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Growing foal: feeding advice for young horses
Foals and young horses grow enormously during the first years of their lives. A basic pellet will not meet the nutritional needs, but what does?
Feeding advice for young horses
After foals have been weaned, usually at an age of six months, most of them move to a weanling group. Often this will be away from the mare, but if space allows, this can also be done at home or at the livery stable were the mare is kept. The weanling livery is a place where youngsters can play and grow together. They live in groups where they can develop, have contact with other youngsters and learn about hierarchy. In the first years of their lives, young horses grow substantially. At birth, warmblood foals on average weigh about 55 kg and at an age of 2.5 years, they weigh easily around 500 kg. After weaning, foals are often brought to a weanling or youngster livery. A basic pellet will not meet the feed requirements of the young, growing horse, but what feed does?
Feeding advice during the growth period
As of approximately three weeks of age, you can start giving your foal Pavo Podo®Start foal pellets. You can give Pavo Podo®Start foal pellets up to an age of eight months and then it is time for the next step. But note: a basic pellet does not meet the feed requirements of a foal or yearling that is growing and developing fast. Basic feed is totally unsuitable. The most ideal feed for young horses contains exactly the right amount of energy and protein to ensure a good, even growth. Pavo Podo®Grow has been developed especially for this age group and also contains essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements in the correct ratios to ensure optimum development of the skeleton. For the best result, feed your foal Pavo Podo®Grow from an age of eight months to approximately three years of age.
Provide sufficient feeding stations
It is also important that there are sufficient feeding stations present with sufficient space between them, to ensure that each foal can eat its food in peace and quiet. Young horses in a group are usually very food aggressive during feeding time. A practical tip: start feeding the foals foal pellets already in the paddock. For example, by fencing a part of the paddock with a high fence which foals can walk under but mares can’t. This way, you support the foals in their development and you relieve your mare at the same time.
Feeding grain during growth
There are many questions about feeding grains during the growth period of foals. Singular grains, such as oats, barley or maize, contain energy (starch), which is needed for growth, but the mineral ratio is unfavourable. This means that feeding grains will lead to an imbalance in the diet. Pavo recommends to not feed singular grains to young horses up to an age of two years.
Feeding foals and young horses during the grazing season
When foals or young horses are turned out in a field with sufficient good quality grass, the feeding of concentrates can be reduced. A foal in a too good condition runs a risk of overloaded joints, which can lead to irreversible damage. If possible, it is recommended to replace Pavo Podo®Start or Pavo Podo®Grow wholly or partially by Pavo Podo®Care. This is a supplement in tiny pellets that can be fed to the foal without having to mix it with anything else. By giving the foal Podo®Care, it will receive all the necessary vitamins and minerals, but no extra or unnecessary energy and proteins.
“At birth, warmblood foals weigh on average 55 kg. After 2.5 years, they weigh easily around 500 kg.”IDS17 — 28 September 2018
PRODUCT TIP! Pavo Podo®Grow
The feed for yearlings and two-year old horses.