The power of sunflowers.

Blog

FEEDING THE FOAL

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

AIM FOR OPTIMAL GROWTH, NOT MAXIMUM GROWTH 

With the arrival of your foal, a correct and well balanced nutritional feed to encourage controlled, steady growth is vital in ensuring your foal turns into a sound athlete.
Throughout the first 2-3 months, the majority of foals will be able to obtain their nutritional requirements from the mare’s milk. Milk production decreases after 3 months and at this point foals will need creep feeding to fill the nutrient gap. A good creep feed should be palatable, nutritious, well balanced and contain high quality protein.
The biggest problem for young growing horses is developmental orthopaedic disease (musculoskeletal abnormalities). 

Some contributing factors to this are:

Genetic predisposition
Rapid growth rate/ Excess energy
Trauma
Restricted Exercise 
Poor nutrition / Unbalanced diet 


To prevent developmental orthopaedic disease the most critical stage of growth is from weaning to 12 months of age. Always aim for optimal growth not maximum growth. 
When weaning foals, feed a high quality roughage and supplement combined with a well balanced feed that contains adequate vitamins and minerals to support sound growth and development. It is important to ensure young horses are never overfed and a steady growth rate is maintained in order to reduce the risk of DOD’s. 

At 12 months of age the growth rate slows, which means there is less risk of developing DOD’s. Feed programs should remain customised for optimal steady growth rate. 
The high fibre content of the No-Grain Platinum will help ensure optimal digestive function while providing quality protein and a balanced blend of vitamins and minerals to meet nutritional requirements.