Milk Replacer for Growing Foal

Which is the need of lactose (%) for a foal fed with a milk replacer? Alfonso

Dear Alfonso,

According to the sixth edition of Nutrient Requirements of Horses, mare’s milk ranges from 6 to 7 % lactose depending on the stage of lactation. Lactose is known as “milk sugar,” and is a made up of two smaller sugars glucose and galactose. It is an important nutrient source to the nursing foal, supplying a quick source of energy.

Providing the appropriate amount of lactose to a foal should not be an issue if you use milk replacer that is specifically designed for horses. In a pinch, goat’s milk or cow’s milk can be given to a foal, but the nutrient content of these sources of milk (protein, fat, carbohydrates) do not quite meet the dietary needs of the rapidly growing foal.

There’s lots more to talk about regarding proper feeding of the foal—such as ensuring colostrum intake, preventing diarrhea or “scours” and starting on solid food—but I hope I’ve answered your question.

Lydia Gray, DVM MA, is the Staff Veterinarian for SmartPak. Prior to joining SmartPak, Dr. Gray served as the first-ever Director of Owner Education for the American Association of Equine Practitioners. She has authored numerous articles in publications such as The Horse, Horse Illustrated, Western Horseman and a variety of veterinary journals and magazines. Dr. Gray is also a frequent speaker at horse expos, veterinary conventions and other events. After graduating with honors from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and receiving her Master's Degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication, she practiced at the Tremont Veterinary Clinic for several years. Dr. Gray is active in the American Veterinary Medical Association and Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association. She enjoys training and showing her Trakehner, Newman, in both combined driving and dressage, and is a USDF “L” Program Graduate (with distinction). Find Dr. Gray on Google+

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One comment on “Milk Replacer for Growing Foal
  1. Xavier says:

    Your blogs are amazing to say the least!!!! Yes, Jocelyn, your words CAN be felt, with a fnelieg of warmth, comfort and happiness. So glad you have had these opportunities to find your peace and love. Thank you for sharing the photos of these amazing teachers of yours.. Your horses do look content and well cared for. Amazing people you have in your life !!!!!!! Love you

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