If you ever find yourself with an orphan foal for whatever reason you will need to be prepared to offer them the nutrition that they need. The two foals that I have were taught to drink from a bucket for several reasons. The first is that the foals like to drink small amounts fairly frequently. Using a bucket instead of a bottle means that once it is made the foal has free choice access to it without a human needing to be there. Another benefit is that the foals don’t associate humans with food and are less likely to be mouthy in the future. As you will see in the video, the foals clearly go for the bucket when I bring it in. This has also made it easier to feed them other foods such as foal pellets, grass and hay because if I hang up a bucket…they expect to find food in it.
My foals came from Last Chance Corral and had already been taught to drink from a bucket. You can see a short clip of this training being done in this video: https://youtu.be/Muj69eBJQ_A . The short version is that while holding the milk near the foals muzzle you allow them to suck on your fingers and guide their muzzle into the milk. Once they begin sucking up the milk on accident they catch on pretty quick.
With an orphan foal it is your job to keep fresh milk in front of them and their job to drink it.
Here’s the low down on mixing up the milk. This recipe is from Last Chance Corral.
- BUCKEYE Nutrition Mare’s Milk-2 scoops (provided in bag)
- G.U.T. by Ukele (ulcer prevention)-2 scoops (provided)
- Pro-Bios Powder (probiotic)-2 scoops (provided)
- Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt (2 lb tub is best)-1 lb per bucket made
- Quaker Instant Oats-1-2 cups
In a very clean bucket, add 2 inches of water. Add BUCKEYE Nutrition Mare’s Milk, G.U.T, probiotic, yogurt and oats. Then comes the fun part…mix it all up with your hand. Feel free to use a whisk if you would like, the important part is to get it mixed well. I think it is fun…but I might be a bit strange..
Then fill the bucket to the 5 gallon mark for this recipe. As you can see from the babies reaction they really like it!
Things to remember:
The babies are messy and chew on everything so expect a dirty, sticky, messy bucket that will need to be washed with hot water before next use.
Make the water warm if the babies are younger or it is cool out or if you are trying to tempt them to drink when they don’t feel good. Cooler if the weather is hot so it doesn’t go bad as quickly-it will eventually spoil in heat (Buckeyes website says it stays good around 12 hours…my babies finish it before then!)
I’m mixing mine in a 5 gallon bucket so these are my ratios. The directions are clear on the BUCKEYE Nutrition Mare’s Milk if you wanted to adjust the amount you make, then adjust the remaining ingredients accordingly.
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I sit the bucket in a car tyre to stop them knocking it over.
I love love love how you are sharing your experience with us, thank you so much!
It’s a beautiful thing! Thanks for sharing, I’d love to do the same some day.
How often do you feed the foals?
Right now 2 buckets at night (10 pm) and three buckets throughout the day (8-10, 3-4, 7-8) all based of how quickly they are finishing them.
My bucket baby would
Only drink her milk is it was scalding hot. No lukewarm or cold for her. She would turn her nose up at it.
Thats funny! Mine seem to dive into the fresh one that I was making cool because of the weather. Maybe I will make a hot bucket in the morning and see what they think!
Stacy…was wondering how long you will keep the babies separated from your other horses?? ….. will PoPcorn be there teacher???…. will you video for us??? thanx!