How do I know if my 3 week old foal is getting enough milk from the mare and how soon can I feed it?

If the foal looks healthy, bright and active, then it is probably getting adequate nutrition. 

If a foal is not getting enough, you will notice a lower body condition (less than 4 on a scale of 1 to 9), plus you may see the foal continually trying to nurse. However, remember that a foal normally nurses several times per hour. A typical foal will nurse, maybe play some and then nap.  Upon waking, the foal will stretch, then either interact …

I have heard that feeding corn to horses isn't good for them. Where is the safe limit when feeding corn? The horses that are being fed are draft horses who do work but not overly hard.

Corn, also referred to as maize, is grown in almost all states in America and is readily available to horse owners. Dent corn, also referred to as field corn, is common in livestock feeds. While low in protein and many of the essential amino acids, corn is the only grain with high carotene content. (Remember that carotene is converted to Vitamin A in the small intestine.) Corn is high in energy density (1.54 Mcal digestible energy/lb) and has a high …

My horse seems to be losing weight in the topline area. Why is this?

There are a couple of reasons why your horse may be losing weight in his topline. The most common is if he is an older horse. Many older horses will start to lose the topline quality regardless of exercise. However, in order to help prevent this from occurring, keeping the animal physically fit is best. Higher fat diets may also help keep the topline, but this will not work in every case in the older animal. You can try adding …

I have about 2 acres of johnsongrass in my hay meadow that is mostly bermudagrass. Would I be safe to bale the hay and feed it to horses?

Cyanide concentration drops to safe levels in johnsongrass when cured for hay, and it is safe to feed.
The leaves and stems of johnsongrass contain a cyanide compound, which when metabolized, inhibits the body’s ability to absorb oxygen, in effect suffocating the animal; young shoots of johnsongrass contain the highest concentration of the toxin. Because horses do not metabolize the cyanide compound as efficiently as ruminant animals do, grazing healthy adult plants is unlikely to harm them, but circumstances that …

Is catnip poisonous to horses?

Catnip has been listed as a poisonous plant for horses in some references. Palatability of existing plants in pastures is questionable, as in many instances, horses will avoid ingesting poisonous plants when they have adequate feeds to consume. Catnip is an aromatic herb of the mint family (Lamiaceae, or Labiatae).…

Because of rising costs, I have looked at using corn gluten as a feeding option. Buying in bulk and feeding less quantity because of the protein content seems inviting. What are the health issues, if any, with this type of feed for horses?

Corn gluten feed can be variable from batch to batch in energy content and quality, so a big part of the answer deals with the consistency of supply. If energy value varies by 15% from batch to batch, which isn’t out of the question, then you have the potential of over- or under-feeding, which would be like altering the amount of a consistent grain source without changing how much you feed. That would increase incidence of colic if you are …

My husband wants to plant oats as a "mother crop" for grass. Do horses founder or colic on green, growing oat plants?

Below is some general information about grazing on these types, and colic is probably not the biggest concern. Founder is a concern depending on the following factors:
* Is the horse receiving supplemental feeding to help create some gut fill to prevent the horse from gorging on pasture?
* What is the length of time the horse is turned out and allowed to graze?
Read more…
Wheat is an excellent cool-season annual grass that can be used for winter grazing. …

Can I feed round oat hay bales free choice to horses this winter?

You can feed oat hay, but feed it to mature horses and make sure nitrate levels are at acceptable levels.
Oat hay is not a commonly fed hay but can be an effective hay for older horses. The oat hay needs to be harvested in the soft dough stage when the leaves and stems are still green. If the oat hay is harvested when the plant is more mature and only a small amount of grain remains, the forage has …

Is there a formula or recipe for making an electrolyte supplement to be given to horses during or after events in hot weather?

Many people think their horse needs electrolytes during the summer. Provided the horse is conditioned properly and is consuming a properly balanced diet, supplemental electrolytes probably are not necessary. However, during extremes of temperature and humidity, the horse may need an electrolyte solution, but it should not be needed or given on a daily basis. If you think a solution is needed, make sure the horse has a choice between the solution and plain water.
A horse that is working …