very poorly foal, any ideas or thoughts?

Maesfen

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Thank you Paddy555,I will add micronised linseed although he already gets linseed oil,I have tried giving alfalfa pellets,but none of my horses like them.For the time being he enjoys Cavalor's Podolac or foal creep pellets ,probably because they contain milk pellets!I live in Belgium and Copra is difficult to find.He has a salt lick but a bit E oil will do him a world of good,once weaned I will add some sure grow to his feed and see how we go from there.
Please don't give a chaff of any kind to a foal as until about seven months old they do not have the chewing apparatus to be able to masticate and digest it; it can then get stuck in the throat which can cause choke. Alfalfa is very bitter and coarse anyway, not a good feed for youngsters; if you want to bulk up a feed (though youngsters do not need bulk other than decent hay or haylage - plus adequate grazing of course - then you could try unmolassed sugar beet. Make sure it's unmolassed as again, a foal's digestive system is not developed well enough to digest sugar until about 8 months. I have always fed the Suregrow pellets on their own, nothing else needed other than hay etc.
Can you get something like Dodson & Horrell Suregrow over there which is specifically made for growing youngsters of all types and gives them the vitamins and minerals they need in a small pellet form so no over topping from feeding it? http://www.dodsonandhorrell.com/our-feeds/breeding
I know some foreign breeders feed something called Pavo with excellent results, http://www.pavohorses.co.uk/breeding/products.
I'm sure you must have other horse feed firms that specialize in feeds for breeding stock.
 

marotelle

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Thank you Maesfen for your advice,I must confess I realise that I was already feeding him Podolac starter by Pavo and not by Cavalor's as I had previously stated,I also give him a handful of sure grow daily,normally I would never feed such a young foal especially as he is still with his mother,he had a rough start but we had plenty of grass and now he has hay to top him up.My initial question had been about recognising a foal who might be suffering from immune deficiency syndrome as he does seem to catch everything Ie,colds,coughs and ring worm all in his short 4.5 months.Some posters sugested I should rug him,but this I really am loath to do, of course if he was running a temp,not eating or simply looking listless, I would not hesitate to Molly coddle him ,but for the time being other than stabling him at night and giving him a little extra grub,he is out with the other two colts and their dams!
I had not thought about choke,I might dampen the pellets,though I wonder if that might not make things worse...He certainly has a good appetite and is a bit of a thug for the moment!
 

Cortez

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It could be a panoply of things: from a bacterium (salmonella, botulism) to poisoning, or a virus, intestinal growth - anything; the loss of sight is really worrying. Hope you get to the bottom of it, and please abandon any thoughts of "mollycoddling"; that's exactly what the foal needs now if he's to stand a chance. They can go downhill so very quickly.
 

Maesfen

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Marotelle; I have to admit to not being a lover of rugging youngsters, foals especially unless they are positively ill. Apart from the dangers of wearing rugs especially if they have other playmates who can get tangled up in them just as easily (have known a leg break when it was stuck down the front of another foal's rug just from playing) it's so easy for them to overheat which is another recipe for disaster.
Like some children, foals can grow out of picking up everything but it might be an idea to have a blood test taken (if you haven't already) to see if something is knocking him back. Or it might be something as simple as a digestion problem, he can't utilize the food he eats or an intolerance to something or he might even have ulcers, many foals do. In the meantime you could try him on natural yoghurt (just plain supermarket stuff will do) which might help him build up some 'good' bacteria; it will certainly do no harm anyway.
For the last six years, I have fed D & H Suregrow alone to my foals (along with hay or haylage) and it's not until they're yearlings that I will add anything else to it as they get everything they need from it. It seems to help them steadily grow, not in the huge spurts you sometimes see. As yearlings (to three) they'll have Suregrow, Speedibeet (it's unmolassed sugar beet) micronized linseed and brewers yeast. Both the ML and BY are excellent for digestion which in turn is good for coat and hoof condition too. The BY naturally has B vitamins in it too. I have raised orphan foals on this (rather they were foster mares's foals when the foster mare was needed to raise the TB foals) right from three weeks old (along with Equilac) and you'd never know they weren't raised by the mares themselves.

OP: any new on your foal yet?
 

Tnavas

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Please don't give a chaff of any kind to a foal as until about seven months old they do not have the chewing apparatus to be able to masticate and digest it; it can then get stuck in the throat which can cause choke. Alfalfa is very bitter and coarse anyway, not a good feed for youngsters; if you want to bulk up a feed (though youngsters do not need bulk other than decent hay or haylage - plus adequate grazing of course - then you could try unmolassed sugar beet. Make sure it's unmolassed as again, a foal's digestive system is not developed well enough to digest sugar until about 8 months. I have always fed the Suregrow pellets on their own, nothing else needed other than hay etc.
Can you get something like Dodson & Horrell Suregrow over there which is specifically made for growing youngsters of all types and gives them the vitamins and minerals they need in a small pellet form so no over topping from feeding it? http://www.dodsonandhorrell.com/our-feeds/breeding
I know some foreign breeders feed something called Pavo with excellent results, http://www.pavohorses.co.uk/breeding/products.
I'm sure you must have other horse feed firms that specialize in feeds for breeding stock.
99% of NZ foals would have chaff - usually Lucerne chaff - in their feeds - All mine dis and had no problem with it - if they can eat hay they can eat chaff!
 

tristar

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agree with maesfen about the yogurt, but it must the kind that has bifidus or similar bacterium, i take it when i have rhinitis to boost the immune system and it works for me, however it would be wise to eliminate and possibility of salmonella etc as milk based products can increase the problem by enabling the bacteria to breed, echinacea is widely accepted as a fine herbal stimulant to the immune system and easy to give and very cheap,

i would do anything and everything to fuss round him in including a little rug. its very cold at 4 am.
 

Rollin

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99% of NZ foals would have chaff - usually Lucerne chaff - in their feeds - All mine dis and had no problem with it - if they can eat hay they can eat chaff!
All our foals start by sharing their mother's feed which includes chaff. I have never experienced a problem.

I am late to this thread and know that breeders wean at 6 months, however a breeder advised me, before we had ever bred a foal, not to wean until 9 months as it was less stressful for the foal. We don't breed our mares every year and have always left the foal with its dam until 9 months. The foals do well and my 'good doer' mares keep trim.
 
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