Feeding the Orphan or Rejected Foal

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“We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.”
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Virtual Tours Locate Us. Our Campus You'll be impressed by our campus and our outstanding facilities. Early weaning occurs if a mare is to be put back into competition, or she is an older mare and you want to reduce her stress level to breed her back, or has had a mastectomy.

After foaling, the mare secretes colostrum for 24 to 48 hours. Foals will absorb colostrum for 12 to 24 hours after birth, or until an adequate amount of whole protein antibodies are absorbed through the small intestine. The quicker we can get the colostrum into the foals, the faster the openings in the small intestine will close.

All new born foals need colostrum, preferably within the first hour after birth. This is a total of ml, or about 3 pints of colostrum per lbs. All breeding farms should have a minimum of 3 pints of frozen colostrum in storage.

When needed, it should be removed from the freezer and thawed at room temperature or in warm water. NEVER microwave the colostrum because that will destroy the whole protein antibodies. You may start them drinking from a shallow plastic bowl or from a bottle with a lamb nipple attached, depending on how aggressive the foal is. Most of the time a bottle with a nipple is not necessary because the foal can learn to drink from a shallow bowl or bucket very quickly after birth.

Teach your foal to drink by placing your finger in their mouths to stimulate the suckle reflex. While they are sucking, raise the small bowl containing the liquid milk replacer solution up to their muzzle. If he stops drinking, repeat the above steps until he is drinking by himself. The first day, warm the liquid milk replacer to encourage consumption.

When the foal drinks without assistance, hang a bucket with the milk replacer solution in it from the stable wall at the foals shoulder height. This will allow the foal to drink whenever it wants, just like the mare was there.

The bucket should be a contrasting color to the wall to make it easy for the foal to find. Make sure to follow the mixing directions of 1 lb of powder per 1 gallon of water. When fed at room temperature, the liquid milk replacer will have a tart taste. This tartness discourages a foal from drinking too much at one time when offered free choice. Foals less than 30 days old will average drinking from their dam or from a bucket containing the milk replacer solution, seven to ten times per hour.

Free choice feeding greatly reduces the chance of digestive upsets in newborn foals, because it prevents them from becoming too hungry, then drinking too much too fast, causing a digestive upset. The average mare will produce 3. This means a 1, lb. Use the following chart to determine the size of the sire and dam, then the amount of milk replacer to feed the foal each day:.

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