As your young horse transitions from nursing foal, to weanling, to yearling, their nutrition has a profound impact on health, soundness and optimum development. In this article, we explain the nutrient requirements during each of these critical stages of life.
From birth to two years, the young horse achieves 90% or more of its adult size. A well-balanced nutrition plan is designed to support these rapid changes
in height, weight and strength, while preventing the development of growth disorders caused by nutritional imbalances.
The nursing foal
During the first 2-3 months of life, your foal will acquire nutrients entirely from the mare’s milk and pasture. However, in the third month of lactation,
the mare’s milk production drops, while the foal’s nutritive needs continue to increase.
Creep feeding can start between 8-12 weeks of age to provide your growing foal with the critical nutrients – protein, vitamins and minerals – to fill this
gap. Creep feeds should be fed at a rate of 1% or 1kg per 100kg of bodyweight per day.
As their diet changes from milk to feed and forage, it’s crucial that you continue to supply your foal with concentrates, while avoiding over-feeding.
Feeding high levels of concentrates can lead to rapid growth and the onset of growth disorders, such as Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD).
Your weanling’s diet should be balanced with unlimited access to good quality forage sources, such as hay and pasture, along with freedom of movement.
Running Cool Breed-Ezy is an extruded feed containing large nuggets which, similar to forage, promotes chewing and aids in saliva production.
By the age of 12 months, growth rate starts to slow. A yearling can be well-maintained on a diet comprised of forage and concentrates, which should be
fed at 0.5-1.5kg per 100kg of bodyweight per day to keep condition.
For a horse of any age, and particularly for young, growing horses, protein is an integral ingredient in the diet. Amino acids, like lysine, are the building
blocks of bone, muscle and soft tissue. Feeding a high quality protein supplement, high in lysine, like Running Cool Breed-Ezy, is ideal.
At Running Cool, we genuinely care about your horse’s health and wellbeing. Our superior horse feed range supports your horse at every stage of life with well-balanced vitamins, minerals and protein for pleasure and performance.
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