A Guide to Feeding an Orphan Foal
Feeding a newborn foal properly is essential as it has a profound impact on the health of the horse for the rest of its life. Foals have a very rapid growth rate, and most foals reach about 50% of their weight and height by the age of six months. A steady supply of nutrition is required to achieve this rate of growth. But, an orphan foal is deprived of the natural nutrition of its mother’s milk.
However, you can counter this loss by providing the foal with a good milk replacer like Horsepower Mare’s milk replacer. It is an excellent source of specially formulated feed to fulfill the nutrient requirement of a young foul.
Keep reading to find guidelines for feeding an orphan foul.
- Feed three to four cups of milk replacer every two hours to the foal.
- Make sure to allow fresh and clean water supply to the foal at all times.
- Keep milk in a shallow bucket near the foal, so it can drink at its own rate.
- Never use the leftover milk in the next feeding as the milk replacer can get sour after a few hours, which can cause an upset stomach.
Second to the Third Week
- Continue feeding four to five cups of milk replacer every three hours. The foul might finish all of the milk in the bucket between the feedings, so keep checking to add more milk if required.
- Start with adding half a flake of leafy alfalfa, half cup of grains, and milk pellets in the foal’s diet gradually.
- Don’t forget to allow a freshwater supply at all times.
- Use a pan to keep milk for the foal, and don’t forget to discard the previous milk before the next feeding session.
Fourth to Sixth Week
- Increase the milk supply to six to seven cups at a time every four hours.
- Add half flake of grass, two cups of milk pellets along with half flake of leafy alfalfa, and one cup of grain in the foal’s diet.
- Increase freshwater intake.
Sixth Week to Three Months
- Increase the supply of the milk replacer to six to seven cups every six hours.
- Ad four to five cups of milk pellets, two to three cups of grain and free choice of hay to the foal’s diet.
- Keep a bucket of freshwater near the foal at all times.
After Three Months
- Start weaning off the foal of milk replacer. Begin by decreasing the foal’s milk supply gradually to make sure it doesn’t get devoid of the required nutritional value all of a sudden.
- Increase the number of milk pellets, grain, and hay in the foal’s diet.
Guidelines to Feed an Orphan Foal after Weaning
- Provide high-quality hay and grass and look for any molds and weeds before feeding the foal.
- Begin by feeding one percent of foal’s total body weight each day.
- Make sure to divide the daily ration of feed into three feedings.
- Don’t overfeed the foal as an overweight foal can be at risk of developmental orthopedic disease.