New Foal: Care from Birth to Weaning
Congratulations on your new arrival!
Here a few tips on care of your foal from birth to weaning.
First 24 hours
- Iodine navel at least twice with tincture of iodine (7%). Do not get on foal's skin.
- Observe for passage of manure and urination.
- Foal should nurse colostrum within 3 hours of birth.
- Foal should be standing within 1 hour of birth.
- Veterinary exam - Mare and placenta, foal; blood tests and vaccinations.
- All foals should be vaccinated beginning at six months of age.
- Potomac Horse Fever and Strangles are optional vaccines that can be given between 3 and 6 months of age in a 2 dose series.
Monthly deworming can be started at 2 months of age with Oxybendazole (Anthelcide®). Colts
- At 4 months of age use Pyrantel (Strongid®).
- At 6 months of age use Ivermectin (Eqvalan®, Zimectrin®), then follow your regular deworming schedule.
- If you choose to use Strongid C® for daily deworming , it should not be started until your foal is at least 4 months old.
- We do not recommend the use of Quest® dewormer in foals.
- Castration is usually done between 6 and 12 months of age.
- Complete separation, out of sight and hearing, is best. Mare and foal should be separated for 2 - 4 weeks. Most foals are weaned between 4 and 6 months of age.
- Pasture or daily turnout is best. Epiphysitis or joint problems can arise from too much stall rest or irregular exercise programs.
- Your foal will start nibbling on hay at 1 - 3 weeks of age. When your foal is 2 - 3 weeks old, a creep feeder for grain should be set up so that the mare can't fit her head into it. A 16% protein foal grain mix should be used in the creep feeder. Always take out what is left in the feeder each day and put in fresh grain.
- A guideline for grain feeding is 1 lb. per month of age, up to 6 months. ( i.e. a 3 month old foal can be fed 3 lbs. of grain daily.) This should be adjusted with your foal's condition. Don't feed this much if your foal is getting overweight. The ribs should be easily felt and visible when a foal is running and playing.
- Needs to be done on a foal after weaning if the foal is being sold, shown or traveling to another state.