feeding advice, not sure I agree with the nutritionist

not_with_it

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Dixie is now 5 months old and is looking very well for her age. Gin, my mare, has been brought back into work.
They both have 1 feed a day and are both looking well.
Gin has a round scoop of Hifi and a very small scoop of mare and younstock mix (like a double handful) with her biotin and oil. Dixie just gets a token feed of a handful of Hifi and a sprinkle of the mix.

Dixie is staying with Gin through the winter so I rung for some advice on their feed. They will be out during the day and seperated at night.
Ideally Gin needs to lose a few pounds but this will come with the work and winter.

I was advised to keep Gin on the mare and youngstock mix through the winter and put Dixie on foal mix, the recomended amount.
My theory is that if Gin is on the mix and dixie is getting recommended amounts of foal mix she will be getting too much.
I would like to eventually put Gin back on staypower museli which I am told will not be a problem.

I have heard a lot of people like suregrow for their youngsters.
They will be getting haylage throughout the winter and so I will feed Dixie on what I feel she needs hard feed wise which will probably not be much. I am just worried she will be getting too many nutrients with the mix, haylage and milk. I am also worried that Gin is getting too much nutritional wise and considered putting her on a pasture mix.

So after the ramble what would you recommend?
 

Clodagh

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I will be interested to see what replies you get. My vet is in a tizzy cos Piper is so big and he mustn't have any hard feed, so I'm not sure what to do. I'm thinking chaff just to shut him up and access to a mineral lick.
Dixie, like Gin, is a good doer.
 

not_with_it

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I rung D&H. I have always been impressed with their advice but the woman I spoke to this time didnt seem very knowlegable and she seemed unsure in her answers.

Gin is a Dutch WB and Dix is pb Hanoverian.

Clodagh, they are both looking so well at the minute. There doesnt look to be much grass but there must be with the amount they are pooping! Hence why Dixie will only get a token feed and the amount will depend on how she is looking rather than the recommended amount.
 

Maesfen

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I have heard a lot of people like suregrow for their youngsters.
They will be getting haylage throughout the winter and so I will feed Dixie on what I feel she needs hard feed wise which will probably not be much. I am just worried she will be getting too many nutrients with the mix, haylage and milk. I am also worried that Gin is getting too much nutritional wise and considered putting her on a pasture mix.

So after the ramble what would you recommend?
Don't forget after five months, the quality of the milk will be dropping off so she will need supplementing. I have no hesitation in recommending Suregrow after first using it for the orphan boys and my own foals afterwards.

If it was me, (no chaff at all, it's bad for babies as they can't chew it properly, it could cause choke) Suregrow (and nothing added to it) of which you feed very little, looking at the bag it'll be something like 1.1kg for a 200kg 5 month foal per day, so very small feeds indeed, haylage, grazing and the odd drop from the milkbar which should see her doing well with no sharp spurts of growth which you need to contain; if she starts doing too well then cut back on the Suregrow but don't cut back anything else unless you change her to plain hay. For the mare, as she's back in work I'd put her on your normal mix as you don't want her to increase milk production at this stage I wouldn't have thought, it would make her too uncomfortable to work and then she should gradually wean the foal herself as her milk supply naturally dries up. That's purely what I would do of course, you'll have lots of different replies.
 

not_with_it

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Thanks for the advice, I didnt know that about chaff.

I think I will go for the suregrow and change Gin to a pasture mix once the mare and youngstock runs out.

I had the same thought about continuing feeding the mare and youngstock, that she would continue to produce milk with the nutrients from the mix. This is why I wanted to downgrade to something not as rich.

Thanks for the help.
 

S_N

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Did they advise you feed the chaff? I've worked with foals that have suffered choke as a result of being fed chaff. It's very, very scary! Please don't feed it! They can't masticate it well enough, as they haven't a full set of teeth. Grass and hay are totally different to short chopped chaff.

I agree with Pat, Suregrow for the foal, plus grass and hay/haylage and for the mare whatever you would have fed her normally when ridden. The foal go to the milk bar less and less, mainly for comfort than because of the nutritional need.
 

Clodagh

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Sorry Nat for piggy backing on this. MFH and SNs advice sounds good to me, but as Piper is not intended to have any hard food at all what can I give him to eat? Grass nuts or something?
 

MrsMagoo

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Did they advise you feed the chaff? I've worked with foals that have suffered choke as a result of being fed chaff. It's very, very scary! Please don't feed it! They can't masticate it well enough, as they haven't a full set of teeth. Grass and hay are totally different to short chopped chaff.

I agree with Pat, Suregrow for the foal, plus grass and hay/haylage and for the mare whatever you would have fed her normally when ridden. The foal go to the milk bar less and less, mainly for comfort than because of the nutritional need.
Thats interesting to hear re chaff.....does it only affect younger foals or say yearlings aswell??? Do you think that could be whats causing the pot bellied'ness in Ron, although he only has a tiny amount with fibre nuts (like handful)....
 

Maesfen

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Sorry Nat for piggy backing on this. MFH and SNs advice sounds good to me, but as Piper is not intended to have any hard food at all what can I give him to eat? Grass nuts or something?
TBH, if he's not meant to have anything because of growing problems, I would stick to just grass, hay or haylage (hay for preference in that circumstance) with a handful of Suregrow if possible. I'd also be asking the feed firms for their advice and also ask any good local studs what they would do in that position as everyone has different ideas for different breeds and something might work for you.
Hope you get a lot more replies as I'm sure others know far more about it than me.
 

S_N

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Sorry Nat for piggy backing on this. MFH and SNs advice sounds good to me, but as Piper is not intended to have any hard food at all what can I give him to eat? Grass nuts or something?
Why is he not supposed to be getting anything? He needs something with the correct balance of vits/mins to support his growth and bodily functions and help prevent colds etc.
 

S_N

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Thats interesting to hear re chaff.....does it only affect younger foals or say yearlings aswell??? Do you think that could be whats causing the pot bellied'ness in Ron, although he only has a tiny amount with fibre nuts (like handful)....
What about Alfalfa? Mine were on Alfalfa, Suregrow, SB and hay and TO 24/7 from about 8 months old
 

Clodagh

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When he was born the Rossdales vet said to watch his growth as he was so big, and not to feed him.
I spoke to my vet yesterday and they had a hissy when I said he was about 13.2 at 3.5 months and said he shouldn't be and to restrict his food. I said he wasn't getting any except what he nicks off Dix and they said I must even stop him doing that. Dix has a bag like a cow so I assume is doing him well. As from tomorrow I am going to start getting them in at night where they will have hay.
He has access to a mineral lick.
I will find out more about suregrow, is it just vits/mins and not protein and calories?
 

Gingernags

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She's behind you... heh heh heh!!!
I'd agree with SN/ MFH

Mine had suregrow, though he did get chaff, but the dry readigrass type, and speedi beet as he got older.

The suregrow is great for not having to feed a lot but covering vits and mins.

Mine was 2 this summer, and the grass has done him so well, he's had nothing since about May when they went out, and he's growing really nicely, not fat but nicely covered and he's about 15.2 now (which was his expected adult height *gulp*)

He'll go back on Suregrow when he comes in. The mare I kept on stud mix as she lost so much ground feeding him before he was weaned.

Clodagh - how big were the mare and stallion? As long as he's not really fat, is 13.2 at that age really a problem as long as his joints aren't under pressure?
 

Clodagh

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Dix is about 15.3 and stallion about the same.
I think Piper may be bigger than his parents...
I will try and post his pic although did get a warning last night for doing so, so we shall see.
Hes not fat but he is well covered, IMO.
Vet hasn't seen him in the flesh, she will do so on Monday when some are having jabs.
Thinking about it, until 5 months Ds milk will be enough, then suregrow after that I think?
 

S_N

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OK, so you've got very valid growth concerns. In that case IMO and IME he should not be on any balancer due to the high levels of protein, but on either D&H Sure Limb, which is a powder supplement, so you'll have to feed it on a handful of alfalfa or wet grass nuts. http://www.dodsonandhorrell.com/pro...s-supplements/vitamins-minerals/surelimb.html

OR Baileys Foal Assist, which is a liquid supplement that you can administer via syringe http://www.baileyshorsefeeds.co.uk/studareahome/studproducts/foalassist.htm

This way you do at least know that he's getting the vits/mins he needs. Hope this helps.
 

Clodagh

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Thank you very much for that.
I'm so sorry that every answer makes another question...or two...
Surelimb sounds good, is alfa A OK then, surely its just chaff?
And does he need that now even while he is on the mare?
 

not_with_it

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SN, the nutritionist didnt sound confident with her answers. I made her aware that I was planning on feeding Hifi to them both but she never said not to.

I bought a bag of suregrow and put a handful in her bucket today. The little monster didnt eat it. I will try adding some sugarbeet to it to tempt her.

Thanks for the advice.

Clodagh, feel free to pinch my post, we're all learning. If it helps I have just ordered a 5'0 rug for Dixie. Monster foalie!
 

Clodagh

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I haven't measured Piper for a rug! I was given a bag of old rugs today whcih will come in handy, although a bit big at the mo. I daren't rug him during the day while he is turned out with Oli (or Oli for that matter) as they spend the whole time rearing up and biting each other.
 

_daisy_

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on behalf of S_N
"Nat - Be wary of feeding SB too young! It can upset their baby tummies. Whilst a lot concentrate feeds contain some SB, it's been processed, so easier for foals to digest. I'd wait another month mys...elf, till she's 6 months old. You can't expect her to eat it straight off though, try mixing it with a bit of something like Readigrass or Alafalfa.

Re. the nutritionist, did you get the name? If so, please pm me.

Clodagh, Alfalfa is chopped Alflafa, not chopped straw/coarse hay/alfalfa mix and as such a more palletable for the foal, though I wouldn't start introducing it till around 5 months personally."
 

not_with_it

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no, unfortunately I didnt get her name. I dont know how many they have at D&H.

In that case I will just have to leave it in her stable and hope she changes her mind.
tbh, im a bit confused now. Hifi is Alfalfa mixed with straw and if alfalfa is ok to feed then why not hifi? Is it because its mixed with the straw?

Sorry for the thick questions.
 

CBFan

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Personally I would NOT feed any foal that is 'doing well' a recomended amount of Mix or suregrow or any other sort of balancer. They are all to full of starch and protein and you are asking for growth related problems. Instead I would feed a handful of hifi lite / alfa a lite and or some high fibre cubes and a powder supplement. Even a regular boad spec supplement like equivite will do the job! Or you can do away with bucket feed altogether and just allow access to at and min lick. As long as the have access to add lib hay, they will do (suprisingly) fine!

Of course all feed manufacturers will tell you you won't have a problem if you feed their specially formulated balancer / mix but some experieces will tell you otherwise!
 

Maesfen

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tbh, im a bit confused now. Hifi is Alfalfa mixed with straw and if alfalfa is ok to feed then why not hifi? Is it because its mixed with the straw?

Sorry for the thick questions.
Look at what SN said before through Daisy as SN has now been banned! :eek:

Quote:
"Nat - Be wary of feeding SB too young! It can upset their baby tummies. Whilst a lot concentrate feeds contain some SB, it's been processed, so easier for foals to digest. I'd wait another month mys...elf, till she's 6 months old. You can't expect her to eat it straight off though, try mixing it with a bit of something like Readigrass or Alafalfa.

Clodagh, Alfalfa is chopped Alflafa, not chopped straw/coarse hay/alfalfa mix and as such a more palletable for the foal, though I wouldn't start introducing it till around 5 months personally."

Hope that helps.
 

Maesfen

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Because she, in the words of TFC 'circumnavigated the T & Cs' in other words putting up that thread about Sempers Spirit which allowed ER to post her pics of Saffy which had been removed earlier because someone had complained about it. Sad eh.

Just been asked to tell you that SN is on facebook if you need her, ta.
 
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