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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 F. Gray, DVM, MA SmartPak Staff Veterinarian and Medical Director Dr. Lydia Gray has earned a Bachelor of Science in agriculture, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), and a Master of Arts focusing on interpersonal and organizational communication. After “retiring” from private practice, she put her experience and education to work as the American Association of Equine Practitioner’s first-ever Director of Owner Education. Dr. Gray continues to provide health and nutrition information to horse owners through her position at SmartPak, through publication in more than a dozen general and trade publications, and through presentations around the country. She is the very proud owner of a Trakehner named Newman that she actively competes with in dressage and combined driving. In addition to memberships in the USDF and USEF, Dr. Gray is also a member of the Illinois Dressage and Combined Training Association (IDCTA). She is a USDF “L” Program Graduate and is currently working on her Bronze Medal. 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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