Horse Loversgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Hi, This may seem like a simple question to most of you experienced horse owners but I promised my daughter I would ask anyway. She is raising a colt (gelding) and wants to make sure what you guys would feed him. He's already 9 months old and has been getting sweet feed, oats and hay but she seems to think if she continues to feed him good, he'll grow bigger, etc.. I realize most of it is probably genetics but she wants to make sure he's getting everything. He's in good health and in good shape. I was going to ask the feed mill but she seems to think some of you guys would know more. So, let's hear what you have to say. Thanks in advance!
-- Pat Mikul (MikulPtrc@aol.com), February 01, 2001
What breed is your horse? We have Morgans, Quarter Horses, and Arab; they all seem to mature at different rates and require different ratios in their feed. I might recomend getting some books specific to your breed or try a subscription to a horse magazine (We like Horse Illustrated.) You'll want to know about other things such as vaccinations and a worming program. Is there a local 4-H club she could join or a saddle club? It would be a good idea to meet experienced horsemen in your area, especially if you plan on training the horse yourself. Good luck!
-- Nancy Bakke-McGonigle Mn. Sunset (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 01, 2001.
When I had horses I used Clovite, It puts bloom in their coats.
-- Bettie Ferguson (email@example.com), February 01, 2001.
Hey Pat, I remember a time that a woman wanted the best for her colt and so she fed him the best. Top grain, best alfalfa, vitamins... He ended up having leg problems from all the protein. Poor thing. You are right about genetics. After all, if you feed alot to a pony, he's still a pony. Quarter horses are usually around 15 hands, Throurobreds 16-17 hands, etc If it's a mix, who knows.
-- Dee (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 01, 2001.
Tell your daughter to be careful about over graining a young horse. Too much rich grain can cause severe and permanent leg problems, one of which is Epiphysitis. This disease process can be caused by (among other things) excessive or imbalanced feeding, especially high grain rations, although it's theorized that some young horses just can't handle high ratios of protein.
As long as he's fed a good balanced diet containing trace minerals, is on a good worming rotation, and has adequate forage he'll grow fine. He's only going to grow to the size dicated by his genetic makeup.
My daughter is already started to think about the upcoming show season. Is your daughter involved in 4H? It's a good program.
Stacy Rohan--in Windsor, NY where my husband refers to horses (lovingly of course) as "d*mn hayburners"
-- Stacy Rohan (KincoraFarm@aol.com), February 02, 2001.
With equines, less is more. Feed a lot of hot feed like grain and alfalfa hay, while forcing him to grow faster than nature intended, and you'll cripple the baby. The leg bones become deformed. I believe it's called epiphysis, but I'm not sure of that. Around these parts, mare and colts graze Coastal grass pastures which grows all year 'round. But during the drought, they're fed Coastal grass hay.
I've raised horses, donkeys and mules and never grained. Add my pet steer to that list, who rides/drives. I'm a trail rider and do tough mountain riding. In all these many years, I've only had a vet out a couple of times for sickness, and it wasn't feed related.
Arbitrarily feeding supplements that aren't needed can also be dangerous.
-- ~Rogo (email@example.com), February 02, 2001.
The colt is a mix. His parents are full quarter horse and the mom is full appolosa (sp). I don't believe he is being over grained. At what age does he need to be wormed? thanks
-- Pat (MikulPtrc.@aol.com), February 02, 2001.
Oh, a 9 month old colt! I'll bet he's a cutie! I don't have any experience in raising a horse that young (I hope to get some experience soon!), but wanted to suggest maybe putting out a mineral block for him (?). We always gave our adult horses a very small amount of sweet feed, but mostly oats, coastal hay and a mineral block out free choice. We'd feed them more sweet feed only when we were working them and they needed more energy. In the spring/summer they grazed on native grasses and our coastal hay fields.
I did want to caution you about colic. I think a couple causes are feeding too much "hot" feed and/or not getting enough exercise. I am not the be-all, end-all of info on colic (maybe someone else here can give better or more accurate info?), but I did just have a miniature pony die of it. Here's what happened so you can keep an eye out for the signs:
Some neighbor dogs attacked him, leaving a few serious bites. Three days after getting him home from the vet for that, he was healing well. The fourth day home, he started acting sluggish, head hanging a bit low, ears and eyes not so bright. I called the vet and he told me it was more than likely "after-injury doldrums" and prescribed vitamins, steroids and antibiotic shots. The next morning, Little Red was still sick-looking, but also restless, laying down a lot then getting up and moving to another spot and laying down again. Also he had started rolling on his back, side to side, as if he was trying to scratch himself. I hitched up the trailer and loaded him to take him to the vet, but he went into a seizure and never came out of it. He died before we got to the vet's office.
This all came on so quick (from first visible sign to death was no more than 30 hours). I had never heard of it happening that quickly. Maybe it takes longer in a larger horse? Either way, I just wanted you to be aware of it. Here's hoping you don't ever have to use this information!!!
-- Wingnut (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 02, 2001.
Depending on the stud and the dam size he could grow until he is 2+ years old. I agree with not overfeeding him on sweetfeed. Make sure you talk to a Veterinarian and then encourage your daughter (if she is over 9 years old) to enter him in 4-H. She shouldn't ride him until he is older (mayhap 2 years old depending on his size and your daughter's size) Or at least talk to the 4-H'ers. They will be great resources and will probably give you more info than what you can stand. Babies are babies. You will get more opinions than what you want but should be able to sift out the good information if you get the same info more than twice! :) Make sure your daughter handles his feet and plays with him alot. This will make him very very tame. He will like to be handled after that! Good Luck with your new addition to the family!
-- Gailann Schrader (email@example.com), February 02, 2001.
I worm the first time at two months, and every two months after that with a rotation of wormers. I use Ivermectin (NOT IVERMEC), Strongid (double dose twice a year), and Quest PASTE dewormers. Do not use Quest on a horse that hasn't been dewormed at least twice with something else or on a thin or debilated horse, and read the package. Quest is the only dewormer that you have to be very careful about dosage. IMO, he needs to be dewormed now. Buy a tube of Ivermectin dewormer, get an idea of what he weighs and use that dosage. In a month double dose him with Strongid (two tubes), two months after that use Quest.
Colic is an awful thing in horses. I lost one to twisted gut colic when I was 12. I've found that a horse fed free choice hay (all they can eat) is much less likely to colic than one that is fed limited hay. Free choice water is important, and also a salt/mineral block. I haven't had so much as a mild gas colic (knock on wood) since I was 12 because of this feeding schedule. Even when my horses are in show training and on the road I don't feed a lot of grain. I do use Red Cell, Minavite (the Blue Seal equivalent to Clovite) and biotin/vitamin supplements but if your horse isn't showing and under stress they're really not needed--unless your area is deficient in selenium. Don't overdue the selenium you can poison your horse. I had our soil tested and it's fine.
If you have any questions, just e-mail me.
Stacy Rohan in Windsor NY where it's snowing to beat the band.
-- Stacy Rohan (KincoraFarm@aol.com), February 02, 2001.
If you have a vet who looks in on the colt for vaccinations and such, why not ask him to develop a feeding/nutrition plan to make sure the baby is getting what he needs? Usually the cost is nominal and if the baby is growing normally, you make just want to add periodic deworming, etc.
You could try this method of measurement to see how big the baby should get when grown.
Using a metal tape measure, measure straight from the coronet band to the middle of the knee (where the joint is). Don't put the tape measure against the horse's leg, but hold it out away from the leg, and make sure the tape measure is straight. Then read the inches on the tape measure and translate it to hands, i.e. 15 inches equals 15 hands. You can also use a string, just hold it from the middle of the knee joint to the top of the coronet band (don't follow the contour of the horse's leg, just straight up and down) whatever the length of the string, should equal the number of hands the horse will be when grown.
Good luck with the colt!
-- Cindy (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 03, 2001.
Just to add one thing, dont keep your baby in a stall for long periods. A study found that young horses allowed to roam and run in pastures bones grew and thickened much better then stall raised babys.
And I agree with above if your feeding a good quility hay little or know grain is needed.
-- kathy h (email@example.com), February 05, 2001.
Stacy -- I was reading that you're using Red Cell. Does your horse have a diagnosed need for this? I have no proof, but a friend of mine was feeding it to her barrel horse because she thought he needed 'building up', altho he'd never had any bloodwork done to determine a need. We put him down at age 12 this last fall, due to liver failure. Ran battery upon battery of test on him, ran up thousands in vet bills trying to save him, but he just kept sliding downhill and finally it was the only option left. I don't know that Red Cell contributed to his troubles, but she was pouring it on his food pretty liberally, and excess iron can store in the liver, so I always wondered about that. Necropsy didn't point out anything conclusively either, so it's a puzzler. Just thought that I would pass it along tho so you can make your own decisions, perhaps ask your vet if the horse really needs Red Cell or not.
-- Julie Froelich (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 05, 2001.
Since your baby is so young, you need to remind your daughter, that all good things take time. he's only 9 months. He's still a baby. You don't give an infant child steak all the time. Be VERY careful about supplements and grain. Too much of a good thing can cause serious damage (as others have stated above), or death. I know not every 9 year old has much in the way of patience...but if your daughter kills him with kindness...it would truly break her heart. Give him all the hay and water he wants, a salt block, a worming regime, and all the running, kicking and playing he can handle.
We've had a Saddlebred gelding that turns 12 this year....he's FINALLY stopped growing TALLER! (he's 17.4 hands now).
I would suggest that this would be the perfect time to get your little one used to all the handling that you are planning to do with him. Be it clipping, brushing, loading int he trailer, getting a bath, etc. And, another thing that should be pointed out, being from the "old school" of raising and breaking horses... Don't try riding him at too young of an age.... I have seen too many your quarter horses that got started under saddle between 1 1/2 - 3years of age go sour, and or have really bad leg problems (due in part to breeding bigger and fatter Quarters with smaller and smaller hooves - tiny hooves weren't meant to support all that bulk).
So, advise patience to your daughter. Her baby will get bigger in his own sweet time.
-- Sarah Wilde (email@example.com), February 09, 2001.
I only use Red Cell when we're showing or the horse in under stress. I don't use a lot of it, actually under the recommended dose. I haven't heard of any problems with Red Cell--thanks for the heads up. I'll do a little research on this.
Stacy Rohan- in cold Windsor, NY
-- Stacy Rohan (KincoraFarm@aol.com), February 22, 2001.
most horses just grow up to a certain size. over graining will make it happen sooner, but that is not necessarily better, considering the risks outlined in some of the other answers. Not the same with gelding at one age over another. Colts that are gelded sooner are less likely to have "stallion" habits and might run a bit taller while the ungelded or later-gelded may have a more bulked physique and maybe not get the height. Not a scientific thing mind you, just an observation that has held true with what I have seen.
-- Eric Deci (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 26, 2001.
Having raised several horses from birth fitting them for show, and doing a lot of research into this subject of feeding young horses. My recommendations are to maintain a protein level between 12 and 16 % and feed good quality hay. The question as to amount to feed, I treat them like any other horse, you should not be able to see the ribs or to feel them using light to moderate pressure. If ether of these cases exist you should up there feed. If its takes heavy pressure to feel the ribs than they are to fat and their feed needs to be cut down. High protein diets and heavy supplements can indeed ruin horses legs. I have almost ruined a horse just because of this and have seen other horses ruined as well, that is why I recommend a protein level below 16% I personally feed 12 to 13 % now. If you wish to feed a supplement Colvite is probable the safest supplement that I know of, follow the directions on the container it may not be necessary but I donít think it would hurt the horse, most preprocessed feed have everything a horse needs. Be sure to provide plenty of water and free choice salt.
-- Elbert P. Windham (email@example.com), April 06, 2001.
Hello Everyone, new to this web site, but I think I can help you with some of these questions, Read the book Blessed Are The Foals, it's great for answers to alot of questions, Worming should be done at 4 weeks and then every three months rotating your wormers, also feeding should be done per the size and the exercise and should never be increased fast, very slow in the change because you can fownder them easily, i raise Appolsa, Quarter Horses and Morgans and have had alot of expirence with all breeds, I am an question answer and the vets I have had are very eager to answer any and all questions, I read the book Blessed Are The Brood Mares and Blessed are Their Foals and got alot of good answers, by all means ask questions, And another helpfull tip is Minavits, Made by Blue SealFeeds, That is very good for any horse and I have seen a change in thier coats, and feet. One handfull a day and what a differce, Take care, Linda
-- Linda Rosato (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 05, 2001.
I feed Purina brand Omaline 200 to my horse. It has a balance of vitamins that he needs. I only give him a one pound coffee can full which is split up into two feedings because he's not broke out so he's not being worked. Just make sure you pick a feed that does'nt contain something called animal sterate. This is another word for animal by-product. Horses don't eat meat but some companies insist on putting animal by products in the feed. So... I'ts actually the animals that go to slaughter houses, the stuff that won't pass for human consumption like the animals that died of disease.You don't want to feed that to your horse. Purina states that they don't use any animal by-products in there horse feed. Good luck!
-- Michelle (email@example.com), May 26, 2001.