a lot more. The highest priced foal was a buy-back that went for $8,100, and I do believe that was a buckskin pinto filly you mentioned. Oh and then they had this beautiful filly with a white heart on each shoulder.

              Anyway, that's enough hijacking. If you've never been...Pony Penning is an experience like no other. Please pass along my congrats and good luck wishes to your friends.
              It sounds like such fun!! I've been to the islands later in the summer and saw the ponies running wild, but would *Love* to go to pony penning someday... I still have all my dog eared 'Misty' books... and several of the Breyers
              They have named their filly 'Star' - I'm dying to go up and meet her!!


              • #8
                Two month old orphan foal reporting in!

                We used the Land O'Lakes milk replacer. Just in the past couple days, she began to also show interest in the pelleted form. The filly is a tank. As pintopiaffe mentioned, it might be a bit much for a pony foal.

                Tell your neighbors best of luck with her & enjoy!
                Hidden Echo Farm, Carlisle, PA -- home of JC palomino sire Canadian Kid (1990 - 2013) & AQHA sire Lark's Favorite, son of Rugged Lark.


                • #9
                  Other than foal type pellets like Foal Lac - foals do not have the enzymes in their stomachs to process regular grain until they are at least 3 months old. It just goes through them without providing the nutrients they need. We breed ponies and I would suggest use the Foal milk pellets and when the pony foal is going into month 4 give a little grain. PONIES DON'T NEED TO BE OVER FED!! I know many people want them round and sassy but it's not healthy for their growth or future well being.
                  Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
                  "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"


                  • #10
                    Ok -- I have to hijack alittle, because this thread is super timely for me.

                    I have a horse foal who will be 3 months old 8/20. His mom has been getting treated for mastitis in one udder for 2 weeks now. Despite the fact she will let ME milk out the "bad" udder, she flat out refuses to let baby drink from that side, even when I hold her.

                    Because I've been worried about his nutrition, I've been feeding the foal grain 2x a day for most of these 2 weeks -- a mixture of beet pulp, COB & rolled oats with a multi-vit and rice bran for fat. It's all soaked till mushy.

                    He cleans it up!! And he's holding his weight well.

                    If I have to wean him soon, do you guys think I should still give him milk pellets?

                    Maybe the Calf Manna, which I used to feed years ago and loved....

                    I've never weaned a foal this young before. And we can't get Blue Seal or Triple Crown around here.

                    It's Purina or the Aslin-Finch brand....