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KER Offers Guidelines for Feeding Weanling HorsesBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · July 23, 2014

Foals are usually weaned at four to six months of age. By this time, these young horses should already have been introduced to concentrate feeds, but the stress of weaning can cause a growth slump that may leave them thin, pot-bellied, and rough-coated. To avoid this scenario and keep weanlings on a steady growth plane, Kentucky Equine Research (KER) offers these tips:

  • Choose a feed formulated for young, growing horses and follow the manufacturer’s feeding instructions.
  • Be sure the grain provides sufficient lysine, an amino acid required for proper growth.
  • A grain product for weanlings on pasture usually contains 14 to 16% protein. Higher levels of protein do not lead to skeletal problems.
  • Avoid feeds with a high glycemic index, as extreme fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin have been implicated in developmental orthopedic disease.

You can register to download KER’s free guide to nutritional management of weanlings and other horses on a breeding farm here.

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