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Friska Foal: A Vitamin Supplement for Foals

Friska Foal: A Vitamin Supplement for Foals
25 May 2016 | Sabrina Barnwell MVB MRCVS

There’s always a growing importance of foal milk replacer in the equine industry. Young foals are entirely dependent on the mare’s milk to provide all of their nutritional needs.

There are occasions when that milk is just not enough. Foals that aren’t thriving or foals that have had health problems also need a nutritional boost.

Mares that have been ill, older mares and some maiden mares may have poor quality milk. In the case of the mare’s milk lacking in quality supplements may be used to help the mare to produce better milk. However it will take a number of days for the milk to improve and in the interim the foal will still need the best possible diet.

Foals drink from their mothers several times per hour. Foals that are not getting enough milk will nurse more often than normal and often push aggressively at the udder while nursing. In this situation, attempts should be made to increase the amount that the mare is producing by adjusting the diet, (more grass may help) or using drugs. The foal can be fed a milk replacer in addition to drinking from the mare or a foster mare may be required in extreme cases.

Nutritional Requirements for Foals

The nutritional requirements for foals are not just smaller versions of the dietary requirements of an adult. The growth phase in foals is rapid, with normal foals growing by about 1kg per day. High levels of vitamins are required to sustain this growth rate.

The rate of musculoskeletal growth requires calcium, phosphorus and also vitamin D. Skeletal growth is obvious to see but many other systems are also developing at this stage. Foundations are set now for the future athletic career of the foal so providing all the essential vitamins to sustain healthy growth will pay dividends over time.

Multi vitamin supplementation, such as Friska Foal, is particularly useful in foals that have had health problems. The foal’s resources at this time are limited and are required on many fronts, to fight infection, grow, then maintain good health and develop a strong immune system. Sick foals often stop nursing for a period or nurse less*, reducing the intake of energy and vitamins. Many develop diarrhoea, which can be devastating. High vitamin B levels and prebiotics in the diet promote the “good” normal bacteria in the gut which can aid recovery, along with veterinary treatment.

Friska Foal Supplement

Friska Foal improves the efficiency of the gut, and so it may benefit foals that are small or backward by ensuring that they can absorb their diet as efficiently as possible allowing for optimum growth. it may also be used in foals that are being fed milk replacer as all or part of their diet.

Friska Foal is given by mouth once daily. It is also very pleasant tasting which is a great advantage and widely appreciated by those who have had to administer oral medications to foals for several days.

Friska Foal is safe to be used on new-born foals and many studs incorporate Friska Foal into the standard management of all foals for the first week or weeks of life

* NB. Veterinary attention is immediately required for foals that have stopped nursing. Foals may deteriorate rapidly so prompt intervention is essential. Diarrhoea in foals may be fatal. Friska Foal is designed as a nutritional supplement to support foal development, it is not a replacement diet.

If you’re looking for any advice on your foal milk replacer, why not get in touch with one of our equine nutrition experts.

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