Supplements For An Orphan Foal


“Hello, recently my mare passed (Postpartum colon torsion) and left behind her 5 1/2 week old foal. I am feeding Foalac milk replacer as her primary food source (she gets pasture turn out during the day in nice weather, grass hay & a mash or Equine Senior + Alfalfa pellets) I have no previous experience with orphan foals and I am concerned she needs some type of vitamin/mineral supplement and would like to know what you would recommend. (All of the horses on the farm get Horse Guard) I could not find on the Horse Guard bag or website where it addresses the “orphan foal” issue or dosages. Thank you in advance for your attention in this matter & I look forward to hearing your reply.”

Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella:
Sorry to hear about your mare. The Foalac milk replacer has a good calcium: phosphorous ratio which is extremely important in growing foals. However, it is low in selenium. So, supplementing her with Horse Guard would be a good idea. The dosage is 1 ounce per 500 lbs, and needs to be adjusted to her weight. So if she weighs about 150lbs, feed her 1/3 of an ounce or about 1/6 of the 2 oz scoop provided.

Horse Guard


About Dr. Kelsey J. Nonella Ph.D., P.A.S.

Kelsey J. Nonella, Ph.D. is an equine nutritionist who was riding horses before she could walk. Her love for horses drives her to help educate people on what their horses’ needs in order to have happy, healthy horses. Kelsey went to Cal Poly receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Science and then onto West Texas A&M, where she got her Masters and eventually her Doctorates in Equine Science. At A&M, Dr. Nonella did extensive research on Selenium within horses. Click here to view her research. Kelsey’s colleagues have mentioned her as one of the United States equine Selenium experts.
View all posts by Dr. Kelsey J. Nonella Ph.D., P.A.S.

2 Responses to “Supplements For An Orphan Foal”

  1. Paola Sandoval says:

    I have a baby horse who is 7 months ,who’s mom passed away at 2 weeks old but I put him on milk replacer but I feel like he is shorter then babies his age what is a good supplement to give him?

    • mm Dr. Kelsey J. Nonella Ph.D., P.A.S. says:


      Thank you for your question. Sorry to hear about losing the mare. I would recommend Super Weight Gain for your foal. It has the same vitamin-mineral supplement as Horse Guard, plus a great gut supplement to help stabilize the gut flora to get the most of the feed he is consuming, and the cool energy base of the full-fat extruded soybeans which are high in protein and fat to help him grow and put on muscle. If you think he weighs around 250 lb you would want to feed 2 ounces(1/2 scoop).

      Let me know if I can answer anymore questions.

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