Nutrition - Critical for Our Fast Growing Foals

Nutritional management plays a key role in foal development and is monitored constantly at DeGraff Stables. Nutrition has a large impact on many body systems. During this time, the skeleton is developing at a rate only second to that which occurs in utero. Our foals are large and fast growing.  We believe that it is during this time in the horse’s life that our feeding the horse properly probably has the greatest impact on the future health and athletic performance of our foals.  We take great pride in their development. 

ADM Alliance is our equine partner in nutrition.  We subscribe to their Forage First program and buy the best hay possible from ourGood Pasture is Critical for Proper Nutrition constant source since 2000 in Ohio.  Building on the proper nourishment of the mare during gestation, we purchase and give to the foals and young horses to eat low starch, balanced-ration premium feed products complete with mineral supplementation.  This has allowed us to becom highly successful in maintaining steady growth rates from birth to maturity.

As milk meets the foal’s needs for about two months, we take special care to supplement the foal with a well-balanced diet after they are one month old.  As the foals are weaned they are grouped with foals of like size, age and temperament for feeding and to insure that they are able to each obtain their share.  The concentrates and hay are split into three equal feedings, at approximately 8 hour intervals; 7:30 am, 4:00pm and 10:00pm.  As horses are ‘grazers’; foraging when outdoors for most hours of the day, we are of the opinion that our schedule helps promote good digestion and reduce the risk of gastric ulcers.

Monitoring continues as our youngsters grow.  Weight is established every 60 days during deworming and the foals growth is recorded and becomes part of the foal’s health permanent record. We are of the mind-set to ‘feed the growth’ so that the colt or filly can support its growth spurts internally through proper nutrition.