Foals The First Year

Foals: The First Year

AUGUST 1, 2000

Introduction: The following is a report on my research information on foal’s nutritional need through there first year of life. This report will also show a research project that I would like to do for my Masters degree
I. Nutrition
A. Nutritional Requirement
1. Details of general nutrition
2. Requirements
B. Other items required for good nutrition
1. Water
2. Energy, Maintenance, & Growth
II. Creep Feeding
A. Reason for creep feeding foals
1. Why creep feed
2. When to creep feed
B. Nutritional advantage for creep feeding
1. The foal’s nutrition needs
2. Foal feeding guidelines
3. The end results
III. Research and personal information
A. Research project using a group of new born foals
1. Setting up the research project
2. Details of what I’m hoping to prove
B. Personal information
1. Background information
2. Detail of work history and professional background
Rusty Miller
Research project for Masters in Animal Science
August 1, 2000
Feeding should be based on both practical experience and scientific research. Horses are kept for a much longer time than most farm animals and feeding programs must support the development of sound feet and legs to sustain along and athletic life.

Nutritional Requirement
Although horses obviously utilize hay and other roughage more efficiently then of other non-ruminants such as poultry or pigs. The anatomy of the equine G I tract limits this ability as compared with ruminant. The site of fermentation in horses is the cecum and large intestine, where large number of microorganisms digest hemicelluloses and cellulose utilize protein and non-protein nitrogen and synthesize certain vitamins. Some of the products of fermentation such as volatile fatty acids and use microbial protein synthesized from nitrogen entering the cecum and calm under foes only limited proteolysis and the supply of essential amino acids from an unbalanced dietary nitrogen source is not satisfactorily balanced by microbial ammo acids for optimal growth. Horses therefore depend more on the quality of the diet than do ruminants.

Water requirements depend largely on environment amount of work being performed nature of the food and physiological states of the horse. Daily consumption by an adult horse typically is 5 to 12 gals. Clean, fresh water should be provided ad lib for all horses. As physical activity increases water consumption increases. If a horse is hot following exercise, it should be allowed to cool before given unlimited access to water.

Energy requirement may be classified into these needed for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, lactation, and work. The need for energy differs considerably among individuals some horses and “easy keepers”, while others require prodigious amounts of feed. Thus, these formulas provide only a sound basis for estimating energy needs not the energy needs of any individual horses.

To maintain body weight and support normal activity, the daily digestible energy requirement of the non working horse weighing 440 - 1322 lb is 1.4 + (0.03 x body wt. in kg) for horses weighing *600kg, daily requirement are 1.82 + (0.0383 x body wt)

The DE requirements for growth (to be added to that for maintenance) are estimated from the following equation in which x equal’s age in months and Average Daily Growth equals average daily fain in kg. DE growth (meal/ day = (4.81 + 1.17 x 0.023 x Average Daily Growth

Maintenance energy intakes are adequate until the last 90 days of gestation, when most of the fetal tissue growth occurs. During gestation months 9 to 11, D E requirement are estimated by multiplying maintenance requirement by 1-11, 1-13, and 1-20, respectively. Voluntary intake of roughage decreases as the fetus gets larger and it may be necessary to increase the energy density of the diet by using some concentrate.


The It has been estimated that 792 Keal of DE/Kg of milk produced per day should be added to maintenance needs to support lactation. Maintenance needs to support lactation. This level of energy intake has produced increased body weight gain in lactating mares, indicating that it may exceed the minimum requirement for lactation. Some data on average milk production of mares are listed below. Condition of the mare determines desirability of increasing gain.

Average Milk Production
Months after Foaling Mares Production
0 - 1 13.9
1 - 2 14.7
2 - 3 16.9
3 - 4 15.1
4 - 5 10.9

Protein and Amino Acids

Although some amino acid synthesis occurs in the cecum and large intestine, it is not sufficient to meet the amino acid needs of growing, working horses and foals: therefore the protein quality of