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Creep Feeding Foal Bulletin Board » General Mare Questions - Volume 2 » Creep Feeding Foal « Previous Next »

Author Message

Daniel Crouse
Username: Sneakers17

Post Number: 97
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Thursday, October 12, 2006 - 09:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I know it's to early but, I was just wondering when everyone starts to creep feed their foals if you do? And Jos whats your thoughts on this?

Also how much do you start out with?

And when does everyone start halterbreaking?
I heard a week and a day but just wonder when it would be easiest for the foal to get used to having a halter on.

Can't wait 5 months to go.

Username: Kerrit

Post Number: 44
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Friday, October 13, 2006 - 11:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


Others might not agree with this, but I put a halter on my foal within hours of birth, and then practiced taking it on and off throughout the next couple of hours. I would carry it with me and everytime I went into the paddock to see them I would put the halter on. After a few days I felt she was strong (and coordinated) enough that I left it on, and she's had one on ever since.

I also started creep feeding her almost immediatly. She was (is) very independant and she actually starting trying to eat grass like her mom when she was only 2 days old!! She was always VERY curious about her mom's food, so by the time she was a week old I would hang a little bucket up for her and give her a small handfull to nibble on. At first she was just playing with it (especially since she had no teeth) but by the time she was 3 weeks old she looked forward to her grain and would eat it. When I moved them into their perminate pasture at 3 weeks I installed a foal feeder (the kind with the bars across the top so mom can't get to it) and would give her a little in there to munch on throughout the day, and replace/replenish it everynight. She's now almost 4 months old and I've taken the bars off and she gets about 1/2 scoop of sweet feed in the evenings.

Like I said, some may feel this was too soon, but I never had a problem with her being weak, or too skinny, and she never even got foal scours. She also has never had that "pot bellied" look from over eating, and I don't give her a lot b/c I don't want it to make her grow too fast. But I really feel that getting them eating solid food as soon as possible is the best way to go.

E Watkins
Breeding Stock
Username: Evie

Post Number: 599
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Friday, October 13, 2006 - 04:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Daniel- I'm with Kerri on starting right away with the halter though I don't advise leaving it on the foal. If they catch it on something they can struggle and injure their neck or as happened in my case, hang themselves. Mine was a yearling for what it's worth, but she lost her footing on slick ground and I found her upside down strangled. Tough lesson, I'd left the halter on for convenience sake and she paid the price. Ev

Nursing Foal
Username: Rooty

Post Number: 19
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Saturday, October 14, 2006 - 12:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I start feeding some hard feed at about a month old. I don't creep feed, I give the foal a certain amount and stand in there and supervise, as mom needs more than the foal. Plus what I feed they don't recommend overdoing it with the babies, I don't want them to get too much and end up with rapid growth problems.
I have both haltered from the first few days and also left that until they are a bit older, and in the long run haven't noticed it to make any difference. Having done both, I do prefer to wait now, I introduce the halter once the foal is feeling very comfortable with me, I have found they accept the halter much more readily this way.

Nursing Foal
Username: Dreamonthefly

Post Number: 13
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Saturday, October 14, 2006 - 08:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i also halter my babies right from the start. they never go from stall to paddock or vice versa without being handled and led. i don't leave the halters on when they are on their own. i also start with a milk based creep feed from day one and graduate to a growing ration after about 3 mos.
good luck

Kassie Finley
Breeding Stock
Username: Jkqh

Post Number: 302
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Saturday, October 14, 2006 - 09:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I will leave the halter on only while I am cleaing the mares stall, or feeding. Sometimes I leave it on and just stand out with them and mess with all the horses. I will do that for about an hour at a time. But they always have me around to watch them. And I start that as soon as they are born and can stand. I put a halter on, and leave it until they nurse for the first time then I take it off. Then put it on every day after that for a couple of weeks. It seems to work really well. And then the leading seems to go a lot easier. When training for leading I do the same thing, only put a lead on while I am out there. They walk around and step on it, it teaches them to give on their own. I do that every day for about two weeks, then when I pick up the lead I rarely have to use a butt rope, they tend to get the idea really quick. It also makes tying a lot easier.

Username: Kerrit

Post Number: 49
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Friday, October 20, 2006 - 10:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Trust me I would prefer to not have to keep their halters on all the time, but the farm I board them at INSISTS upon it. I can partially understand because a lot of their fields are right up against a pretty busy road, and they're afraid that if the horse ever got out somehow (whether on their own, or if a car crashed into the pasture) and didn't have a halter on you'd never be able to catch them. It's still not something I like very much, but otherwise it's a great place, and the only place around I can really afford b/c they cut me a great deal. If you have the option Daniel I'd only have the halter on the baby when you're with them.

Ashley Beavens
Username: Bearcreekfarm

Post Number: 34
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Friday, October 20, 2006 - 10:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree on starting your baby out with the halter from day one. When ever you visit your mom and foal put it on!!! And when ever you move mom and foal put it on and put a lead rope on too!! Lead both when ever moving them from pasture to stall or pature to pasture. My baby is now 6 months old and she leads EXCELLENT just because I started with her early. She never puts up a fight and she stands quietly while tied. (she even does better than mom!) The younger your foal is when you start training, the easier the training will be when they are 14 hands tall and about 1000lbs!!

Username: Rooty

Post Number: 27
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Saturday, October 28, 2006 - 12:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have found no difference in the long run between starting with the halter early or starting when they are a month or so old. In fact I prefer the latter as they are more comfortable and trusting of me. Therefore they accept the halter with little to no argument, the ones we had haltered right away put up a big fight at first. MO is that in the big picture it really doesn't matter when you start with the halter - I even had some feral PMU weanlings that had never worn a halter or even been handled before they were 6 months old, and they were all haltered and leading within a month of getting them - but I will admit the teaching to lead was harder than with a young foal for sure!
I do use the lead rope for leading all the time once they are happy in the halter, especially since I don't very often have help it's the easiest way for me to teach them to lead.

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