A growing horse needs a lot of essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins to grow in its first few years of life. So, it is very essential to take very good care of these equine species during their growth period. Guardians must take proper note of their dietary regimen.
Horse’s athletic ability needs to be maintained and preserved in order to produce an aspired genus for fulfilling an expedient mission.
You should be familiar and knowledgeable about the breed of the horse that you own and along with that you should also be knowledgeable about the growth patterns of the equine.
Growth Pattern Of Growing Horse
Research and studies have found that the weight of the newborn horse is 10-15% of its adult weight. The first year from birth shows very fast development. By 6 months from birth, the weight of the foal reaches 40% of the adult weight, and approximately 55-60% weight is reached by 12 months. After completing 2 years horse reaches 90% of the adult weight.
The growth rate of this animal is directly related to the diet of the foal in its growing age.
Feed And Colostrum For Growing Horse
The growing age horse requires different types of feed sources that help the young one to grow strong and athletic.
Do you know about the Colostrum? This is very important for the foal as it can save their life against bacterial infection.
Colostrum is a life-saver for the child produced by the mare. This is the thick milk that is yellow in color, sticky and thick at consistency. It has immunoglobulins (antibodies) that fight with the bacteria and can thus protect the foal from any sort of infection. Know how!
Just like we all humans, horses are also born with an intact immune system but does not have enough antibodies to fight against bacterial attack. The dam’s bloodstream and the foal’s bloodstream are divided and detached from each other by the layers of the placenta. These layers do not allow any kind of antibodies to enter into the bloodstream of the foal and hence it gets disjointed from antibodies entering in.
This is the reason why the young one can have built the immune system but cannot fight against any bacteria creating devastating infections. Hence Colostrum should be given to your foal as it is a superfood for it!
After 2 months foals can be given creep feed.
This age is very crucial, as at this time, there are higher possibilities that horses develop orthopedic diseases and thus nutritional intake becomes very important and paramount. For this, you need to confirm that the weanling is being given enough amount of vitamins and minerals in any form. This will help in strengthening their bones and muscles. Do not feed them with too many calories. If your horse is gaining overweight you can feed them grass hay- the best nutrition for young horses.
At this age keep in mind that you do not have to feed them the food that is given to the mature horses like cereal grains, higher glycemic energy sources, etc.
After 12 Months
Just avoid overfeeding and keep track of their nutrition at this age. Any forage and concentrated supplements of proteins, vitamins, and minerals can go by this time.