Naturally, a foal should feed on its mother until it is ready to start eating grass. But, at times, the mare may not have enough milk, may refuse to feed the baby, or may tragically die after birth. If that is the case, as a farmer, you have to mix solid food and mare’s milk to wean it for some time before it is strong enough to chew grass. In other cases, you have to find a nutritional supplement to help your new addition to your livestock grow in good health.
A foal milk supplement is formulated for foals’ specific needs. It is easily digestible for delicate tummies and mimics the composition of a mare’s milk. The easy thing about supplementing your foal with foal milk powder is that you can either bottle feed or bucket feed it depending on its age. Here is all you ought to learn about supplementing a foal.
Does A Foal Need Anything Else Other Than A Foal Milk Supplement?
Note that orphaned foals need early colostrum supplements, which is the first milk that they get from their mothers right after birth. Colostrum contains various nutrients that protect and care for the foal against bacteria, viruses, and common diseases. A foal needs to get this milk in the first 24hours after birth.
If the foal is orphaned or the mother cannot feed it, you can get colostrum for foals from an animal feed store. When you get it frozen, allow it to naturally thaw before feeding the foal. Do not microwave it as the heat can kill the antibodies in it.
How Much Foal Milk Should A Foal Drink?
- 1-3 days old 1qaurts.
- 3-7 days old 1.5qt.
- 1-4 weeks old 2qt.
- 1-4 months old 2qt.
All the amount as mentioned above is per every 22 pounds of weight. If the foal doesn’t seem to gain weight, you should increase the amount to 2.5 quarts per 22 pounds of weight regardless of age.
How Often Should You Feed A Foal?
It is essential to replicate the frequency a foal feeds from its mother, which are small meals frequently. Feeding the foal a heavy meal at once can cause digestive problems for its delicate tummy. Again providing too little can deny it enough nutrients for healthy growth. Here is the number of times you should feed it per day.
- 1-3days 12-16times
- 3-7days 8-12times
- 1-2weeks 6-8times
- 3-4weeks 4-6times
- 1-2months 3-4times
- 3-4months 2-3times
If you cannot keep up with this guideline, ensure you feed it at least four times a day in the first week. Introduce it to bucket feeding after the first week to establish a natural routine for itself.
How Long Should An Opened Package Of Foal Milk Powder Last?
Milk replacers contain antioxidants that stabilize the fats to prevent spoilage. But exposure to air and heat after opening the package can cause oxidation and rancidity. Store in a cool, dry place, if you refrigerate it, it can last up to six months. If it darkens or smells off, do not use it.
Other than the foal milk powder, always feed your foal with fresh and clean water. It should also have access to chaff along with good grass hay. You can introduce a creep feeder when it is two weeks old.